Archive for the 'Drupal' Category

Drupal Drupal Drupal Drupal Dru-pal…!!

July 27, 2009

Came across an interesting interview with Dries Buytaert (Founder, Drupal CMS), in which he talks about Drupal readiness for the cloud computing age.
Didn’t realize there was commercial support for the open source content management system with the company Dries co-founded Acquia. Basically, this is a distribution that Acquia does the work to determine which modules and their version are ready for general inclusion across a couple of thousand of Drupal modules available. It is much the same way a Red Hat as a Linux vendor decides what’s going the Red Hat distro.

“We track and improve the stability, security, and scalability of their modules, we do integration testing to make sure they work well with other modules, we provide configuration support, module selection advice, and so on. In other words, we make sure that our customers are set up for long-term success with Drupal.”, Dries says.

“Instead of generating pages with very few semantic clues, I do think we have an opportunity to turn the Internet into what behaves essentially as a very large database that is very easy to access and parse using crawlers, search engines, and so forth. That’s a tremendous opportunity.”
It sure looks like interoperability, data portability and semantic technologies are set to revolutionize the world in the cloud era.

Last, but not lease – didn’t realize Drupal has such a cool theme song! This one’s a blast!!

Drupal on Mac

May 9, 2009

Tried and tested, here are the steps:

  1. Download MAMP (Macintosh, Apache, Mysql and PHP) and is the Apache, PHP and MySQL stack for Mac OS X!
  2. Download latest Drupal (6.11 as of today)
  3. Install MAMP by
    • double-clicking the zip file do to extract the dmg file.
    • double clicking on the dmg file to mount it.
    • move the resulting MAMP folder into the applications folder, and unmount the disk image.
  4. Now, prepare for Drupal installation by following the steps below:
    • double-clicking the zip file do to extract the dmg file.
    • double clicking on the dmg file to mount it.
    • move the resulting Drupal folder into the applications folder.
    • you could alternatively rename the folder to drupal by removing version numbers.
  5. Start MAMP, by selecting the MAMP favicon for the application (found in ~/applications/MAMP/). Both Apache and MySQL servers should be running with green lights on.
  6. Point the browser to http://localhost:8888/MAMP/drupal/ and you are ready to go.
  7. Make sure to verify requirements displayed on the initial screens (relating to renaming the default.settings.php to settings.php and increasing PHP memory limit) along the way.

Simplenews: Newsletter Module for Drupal

April 27, 2009

We use the Drupal module Simplenews for sending out our monthly OxygenTank newsletters.
If you are considering e-mail campaign using the any newsletter module, make sure to read this guide to learn about How Spam Filters Think.

Administration and Newsletter Creation Using Simplenews
Compatible with the Drupal Taxonomy module, Simplenews makes a ‘newsletter’ category of content to allow author newsletter issues. Content in this category is sent as email (a configurable cron is available for large, >500, message sets), in addition to publishing it on the hosted site.


  • Test newsletters issues can be sent to a mailing list prior to the final issue.
  • Newsletter issues can be looked at filtered by newsletter, draft or send status
  • Logged in users are able to manage their newsletter subscriptions through account settings.
  • Newsletters can be sent as plain text or HTML. HTML formatted newsletters require the Mime Mail module.
  • Subscription list can be filtered based on newsletter
  • Subscription list management between newsletters is also available.

Statistics Monitoring
Since our initial efforts we have been quite eager to find out how effective our newsletter issues have been and was looking for options to figure out open rates, click-through rates, click-to-open rates (CTOR) etc.
Just realized that there’s a couple of Drupal modules that perform related tasks:

  1. Simplenews Statistics – gather newsletter statistics such as open rate and click-through rates (CTR)
  2. Simplenews Analytics – adds Google Analytics tags to links in all Simplenews emails

Additionally, it of course is free and open source.

Drupal Module: Node Access

March 17, 2009

Sometime back there was a requirement to publish certain content on OT which required access be granted to specific users only.
The Drupal configuration we had at the time would required user roles be granted access permission to nodes, which was huge limitation. With that configuration, we found ourselves created unnecessarily large number of roles which after the requirement was met, were largely unused and forgotten.
Hunting for a better solution, we came across a newer module that would allow us grant access permissions to users on a per node basis in addition to granting permissions to user roles. This new module titled NodeAccess makes possible to perform the following:

  1. Enable grant access (view/edit/delete) based on content type.
  2. Enable grant access for a given content type, based on user role.
  3. Enable grant access for a given content type, based on user role, on a per node basis.


Yes We Did a Make Over

February 15, 2009

But it wasn’t for nothing!

If you are regular reader you probably recall the post I wrote on Architecture Astranauts.
We know that there are also the right-brained elites who’s innate desire is to recreate over, and over, and over, and over again 😦
Is that what we did? Just make up to cover up bad site architecture? Or a make over to bring in a temporary rush of visitors? Our re-designs of project, download, library and the home page was not ”just because’. Here I illustrate some of the background behind the changes, and how we approached the challenges:

  1. New Project Home Pages Redesign
    New home pages were designed from ground up to remove the clutter and make it easier for the project user to find all project related information from a simple design.
    We’ve categorized all project resources in a simple 3-column table under ‘Get Started’, ‘Get Help’ and ‘contribute’ – each gradually engaging the user a little more than in the previous level.
  2. New Download Pages Redesign
    Our earlier download pages were basically lines and lines of text with actual downloads hidden in between these lines of descriptions. Resource links most developers look for just prior to and after a download, were also sidelined did not catch visitor attention.

    However, probably the biggest changes is behind the the actual project and download pages, and is in the dynamic page generator module that re-creates pages upon feeding in the bits and pieces of data.

  3. New Library Redesign
    This probably needed the most attention. Out previous library was only a listing of the most recently published 12 stories in addition to a navigation bar that allowed browsing content based on story type (i.e. articles, tutorials, Webinars, podcasts, screencasts etc).

    This was clearly a huge limitation for most of our library users including out WSO2 users!! They constantly looked for content based on projects, such as all ESB resources or all Mashup Screencasts. The new library solution helps solves both. Simply by logging in to users can now choose a WSO2 project and hit ‘Go’ in order to receive a full listing of all project specific resources categorized by story type.What’s More? We now have a popular key word tag cloud for those who yearn for content on more exciting buzzwordy topics that we specialize in:) Check out it out where it sits just below the project select drop down list.

    All library content are not effectively within the /library page and encapsulates all written, audio, video, blog and news content.

  4. New Front Page Redesign
    Revamped project home page for’s main attempt was to reduce clarity and engage the user on the range of SOA products available on the tank.

Coming up, new /projects page and the /downloads page on OT!!

OT Publishing Marathon!!

January 9, 2009

This week we’ve published 10+ already and 10 more are being moderated in the queue – Some of the fastest turn around numbers ever, thanks to Katie.

With a two week really long Christmas break, most WSO2 folks have found the time write an article or two.
I’ve personally writte 2 articles: one on middleware componentization and WSO2 Carbon and the other on Interoperability and WS-*. I expect these 2 to also to be published sometime next week..

Until then, here’s a superb reading list. Authors are experts in the Web services and OSGi arenas!

  1. Introduction to WSO2 Carbon Clustering – Afkham Azeez
  2. WSO2 Carbon Cluster Configuration Language– Afkham Azeez
  3. Reference Guide to Axis2 Code Generation Parameters – Part 1 – Eran Chinthaka
  4. Reference Guide to Axis2 Code Generation Parameters – Part 2 – Eran Chinthaka
  5. Reference Guide to Axis2 Code Generation Parameters – Part 3 – Eran Chinthaka
  6. Axis2 Configuration Part 2 – Learning axis2.xml – Deepal Jayasinghe
  7. What is an Axis2 Repository? – Eran Chinthaka
  8. Invoking Web Services from a Mashup – Keith Chapmon
  9. Reliable Messaging with Sandesha2/C– Damitha Kumarage
  10. Introduction to PHP Data Services – Dimuthu Gamage

Make sure to be subscribed if you would like to receive updates to the library.

.. in the Home Stretch.

November 23, 2008

Martha is about all grown up!

Already being dressed up in our test servers, Martha is planned to be made available on production servers by the end of the coming week. Yay..
What Martha brings to the table:

  1. Web 2.0 look and feel to keep the user engaged.
  2. Effective classification of project resources under Get Started, Get Help and Get Connected
  3. Easy access to support and training resources on the same page

All this, together with premium quality download pages is made available to provide the ultimate download experience for the end user. Backed by a template module that auto-generates both project home pages and download pages, Martha is determined to make the Carbon experience an even better one!