Drupal tips, tricks, tutorials

Getting email validation straightened out for successful email transmissions (DKIM, SPF and PTR, oh my!)

One of the things Drupal does is generate emails for a variety of reasons. For example new account registrations include a step to validate the account, by sending an email containing a validation link. On the large online community website I run, a long-running problem has been that the validation email does not always get delivered. This shows up as a user registration that never gets validated.

Dreamhost Sucks, Time to leave Dreamhost, looking for a VPS to host my Drupal sites

I've been hosting my Drupal sites on Dreamhost for quite awhile, but it's time to move on. They're a decent web hosting provider that offers a combination that suits me well, but if you peruse http://www.dreamhoststatus.com/ you see a lot of customers complaining bitterly about downtime and slow service. I'm one of those customers, but do not want to focus on this part of the story, and instead want to focus on seeking a proper useful home to house my websites.

Potential for integrating Node.js with Drupal and speed up Drupal page processing

Besides some experience with Node.js enough to write the book linked in the side bar, I've also spent a lot of time building and configuring Drupal websites.  I've been pondering the possibilities for marrying Node with Drupal and have also seen a few projects spring up with that purpose.  However the core issue is that Drupal page processing is not an asynchronous process like Node's query handling, instead Drupal implements the typical synchronous start at the beginning and go to the end step by step model.

Canonical Entity representation for Drupal, sounds like it could fix one core critique I have of Drupal

This project just popped up on my radar - Canonical Entity Representation (see http://groups.drupal.org/node/197588 and http://groups.drupal.org/node/197583). The description of this sounds like it would resolve one of the key critiques I have against Drupal. Namely the lack of a import/export format that's part of Drupal Core. I'd like to call some attention to this and hopefully, as the two posts above suggests, this can be a standard part of Drupal starting with v8.

An inventory of Drupal 7 upgrade status - time to upgrade yet?

I remember attending a Drupal7 release party several months ago, 11 months ago actually. It was an exciting time, all this new stuff had gotten into core. I was hoping and looking forward to using the new functionality. But then I started evaluating the status of the contributed modules and realized it wasn't going to be possible. The main blocker at that time was that Views was in a massive rewrite mode leading to Views3, and that this was causing attendant delays in other modules who were depending on Views.

Successfully hosting Drupal on nginx on Dreamhost - a Dreamhost Drupal Hosting Adventure

Among the standard performance recommendations for Drupal is to switch to the nginx web server.  Because of nginx's design it's much more performant than Apache, supposedly.  I don't know enough myself about nginx to say why it's better, other than having an understanding that nginx has an event-oriented architecture that's cleaner than Apache's.

Generating Apache style .htaccess redirects from Drupal's Path Redirect module

The "Path Redirect" module for Drupal 6 (http://drupal.org/project/path_redirect) is an excellent way to set up redirects from one URL to another. This module can be used for any purpose where you want the HTTP request for URL's on a Drupal website to automatically redirect to another URL. For example :-

  • you might want to have a nice URL to promote for some excellent product (example.com/excellent-camera) that lands on a merchant website while hiding the complexity of the merchant URL (making sure to include the affiliate link).

Is Drupal's complexity turning people off? Hurm...

Ben Buckman asked a question that struck deep into a dissatisfaction that's been growing in me about Drupal. He spoke it from the perspective of someone who's spending a lot of time inside the code, but I have a different perspective and take on it because I prefer to stay at the admin screens. He talked about the API complexity, stuff that isn't working that used to work, modules not conforming to long-standing practices, modules not using core Drupal features when arguably they should, and so forth.

Drupal + node.js module demo

Here's a little video demo'ing the Node.js integration module for Drupal. The module is for Drupal 7 only, and "It provides an API that other modules can use to add realtime capabilities to Drupal."

The demo shows triggers and actions which can distribute messages through a Node.js based service which pops up on all web browsers connected to a Drupal site. They indicate a future direction of implementing a chatroom on top of this.

Potential and fix for Drupal xmlsitemap module to not index nodes

I want to share the solution for a problem I (and it seems others) have had with the Drupal xmlsitemap module. The problem results in zero nodes being indexed in the sitemap which, of course, is an undesired result because the purpose of xmlsitemap is to reliably inform search engines of the nodes on your site so they can more easily index your site. Telling the search engine "I have no nodes" is a kiss of death in terms of getting traffic, that is until the search engine spiders your site and finds everything that way. But they don't spider sites every day.

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