TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library

Smart cache expiration with Drupal Rules

I've been exploring Drupal Rules some more since last week.

We were already using it before to automate the various repetitive tasks involved in creating a new appliance (e.g., creating aliases for the feeds).

Intelligent caching

Now we're also using Rules in conjuction with the Cache Actions module to expire the cache page intelligently so that adding or removing published content expires related page caches immediately.

Another batch of changes to the TurnKey website

These past few weeks I've been having too much fun offline with my development clone of the TurnKey website, ticking items off of my todo list. Today I finally got around to the complex, tedious, and unfortunately uninteresting task of updating the online version of the website. Ah, a necessary evil I suppose.

On to the changes...

TurnKey website refreshed

I've just finished updating the TurnKey website with a range of improvements designed to smooth over existing rough spots and better accommodate the needs of the project as it expands with the upcoming release. 

Veteran community members using modern browsers may also notice the site looks just a bit more visually pleasing now. Otherwise I've just been obsessively tweaking the stylesheets for nothing.

Headless PHP Drupal script deletes spam zombie user accounts

For for the last few months automatic bots have been creating hundreds of zombie accounts per day on the TurnKey web site. I'm not sure why they bother. I assume it has something to do with spamming, but they never log in. Besides, spam almost never gets past our content filter (Mollom) and when it does we always nuke it. Zero tolerance.

Brains...

Meanwhile these zombie accounts are polluting my precious database, and that bothers me. Besides, call me prejudiced, but I just hate zombies. You're either alive or you're dead. Pick a side!

Automatic batch editing of Drupal nodes and CCK file fields

In a previous post I explained why we decided to convert most of the images on this site from PNG to JPG and how we used ImageMagick to batch it.

What I didn't get into is how we updated Drupal, our CMS,  to point to all these newly converted files. Manually uploading and updating nearly two hundred new images through a web form is time consuming and boring. Finding a non labor intensive solution can also be time consuming... but so much more interesting!

Once you know how, it's not really that difficult.

TinyMCE vs CKEditor: battle of titans! (of WYSIWYG editing)

Or: a quick review of the reasons we chose CKEditor over TinyMCE.

By default, content management systems such as Drupal (which we're using for this web site) expect users to format their posts with HTML markup. This can be inconvenient and deter casual contribution from members of the community who aren't completely comfortable with HTML.

Javascript-based WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) editors to the rescue!

Upgrading FCKeditor to CKeditor

I just finished upgrading the WYSIWYG editor on the web site from FCKEditor to CKEditor, which is FCKEditor's less offensively named successor.

Improvements

  • A noticeably faster, more lightweight code-base which was rewritten from the ground up.

  • Full-screen mode works beautifully now. I love how this instantly removes all the clutter and lets me focus on the content I'm editing without being distracted by the rest of the web site.