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Upgrading PHP to 5.4 on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to support Drupal 8

wiifm's picture
Submitted by wiifm on Sat, 03/22/2014 - 17:20

As of the 28 February 2014, Drupal 8 now requires a minimum PHP version of 5.4.2. For background information read the drupal.org issue.

This places everyone running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS in an awkward situation as the PHP version bundled with this release is PHP 5.3.10.

Luckily there are options to solve this:

High performance AJAX callbacks with Drupal 7 and the JS module

wiifm's picture
Submitted by wiifm on Thu, 11/28/2013 - 19:46

As your site grows with the number of modules, the amount of memory and SQL queries required to perform a full bootstrap grows. Even though your AJAX callback might only need to perform a single SQL SELECT query, sometimes Drupal spends a lot of time loading and executing code that will never be used.

SQL injection and Drupal 7 - top 1 of 10 OWASP security risks

wiifm's picture
Submitted by wiifm on Tue, 11/12/2013 - 15:20

As part of the series of blog posts on the top 10 OWASP web application security risks and how to defend against them in Drupal 7, here is the first post in the series. This post deals with the top security hole - classified as "injection".

From the OWASP top 10 security risks:

Error aggregation and alerting with Drupal 7 and Raygun.io

wiifm's picture
Submitted by wiifm on Sun, 11/10/2013 - 19:12

Being able to work out when an issue started occurring an what impact it is having on real people using your site is critical business information that too often gets overlooked.

Existing (core) modules that can help

Drupal core ships with a few modules that go some way as to helping you track down application errors:

Remove custom Drupal modules and themes from the update status page

wiifm's picture
Submitted by wiifm on Tue, 08/20/2013 - 11:15

Throughout the course of building large complex Drupal sites, you invariably end up writing a suite of custom modules and features to produce the required functionality and behaviour for the site.

One issue is that when you do create these custom modules, the core update status page attempts to find new versions of your custom modules on the Drupal.org update server. Of course this check fails, but it takes up precious time to work that the module is not on drupal.org and also the grey box looks kind of ugly.

Drupal 7 & Backbone JS: Part 1 - Setting up/Installation

acbramley's picture
Submitted by acbramley on Tue, 07/23/2013 - 11:23

How to install the Backbone module on the Drupal 7 platform from a standard installation. This tutorial takes you through the steps from a vanilla install to having the backbone_example sub-module working.

A practical example for converting a Drupal 7 module to work with Drupal 8

wiifm's picture
Submitted by wiifm on Sun, 07/14/2013 - 17:19

Drupal.org has this information, but it is largely scattered around on these URLs:

It can be hard to find a real life example on how to update your contributed modules with the new Drupal 8 architecture.

How to find and debug large variables in Drupal 7

wiifm's picture
Submitted by wiifm on Wed, 05/22/2013 - 16:00

On a recent large Drupal project we were finding that the variable table was holding around 4 MB of data. The issue of course with this is that this is loaded into memory on each page request regardless of whether or not you use it. Another issue is that the variable table holds serialized data, and there is an additional CPU overhead of actually de-serializing the data as well.

How to exclude CasperJS from your Google Analytics statistics

wiifm's picture
Submitted by wiifm on Tue, 04/09/2013 - 22:13

This came up when I we were going through our usual regression suite for the production site, this regression suite is now > 1,000 tests, and visits a lot of pages on the site. I noticed that Google Analytics was recording hits for each CasperJS page load. This makes perfect sense, as essentially CasperJS is an entire headless webkit browser that executes all the JavaScript on the page.

How to cleanly remove the statistics

There are a number of ways you can remove page views from Google Analytics, for example:

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