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DrupalCamp Montreal: Simplifying Drupal Development with Subversion

I just finished giving a presentation at DrupalCamp Montreal about using Subversion to manage Drupal development and deployment. I've attached the slides and code I mentioned during the seminar; video will be posted by the DCM DBN team soon.

Waterloo Region DUG Meeting: Simplifying Drupal Development with Subversion

Yesterday I gave a presentation to the Waterloo Region Drupal User Group about the basics of using Subversion to manage a Drupal website. Most of the presentation applies to any use of Subversion, though I do touch on a few specifics relating to Drupal. If you're interested in learning about using version control to manage any website or project, this is a great place to start.

Site showcase: Pinchin Environmental


Pinchin Environmental is a Canadian company specializing in environmental consulting. Launched in October of 2008, this project involved replacing the previous DreamWeaver-based site with a modern, standards compliant website. Using Drupal 5, the site offers features and functionality impossible to implement with the previous system. To read the full case study, or to see screenshots of the site in action, please see the Pinchin Environmental project page.

Waterloo Region Meetup: Painless JavaScript with jQuery

Tonight I gave the Waterloo Region User Group a presentation introducing jQuery and it's use within Drupal websites. Topics covered included:

  • What JavaScript is and isn't
  • How JavaScript empowers developers to transform web pages into web applications
  • Why many developers have avoided JavaScript in the past, and how jQuery addresses those issues
  • JavaScript developer tools
  • Introduction and live demos using jQuery

Announcing the Dropbox Integration Module for Drupal

I've always wished that transferring files would be as easy as using Imageshack or Pastebin. There are many times when email just doesn't work; between content filters and email attachment size limits, attachments often don't get through. Instant messaging is hit and miss. After falling in love with Dropbox, I decided that integration with Drupal would solve most of my problems. A weekend of coding later, and poof!

This module allows each user on a Drupal website to have a "Send file" form for recieving files. Each user has control over permissions for receiving files, while site administrators can enact global policies if needed. Extra care is taken to ensure that a user's private Host ID (used to connect to Dropbox) is never transmitted insecurely. Eventually, I'd like to see this module turn into a full interface for Dropbox files, either through embedded media field or other similar projects.

Special thanks goes to Jaka Jančar for initially writing a PHP interface to Dropbox, and agreeing to license it under the MIT license so it could be used with the Drupal module.

Read on to see the screencast demonstrating the module and how to set it up for a single-user website so clients and colleagues can easily send you files.

Drupalcon Security Followup: Automatically use SSL logins on drupal.org

Today at the Advanced Security Drupalcon talk it was mentioned that drupal.org supports SSL access. Using user JavaScript, it becomes possible to modify the drupal.org login fields to use SSL. Here are the steps you need to ensure that logging in will use SSL automatically.

Fixing the Enter Key on AHAH Forms

Update: I've modified the suggested JavaScript code to not break #autocomplete enter presses.

The #ahah element introduced in Drupal 6 makes setting up dynamic JavaScript-driven forms much simpler than with Drupal 5. To see this in action, take a look at the Poll module. When adding more choices to a form, clicking the "Add another choice" button doesn't reload the page if JavaScript is enabled. However, there is one problem with such a form: by adding a submit button above other submit elements, it becomes the default action when pressing the enter key. Unfortunately, browsers don't have a method to specify the default submit action, and usually just use the first submit element on the form. To see this issue, try pressing the enter key inside the Title field on a Poll node. The page reloads, and the JS-disabled fallback is executed, instead of the Preview action as may be expected.

This might be behaving as intended with the Poll module, but I wanted to ensure that the enter key action was consistent with a similar feature I was adding to the Skeleton Outline module. Most JavaScript code online will recommend doing something similar to the following:

Deploy Drupal Modules and Themes with Eclipse External Tools

Eclipse, with the newly released PDT 2.0, is a very capable Drupal IDE. With code completion, automatic documentation lookups, and integrated debugging, Eclipse is very good for anyone who spends time doing Drupal code.

One issue I've run into with Eclipse when working on contributed modules is that the modules themselves aren't located within a Drupal installation. I found myself resorting to external programs or the command line to copy my changes to my development site or to my local development copy. Using Eclipse's External Tools, it's possible to deploy changes with a single click, greatly reducing the time to test modified code.

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