Mapping in Drupal

Drupal mapping

Mapping in Drupal is becoming more fun each day! Especially when using adressfield + geocoder + geophp + geofield + openlayers. While this may sound scary at first, it's actually a great way of abstracting functionality into different modules which work seamlessly together. Here is a nice guide. Also, there will be a sprint/session @ the Barcelona dev days next week about improving mapping in Drupal even more.

Beans and Boxes


Blocks management has always been a bit complicated in Drupal. Modules like nodeblock gave us some flexibility and boxes took it even one step further. Now, also have the bean module which makes blocks available as entities, and thus fieldable. Boxes, who originated in the pre-entity era of Drupal 6, are now also providing the use of entities with their Entity Boxes plugin. There are even talks about merging both modules, although there seem to be differences in the way it should be exportable using features.

Drupaljam 2012: 8 juni in Zoetermeer

The next big Dutch Drupal community event is coming up: Drupaljam in Zoetermeer on the 8th of June! Drupaljam is a yearly event (kinda like a drupalcamp) which attracts a lot of Drupal minded people. Check out last year's site to get an idea about the event and sign up


Panopoly is a very cool new distributions which has some cutting-edge features. For example, it uses Drupal Apps to download and install functionality on the fly. And it allows in place editting using the brand new redesigned Panels IPE. Furthermore, it has a bunch of responsive layouts (note the use of respond.js) and has a nice editor interface using a clean implementation of WYSIWYG (with media module integration en things like caption filter) and markitup. Other interestingness: page manager existing pages, backports and simplified menu admin. Summing up, panopoly has some great features to improve the content authoring experience, which is currently also a hot topic for Drupal 7 and 8 (Spark).

Frontend United roundup of wrapups

Frontend United wrapup roundup

Here are some great wrapup blog posts from this weekend's Drupal frontend event: We came to Rock - Frontend United was Awesome - A letter from Frontend United and Frontend United. Also check out the delicios stack with all the links here and pictures tagged with frontendunited on flickr here.

TWIG: the new Drupal 8 template engine?

There is lot of activity around building a better theming experience for Drupal 8 at the moment. In fact, there will be a sprint on this topic tomorrow (friday) at Frontendunited in Amsterdam together with people in the United States. One option would be to provide a better, modern template engine. Something like TWIG perhaps. There is an issue on d.o for evaluating Twig using a module. Another reason why Twig might be a good choice: Fabien Potencier is behind it (lead Symfony developer).

Drupal Apps: the new way of building Drupal websites

Drupal apps icon

"First there were modules, then there were Features, and now there are Apps". That's the first sentence of the project description of the Drupal Apps module, and it's the new hotness in the Drupal ecosystem. Some new distributions - like the newly released panopoly- are already using it. But instead of me explaining what it is, just watch this 4 minute video by LevelTenInteractive which will give you a pretty good picture!

HTML5 Caching: AppCache and LocalStorage

html5 localstorage appcache

So we've these brand new toys in HTML5 like appcache (offline caching) and Local (or session) storage to build fast mobile web apps. You would say appcache would be used to improve load speeds on mobile devices. But many big companies are actually using localstorage instead for caching purposes. Making me wonder if this is the new mobile browser cache? Indeed it seems many developers are using localstorage because of certain issues (page that includes manifest is always cached) with appcache, making some people wonder if it could be used effectively at all in a dynamic environment like Drupal.

Tools for mobile development: Adobe Shadow

One of the challenges when developing for different mobile platforms like iPad's, tablets and smartphones is debugging and inspecting frontend code. On our laptop or workstation we are used using tools like firebug or chrome's inspector but mobile devices lack these functions. There are tools which enable you to inspect the DOM on certain platforms (like iwebinspector for iOS) but not for every single device. Adobe Shadow (watch the vid) seems to solve this problem by enabling remote inspection using paired Android and iOS devices. The downside: you will physically need to have all devices on your desk. The upside: you aren't simulating anything but testing on real devices, without having to touch them.

Embedding youtube / vimeo in Drupal 7

So what if you only, simply, just want to be able to embed youtube videos in Drupal 7? This was pretty simple in D6 using emfield and media_youtube. However, for D7 you will need the media module to handle this. Depending on the usecase, you might be hesitant to do this because media module is wildly in development. In that case, you might use a custom youtube field or extend ckeditor with vimeo / youtube buttons.


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