Planet Drupal

firebus's picture

Strongarm/Features use cases uncovered

I'm launching my first project that uses Features heavily, and I've run into some of the limitations discussed in this post by Bill at Funny Monkey.

Bill talks about the difficulties in deploying multiple sites from a set of Features, and then keeping those sites in sync with the Feature as it evolves, and how that process is incompatible with Drupal's goal of making it possible for non-technical content admins to do more things.

firebus's picture

Including external javascript files in drupal 6

In D7, drupal_add_js can handle external javascript files, but in D6 it cannot handle external js in a nice way.

Most people instead include external js with a preprocess_page function, or hook_footer. However, in both cases, the external js is added before the scripts added by drupal_add_js (the $scripts page template variable) which can be a performance problem.

I've seen one kind of nasty workaround that (ab)uses drupal_add_js to make a call to document.write:

firebus's picture

Creating a custom submit button with webform API

I've been building some custom components with the webform API. Each component contains a set of related form fields, and one of them has a number of different fieldsets, each with its own submit button. We'll theme this component to make it appear as if there are multiple forms on the page.

It's easy to add extra submit buttons through the webform API, but harder to make them work. When I hit one of my component submit buttons, the form would reload the same page instead of submitting the form, or going to the next page.

firebus's picture

A common menu use case that Drupal 6 has trouble supporting (or very possibly I'm ignorant)

Here's a menu navigation use case that I run into all the time:

"A click on a top level item in a menu should redirect to it's first child."

For example, if this is Primary Links:


Then if I click on About I should be taken to the Overview page.

This is possible in Drupal 6 - you can create two menu links that point to the same node. If you create one of the menu links via the node edit form, D6 will even remember which one it is (Drupal 5 would get confused).

firebus's picture

Quick and dirty views exposed filter form select replacement in a block

I have a client who wants an exposed filter but, instead of having a select drop down, would like to replace it with a set of links.

This is not an uncommon use case, and there are some existing examples on how to do this. It's pretty easy, since views will read a value for the exposed filter from a query string.

But what if your exposed filter form is in a block? Exposed filter forms in blocks only work if you enable AJAX for the exposed filter, and the ajax dynamically replaces the contents of the block with the results of your selection.

firebus's picture

Drupal 6 and HTML 5 Video

I was asked to create a video content type for a site with the following requirements:

  • Support for browser, iPad, and iPhone
  • Fit video to browser width onLoad and onResize
  • Autoplay, no controls
  • Configurable thumbnail/poster image
  • Host videos on-site (not external embed)

I was more or less completely ignorant about HTML5 video, and how it's supported in Drupal 6.

firebus's picture

Finding the Best-Fit CMS for Your Project

CMS are often categorized by the use-cases they cover, usually grouped by "complexity". So we see a lot of CMS taxonomies that bucket products into "Enterprise/Small Business" or "Simple/Medium/Complex".

Here's a typical taxonomy takes both complexity and the Product vs Platform axis into account.

Getting back into Drupal work after a long hiatus, I had an epiphany about how developers choose CMS (or maybe more generally, how makers choose tools).

firebus's picture

Drupal-Friendly Markup

As a programmer with absolutely no design skills, and markup skills that haven't quite made it into the web 2.0 era, I always collaborate with others when building a new site from scratch, or when embarking on a redesign or any substantial UI changes. Usually I act as the themer, transforming finished markup into a set of templates.

Getting Drupal friendly markup from the start makes the task of theming much, much easier.

firebus's picture

National Novel Writing Month and Drupal Scalability

Drupal 5 scales really well

This surprised me. Having run into many of the common Drupal scalability problems on smaller sites with shared hosting, I expected much worse. In the process of migrating National Novel Writing Month to Drupal 5, I discovered that there are number of contrib modules, patches, hacks, and techniques that can be applied to allow Drupal 5 to scale to handle a medium-traffic, high authenticated/anonymous ratio, web site like ours, as long as you can live without modules that use the node_access table.

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