Static variables and Drupal install profiles

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I believe that this is not an issue with Drupal 7 as it handles variables differently than D5/D6. However, if you want to make an install profiles for anything earlier than D7 static variables can pose a huge problem. Static varibles are used for caching within a function in PHP. Generally the first time the function is called during a page load the static will be set. The second time it's called there's no need to execute most of the code and the value stored in the static will be returned.

While statics can be convenient and help improve performance, they become a huge problem when the relevant data has been altered partway through a page load and you need to reset the cache. Since the install profile is executed in what's effectively a single page load, static variables become problematic.

Creating nodes in Drupal install profiles

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One of the toughest things for me personally is coming up content for a new website. Specifically things that resemble an "about" page. I find it significantly easier if I'm given a starting point and something to work from. Once I get started I have no problem writing some decent content.

To make things a bit simpler for couples using Wedful wedding websites we decided to create default nodes with example content. This way users aren't given a blank slate when starting out. We've set up eight default pages to give them a bit of a starting point with the content on their site. Each page contains some example text or questions to give the users an idea of what to write.

An overview of site building in Wedful (Drupal install profiles, Aegir, and features)

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This post is just to give an overview of some of the techniques we use to build our Wedful websites product. I'll be discussing most of the things listed here in more detail in later posts as well, but thought this would make a good starting point.

Every single wedding website is a complete Drupal site, they don't share users or any data with any other wedding sites. We wanted to go this route so that each site had complete control over it's theme and domain name among other things. It also allows us to balance our server load by moving very active sites to servers with more resources.

Adding a simple twitter feed to your Drupal site

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I just added a simple twitter feed to one of my sites and thought I'd share what I did. The only other post I could find about was this one http://drupal.org/node/151185 and I didn't really think it should be necessary to write any code (and especially not any db queries) views could do all the display stuff I needed.

Launching Wedful.com

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As I think anyone who reads my blog knows, over the past year I've been working on a startup idea with Sam. It's basically a wedding website builder.

Wedful Logo

I left my job at NowPublic almost exactly a year ago to focus more on travel and working on my own things, and I've been quite successful in doing just that :). Thinking back, my time has been split almost exactly between travel and work and it's been a really awesome time and enjoyable balance.

Today we're /finally/ launching the private beta of Wedful and if you're interested in checking it out just let me know (or better yet, signup for a beta code on wedful.com). Also, if you know anyone who has a wedding coming up in the next while and might be interested we'd be happy to hook them up and possibly even get a custom theme done for them.

We're starting a new wedding blog that will mostly focus on Wedful specific things, online wedding planning topics, and other things we think are cool (related to weddings, of course).

On /this/ blog, I'm going to start posting a lot more technical entries to explain how things were done on Wedful. Primarily Drupal things but also a few other types of hurdles that we needed to get over to build a product with Drupal as the foundation.

It's been super fun building this project and so far a really an awesome experience. Over the next few months I'll be able to start working on a bit more innovative features and getting into a realm that I have pretty much no experience in, marketing :).