Racing Minis at Zandvoort
Photo: Copyright © 2019 Eelke Blok

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Fighting content spam on Drupal with Akismet

Once, the Drupal community had Mollom, and everything was good. It was a web service that would let you use an API to scan comments and other user-submitted content and it would let your site know whether it thought it was spam, or not, so it could safely publish the content. Or not. It was created by our very own Dries Buytaert and obviously had a Drupal module. It was the service of choice for Drupal sites struggling with comment spam. Unfortunately, Mollom no longer exists. But there is an alternative, from the WordPress world: Akismet.

Creating fields and other configuration during updates in Drupal

When deploying changes to a Drupal environment, you should be running database updates (e.g. drush updb, or through update.php) first, and only then import new configuration (which itself is supposedly the result of running the same update hooks on a development environment). The reason for this is that update hooks may want to update configuration, which will fail if that configuration is already structured in the new format (you can't do without updates either; update hooks don't just deal with configuration, but may also need to change the database schema and do associated data...

Video: The State of Drupal 9

At last month's DrupalJam XL in Utrecht, the Netherlands, I gave Gabor Hojtsy's presentation on the state of Drupal 9. It was recorded - thanks DrupalJam organization! - so here is the video. You might also want to view Gabor's own presentation from DrupalCamp Belarus.

You'll need to turn up the audio, because it seems that it was recorded using the camera, not the fancy microphone I'm wearing.

Quick tip: generating a hash salt for Drupal 8

Drupal 8 will actively complain when your site does not have a hash_salt configured, which usually gets generated when installing the site. (The complaint, mind you, might be fairly obscure; your site might just say "The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later." Depending on your error reporting settings, the message might be a bit more helpful). If, for example, you "install" a site by copying over a database and files, you will not have this.

Preparing your Drupal 8.3 site with Media for Drupal 8.4

If you have the Media module for Drupal 8 installed (not a requirement to use media with Drupal 8, so this post may not apply to you), you need to remove it before you can upgrade to the latest core version (8.4). Unfortunately, there are a few gotchas involved with the process. This blog post is about getting rid of the old contrib Media module, so the site can be updated to Drupal 8.4 in a subsequent step. This is based on my personal experience. YMMV, as they say.

DrupalJam talk: Drupal 8 Configuration Management

Last week, on wednesday May 24th, the annual Dutch Drupal conference DrupalJam had its 2017 edition in "De Fabrique" in Maarssen. After having been an attendee for quite some years, this time I submitted a proposal for a talk, which was accepted. I'm now happy to report the slides are available online: Drupal 8 Configuration Management, Workflows for Site Development.

Running Drupal Javascript tests on Vagrant

The last three days, I was at the code sprint for the Drupal Camp Munich 2016, hosted at the Hubert Burda Media offices. It was a great experience. It was my first community code sprint, I've met some great people and I've learned a ton in three days. I have to thank the organizers of the sprint as well as the camp organizers, and of course my employer One Shoe to give me this opportunity. We have been working on the Media Initiative, to get a solid Media solution into Drupal core in an upcoming minor release (e.g. 8.3 or 8.4). Christian Fritsch, one of the main developers for the Media...

Debugging drush scripts with xdebug and PhpStorm on Vagrant

This is a subject that seems to come up again and again. I figured this out once before, but back then I was using Eclipse, while I am now a PhpStorm devotee. Also, I've long since started using Vagrant, which means that every debugging scenario is now "remote". Usually, this is not a huge issue, but with command line debugging, this presents a bit of a challenge.

Randy Fay has done a nice write-up back in 2013, which covers most of the bases. It does leave one missing link, which seems to have come up only recently; a recent change in drush has broken debugging through xdebug,...