Drupal 7

All customers patched against vulnerability SA-CORE-2018-004

Xplain Hosting has finished protecting all its Drupal customers against a critical security vulnerability recently found in Drupal 6, 7 and 8. A FAQ was also released to address the impact of SA-CORE-2018-004.

Automatic Drupal core updates is a core feature of Xplain Hosting: we don't leave patching to unavailable or busy Drupal development companies. Security is our number one priority. Security updates are free and included in every plan.

A Simple Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 Migration

Blake Hall writes about his experience doing a simple Drupal 7 to 8 migration:

The developer in me has been itching to give it a try on a "real" project. The Drupalize.Me site itself is pretty complex: e-commerce (with recurring billing), video delivery, and piles and piles of content. Suffice it to say it's not a prime candidate for migration right now. Our blog however, is definitely a better prospect. Justin has a great new design for us. Amber has mentioned how much she'd like the new Drupal 8 authoring tools. The blog is relatively straight-forward which makes it a great way for our whole team to start using Drupal 8. So, as we start to think about upgrading our blog the first thing we're going to have to think about is data migration. Let's take a look at Migrate module, that's now part of Drupal core, and see how much work we might have ahead of ourselves.

In search of the most optimized image in Drupal 7

Jim Birch writes about image optimisation:

While Drupal Image styles allow us to create the exact size we want, I was looking for a way to better optimize the image size, make progressive jpegs, and keep the rendered images looking as close to the original as possible.

Some useful tips there.

Managing Variables in Drupal 7

Dave Hall writes about managing variables in Drupal 7:

A couple of times recently the issue of managing variables in Drupal 7 has come up in conversation with other developers. This post outlines the various ways of managing variables in Drupal sites. The three things this guide ensures:

  1. Sensitive data is kept secure
  2. Variables are correct in each environment
  3. You are able to track your variables (and when they changed)

A First Look at the Backdrop CMS

Not everyone is happy with the direction Drupal 8 has taken. Backdrop is a continuation of the Drupal 7 code base and style. Ethan Teague has a good introduction:

On its philosophy: the first and most defining tenet of which is to serve small businesses, non-profits, schools or just any organization that doesn't have a big budget. By continuing to use most of the now familiar D7 API, Backdrop lets devs work with and extend what they already know, thereby lessening the talent pool strain which in turn leads to more affordable web development solutions.

A second tenet of the Backdrop philosophy is that it should be easy to use. Site builders who don't have coding experience should be able to use it without a lot of ramp up time.

And the article continues with a good list of differences and advantages of Backdrop over D7.

Rendering Drupal 7 fields (the right way)

A very useful article pointing out how to render fields properly in Drupal 7:

The short answer: Use field_view_field()!

Drupal 7 brought us Entities, and with them the powerful Field API for 'storing, loading, editing, and rendering field data.' attached to them. If you're managing everything through 'manage fields' and 'manage display' tabs of your content type, then every part of that process is rather wonderfully taken care of for you.

We often, however, come across the need to render a field outside the context of it's entity. A common example might include rendering a node's author in a sidebar block. Sure, modules like Panels and CCK Blocks will do this for you, but doing it manually is actually not that hard.

If you are a Drupal developer, read it all!

Future-proof your Drupal 7 site

OSTraining posts on the modules you should use today to make upgrading to Drupal 8 easier:

Over the last few months, Dave Reid, one of the most active Drupal developers, has been giving a presentation called "Future-proof your Drupal 7 site".

He comes up with a list of modules that have been backported to Drupal 8. Using those modules means you won't have to re-train your staff for Drupal 8.

Dave also has some recommendation for modules to avoid, because they've been replaced by alternative solutions in Drupal 8. Here are 6 modules that might be worth avoiding if want an easier update to Drupal 8 in years to come ...

Future-Proof your Drupal 7 site

At the last DrupalCon Dave Reid had a session on what decisions you can make now on your current or new Drupal 7 sites to make transitioning to Drupal 8 easier:

  • What field modules can I use that work the same as Drupal 8?
  • What WYSIWYG editor should I use?
  • How can I start preparing to migrate my existing Drupal site to Drupal 8?
  • What kinds of modules can I use so I don't have to retrain my editors and administrators when we move to Drupal 8?
  • I'll also cover some basic concepts for those of you writing Drupal 7 modules that you can do right now to better prepare yourself for writing modules in Drupal 8.

Drupal Architecture: Using Custom View Modes and Entity Reference For Building Landing Pages

Danny Englander has a great post about using a custom view mode to create a home page for example. It's a pattern that's not much used, and deserves wider recognition:

In a Drupal 7 context, sometimes we tend to think of the landing page paradigm in terms of using modules like Views, Panels, Panelizer, and Display Suite. These are all very good modules and do a nice job to build such pages. ... In this article, I'll show an alternative way using Entity Reference and Custom view modes

The idea behind this is that we have an online magazine and we want a landing page for each issue. This method can apply to anything really, though it might not fit all use cases. I'm a big fan of this method which I recently discovered and for all its minimalism, it gets you a lot.

Drupal 7 Honeypot Module

CodeKarate put up a video tutorial of using the honeypot module:

In this tutorial you will learn about the Honeypot module. The Honeypot modules is a SPAM prevention module that uses a hidden form field to catch SPAM bots from posting onto your site. This tutorial shows you how to configure the module to work on various forms on your site.

This module is indeed very useful to quickly stop certain spam, so you continue with more relevant work.