Drupal 6

Dramatic performance effect of enabling the Block Cache Alter module on Drupal 6 websites

I have my websites hosted on Dreamhost VPS's and the other day decided to consolidate some of my sites onto one server. Using the Munin monitoring I've installed (see Use Munin to monitor a Dreamhost MySQL VPS) I could see the CPU utilization on the server was very low - below 15% - indicating that the server had CPU capacity. But a different performance issue showed up after consolidating the sites on one server. Namely the memory allocation had to be increased to 3GB when that server previously ran well at 1.2GB of memory.

Save your server! Detect taxonomy term loops in Drupal 6!

I dunno exactly how I did this, but the taxonomy hierarchy on one of my sites had a taxonomy loop. That server has been having periodic load overload that kills performance and eventually I realized an issue is this taxonomy loop. In taxonomy.module the function taxonomy_get_parents_all can get tripped up if your taxonomy hierarchy has a loop. I'd found one looped term by hand, and just wrote a little script to detect others.

A strange Drupal error while running update.php: Call to undefined function: phptemplate_get_ie_styles()

I've upgraded and updated my Drupal installs a zillion times. A strange error has occurred on the last couple of them which has me scratching my head. I want to share some observations in the hope it will help some others..

Upon applying the updates and running update.php I get this error: Fatal error: Call to undefined function: phptemplate_get_ie_styles() in .../themes/garland/maintenance-page.tpl.php on line 23

Advanced Theme Construction Kit (ATCK)

The default theme of Drupal is okay. Garland is much better than the earlier Drupal default theme but it has some, uh, issues. The typical way to develop a new theme is to start from one of the contributed themes and hack it up. ATCK offers a different route in terms of building a theme from scratch.

Instead of hacking up an existing theme ATCK has you use a WYSIWYG Grid Builder service which spits out HTML to implement the chosen grid. That's your starting point.

However I don't like this support and have deinstalled ATCK.

Table of Contents module

Introduction

Table of Contents is a new module that adds some really nice new featureitis. You can see it in operation on this here page. It's an exciting new module in that it adds to the navigability of long documents.

Featuritis

The featuritis for this module is to scan page content and find the header tags (H1..H6). It uses the strings in the header tags to create listing of links to those headers. A.k.a. Table of Contents

Converted to Drupal 6

I've converted this site to Drupal 6 (precisely 6.2) and ohmygosh did this take a lot of work to do the conversion, but at the same time it's so worthwhile to do.

Liveblogging drupal 6 beta 3 installation

7:20 Unpacked distribution and moved files into webserver docroot

$ mv drupal-6.0-beta3/* .
$ mv drupal-6.0-beta3/.htaccess .

7:21 Set up database in the control panel

7:22 Connected with web browser to website. I'm taken directly to the Drupal install screen and can choose to install in English or other languages. To install in a different language requires downloading a language pack and unpacking it into the directory. This could be made smoother, I suppose.

First impressions of Drupal 6

Drupal is moving forward, and the team is getting ready with Drupal 6. I'm doing a test installation and live-blogging what I see as I do it.

I first went into my web hosting control panel, and added a new mysql instance. Since the Drupal 6 beta 1 page says this beta version should not be used on production sites. We've resolved most errors reported so far, but there are outstanding known issues in bold letters, I'm not converting a production site (yet). Instead it's a test site on one of the "spare" (unused) domains I own.

Installation steps were:-