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General drupal crap

DrupalCamp Vancouver - Staging & Deployment slides

This weekend I went to DrupalCamp Vancouver and gave a talk on staging and deployment solutions in Drupal. It went really well and the audience was engaged and enthusiastic. Everyone came up with great questions and observations, and we threw around a lot of ideas. I really enjoyed myself and I'd like to extend my thanks to Ariane, Dale, Dave, Boris, and all the others who helped to organize this event.

DrupalCamp Vancouver

DrupalCamp Vancouver is coming up this weekend, and it should be a great time! Camp begins Friday morning and ends Saturday evening. I will be speaking Saturday afternoon at 3:15 on staging and deployment strategies. If all goes well, I just might have my first real beta of my deployment module ready by the time I hit the stage. It is getting very close. I will definitely be giving a demo of its operation either way. If you're going to be there, please stop by and say hello. If you don't have plans to attend yet, well, its too late. The event is sold out.

CSS Aggregation + Page Caching + Load Balancing = Boom

A few weeks ago we launched the new redesign of It was a big launch, with a whole pile of new content types, blocks and views. One of the things we did with this launch was turn on CSS aggregation. We have over a dozen individual CSS files being imported, so getting them shoved into one HTTP request was a big win.

Deployment Framework released

I am very sad not to be at Drupalcon this week, but I am pleased to announce that I am now the proud owner of a shiny new Drupal project simply called Deployment. You can visit and download the current code at Please heed the note about the module's current state. I am eager to get testing started and hear people's comments, however the modules are not production-ready at this time.

Deployment And Change Management - A Framework

A couple days after I posted my last article, I went to to see if anyone had bookmarked it. A user named timbaileylondon had, with this note - "We need to get on top of this. The last one in particular made me cringe." Too true on both counts.

A few weeks ago I was trying to chase down a bug in content copy, because it was causing us problems with some content types we were trying to move. I had never dealt with FAPI much before, and it was a real eye-opener discovering I could script content type exports and imports easily in a few lines of code, and then further realizing I could actually script any form the same way. I started thinking about how many Drupal objects can be scripted quickly this way - node load/save, user load/save, any form, etc. It was then that I started thinking that maybe all we need to tackle the deployment problem is a) a way to abstract each of these pieces of data and b) a way to move them from server to server. Maybe Drupal doesn't need an overarching deployment solution, it just needs some glue.

Deployment And Change Management - What Helps Now

Having defined the problem in my last post, we can now look at some of the options currently available for dealing with it. None of them is a complete answer, but they can all help out with some of the pieces. As a reminder, I'm just concerned with the problem of deploying changes to live sites for the moment. This is not a complete list by any means, but it is some stuff that I've found useful. Have you got another tactic you use to manage these types of changes?

Deployment and Change Management - The Problem

I had been hoping to get together with people at Drupalcon this year to discuss issues surrounding deployment and change management. Unfortunately I will not be able to go. So this will have to act as my contribution to that discussion, which will hopefully carry on well beyond Boston. There are three parts - The Problem, Things That Help Now, and Some Ideas For The Future.

SeaDUG presentation online

The video of the presentation I did with my co-worker Gary Love has been published.

Seattle Drupal User's Group

Note: This post originally appeared on my personal website but I brought it over here so all my Drupal writings could be in one place.


On Wednesday my co-worker Gary Love and I gave a presentation to the Seattle Drupal User's Group. Drupal is an open source content management system, which I have been working with for the last year or so. It is a pretty amazing piece of software. Any one of you could, with maybe half an hour of help, have a very functional website running for your organization using Drupal. This would include blogging and news items, photo upload and galleries, forums, user profiles, custom content types, page creation, etc etc etc. I am currently in the process of setting up a Drupal site for a pinball/video game show that was fully functional in a couple hours with no custom code written. It didn't look pretty (that still takes some time and effort) but it worked. This is, in my mind, pretty fucking amazing. It is just one more step to democratizing the internet, lowering the barrier to entry for non-profits and community organizations so they can get as much done as any larger player.


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I wrote two chapters of this book - Drupal 7 Module Development and I co-wrote it with Matt Butcher, Larry Garfield, Matt Farina, Ken Rickard, and John Wilkins. Go buy a copy!
I am the owner of the configuration management initiative for Drupal 8. You can follow this work at the dashboard on

I used to work at NodeOne in Stockholm, Sweden. NodeOne is the largest pure Drupal consultancy in Europe. They have built websites for clients like IKEA, SFBio, and Möbler. If you need some work done get in touch!