Practical Performance Benchmarking, and Tuning

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As promised here are my slides, a few corrections, and some links to further resources. 

Building Custom Panel Panes (CTools Content Types) in Drupal 7

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Content types (a.k.a. panel panes) are one of CTools' most visible, versatile, and easy to learn APIs. In this tutorial, we're going to build a custom content type (or panel pane depending on what you call it) that display's a twitter user's latest feeds. As with any new CTools content type, you need to have at minimum three files in following structure:

Dusting Off This Ol' Blog

We're back baby! We're updated to Drupal 7, and have a brand new look that is even more bland than the previous look! The truth is I hate the new look and know stuff is sort of broken. I pushed it out anyway as its a fine antidote to procrastination. Its like burning a bridge to motivate an army to achieve total victory.

Putting My Blog Under the Knife

Its difficult to write about the future of drupal when your blog is a shoddy canibalization of garland that still uses the god damn blog module. It sort of feels like what this guy must feel like when he goes out on a date.

Food for Thought: Drupal's Pattern Language

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I particularly liked this cliff notes of a "pattern language":

In a pattern language individual patterns are not isolated. The structure of the language is composed of the links from larger patterns to smaller patterns, together creating a network. Thus, for a single pattern to work fully, it must not only be followed through by implementing the smaller patterns that complete it, it must if at all possible be connected to certain larger patterns.

Hitler Finds Out That Drupal 7 Might Release Without Panels

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Hitler finds out that that Panels might not be ready for Drupal 7.0 at a recent Hitler's Drupal Users meetup.

Note this another Hitler downfall video, which i find to be hilarious

Interested in proving Hitler wrong?

1, Issue for Ctools Update
2. (dependent on ctools update) Issue for panels.

Link to youtube.

A Belligerent Rant on Design Centered Websites with Poor Communication Skills

Please be seated for my sermon. There's an evil force out there, and its responsible for the majority of failed websites. This force seduces you into focusing too much on questions like:

"Is that the right shade of blue? Would a drop shadow make that element pop? Why do links have to look ugly, can't we tone them down so they bend in better with the design?"

The evil force wants you to focus on those dumb questions so that ignore the really important questions:

40+ Essential Drupal Modules

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If you are new to drupal, then this list is for you. These are some of the best of the best drupal modules. Everything from standard framework modules, to location and mapping is covered. Note that if you've been emersed in drupal for some time, than this will be "old news".

The Big Three

"The big three" are important enough that they deserve a category of their own. Most drupal modules worth using have integrated with one of these three. Their importance simply can't be stressed enough.

  • Content Construction Kit (CCK) - Part of drupal 7; still a contrib in drupal 6. Allows you to define new content types (e.g. blog entry, event, or employee record...) and add "fields" to them. A field could be plain text, an image, a flash video, or whatever. You can also adjust how these fields display in the live view. No drupal install should be without this module.
  • Views - Broadly speaking, this module empowers non programmers to build dynamic streams of content displaying any number of fields. The content may come from nodes (a.k.a. content types and fields), users, system log entries, etc. You can display this stream in any number of formats including RSS feeds, tables, or just the vanilla view for a content type. You can also create pages or blocks -- its very tightly interwoven with drupal. Nearly every drupal module worth using is integrated with this module. Extremely powerful when used in combination with CCK.
  • Panels -

    I believe Panels + CCK & Views is a hint at what drupal will look like 3 years into the future. I had to change my pants after the first time I witnessed it. At a very simple level, you could think of it as a layout manager. Create a 1,2,3 column layout. Or a 3 column layout with a full width footer and header, and plop pieces of content in them -- say a view, a block, or a node. That description, however does not do it justice. Since version 3, its positioned itself as a replacement for drupal core's clunky block system. It can now override a node page, and can be used to place content all over the place. It also introduced a concept of contexts, selections rules, and relationships. These are concepts that deserve a series of blog posts, but lets just say its solving some of the weirdest, mind numbing, bug creating problems found in advanced websites. Ironically, I used to hate this module, but after version 3 I will defend its awesomeness to the death!

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