how to increase php memory limit for drush without access to php.ini

I recently found myself trying to use drush to set up a Drupal 6 install on a server where I did not have root access. I kept getting errors along the lines of this:

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 1234 bytes)

I didn't have permission to edit the php.ini file for php_cli, so I had to find another workaround. The solution's pretty simple and comes courtesy of the drushrc.php file.

simple twitter feed on Drupal 5

I was recently asked to add a simple twitter feed to a Drupal 5 site I built a few years ago. You know the sort of thing - a block in the sidebar with the 5 most recent tweets from the organisation's twitter account. Unfortunately, this turned out to be one of those requests that sounds like it's going to be really easy, but is not (especially on Drupal 5). I came up with a solution which does the job quite nicely, but it's a bit of a hack; I wouldn't do it like this on a new site - but then of course I wouldn't be using Drupal 5.

themeing validation errors for checkboxes in drupal

I came across a problem when working on a Drupal user registration form which had to include an accept terms and conditions checkbox. In fact, I came across a couple of problems, but I only had to fix one myself.

migrating from oscommerce to ubercart

I recently undertook a migration from oscommerce to ubercart. The scope of this migration was limited to the transfer of products (and categories) - I didn't try and migrate customers and previous orders.

installing APC on Ubuntu linux and benchmarking Drupal 6 performance improvement

There are several different PHP accelerators to choose from, but according to wikipedia "APC is quickly becoming the de-facto standard PHP caching mechanism as it will be included built-in to the core of PHP starting with PHP 6".

I recently put together a new development webserver in a virtualbox virtual machine, and as I was setting it up I thought I'd take the opportunity to test how much difference APC actually makes to a simple Drupal site.

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 subversion and vim on a shared host

I haven't used shared hosting for quite a while, but for a few sites I've worked on recently an account on a shared host seemed the best choice in terms of how much disk space and bandwidth they'd get for a very small cost.

One obvious problem with shared hosting though is the lack of control; I was careful to choose a package which provided up-to-date versions of apache, php and mysql but subversion was not installed, and the version of vim on the server didn't have support for some basic things like syntax highlighting.