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An open letter to Dries: What are our values?

Hi Dries,

You probably have no idea who I am—and hey you'd be just like the vast majority of people, so no big there—but if you're reading this I greatly appreciate your time.

The past week or so has been dizzying. Many, many long time die-hard Drupalers have been angry, frustrated, and saddened by the events that have taken place surrounding Larry. You know better than anyone else what happened. No need to rehash.

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Building Kick SaaS Installation Profiles

So back in April of this year, I gave a talk at Texas Camp entitled Building Kick SaaS Installation Profiles.

The slides are over there, but I'm uploading a local copy of them here—just in case!

Note: no audio is available, but the slides might be pretty handy!

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Field Tools as a replacement for Features

One of my new favorite modules recently has been Field Tools. What I love about it is that it presents you with the ability to export all of the fields on a particular bundle (or even just a single field).

Then, you can just use field_create_field or field_create_instance in a little loop.

Take for example (in a module's .install file):

Modifying distribution Makefiles within your own project Makefile on Platform.sh

As I've written about in the past, Platform.sh's Makefile build system is pretty sweet. One of the things that confuse me the most, however, is how to make a change to a distribution (such as adding a patch) without making things even more complicated.

Hat tip to Tavi Toporjinschi for writing the original example this is based off of.

Theming Local Task Tabs in Drupal 6

In one of the primary applications on our intranet, we use small icons in the process to help our Agents and Home office users through the process.

Agents see something like this:

While our employees see something more along the lines of this:

There are various combinations but the point that I'd like to impress is that a use-case exists for theming Drupal's MENU_LOCAL_TASK tabs.

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dgo.to: A URL shortener (and smartener) for drupal.org

The last day of DrupalCon, after talking to several people about drupal.org URLs, dgo.to was born. It's goal is to make drupal.org URLs easy and smarter. For instance, where else can see someone's profile by just typing their name? "dgo.to/@nvahalik":http://dgo.to/@nvahalik Anyhoo, check out the site itself: "dgo.to":http://dgo.to/ or "this post on d.o":http://dgo.to/783692 for more information. Any comments & suggestions are welcome!
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Finally: Drupal 5 to Drupal 6 Upgrade of our Production Intranet

Since getting to RVOS, a lot of my focus has been on improving things. Improving the network (new APs, redundant switches), infrastructure downtime (40+ hours a week to <2hrs a week), improving applications (bugfixes on custom apps), and in general, the way business is done. Our intranet went live in Q3 of 2007, when "Drupal 6 was still -beta1":http://drupal.org/node/175832. Right after we went live, I tried to upgrade and failed miserably.
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My First (contributed) Drupal Module: Permission Report

Very proud to announce my first contributed drupal module! "Permission Report":http://drupal.org/project/usage/permission_report: bq. Permission Report calculates and displays permissions a user has and shows which roles grant those permissions. It also provides ability to list users in a role, look at role membership information, view which users have a particular permission, and dig down into complicated role and permission problems. Hope that this is the first of many contributions to come!
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Avoid Using The Drupal "path" Module To Create Clean Paths In Your Module

I've been doing a lot of cleanup of certain modules at the office. Two in particular are heavily used apps that incorporate pre-made default views with screens to add nodes or do information lookups. Part of the problem with this is that although I had a decent URL structure (many paths were aliased), my breadcrumbs were never right. I usually had to override them to make them work the way I wanted to (Drupal 5 on my end): drupal_set_breadcrumb(array(...)) This is a hack!
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