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How to: Responsive, Full-width Banners

As a front-end developer for acquia.com, I've had lots of fun and challenging design requests come my way. Most recently I was tasked with swapping out the static homepage graphic with a full-width, responsive slideshow banner that can also be tested and personalized using Acquia Lift.

High Availability Database Tools

Percona Live was held at the beginning of April this year and the Acquia team was there. This was a really great conference and I want to start by encouraging any DBA/database developer who uses MySQL in a production environment to go to the Percona Live conference. It's a great place to hear about new functionality, new products and how other companies are using MySQL at scale. Large companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter as well as hot startups like Box all send representatives to share their knowledge.

At Acquia we use the Percona version of MySQL as our standard data store for all hosted Drupal sites as well as for lots of internal projects. Since all our production servers use MySQL replication to provide high availability and our databases are continuously growing we're always looking to get better performance out of replication. The new replication enhancements in MySQL 5.6 and 5.7 are promising better performance but need some work in the application and tools to deliver on that performance. At this year's conference I decided to take a new look at the current state of external high availability and failover solutions to see what enhancements they could deliver and how much effort would be involved in implementing them.

I want to summarize and compare four of the more interesting products that are currently available. I will also point out if there are Drupal specific things to keep in mind when choosing between them. All these tools are open source and free.

A Beginner’s Guide to Distributions: A fast-track to Drupal development

In the next few weeks we’ll be featuring distributions which can give you a fast track to developing with Drupal. We’ll be introducing a new distribution each week until our webinar on May 28th, where my colleague Jakub Suchy will answer all your questions about using existing distributions or deciding when you should build your own.

Drupal 8 performance: render caching

In late 2009, Drupal 7 introduced render caching — enabling Drupal modules to easily cache the final HTML corresponding to a subtree in a Drupal render array. Render caching already was a powerful tool in Drupal 7, but unfortunately almost nobody knew about it! This blog post will show how you can leverage it, how it's gotten even better in Drupal 8, and how you will be leveraging it directly in Drupal 8. Hopefully I can get you excited :)

Drupal 8: Forms, OOP style

Back in August 2013, I wrote the original version of this article on my Drupal Gardens blog. Drupal 8 has continued to be refined since then, so I updated the code to work against the current state of Drupal 8, and am cross posting it here.

Moving Your Drupal 8 Configuration from Local to Server and Back

Update: a textual representation of the first half of this video has been posted.

Two weeks ago I had a great opportunity to spend a few days working with Moshe Weitzman (moshe weitzman), Justin Randell (beejeebus), Alex Bronstein (effulgentsia), and Stéphane Corlosquet (scor) to look at the challenges and best practices for using the new Drupal 8 configuration system (a.k.a. CMI) to move changes between a local development environment and one or more server environments. We developed ideas, considered new modules for Drupal 8, and tried to figure out if there were any changes to Drupal 8 core that would be needed to make the system better for developers.

One outcome of this was two new modules Configuration log and Configuration Read-only mode. These were written to help demonstrate the capabilities of the new configuration system and enabled us to implement key elements of possible new configuration staging and management workflows. An additional outcome was a number of enhancements by Moshe to the latest version of Drush to facilitate the import and export of configuration.

The screencast video below walks through the process of moving configuration from a local development version of a site, up to a development environment on a server and then to a "live" environment using Acquia Cloud Free. The "live" environment was detected in settings.php and that logic triggered the Configuration Read-only mode module to prevent any configuration changes in the administrative forms. We also used a Cloud Hook to automatically import new configuration when a new git tag was deployed to the "live" environment.

Don’t wait to migrate. Drupal continuous migration

Whether you are just moving to Drupal or upgrading to a new version of Drupal, if you are starting with an existing website, you are facing the same problem: Your migration timeline. It will take you significant effort to move everything you have to the new system and you cannot play catch-up all the time. That’s why many people are opting for continuous migration. What does that mean? Run the migration project in parallel to your existing website effort and migrate gradually, page by page and URL by URL.

Everything you need to know about naming your Drupal contributed project

So you're contributing a module or theme to the greater Drupal community. Awesome! We're thrilled that you're sharing your work.

Naming your project may be one of the last things on your mind, but a poor naming choice could cause you issues down the road. Your project name ends up in a lot of places, including: Google Search Results, Drupal.org related project listings, the URL to the project, the title of your project page, Drush commands, the filenames of your project files, hook invocations in your project, and CSS classes, to name a few. A name that's used inconsistently can be confusing for users and cause integration issues.

There are several principles to consider and some are more important than others, so I've broken them into three categories: The Essentials, Strong Recommendations, and Further Suggestions.

The Power of Drupal Multi-site Part 2: Hosting Infrastructure

In my previous post, I wrote about how multisite is a powerful mechanism for code management. In this post, I am going to talk about how to manage multi-site at an infrastructure level, and the considerations you should take when deciding upon your site architecture.

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