Drupal tips, tricks, tutorials

Fix for when Drupal's cron.php redirects to a page rather than run cron.php

I've been having a headscratcher on a website for awhile and just found what the problem is. PROBLEM: When cron.php is requested, instead of running cron.php it redirects to some page on the site. This means the cron hooks aren't executed because instead some other page gets loaded. Drupal does a lot of maintenance stuff in the cron hooks, so it's bad news if they don't get executed.

Documentation of the normal setup for cron.php: http://drupal.org/cron .. I had done all that, and their troubleshooting section did not cover the problem I had.

Using MAMP for local Drupal development on a Mac

MAMP makes it pretty darn simple to do web development on a Mac. While Mac OS X comes bundled with Apache and PHP, MAMP bundles together the latest versions of both along with MySQL. It "installs a local server environment in a matter of seconds on your Mac OS X computer" and is completely self-contained. You can run MAMP alongside the Apache that's built-in to Mac OS X, you can remove MAMP at any time, etc. It's very convenient and flexible.

Repairing book navigation on a Drupal site

Maybe nobody else will find themselves in the situation that's in my hands right now. During the upgrade of this site from Drupal 5 to 6 the book navigation structure got screwed up. Drupal's book content is a tree structured set of pages which are loosely thought of as a "book". It's not really a book, but still the tree structure is a useful arrangement. I've published a lot of pages using the book structure and it was alarming that the structure got lost during the upgrade.

Drupal layout mysteriously broken on Internet Explorer?

On my Drupal-based forum site there was a problem - On Internet Explorer the page layout was horribly broken. The content, instead of laying out in a 2 or three column arrangement, had each section of the right/center/left columns one after another. It was as if some of the style sheets simply hadn't loaded. Fortunately you could still use the site meaning missing style sheets didn't interfere with usability except that the site was horrible to look at and probably turned off any Internet Explorer visitors.

Review: Pro Drupal Development (second edition)

Drupal is a very powerful content management system that can also serve as an excellent web application development framework. The features provided by Drupal are very comprehensive, flexible, and there is a large community of excited people supporting its development. Pro Drupal Development is a developers tome worthy of the system it documents.

Messaging & Notifications modules for Drupal

One key part of a community web site is a way to notify your users of activity on the site. It helps to bring them back if they receive a notification. Otherwise they might forget about the site. Out of the box Drupal doesn't offer notification capabilities but there are addon modules which do this. I've been using the subscriptions module on my main site however it hasn't been all that pleasant.

Drupal disaster recovery with the Backup and Migrate module

I recently had a small disaster on this site -- the database which contains the Drupal config and data for this site, well, it went insane. Certain things were blowing up either with screwed up display or what's known as the "white screen of death". And I could not get them corrected. This is one of the downsides of Drupal is when things go wrong it's often nigh on impossible to diagnose the problem or repair it.

Text Size module for Drupal

The Text Size project provides a neat handy little gizmo to let people change the text size on your site. Have users who need a little help seeing text? This is the thing to let users set their preferred size.

It offers a block you position anywhere blocks go. The block has gizmos letting people set their preferred text size. That's about it.

Better comment support with the disqus service & drupal module.. maybe

Disqus is an interesting service that fills a very web-2.0-style role. There's a zillion sites out there which support the users leaving comments. The web 2.0 model has community involvement front and center, contrasting with the old model of businesses pushing content or services or products at you. But the problem with this is having to register with each and every website on which you want to leave comments.. and further site administrators dealing with comment spam and desiring a better solution.

It's your RSS feed, not Feedburners, and how to maintain the relationship with your readers through your RSS feed

There are many services which offer services related to RSS or Atom feeds. These services usually consume your feed, modify it, and republish that feed on a different URL. Feedburner is only one of many such services, most of whom perform valuable features to web site authors.

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