Alexei Rayu's blog

Why you may not want a headless (decoupled) website.

Developers used to call this kind of architecture headless, but it's called decoupled more often today (because who wants a "headless" website?!) It's the next cool word today. It's the today's black. There's a lot of talk about the decoupled in the Drupal community now. It's the eye of the hype now, being cool and technologically advanced. There can be reasons, however, why this hype may not at all be for you.

Convert an older Drupal 8 site to use Composer in 10 steps

I started using Drupal 8 from early on. Since Drupal 8.2, it has made Composer and undeclared dependency. I realized I could no longer install modules and manage dependencies in a sane way, as well as update my sites, without converting them to use Composer. Converting the sites to use Composer can be hard if you have issues with your site, like missing modules or broken configuration. If your site is healthy, though, following the next 10 steps should not be hard.

Drupal's Market Share in the Light of it being Enterprise Software

Some time ago, I published an article, In it, I tried to explain, why Drupal 8 is an enterprise grade software, based on a number of parameters. I have heard some agreement and disagreement from colleagues since then. Now, I must admit, that i have seen a lot of work in Drupal community, aimed at bridging the learning curve, trying to make Drupal 8 easier to use.

Create a Custom Drupal 8 Bootstrap Layout.

Drupal 8 has Layout Discovery in the core, which makes it easy to provides layouts for nodes and pages via the UI. I love Bootstrap for it’s clean looks and it’s built-in responsive grid, which saves time of coding the responsive layouts each time. There is also a module called Bootstrap Layouts, which provides a set of highly customizable layouts dependant on any Bootstrap based theme and it’s layout grid. How can you add a custom layout, though? If you want an example, you can see my alayouts module on github. These are the 4 easy steps:

The Things I love about Drupal

Why Drupal? I have been working with Drupal since version quite early (version 4.5) and have seen it progress over the years. There have been points where I felt very uncertain about Drupal’s future, especially, at the great migration between version 7 and 8. Now that the dust is settling and I have observed the Promised Land and tasted of it’s fruit (been working with Drupal 8 for more than a year, actually), I thought that it’s a good place to share why Drupal remains my CMS of choice, any I love it, and why I recommend it to my clients and colleagues.

Is Drupal 8 an enterprise software?

What is an “enterprise software”? A software written for use by large companies. There are specifics that the large companies have that the smaller developers do not. These are bigger budgets, better developers, more dev hours per project. In the other words, the bigger enterprise can do what smaller can’t. You can build your software in such a way, that it only becomes usable if you are ready to have larger teams working on it with bigger budgets. Then, with server costs being not so much of a limiting factor for the larger companies, enterprise software can go for larger code base or allow less performance, if that allows to address some other enterprise needs - allow better team interoperability, use more of the existing enterprise-standard frameworks, or implement functionality that their enterprise clients want often. These changes may be redundant or useless for smaller businesses, or an overkill, creating conditions for the smaller businesses to not be able to develop for that platform efficiently.

Composer is Drupal 8's Depencency

Google for 'Drupal 8 dependency'. You will find nothing relevant. Drupal 8 does not have dependencies. It's a self-contained CMS. You can even go and download Drupal 8 from the official site in a zip or tar.gz file. Right? Wrong. Drupal 8 has an undeclared dependency, Composer. And the fact that it is undeclared can cost an unsuspecting developer many a nerve. You can install and build a Drupal 8 site from an archive or git repo pull, but very soon you will discover, that there are many modules that declare external libraries as dependencies in their composer.json file.

Is Drupal 8 more complex and expensive?

I have watched the videos from DrupalCon Dublin 2016, so graciously uploaded by the Drupal Association. In a few of those videos, I have heard the speakers complain about two things in Drupal 8: it's complexity and it's development cost. One speaker even voiced a number of 25% of development cost increase. I have paused at that point and gave it some thought, because I felt somewhat dubious about this. Yes and no.


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