Home / Resources / Blog / Technology

Technology

Database Magic on Acquia Hosting

As I discussed in my previous screencast, Drupal site building workflow involves a separate development, staging, and production environment. The different environments use different databases, generally on different database servers since you do not want your testing activities to impact your production site. Traditionally this means you need to juggle multiple Drupal settings.php files containing your database credentials and manually configure database replication and failover yourself. In this screencast, I show how Acquia Hosting... More

Part 2: Testing and applying patches for d7cx

I wanted to show how so-called "non-coders" can make significant contributions to the Drupal project. Probably the quickest way to make friends with a module maintainer is to help out in the issue queue. You can also help out with triage on some of the busiest projects. This requires no coding at all. (Check out the Views bug squad!) After triage, the next things you can do are: Try to replicate bugs - are you finding the same problems under the same conditions? Download and test patches - does the patch work as expected under your conditions?... More

Drupal Commons rocks

How do I love Drupal Commons? Let me count the ways. Ok, so maybe this is just me being enthusiastic about a great day at work. But ok - that's what blog posts are, right? Personal expressions of what's happening? Today I spent a bit over 1/2 day with a customer prospect who is considering using either Drupal Commons or a (proprietary) Social Business Software alternative. (Initial Caps Intentional.) These guys are working on a project that could have big cultural impact in the U.S., and have a user community of millions of users. It's a site you may end up visiting sometime in the next... More

Importing a Drupal site into Acquia Hosting

Drupal site building often involves moving a site from one environment to another: from a local development environment to a staging server on the web to a full production cluster. This short screencast shows how to export a site from Drupal Gardens and import that site into Acquia Hosting. More

Part 1: Drop everything and Help module maintainers fulfill their d7cx pledge

Drupal 7 RC 1 needs testers. And now more than ever, your favorite modules need testing too. As Moshe wrote yesterday, they're here to collect on the D7CX pledge. This is a great way that a new Drupal user can make a significant contribution, and make some friends in the process :) I was amazed at the most recent DrupalCamp in Ireland that some people I spoke to weren't trying out Drupal 7 yet. I've been using Gardens so much, I adore D7 and get all itchy when I use D6. Come in, the water's fine! Well,... More

Minding the gaps

Several people in the Drupal Gardens forums have asked how they can eliminate the vertical gaps between major sections of their themes.  Here's an illustration of these gaps. To get rid of these gaps, look for top margin and top padding, usually on the elements with very distinct and descriptive ID's.  For example, the banner. In the example above, the top padding of the #banner element is set to 27px. And the navigation. In the example above, the top margin of the... More

203 people tell What I wish I knew when I started Drupal

We had 226 respondents to a survey about roles in the Drupal community. Though we pilot tested the survey and honed down the questions, the findings were inconclusive, though we could draw one result. Apparently we use terms like "themer" or "module developer" yet these platonic ideals seem to only exist in our heads. In reality, a person on a team will find themselves handling many roles. In the context of a larger organization, Drupal is one tool in a larger set to be integrated with. In a smaller dev shop, Drupal is again, one tool of many which are used. Slicing up Drupal developers into... More

Why Varnish Rocks (and details on Boston training)

We are big fans of Varnish Cache, the incredibly fast and flexible open-source, caching software. Varnish delivers a significant fraction of the content for our Acquia Hosting and Drupal Gardens users. Traffic spikes often occur when a widely read site links to a page on your site. Varnish shines in this scenario. Since those page requests are usually anonymous and limited to just a few URLs, Varnish can deliver these pages directly and the requests are never passed through to the back-end web server and database. Of course, there are a few Drupal... More

How to learn Drupal

Though it's not always a linear process, hopefully with training, we can make the learning process a bit smoother for you, by connecting you to development expertise. Especially for those who are new to it, learning Drupal is also a series of evaluations. Does Drupal have the right features? Does it integrate with our existing services? Most of this is discovered through site building. I drafted the minimum steps and evaluations in a "How to learn Drupal" guide posted on the course at P2PU. It's not a... More

What do you do at your Drupal Meet up?

At DrupalCon, Barry Madore & Allie Micka from Advantage Labs organized a BoF: Drupal x10 inspired by Dries’s keynote. There were some interesting examples given. Growing the community is really a learning gap. At Acquia, we’re working with partners to roll out Drupal training... yet we need to seek out more avenues for learning. I see one of the biggest challenges and opportunities for growth is the local user group meet-up. What works in... More

Facet queries? Making custom Solr facets for fun and profit.

It sounded like a really simple request: "Is it easy to add a search filter for 'My posts'?". In other words, add a search result facet for posts by the current (logged in) user through the Apache Solr Search Integration module APIs? But then the wheels start turning - we want not just one blind link, but a real facet link that tells us how many results we'll get. Also, if we are filtering by 'My posts' then we probably have an equal use case for the opposite filter 'Posts not by me'. So we really need a facet block with two links and... More

Drupal 7 Apache Solr Search Mastery

It is day two at Drupalcon Copenhagan, and Robert Douglass and I presented this afternoon on Apache Solr Search Mastery. While the concepts in this talk apply to the Drupal 6 versions, all the code examples are taken from the Drupal 7 port of the Apache Solr module. Changes in the Drupal 7 version include wrapping all the data for the Solr query into the $query object and transforming the CCK integration from 6.x-2.x into an integration with the Drupal 7 Field API. Of... More

Module authors: In SQL, don't assume INCREMENT(1) == 2

Trivia question: Suppose you execute the MySQL queries CREATE TABLE t1 (  id INT UNSIGNED NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,  n INT NOT NULL,  PRIMARY KEY (id))INSERT INTO t1 (n) VALUES (100)INSERT INTO t1 (n) VALUES (200) What are the values for the id column in your two rows? If you said "1 and 2", you are in good company but you are mistaken. If you want your module to be good enough to run on Drupal.org or Acquia Hosting some day, keep reading. The correct answer is "they could be anything." On Acquia Hosting, the results are: mysql> SELECT * FROM t1;+----+-----+| id | n   |+----+-----+|  1 |... More

Problem with the Drupal learning curve

What's so wrong with saying "Drupal has a steep learning curve?" Well, it's not the most helpful analogy. And it's one of my pet peeves. I agree, it is a myth. Yes it is. We have to keep in mind that the curve is not the path, and the initial sensation of difficulty comes from getting one's habits unstuck. Using this tired analogy... More

Acquia Search versus Drupal search

It's been several days since we launched Acquia Search commercially. After reviewing the press, articles, comments, and tweets, I wanted to address the question of why we seem to care so much about search and why we can't simply improve Drupal's built-in search module. These questions came up during the beta test period as well, and have even resonated with the WordPress community on Matt Mullenweg's blog. I feel they are important questions to address. I've... More

Acquia Search: benefits for visitors

Why will the visitors of your site care about Acquia Search? For a while now, I have Acquia Search installed on my personal site. To understand what Acquia Search can do for your site, have a look at what it has done for my site. While I have a very simple Drupal site, you should be able to experience some of the benefits of Acquia Search. For example, search for "Drupal" on my site (use the search widget in the sidebar) and you can see the facets that allow you to filter the results by topic, location and industry. Using these facets, it... More

Acquia Search screencast with RedMonk

In this screencast, Bryan House from Acquia discusses Acquia Search with Michael Coté from RedMonk. Great demo, Bryan! More

Acquia Search goes public beta

At Acquia, we've launched Acquia Search in public beta today. As I've previously announced, Acquia Search is a hosted Acquia Network service, delivering the capabilities of the Apache Solr as a web service to Drupal websites of any size. Acquia Search is 100% free for now, and here is our marketing pitch: "Acquia Search can be installed as a module on any Drupal 6 site, and enhances a... More

5 MORE Questions to Ask Your Drupal Cloud Provider About Support

Where to host your website... It's not an easy decision. Last week, I suggested five questions to get you started on the selection process. This week: five more questions, which will help you focus on what's important. Remember, this is not a snap decision. It's a process. I may even float a few final queries next week. 1. Will you help me debug my code? If your site is slow or modules aren’t working, Acquia will help you. We don’t just send you a link to a tutorial; we will help you solve your application issues.... More

Pages