Drupal

An Open Source Content Management System (CMS)

New Module: E-Commerce "service"

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Another small module that allows the creation of a service product with variable pricing. Useful for people who engage with clients on projects where the cost varies from one engagement to the other. They can get customers to pay them using credit card or Paypal on the web site.It is based on the donation, another contributed module in the larger Ecommerce family of modules. Here is the CVS view for the service module

New Module: Topic

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I released another new module today. This is a somewhat custom module for a certain web site, but it may be of use to others. It allows users with  the right  permission to post "topics" and gather answers from registered users by email. It can be modified to be all web resident if needed, e.g. ranking of answers, making them viewable on the web site, ...etc. More information on the topic module, along with a download link, can be found on the topic project page.

New module: Stock API

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The Stock API module  has been released to the public. This module was developed by Matt Westgate for the wonderful BuyBlue web site.The idea is that this module will fetch the stock data over the internet only when needed, and caches the info in a database table, hence network lag does not slow down the user response, and the system does not get bogged down if too many page views with stock data in them. Since Matt is busy with  E-Commerce, and other stuff, he asked that I take over this module. Of course, this is a good idea, since I do not want code duplication with my original stock module.

Cake PHP: a new framework for PHP applications

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One technology that has been getting good reviews and lots of attention laterly is Ruby On  Rails (RoR). It is a Rapid Internet Application Development framework that is  easy to use and really fast to write applications in.

One of the drawbacks is that it requires the Ruby programmng language, which although powerful, is less widespread than other languages, and hence not available at most web hosts. 

Now there is CakePHP, which is supposed to be Ruby On Rails but for PHP, the most widely deployed web development language. CakePHP follows the Model-View-Controller architecture, and  provides basic  CRUD (Create, Read,  Update, Delete) operations. Of course, it is fully object oriented, just like RoR is.

Using Drupal 4.7 regions to show/hide AdSense

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In a previous article, I described how one would use flexinode to display ads anywhere on the page, and not just blocks. This can be used to achieve things like restricting ads from showing on certain pages.

This can be achieved using Drupal 4.7 regions feature, which, like flexinode, allows multiple regions for blocks to be placed in. The default regions are left sidebar, right sidebar, header, footer and content.

However, blocks are always displayed with their title, which is ugly anywhere apart from the sidebars. Although CSS can be used to hide the header, this is more of a hack than the proper way of doing things.

Drupal: Using flexiblock to show/hide AdSense

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As the author of the Drupal adsense module, I often get queries on how to display ads in unusual ways.

Normally ads can be done using one of two ways:

Block Ads

if the ads are in blocks, then you just add  PHP blocks with the call to the adsense_display() function call. Ads in blocks can be restricted to certain pages, for example, you do not want them to display in node/*/edit and node/add/* pages because the Javascript based WYSIWYG editor you use is messed up by Google's Adsense code.

Moving a Drupal install from a prefixed database to a non-prefixed one

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One of Drupal's features is that it allows database prefixes, so people can host more than one site in a single database, or share the database with other application programs.

As a site grows, people find the need to separate those sites into their own databases, making the prefix unnecessary.

To do that, the following steps are needed:

Backup the existing database

In order to start this process, you have to perform a dump of the database. This is needed for two purposes, one is to have a backup of all your data, and the second is to be able to copy it to the other database, which may be on another host altogether.

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