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contributing to the Drupal community
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Computerminds loves Drupal and gives back through contributing back code, sponsoring events, sharing knowledge and organising Drupal meet-ups. We support over 50 Drupal projects, and regularly contribute patches and fixes.

Place blocks inside your content with EBA

13th Jan 2014

Previously on this website I have written about rendering blocks programmatically and adding things to content to be managed alongside fields. It's time to combine the two! On many projects, we find ourselves needing to render a block consistently across all content of a certain type. For example:

  • Are you trying to place advertising blocks or fixed javascript code between the fields in the content of a page, not just shoved into regions around the content?
  • Do you want to show a standard piece of content (we use the bean module for enhanced content in blocks) to be placed...
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You should use Entity cache

23rd Jul 2013

If you have a Drupal 7 site, then you should be using the [Entity cache][ec] module, here's why:

Lots and lots of things in Drupal are 'entities', such as the content, the users, the taxonomy terms and if you're using contrib modules like [Field collection][fc] or [ECK][eck], then those are entities too.

Most of the time you have some fields on those entities, then every time Drupal needs to load one up, it'll also have to read the data for each field from these tables. Once you start having lots of entities, and potentially field collections on those entities, you...

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Automated deployments using Aegir

16th Oct 2012

There are a few write-ups about using Aegir to automate your deployment process notably one from Mig5: Zero-touch Drupal deployment with Jenkins, Aegir, Git, Fabric and Drush. I recently wanted to set this up for our own project, but felt like I could make some improvements.

I don’t like deploying branches, because it can be really hard to actually find out what was deployed at a later date, and you can’t reliably re-deploy that previous code later on. I think it’s much better to deploy tags. It also gives you an easy way to flag when you do want to...

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Custom add another

6th Mar 2012

Drupal 7 fields are great, but using multiple valued fields and [field collection][fc] you can quickly reach the point of having a form that looks like this:

A complex field collection form

In this contrived example I've got two field collections and a multi-valued 'Links' field within that.

Although it's reasonably clear what clicking 'Add another item' will do in each case, when the form is full of data it can become less so.

We can give content editors a helping hand by changing the buttons from 'Add another item', to something more useful like 'Add another carousel item' etc...

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Drupal Science Camp - The results

31st Jan 2012

[Drupal Science Camp][dsc] was the first Drupalcamp in the UK of 2012. It was wonderfully organised by [Rachel Lawson][rl] and [Euan Bayliss][eb] 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.

We'd like to say a big thank you everyone involved with the event, from organisers to attendees and even those that weren't there, but made the event possible. Thank you! It was really great, and sets a...

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Using the Drupal overlay for non-admin paths

28th Jan 2012

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][jquery_ui_dialog] 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 drupal overlay it's...

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

10th Jan 2012

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 :)

Tickets are a measly £10 each, and it looks like there is some deal with the local Travelodge with rooms available at £15 each - it's a bargain not to be missed ...

More details and sign...

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ComputerMinds become Silver sponsors of DrupalCon London

2nd Jun 2011

We are all very excited about DrupalCon coming to London (well London-ish - ) - and now that we are Silver sponsors we are literally jumping for joy ... now we just need to think of something to put on our very own exhibitor table ...

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Aegir tasks daemon

29th Mar 2011

[Aegir][aegir] is a very clever hosting system for [Drupal][drupal] that sites and provisions them on various servers and does lots of clever things. One of the clever things that it has had for a while is a task queuing system. You can ask Aegir to lots of different things all in one go, and Aegir will queue them up and run them at its own pace. This provides a really good separation from the front-end Aegir website and the back-end Aegir scripts.

We've been using Aegir in production for just under a year, and one thing that has bugged me...

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CTools Path Access plugin

18th Mar 2011

I made a new Drupal 7 module today... the CTools Path Access plugin. It is a very simple module that provides a CTools access plugin for using the access rules of another path.

For example, you might set up a custom Panels search page in Page Manager, and just want to use the same access rules that the default Drupal search page uses at /search.

I have submitted the plugin as a patch for CTools itself, but until anything happens with that, it is available as a standalone project. I have only written the plugin with Page Manager...

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