When you are building an online community, one of your important jobs is to remove obstacles for users to sign up to create accounts. Drupal's user registration form, out of the box, is one of the simplest forms out there, and maybe that is why it is also one of the easiest things to overlook when building a site. By the time profile fields are added in, captchas are placed on the page, and other components have had their way with the fields that become part of it, the form can get rather messy and detract from the user experience.
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Whenever I need to implement a custom feature for a Drupal site, I always check the Drupal.org module repository to see if someone has already written a module that does the same thing. This can be difficult, since the number of modules has exploded in recent years and the infrastructure for browsing them has not caught up (though the redesign project has noticed this and is discussing some great improvements).
Sharing some video of a the Drupal Interface module that I've been working on here at Trellon. With our new site up, I can devote more time to this project.
Coder Tough Love is a companion to the existing Coder module by Doug Green, and its initial development has been sponsored by Trellon. Unlike Coder, which strives to follow the documented style guidelines of Drupal core, Coder Tough Love takes the tougher tactic of applying finely aged and obsessively anal wisdom from years of Drupal development and persnickety quality control.
Confession time. I don't use an IDE (Integrated Development Enviroment) for Drupal development. Sometimes, I kind of wish I did because having all of the development tools in one place is great; but all of the IDEs I've tried for my platform (I'm a OS X user) try to change the way I work, lack key PHP features, or are incredibly slow. And I really like TextMate. Thankfully I've found a great PHP debugger for OS X called MacGDBp and, at least for me, the chances of switching to an IDE continue to dwindle.
I'm known, famously or infamously, for my code quality reviews and, whilst I don't get enough time to perform the same anal-retentive behavior at Trellon, I've streamlined checks of the most egregious errors with daily e-mailed reports using Coder and Drush. Drush allows you to operate your Drupal site from the command line, while Coder is a friendly "do it right, bub" for code quality.
Getting things installed and configured
We were recently approached by a client who wanted to create two sites to serve different audiences but with vast amounts of common content. The same group of people would be responsible for the upkeep of both sites and the desired solution would allow content to be shared with great ease.
Online event registration has always proved tricky for website developers. Even with the rise of social media, capturing information from participants has always been subject to the nuanced details of organizing events in the real world. How many people are allowed to attend? Do people have to pay to get in? Where am I storing the information we collect so it is most useful to event organizers? These kinds of questions lead to very specific, focused solutions within open-source event management systems, and make it difficult to address the needs of general audiences.
Facebook's newsfeed feature introduced social network users to continuous updates of news about the goings-on in the lives of their friends and contacts. Activity aggregators have turned out to be a pretty useful feature for social networking sites, and can even be a little addictive when done right. Most sites that bill themselves as a social or professional network now have some kind of newsfeed, friend feed, lifestream or other feed.
I've just released version 1.0 of the Teleport module. Teleport is "QuickSilver for Drupal", but if you don't know what QuickSilver is, that's not going to tell you much. Basically, Teleport lets you quickly jump to a page on your Drupal site by typing in part of the path or the title. It saves me a ton of time when jumping around to administration pages that are nested two or three levels deep.
Here at Trellon, clients come to us all the time to looking for solutions for making knowledge more accessible through their web sites. Given that search features are a primary tool for exposing data and that the performance of Drupal's search engine is less than optimal in certain situations, we developed a module that replaces Drupal's native search features with the Xapian search engine. And here's why we did it.
It's common practice for theme function writers to give every div a class, so that it can be targetted by CSS. For us, this is especially important in forms, since our clients often ask us to lay out forms in complicated ways.
Currently we are carrying out a piece of integration work between Drupal and Salesforce. Drupal is responsible for pulling the data from Salesforce and this achieved by calling the SOQL api via a webservice. The data is returned in a SOAP format. This article assumes you are using this salesforce client
The challenge of working with high volume Drupal sites lies in the relationship between the CDN and the underlying memcache implementation. Sometimes, a vicious circle occurs where the CDN and Drupal just can't get their collective act together, and strategies for prepopulating cached content come into play.