patching makes you feel good

This is going to be a more philosophical post than usual, with not a code snippet in sight. I'd like to share some thoughts on the motivations for, and benefits of, submitting patches (I'm talking about Drupal, but this could just as well apply to other open source projects). In case it's not obvious, the title is a reference to the ghostbusters theme tune!

debugging drupal with firephp

This week I found myself trying to debug some code used in an autocomplete CCK widget on a Drupal site. Because this is code is AJAX and doesn't follow the normal pattern of a full themed drupal page load, many of the unglamorous but useful debugging techniques such as dumping arrays and objects as drupal messages or JS alerts are no help; the only message or alert I was seeing a lot of was a 500 error dialogue.

simple drupal module to generate charts from html tables using google chart api

For my recent post comparing compression methods for database dumps I had some very simple data, and wanted to present some very simple charts. None of the many charting modules for drupal seemed to be simple enough for me, so I borrowed some code I found on the web and made my own drupal module.

comparison of compression methods for database dumps

I like to have automated daily database backups set up on my servers - for those hosting relatively small sites, the database dumps can usually be compressed down small enough to be sent as an e-mail attachment by the cron script which does the database dump. This is a really simple and cost-effective way of having offsite backups which provide daily snapshots of sites which are easy to access if anything goes wrong.

installing PECL upload progress on ubuntu server

Some of Drupal's CCK modules such as filefield and imagefield have support for a neat Upload Progress meter.

You may have seen a message in the status report of your Drupal site saying something like... "Upload progress not enabled - Your server is capable of displaying file upload progress, but does not have the required libraries. It is recommended to install the PECL uploadprogress library (prefered) or to install APC."

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