Drupal code

  • Quick tips: Adding an empty master branch

    When I create a git repository for a new project on Drupal.org I don't bother to create a master branch, branches named 6.x-1.x or 7.x-1.x have special meanings and are the ones that we're encouraged to use. However, drupal.org doesn't allow us to change the default branch on d.o itself, so even though there may be no branch called 'master', it's still the default branch, so sometimes cloning a repo will fail:

  • Make a link use ajax in Drupal 7 (it's easy)

    Part 1: Make the link work without javascript

    In this example we have a table listing log entries of some kind. We want to put a delete link against each log entry allowing the administrator to delete the log entry:

    The following code is responsible for printing out each link onto the page:

  • Entity Token

    The Entity token module is part of the Entity package of modules, it provides lots of new tokens to use everywhere that tokens are currently available. It does this by being aware of the structure of fields on entities and exposing extra options for fields that reference entities. For example, it allows you to use many more tokens about taxonomy terms added to content.


    To see this in action we'll consider a simple example.

  • Drupal Science Camp - The results

    Drupal Science Camp was the first Drupalcamp in the UK of 2012. It was wonderfully organised by Rachel Lawson and Euan Bayliss at a magnificent venue provided free of charge by Napp Pharmaceuticals Limited.

    Computerminds had the privilege of being one of the sponsors of the event. It was great to be able to support a weekend of learning and general Drupal fun.

  • Using the overlay for non-admin paths

    Drupal 7 ships with a module called 'Overlay', it is installed by the standard install profile and actually is pretty great for most people. If you don't know what I'm talking about then, it's this:


    It's basically a nice wrapper around the jQueryUI Dialog component and has some nice features, like keeping the URL fragment up to date with the page being viewed in the overlay. This means you can create a link that goes to a page, and then opens the overlay automatically, it also means that it doesn't break the 'back button'. Using the overlay it's very simple to get a page to open up in a modal popup, wouldn't it be great if you could just get one of your pages to open up in the overlay?

  • Drupal Science Camp - 21st & 22nd January - Cambridge (UK)

    Drupal Science logoIf you are free on the weekend of the 21st and 22nd and are anywhere near Cambridge (the UK one!) then make your way to the Drupal Science Camp. The details on their website are a little sparse so far, but it's shaping up to be an interesting little event - plus ComputerMinds are sponsoring it, so it's got to be good :)

  • Monitoring Varnish

    We put almost all of our Drupal sites behind the excellent Varnish HTTP accelerator, and it gives us a massive performance boost for most site visitors. However it seems to have a tendency to crash without warning and occasionally just dies, leaving our sites down.

    We workaround this issue by using another piece of useful kit, called Monit, that keeps an eye on processes on your server and restarts them if necessary.

  • Migrate sites from one Aegir to another

    We recently needed to migrate all our sites on one physical server to another server, there were more than 200 sites, and they were all hosted with Aegir. The old server was to be decommissioned, so we had to move all of Aegir's data about the site to the new server import into a new Aegir master on the new server. We also needed to do this with as small amount of downtime as possible.

    In the end we migrated all the sites with about 30 seconds of downtime each, here's how:

  • Our top Drupal modules of 2011

    As the year draws to a close we thought it would be appropriate to look back at an exciting year in for Drupal modules, and to list our top 5 Drupal modules of 2011. To qualify for the list the module had to have it's first release in 2011, and have a Drupal 7 version - other than that, anything goes.

  • Rendering Drupal 7 fields (the right way)

    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.


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