philipnorton42's blog

Vagrant: Development Environments Made Easy

Thursday, December 26, 2013 - 16:24

Vagrant is a tool that allows the easy creation of virtual machines. It was originally developed for use with VirtualBox, but it has been extended to allow integration with other virtualisation tools. Using Vagrant you can create a particular setup that you can then share with other people without having to give them large virtual disk images.

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Ansible: The Automation Engine

Monday, December 23, 2013 - 12:29

Ansible is a automation and provisioning tool that makes it easy to configure systems with the needed software, configuration options and even content. It is a command line tool, written in Python, that uses SSH connections to run these actions. This means that all you need to do is have a viable SSH connection to a machine and Ansible will run any actions you want to run. Ansible can either run single commands or use what is called a playbook to run several commands. Ansible playbooks are written in YAML, which makes understanding them quite easy.

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Drupal 7 Audit SQL Queries

Friday, December 13, 2013 - 23:17

When doing site audits on Drupal sites it’s always a good idea to get a feel of what sort of content types, users and taxonomy terms are available. Here are some SQL queries that I tend to use when starting out on a Drupal Audit.

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Deleting Unapproved Comments In Drupal 7

Friday, December 13, 2013 - 22:47

I recently came under a spam attack that gave me a bit of a problem to sort out. Over the course of 24 hours my blog received over 50,000 comments, all of which were utterly useless. What was good was the fact that my tiny little VPS server managed to stay available for most of the attack.

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DrupalCampNW 2013: A Review

Monday, December 2, 2013 - 13:16

It’s been a whole year since the last DrupalCampNW2012 and this years DrupalCampNW (appropriately titled DrupalCampNW2013) seems to have been a great success. This years camp was held in Manchester at The Studio and I was part of the committee of people who helped organise and run the event.

Over the course of the weekend there was a range of talented speakers covering differing issues around Drupal, open source technologies and user experience. The weekend consisted of a Friday business event, followed by a developer and site builder event on the Saturday and Sunday.

My main task during the event was making sure the volunteers we had there on the day knew what they were doing and when to do it. The trouble with organising and running a conference is that you are lucky if you get to see many of the sessions. I did, however, manage to see several sessions over the course of the weekend.

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Drupal 7 File Stream Wrapper Translation

Friday, October 18, 2013 - 23:57

Steam wrappers were introduced in Drupal 7 and allow user file locations to be kept in a maintainable way, although I often forget which function to use to translate them. The two wrappers available are public:// and private://, which map to the public and private files directories respectively. All user files in Drupal are stored in either of these directories and they are referenced in the database as the file wrapper followed by the location of the file. This means that the location of the files is only dependent on a single config setting.

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