Drupal: Revamped user experince for

For the span of the last year, I have been working closely with, implementing some of their suggestions, and making their Drupal 7 web site more friendly and functional. Here are some changes that I implemented on web site.

1. Drupal Responsive Menu.

This change was the first of the series. Drupal did not have any decent responsive menus back then (since July 2013, we have a Responsive Menus project). The solution was akin to what I had previously built for, with some changes and adjustments. As the work progressed, the menu was integrated into the top panel for the narrow layouts.

2. Drupal User Panel.

Drupal user panel is but a small module, the incorporates the user menu in a drop down. A small but pleasant enhancement that plays a big role for a client, who has to have an instant access to some of his functionality. As the work progressed, it was decided to incorporate the user panel visually with the responsive menu for the narrower screens.

The three migration trolls: PHP, CSS, Tokens in content.

Planning an upgrade to Drupal 8? Chances are, you'll run into the usual upgrade trolls - snippets of code in your content, that looked fine before the upgrade, but break after the upgrade. What are those trolls, why are they so pesky, and how can they be handled?

A few thoughts while creating a Drupal 8 theme

It has been almost half a year since I last played with Drupal 8 and Twig. Now, I wanted to approach this subject again and see, where Drupal 8 is, and what it would take me to create a theme for it.

Saying outfront, it is quite easy with Drupal 8. Theming part of FED (Front End Development) is one of the easiest, as far as the learning curve is concerned. (Read my note of encouragement to Drupal 8 Front End Devs).

So, a few observations…

A note of encouragement for Drupal 8 front end developers

Drupal 8 is approaching beta. Everybody is excited, some are displeased. Here are some of my concerns with Drupal 8 as a front end dev, and a note of encouragement as well. If you are a front dev, you are also involved in writing Drupal modules or parts of modules, that do theming and preprocessing of entities, and formatting of data for output. Some disturbing news and some good news for you are...

Drupal Forked! My take on it.

Wikipedia says, that "In software engineering, a project fork happens when developers take a copy of source code from one software package and start independent development on it, creating a distinct piece of software. The term often implies not merely a development branch, but a split in the developer community, a form of schism." Drupal has been forked.

Drupal 8 to a non-technical

“I’ve installed that Drupal 8. Yes, that went easy, but not much easier than Drupal 7. What’s that ado about Drupal 8 anyway? For two years you people have been building that CMS intensely - and what gives? A slightly better version of Drupal 7? Except that modules and themes don’t work with it, and there is a complete mess in the folder, I checked!” A Concerned User.

Dear Concerned User,

To explain it simply, let me compare. The first working locomotive was built in 1804. It ran on coal and was powered by steam. Now compare it to one of those luxurious trains of today. Now, If all you did were to enjoy a short ride in a coupe, you could say something like “The interior looked a bit more modern, but overall, just the same”. Still a locomotive up front. Still a car where you travel. But if you open the panel, you will see a ‘mess’ of wires. And what have they been doing all these 110 years!

Developer Values

  1. Adherence to Drupal design and coding standards.
  2. Making every newly built theme responsive.
  3. Keeping data, function, and presentation separate.
  4. Free sharing of professional knowledge, helping others to grow.
  5. Giving back to the community with encouragement, code, and support.
  6. Teachability, always learning.
  7. Aspiring to give maximum per available resources.

Managing data in development production cycle

One of the issues hotly dicussed in Drupal community, is the process of relating the dev server with the production. Imagine, you need to make some changes to the web site. You make a snapshot, and create a dev server. You make changes on a dev server, and then you want to move them to production. But, doh! On the production, you have some new users and content. What is the optimal way to implement the changes and merge the data back, keeping the data and config loses minimal?

SiteHound Drupal Distro Updated to 2.0

SiteHound Drupal Distro has been updated to version 7.2. In this release, core and modules have been updated. A few modules have been removed, and a few more added.

SiteHound Drupal is a 'turnkey' distribution, that comes with a pre-package database import file, and is aimed at coming up with a most common set of modules and settings, that would unwrap a generic Drupal site easily.


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