Monday March 3, 2014
Have you ever used a "patch" to make a small
improvement to the code of a module or
plugin for your CMS? A patch can provide the
perfect extra feature or a critical fix. You don't need to know how to
code to use a patch -- you just need to know how to apply the patch.
The Drupal community has a special fondness for
patches. Patches a great way for module users to share their tweaks
and fixes with both module maintainers and other users.
Applying a patch is pretty easy. The hard part is deciding whether
to use a patch. A patch is generally a temporary solution, so you
consider your options before patching a Drupal module.
If you do patch a module, a great way to include that patch on future
upgrades is to
add that patch to your drush "makefile". A
makefile helps you keep all the bits you need for your site current
and in one place.
Don't let patches intimidate you. Learn how these bits of code can be
the precise solution to obscure, critical problems on your CMS web
Monday February 24, 2014
Drupal 8 is coming soon -- have you
upgraded all your Drupal 6 sites to Drupal 7
yet? We don't know exactly when Drupal 8 will arrive, thus ending
Drupal 6, but do we know it's "coming soon", and you don't want to
A major Drupal upgrade involves many
You need to decide
when to do the upgrade. This isn't always
a simple decision. Neither "as soon as possible" nor "as late as
possible" are necessarily the right choice.
You also need to decide how to upgrade each module you've added to
the site. Most modules, hopefully, have a straightforward upgrade
path. But in many cases, you'll need to
consider your options for a module major upgrade.
Although a major Drupal upgrade always includes some hassle, the new
features often make it worthwhile. Don't wait so long that you have to
rush. If you haven't started planning your Drupal 6 upgrades yet,
Learn more about Drupal major upgrades:
Monday February 17, 2014
When you first download a Drupal
module, you usually download the
"recommended release" for
your major version of
core. In most cases, this is the right choice: the
recommended release is the most likely to be stable and bug-free.
However, in some cases, your site may be better served by another
release of a particular module. You may need to use the
"development release" to get
a particular bugfix or feature. (Although you may be better off
applying a patch to the recommended release.)
Some modules have a third option, an
"other release", which can be the best
choice in particular situations.
Learn more about when to use "development" and "other" releases:
Thursday February 13, 2014
You know you're supposed to choose Drupal
modules carefully. But don't you wish you could
follow the actual process of choosing a module for some complex
Check out my new case study:
How to Choose a Drupal 7 Module for Viewing PDFs.
In this four-part series, I start with the initial problem (a client
needs to display PDFs on their Drupal site), and walk through my
entire process of reviewing the available solutions.
It's a rare glimpse into a crucial, time-consuming, and generally
private task. Find out how we Drupal web developers (or at least this
one) actually approach this problem.
Read more: How to Choose a Drupal 7 Module for Viewing PDFs.