Drupal social publishing software

Drupal is a powerful content management system and framework that makes building powerful websites possible for mere mortals. Some of the posts here will be syndicated to Drupal planet.

Short shell script for speeding up getting Drupal modules

What follows is a short shell script I use for making it easier to get modules from the Drupal repository. It is best to use this script only with sources where you have a great deal of confidence in the source of the file you're downloading. Of course nothing substitutes for using good practices when it comes to deciding whether to install a program and its possible implications.

Read on for the code itself. It is a very simple script that makes it easy to copy the location of a file from a website and then download and uncompress the file. It could be much fancier but it does the trick.


if [ $# -ne 1 ]; then
         echo 1>&2 Usage: dget URL
         exit 127

curl $1 | tar xzv

To use this script on Mac OS X copy it into a text file. You then need to set permissions to make it executable. The easiest way to do this is:

The Visualize Backtrace Module

The hits just keep piling up this week. This time it is a great new Drupal module called Visualize Backtrace which will be a boon for Drupal developers all over. It even comes with an introductory screencast showing it's awesomeness. To get it working it requires ZGRViewer and XDebug and a little behind the scenes tinkering but I can't wait to install and have this tool for testing.

Drupal developer search engine

One of the things about doing Drupal development is one is always searching for information. There are many great sources of information and things like Planet Drupal that are a wealth of information. Then there are sites like the API site and sites for PHP and MySQL manuals that come in handy for other things. To make it easier to search the areas I needed I setup a Google Custom Search Engine for Drupal developer search. Please feel free to add additional sites that would be useful. Presently in addition to the main drupal.org sites it searches Planet Drupal, PHP, MySQL, and w3's CSS documentation.

Weekend gift - Drupal 6 beta 1

Just in time for a weekend of testing we have Drupal 6 beta 1. There will be many, many installations this weekend. Mine won't come until Sunday after some playing around on Saturday. There should be a competition this weekend to see who can submit the most unique bugs and a separate challenge for who can submit the most patches that solve open issues.

Making outbound links generic

I'm looking for a good way to make outbound links from a Drupal site not show the full path of the referring page when the user reaches an external server. There are some posts in the Drupal forum about doing this sort of thing. In short, instead of wanting to track clicks I'm more interested in not making the internal URL evident to the external server. For example if I have an internal page at the following URL:


One easy way is of course not to use path aliases and that would be the quick work-around. However, in some cases I want users to be able to remember a URL and most don't recall 'node/1234' as well as they do 'job-applicants'. The challenge is that for privacy reasons I don't want to make evident to the operators of a server linked from the internal page that the user is an applicant (and maybe they aren't but are a prospect I want to encourage to apply).

A cursory look at the modules list didn't reveal the answer. Likely a module for this with a filter that can be applied to redirect all links through it will be the solution.

Summer of code and other Drupal greatness

Google's Summer of Code 2007 came to an end earlier today. The Drupal project is left with some great new innovations. And on top of interesting things like the DAST project for automating deployment and staging there is a new Autopilot module that looks promising. (Haven't tested it yet but will soon!) Many great new things to test and of course sites to build. It is also worth noting that everyone interested in Drupal should stop over and take the survey to help give some feedback about where Drupal should go in version 7 and beyond. Which reminds me it's time to get cracking on testing with Drupal 6. New file management here I come!

Where the Drupal spam module doesn't work

Last week I wrote about Drupal spam options. In that piece I commented that I hadn't used the Akismet service. Sometime after that post I was reminded of a site where I have a great many problems with spam. Wanting to run a forum it is constantly overrun with spam. For some reason the Spam module in contrib doesn't seem to consistently delete or unpublish nodes that are spam. On this site there isn't a problem because it handles comments well (though Sunday a few comments did get through). Back to the other site where I installed Akismet over the weekend and low and behold the spam problem instantly dried up. It is clear from this little experiment that both are valuable tools in the anti-spam arsenal and have a place being used together. Thanks for everyone's comments!

User profiles as nodes or not in Drupal

As I go through the lullabot podcasts one of them hit on a challenge I'm working on. I have a series of related sites and the need to have complex user profiles and different user profiles for different roles. There are several ways to do this with modules that make user profiles into full blown nodes. Then a little CCK/Views magic and life is very good. The problem is that then user profiles are nodes.


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