Last month I was tasked with rapidly developing a new site for Temple University Admissions, and one of the requirements was that the theme needed to be responsive. This was one of the first responsive client sites I have built, but it also ended up being one of the smoothest theme implementations that I have worked on. How was this possible on a short time frame?
If you’re building an e-commerce site on Drupal 7, you ought to take a look at the aptly-named Drupal Commerce if you have not done so already. I’m currently building out an e-commerce site and cannot recommend it highly enough. “What’s so great about it?” you may wonder. I’m glad you asked.
Drupal’s Taxonomy system is one thing that sets it apart from many other Content Management Systems and frameworks. It is functional out of the box, providing beginners and power-users alike the ability to tag content, and even creates pages to show content by tag. In keeping with the Drupal mentality, the system is pluggable and many developers have built useful tools to expand upon the features offered by the core taxonomy module.
At Context, we have recently switched our main project management tool from Open Atrium to Basecamp. While the feature set in Atrium is a bit more robust, and customizable, we have found that the adoption rate amongst clients is superior on Basecamp. After all, what is the point of a collaborative tool, if only one party decides to fully engage it.
When working with various stakeholders in a project, there is the ever-present temptation to tell a client what he/she wants to hear, rather than what he/she needs to hear...the truth. While it is easy to commit to any given deadline that is requested, the results of over-promising on deliverables almost always ends with unhappy employees, and a very unhappy client. Generating a long-term project plan is can be like walking on a wire for a project manager, but it is important to set up all involved parties up for success.
A few months ago, several members of our team and I attended Drupalcon Denver and among the many things I learned, most of what had the most immediate, practical applicability came from the presentation "Front end performance improvements", which was given by Matt Farina and you can find here. One of the most valuable insights from this presentation was that up to 80% of page rendering time is spent delivering front-end resources (scripts, stylesheets, images, etc) and thus if you are serious about the performance of your sites, you need to be serious about front-end performance. So in the months since this presentation, I have made concerted efforts to get serious about front-end performance and I will now share with you several techniques and tools I have added to my repertoire in the process.
aggregation, Front End, minification, optimization
It all started when our project manager Tom forwarded me a link to a cool CSS utility he had come across called the Holmes Markup Detective.
It essentially acts a markup linter and uses CSS to highlight places
where your markup is invaild, non-standard or deprecated and also
includes CSS based messages to tell you specifically what the problems
are. Immediately I recognized two things: one, this was a great tool for
validating your markup with visual cues, and two, it could easily be
ported to SASS. The initial port from CSS to SASS syntax (or SCSS more
specifically) didn't take long, but as my understanding and awareness of
Compass extensions grew, I recognized that was the best way to share it
with everyone else. And finally, as of today, it is done.
We are excited to represent Context and Philadelphia at this year's Drupalcon in Denver, CO. While I am still in PA, managing our current projects, I've received quite a few updates from our development team in Denver.
Integration pieces in development can be a mixed bag. On one hand, they can be intellectually challenging to implement, which is a valuable opportunity for any developer looking to push their own envelope.
In my last blog post, I covered my general approach to debugging for IE, which I hope you have to put to use in crushing your website's IE layout bugs. But wait, there's more! Allow me to reveal some of the less widely known IE browser caveats so you can be prepared when you encounter them yourself.