10 Mar 2015

How do you quote for a Drupal based project? How do you come up with a quote that is both fair and it does not end you up working for free? It has been usual for me to come up close to estimation for some years now, to the point where a few margin hours no longer matter for the larger projects. There are some steps and methods that I have been using, all taken from other freelancers and project managers, in Drupal field of application and outside. In this article, I will present this process, as I view it, and hopefully you find it helpful. So here are those quote steps.

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21 Feb 2015

PDOException: SQLSTATE[42S02]: Base table or view not found: 1146 Table 'image_dimensions' doesn't exist: SELECT * FROM {image_dimensions}

It has been half a dozen times now that I have encountered this error. It happens with the Media's file_entity module (the version coming with the Media module) installed. There is an issue for it at https://www.drupal.org/node/2170231 as well. Sadly, the author has not been able to reproduce the bug. It is obvious, though, that a number of sites have been suffering from it. So, what do you do if yo have this issue? You need to run this code on your site, calling the update that corrects this:

<?php
module_load_include
('install', 'file_entity');
file_entity_update_7101();
?>

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1 Dec 2014

Recently, I needed to create a simple Drupal-based solution, that would include mailing a PDF printout of a node to the client. My study of the available free PHP PDF libraries has yielded results - Google found about a dozen of them. After some research, these have been narrowed to just 2 - TCPDF and mPDF. After some more research and playing with the two, I ended up with the mPDF as the library of choice. And the reason, plainly - better HTML/CSS support.

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17 Nov 2014

Drupalcamp Berlin is over! It has run in Berlin, on 15-16 November, 2014. Lots of things to be happy about:

  • Glad to have met the team of the Drupal agency arocom, with which I work remotely. Enjoyed the time, and the opportunity to know the people better. A good team, fun to be a part of on a human level!
  • Was proud to see so many Ukrainian devs at the conference, with solid knowledge of the subject. Mostly, they were a part of the Propeople group, a multinational company. But still very proud to see Drupal being a right choice for a good amount of my compatriots.
  • Have flown 4 airplanes in total, which helped me combat my fear of heights. Ate lots of cookies, drank lots of free soda, ate lots of free pears, listened to tons of good suggestions and practices. Had some good time, in the other words.

I am thankful to Arocom for having a big portion of my expenses in this DrupalCamp covered!

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4 Aug 2014

Recently I conducted some research on Drupal integration with Zopim, to integrate this functionality with arocom.de. Zopim is an online chat with an admin service-side backend. Here are some strong and weak sides to Zopim, some pros and cons to using Zopim as your customer support chat.

Overall, Zopim is a great tool for client chat support. It’s pros outweigh it’s cons, especially with a free plan in mind. If you are having a mono-lingual site, you are especially lucky. If you are multi-lingual, you will need to write your own translation JavaScript and implement it via Zopim’s JavaScript API.

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19 Jul 2014

Congratulate me with a new work place! After some correspondence, live meetings, and common projects, I am joining to work with arocom GmbH remotely, as a senior developer. I have had experience working with the Drupal agency arocom, and the company's CEO, Axel Roth, and have been impressed by their depth and practicality in handling Drupal, as well as intuitiveness and cleverness of solutions that they are building for their clients. Work with arocom has shown to be interesting, challenging, and fulfilling. I am looking forward to working with the arocom team, contributing, and building awesome stuff together!

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10 Jul 2014

Drupal 8 and AngularJS are two cutting edge technologies that can work effectively together to allow creation of web applications and effective dynamic data views. AngularJS can be used with Drupal in a variety of ways. In web shops and web carts, where setting product options can calculate price in real-time. In all kinds of listings, like news listings, person databases, ticket systems. It can be used for live filtering of data. For all kinds of live update widgets, live weather widgets and various real-time tracking. And, of course, a sweet role with the smart forms, that evaluate values and adapt in real-time without having to reload the page. With the Drupal 8’s built-in services support, AngularJS comes a very handy and helpful, and a promising companion.

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3 Jun 2014

Drupal 8 has switched from PSR-0 to PSR-4. PSR is an autoloading standard, that ensures, that all classes files get loaded properly, without having to load the class files manually. PSR-4 is the latest version of the PSR standard, that allows to have a shorter class file folder hierarchy, correcting the unpleasant issue of many layers of folders in the early PSR versions.

The declaration in the routing file remains the same, like:
_content: '\Drupal\angulars\Controller\AngularsController::content'

However, the folder path of the class file has now changed. Taking example of my Angular JS Sample module.

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2 Jun 2014

After many months of work and debate, Drupal 8 lands APCu (APC user cache) support in core for PHP 5.5 and up! The original issue can be found at the Drupal.org website - Built-in APCu support in core (PHP 5.5 only).

APC is a caching mechanism widely used with PHP, and APCu is a part of the APC caching mechanism, that caches data - such as variables. This will lighten load on database layer for PHP 5.5 and up. The reason why PHP 5.5 and up will be serviced is because starting with version 5.5, APC is included in the core of PHP. This will increase speed with which data is retrieved and served by Drupal.

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21 May 2014

Take this rant with a grain of salt, as I am speaking it with tongue in cheek. To an extent. Generally speaking, I like Drupal 7. It's a very mature and flexible CMS. It also has lots of wise choices implemented. Overlay is not one of them. Overlay in Drupal 7 is a module, that loads admin pages in a modal overlay (hence the name) on top of your current content. The idea sounds sweet initially. You can make changes to your web site and you needn't leave the content page to make the changes.

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