Building complex web sites the Drupal way - Session at BarCamp Kerala 7

At BarCamp Kerala 7 in Kottayam I gave a Drupal session about how to build complex web sites the Drupal way.

Below you find the slides as a PDF file and the blog system “feature” I demonstrated.

It was real pleasure to be a part of this BarCamp Kerala! There are some seriously smart people here, many interesting start ups and most of all, really nice and friendly fellow geeks.

Earlier BarCamps included some Drupal sessions so many knew about it already and a handful of the participants use Drupal for there own web sites.

After a short background on Drupal I described the Drupal way, less coding and more configuration. I mentioned some example web sites and talked about the advantages of building web sites this way.

Versionshantering med Bazaar för designers - Föreläsning på DrupalCamp

DrupalCamp Stockholm 09 11–12 november höll jag en föreläsning om “Versionshantering med Bazaar för designers”. Här nedan kan ni ladda hem presentationen som PDF-fil.

Föreläsningen inleddes med en presentation om vad versionshantering är, vad man kan göra med det och hur ett arbetsflöde kan se ut. Andra delen var en praktisk demonstration ur en designers perspektiv.

Video från föreläsningen: Versionshantering med Bazaar för designers (Fredrik Jonsson) on Vimeo

Results of running Lighttpd as a static file server for Drupal 6

In my blog post Running Lighttpd as a static file server for Drupal 6 on a Debian GNU/Linux server I describe how I set up a static file server here on xdeb.org. I mentioned there that I have not done any benchmarking on the improvements. I still haven’t, but I found some interesting information on Google webmaster tools.

I use Google webmaster tools to submit my sitemaps. One or two times a year I go there to see if everything is in order. They have done some updates since I was there last and this time I found “Crawl stats” under “Diagnostics” (they may very well have been there for a long time but i found them now).

The image show the chart for “Time spent downloading a page (in milliseconds)”. Notice the big drop in late July. That’s when I implemented Lighttpd as static file server.

The average time Google spent on downloading a page went from well over 1000 ms to around 600 ms. I’m very pleased with that result.

Bazaar workflow for developing Drupal based web sites

Go to an updated version from 2011 of this blog post.

During the summer I have worked out a Bazaar based workflow for Drupal sites that I think will work well for me. I have moved most of my sites in to this workflow and worked on them for some weeks and it feels good.

I will also mention Drush, the Drupal shell, in this blog. I use it to update modules and database as well as dump and load sql files. If you are not yet using Drush it time to start now. It’s very nice indeed!

This workflow is for when you have a number of small/medium sites that you need to maintain on a continues basis. Big sites with many developers have different needs.

I will assumes that you are familiar with version control systems and at home on the command line.

Running Lighttpd as a static file server for Drupal 6 on a Debian GNU/Linux server

I found Robert Douglass article Using Lighttpd as a static file server for Drupal and thought it would be interesting to try out. Check also out the Lighttpd home page (pron. lighty).

There are two main reasons for using a separate server for static files. The first is to offload the main server, e.g. Apache with mod_php, letting it only handle the dynamic requests. The second is to allow browsers to download files in parallel and without the overhead of cookies etc.

After I implemented the static file server Yslow gives xdeb.org Grade A with a score of 94.

How to set up Apache Solr search for Drupal 6 on a Debian GNU/Linux server

At DrupalCamp Stockholm 2009 Robert Douglass from Acquia talked about Drupal with Apache Solr search. Solr takes searching in Drupal a huge step forward. Speed and faceted search on author/type/term/language/date/CCK fields are the main features. A “Did you mean …” function is there also and it works surprisingly well.

There are also some really interesting things coming like multi site searching, dokument searching and searching of external non Drupal sites.

Drupal.org is already using Apache Solr search. Search for Sweden there and I’m the top result! http://drupal.org/search/apachesolr_search/sweden

When you search on Drupal.org or here on xdeb.org check out the blocks at the side of the search result page. They let you sort the result and filter it by author, node type and taxonomy terms. This is faceted search.

For people who don’t want to set up and maintain there own Apache Solr search Acquia has the service Acquia Search with a 30 day trial.

If you still here and want to know how to set up Apache Solr for Drupal 6 on a Debian GNU/Linux server here follows how I did it.

DrupalCamp Stockholm 2009

Fredag och lördag var jag på DrupalCamp i Stockholm. Dag 1 var för beslutsfattare och dag 2 för utvecklare. Dag 3 hölls ett dokument-sprint i NodeOne lokaler i Gamla Stan under ledning av Addison Berry (Drupal documentation team lead) och Johan Falk.

Det var fulltecknat flera veckor i förväg så det fanns verkligen ett uppdämt behov. Drupal är hett! Genomgående mycket hög kvalité på föreläsningarna. Mest intressant för mig var Robert Douglass presentation om Apache Solr search som jag skriver mer om i en senare blog.

Denna DrupalCamp arrangerades av NodeOne och Dataföreningen. Dataföreningen har himla trevliga lokaler mitt emot Centalstationen upptäckte jag. Har arbetat med dem i ett par år för att bygga alla deras webb-platser i Drupal men aldrig varit till dessa lokaler förut.

Läs mer på:

Make a Drupal theme look better on the iPhone

I’m using Safari on my iPhone to browse the web more than I thought I would. Mobil Safari display pages very much like Safari on Mac OS X so it mostly works really well. A web design however rarely works well on both a big computer screen and a small handheld screen, even a high resolution one like on the iPhone.

I was not satisfied with the way xdeb.org looked on the iPhone. I wanted a simple way to improve it without the need for a separate theme or other more complicated solutions.

Swedish stemmer för Drupal 5 och 6 är släppt

Swedish stemmer modulen implementerar en svensk “stemming algorithm” för att förbättra sökresultaten på svensk innehåll med Drupals inbyggda sökfunktion.

Modulen reducerar varje ord i sökindexet till ordet rot så att variationer på ett ord (t ex.. “klok, klokare, klokast” or “klockan, klockans”) räknas som likvärdiga vid sökning.


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