Drupal 7

Drupal 8 Has All the Hotness, but So Can Drupal 7

Kyle Hofmeyer writes on bringing Drupal 8 features to Drupal 7:

Drupal 8 is moving along at a steady pace, but not as quickly as we all had hoped. One great advantage of this is that it gives developers time to backport great core features in Drupal 8 as contrib modules in Drupal 7. My inspiration and blatented rip-off for this blog comes from the presentation fellow Lullabot, Dave Reid, gave at Drupalcon Austin on how to Future-Proof Your Drupal 7 Site. Dave’s presentation was more about what you can do to make your Drupal 7 “ready” where this article is more about showing off Drupal 8 “hotness” that we can use in production today in Drupal 7 sites.

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My overall goal is to show you what you can have now without having to wait for Drupal 8.

Digging Deeper into Drupal Page Caching

Brian Osborne has a very informative article on the Drupal page cache:

... I wanted to provide a more comprehensive look at Drupal's core caching, explaining how some of this stuff is actually working under the hood. ...

Page caching is when Drupal takes the entire rendered output of a page request and stores it in the Database (or another cache store, defaults to DB). Cached pages only apply to anonymous traffic - meaning users that are not logged in and do not have any "session" data (like a product added to a shopping cart). Since the page is rendered once and stored in its entirety in the cache, there is no opportunity to change the content. Dynamic content for logged in users like a simple welcome message, or a list of items in a shopping cart, can't work in tandem with Drupal's built in page caching.

How to Prepare Your Website for Drupal 8

Kevin Basarab mentions five things to do to be ready for the Drupal 8 upgrade, such as:

Preparing for a new core version of Drupal shouldn’t be the time to start looking at security updates. Core and module security updates should be part of your regular maintenance of a site.

Two items on his list of five are already taken care off if you host with Xplain Hosting!

The Mysterious Drupal Entity

The latest Lullabot podcast is on Drupal entities:

We explain what entities are, why we have them, and what the future may hold for them in Drupal 8.

Massive D7 performance improvements - community testing needed

yched posted a nice Drupal 7 performance improvement patch:

The _field_info_collate_fields() memory usage issue has a D7 patch that brings massive performance enhancements, by implementing more granular loading of field and field instance definitions.

The exact impact depends on the number of entity types, bundles and fields. An an example, a core setup with 10 node types, 50 fields on each node type sees:

  • frontpage with 10 nodes: -5% CPU, -25% MemUse
  • node/%nid: -22% CPU, -60% MemUse/li>

That's a bare core install, with a fairly large number of fields. Numbers on an actual site, with additional contrib modules taking part in the page generation, will probably be lower - still the improvements should be quite noticeable.

He likes to receive user testing so this can make it in the next D7 update.

Theming a Views Post Date With Drupal 7

Formatting dates with views:

The first step is to create a basic View using Fields, and configure Title and a Teaser / Summary to display basic content. Once you have that, you will add in field: Content: Post date three times. Set each date to display as Custom date format, and once again we can refer to the PHP date manual to get the proper date formats in here. In my example I set the following:

Drupal 7.14 and Drupal 6.26 released

New versions of Drupal core are available. We will commence upgrade of customer sites shortly. The Xplain Hosting security advantage: you have to do nothing to be secure!

We don't upgrade modules though, use the Drupal Module Manager to easily upgrade your modules and check for security vulnerabilities.

Nice content slider for Drupal: Flex Slider

A nice new flexible slider jQuery plugin, and easily used in Drupal with the flexslider module:

Who hasn't had to build a content slider at some point? There's a huge number of Javascript plugins and Drupal modules out there to help us do just that. Enter into the ring Flexslider, a fully responsive (try resizing your browser window) jQuery slider plugin that utilises simple and semantic markup. It's supported in all major browsers, is very customisable with its Callback API and navigation options and also has hardware accelerated touch swipe support.

Inline Entity Form

Another tip from the commerce guys on using inline entity forms to cater for product variations:

The Inline Entity Form provides a widget for reference fields that allows inline management (add / edit / delete) of referenced entities. It provides an excellent solution to the product display -> product UI problems, allowing the products (called "variations" in the UI) to be managed from the product display add / edit page. The module also provides a more modern line item management widget, that allows store owners to edit custom fields that are attached to those line items.

Drupal 7 field modules by popularity

Great post by Lin documenting 150 modules using the Field API:

By my rough count, there are 150 contrib projects for Drupal 7 that declare new field types as part of their central module. I've listed the projects here by their usage statistics.