Tag Archives: Development

Drupal Distributions – Getting the work done faster!

So, Darkscribes is almost done and now I’m trying to conceive the redesign of Dhampir Dreams. While I’m doing that I’m also looking into what I have available to me. I don’t want to have to spend too much time spinning up a Drupal install but I also don’t want to do this completely from scratch if a lot of my use cases have been handled already. This is where the Drupal Distributions and GetPantheon.com’s offerings come in.

First off, a Drupal Distribution is a uniquely packaged version of Drupal. It provides it’s own modules and structures in order to allow for a completely new system. It has Drupal at it’s core, but it’s the way it handles things and sets things up as default that makes things different. If you didn’t know it was a Drupal Distribution you would be very justified in thinking they were totally different. I’m interested to say that is not the case.

Another way Drupal makes it easier to deploy things is the Features Module. I could take everything I’ve built for DS and turn it into a Features module, and then install the created module into another Drupal based site and have a good setup there. All the basic structures and everything built into the system. This saves time when creating a lot of sites that have similar needs. Like Darkscribes, Dhampir Dreams needs a way to organize stories and chapters under them, even if I don’t need to have a way to give everyone access to everything they need and it’s just me. It saves time and gets a site deployed much faster.

The best thing is that the entire process is open source, so you have access to the code and the ability to change what you need or want and spin your own distribution. That seems a lot of work though so I’m looking at ways that have already been worked on and have a lot of good structure even if I am not using it right now. I’ll keep working on them. The really good thing is that the Drupal-to-Drupal migrate module makes it where I could take the DS data, and drop it into the site dev I’m working on so I can get a good look at everything. It’s just stuff to work on and play with right now, maybe it will develop into something new and different. I just don’t know yet.

Data – Handle with Care!

I’m sitting here, still fighting the migration fight on the Darkscribes system. I’ve actually gotten good results with the Drupal Feeds module to get everything in slowly but surely. I’ll probably start working on other things as time goes on when it’s done but first it has to be done. Now I’ve messed around a lot with certain options in Drupal and now it’s time to discuss them.

First I was trying to use Migrate module. This takes everything direct from the old databases and creates content that way. It was SUPPOSED to be relitivly easy, but unfortunatly it was anything but. Mostly because I could never figure out how to get the damned thing to see the other databases. It’s a total failure to launch on that side.

So I started working on feeds and I have made more progress with it then I ever have with migrate. Thing is that it’s all csv files which sounds easy if you know what they are. But it can be extremely tedious as you work on the tables. Especially as I’ve learned more and more about it and tried to get everything into the system. I’ve managed to do pretty well so far, but I’m still cleaning data and improving on things. one issue is that I’m probably going to have to delete data before import, as some of it just doesn’t look right.

Working the Angle

I’m building up the site at the moment. Trying to figure out what to put here, what to put on Darkscribes.org and just basically working on the giant todo list that is my web development for these two pages. I’ve Got a lot of stuff to do all said and done as I work on these things. One of those things is the ever present specter of content migration from the purgatory of the old database into the on display Drupal site. Strangely enough getting everything functioning with regards to creating from scratch is easy, it’s getting the old stuff in that is hard.

It’s another reason I am seriously considering moving DhampirDreams.com back over to Drupal. I’ve got a ton of work already don on DS that I can just for all intents and purposes drop in here and create a site from, then do a wordpress migrate into the site. However I’m not sure that is a good idea or not yet.

I actually am considering trying to build DD as a Drupal 8 dev site as that is looking to be a very good build to work from. I like the direction the Drupal maintainers have went with it but I’m still at a loss on what to do with it all. Probably should spend less time thinking of features and more time writing stories and articles all around honestly.

Here is the ToDo for Everything.

  1. Migrate legacy content into Darkscribes.org
  2. Create User specific views of content for Profiles.
  3. Build Group specific views of content
  4. Find a way to add social media to Darkscribes/Drupal without too much mess.

It’s not a big list I know, but it’s a bear to actually do. The Legacy content is very different in structure from Drupal. User views take a bit to get just right and it’s just as much of a bear with group views. And don’t get me started on the pain and agony of Social media.

I also have to get back to writing, adding content as I go and getting things working. I’m hoping to eventually at least be able to add a piece of content to both DS and DD at least Daily in some way shape or form. I’m not sure if it will matter long term but that is the short term hope. I also want to add an Op-Ed or other featured piece of content to both sites Weekly.

Well, I’m just going to go back to work on this.


Differences in Philosiphies

I’m sitting here in Starbucks thinking about what to work on and I get to thinking about the differences in design ideas. I’m working more stuff on Darkscribes at this time so that’s my main focus, getting the legacy content into the system. I’m going to keep working that a lot in the next week but this time I think I have a good handle on what I need to do.

Being back on WordPress though has given me a chance to compare and contrast. Part of the reason I went Drupal in the first place was because it made it, for me at least, easier to create and organize content into structured stories, books, and generate what I needed as I went. Though it made things like sharing to social media sites a bit more hands on. WordPress however makes straight up blogging much easier. This can not be stressed enough. As a blog it is easier for me at least to deal with. However I find myself wondering about structured content. I’m going to want to add original work to this site eventually, however I don’t see how this will work out as easily for me on here as it is on Drupal.

One WordPress everything not a post is a page. I create a page of content and it becomes part of the site. no content types, modifications, or organization. Just pages and post. I suppose for most this is a preferable setup. I’m not sure I agree. I’ll keep working on it, maybe try and recover some older stuff but right now this is what I have.

On Drupal however I could create content types, views, event calendars with maybe a new bit or something. It’s a powerful cms due to how everything is built. However it’s a bit more difficult to setup, import, and stage a site. Themeing is also a bear at times due to the setup and everything. But the power of the product is unmistakable.

I’ll use WordPress for now, construct the site, and see what I come up with as I do. I’ll make my pages and add my stories here. But something tells me I’m going to eventually end up back on Drupal for Dhampir Dreams.

Back to WordPress

I’ve decided that Dhampir Dreams could be best served by being a wordpress based site. It’s light weight and has plenty of plugins for me to use, while not having the needs Darkscribes and other sites do for the community features of Drupal. I’m hoping also to get back to using this stack mostly so I can at minimum enjoy some kind of changes over time. Dhampir Dreams is really my place to be a bit… different then when I’m working on DS. I don’t need to make everything usable for everyone, I can live with what I have here.

So I’ll keep working on DS and this will be my easier site to mess with mostly.