Drupal 8

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Drupal 9: Setting Up Multilingual Content Views

23rd May 2021 - 4 minutes read time

Drupal Views is a powerful module. The ability to generate lists of things in Drupal means that it is used everywhere. It even has a powerful plugin system that allows other modules to interface with it and create more functionality.

With multilingual sites there is a common issue I come across quite a lot that is quite easy to fix. A View will be created (usually via the Views wizard) that is intended to list a type of content. When an item of content is translated the content is duplicated in the View and you end up with a single list containing both translations of a single content item.

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Drupal 9: Customise Your Robots.txt File

9th May 2021 - 7 minutes read time
A robots.txt file tells search engines spiders what pages or files they should or shouldn't request from your site. It is more of a way of preventing your site from being overloaded by requests rather than a secure mechanism to prevent access. It really shouldn't be used as a way of preventing access to your site, and the chances are that some search engine spiders will access the site anyway. If you do need to prevent access then think about using noindex directives within the page itself, or even password protecting the page.
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Drupal 9: How To Tell If A Page Is First Published

19th April 2021 - 5 minutes read time

I was writing some code on a Drupal site that detects if a page is being published and I realised that this state isn't as clear cut as you might expect.  Drupal stores the published state of a page as the 'status', with 0 being unpublished and 1 being published. With revisions being turned on by default since Drupal 8 it is possible to see past states of the page when saving the page. The issue is that there is nothing in the current state of the page stating that this is the first time it is being published.

As an example of this in action, and where I cam across this, we can use the hook_ENTITY_TYPE_update() hooks to detect if a page is published as it gets updated like this.

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Drupal 9: Preventing Enumeration Attacks

29th January 2021 - 19 minutes read time

A recent Wired article about the Parler data hack talked about how a hacker group was able to steal publicly available information from the Parler website using an Insecure Direct Object Reference (IDOR) or enumeration attack. This type of attack involves a hacker looking at the structure of the site and attempting to guess the next available resource by looking at the URL. Apparently, terabytes of Parler's data was downloaded by simply enumerating through the ID's of their publicly available posts.

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Drupal 9: Using Taxonomy Terms To Create A Related Content Views Block

3rd January 2021 - 6 minutes read time

For the last few years I have been tagging articles as I write them on this site. This tagging has largely been to tie posts together in an aggregated list of other posts tagged with that term. I recently wondered if I could use those tags to show related content below each article. I have struggled with this feature on client websites in the past and it either boils down to a manually curated list or some sort of complex content analysis and Solr search.

As it happens this is fairly easy to accomplish using Views, although took some working out to get the effect I wanted. I'm writing down these instructions to help me remember how I did it in the past and to allow you set up the same thing (if you wish).

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Drupal 8: Creating Custom Fields In Search API

25th December 2020 - 10 minutes read time

Pushing data from Drupal into Solr is a really convenient way of creating a robust and extensible search solution. The Search API module has a number of different fields available that can be used to integrate with all sorts of fields, but what isn't included is computed fields or other data.

Thankfully, adding a custom field into the Search API system doesn't need a lot of code. A single class, with an optional hook, is all that's needed to het everything working.

I was recently looking at the node view count module that was being used to record what users viewed what nodes on a Drupal site. What was needed was a report page that had a bunch of data from different fields of a node, along with the node view count data. As this data wasn't immediately available to Solr I needed to find a way to inject the data into Solr using the mechanisms that Search API has. 

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Drupal 9: Integrating Flood Protection Into Forms

13th December 2020 - 10 minutes read time

Drupal's login forms are protected by a protection mechanism that prevents brute force attacks. This means that if an attacker attempts to repeatedly guess a user's password to gain entry to their account they will be blocked before being successful. This system has been a part of Drupal for many years and so is battle tested.

Like all systems in Drupal, the flood system can be adapted to be used on your own forms. Which means you can protect any form that you don't want to be used too much. This will help with authentication forms or any form that might need to process lots of information where you don't want users to submit the form too much.

Before using the flood system on a form you first need to inject it into the form. Here is a basic form setup with the flood service injected into it.

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Drupal 8: Creating A Subquery In Views

7th November 2020 - 6 minutes read time

You've probably been there before. A Drupal View you are working on looks great and has all the data and fields you need, but when you look a little closer at the results you realise that something is off. After looking at the generated SQL query you see that there is a problem with one of the joins which causes your counts to be off a little. Ultimately, you need to remove this join, but you really need that data included in your results.

Creating a subquery can allow you to pull out data from a specific field without adding another join that would cause the results to be out.

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Drupal 9: Creating Custom Twig Functions And Filters

1st November 2020 - 6 minutes read time

Whilst Twig is a powerful tool in its own right there are occasions when you need to pull out data from Drupal or manipulate it in certain ways. I normally do this using preprocess steps, but I recently found that it was also possible to extend Twig within the Drupal framework to provide your own functions and filters. This can be useful if you have custom templates and need to perform special actions on data items to format them in different ways.

Setting Up

Before we can create Twig filters and functions in Drupal we need to tell Drupal that we have a class that contains them. This is done by creating an entry in the your module services file that contains the tag tag.extension. In a module called "custom_twig" the file would be called custom_twig.services.yml and would contain the following.

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Drupal 8: Adding Events To Existing Behaviours

15th September 2020 - 8 minutes read time

I recently needed to add functionality to the Password Policy module so I thought I would outline the steps I took in a blog post. The Password Policy module is used to enforce a stricter password policy on users on a Drupal site. This means that when a user creates or changes their password they must conform to certain rules like the password length, or if it contains upper and lower case characters. There are a set of rules to chose from and they can be fully customised by the site administrators. It's a good module, you should check it out.