When e-commerce won't create products ...

Submitted by Frederic Marand on Mon, 2008-04-28 16:55

I was working on an existing site today, and after installing the e-commerce 3.4 suite (EC), noticed something was very weird: product type modules were enabled, all basic EC modules were there too, and yet, when I created products by hand, the "Anonymous purchase" fieldset appeared, but nothing else from EC.

Worse, when saving the new products, they were properly created in the {node} table, but never appeared in the {ec_product} table, which caused them never to appear as products in the admin products list of the product view available to users. What could be going on ?

Drupal internships

Submitted by Frederic Marand on Fri, 2008-04-11 09:17

With OSInet focusing more heavily now on Drupal services, the company is now offering internships for students interested in working on Drupal.

First things first, I've offered to mentor for the Google Summer of Code, and would be specifically interested if a student picked up the live Drupal backup project if it came to be approved.

Drupal security from the outside

Submitted by Frederic Marand on Mon, 2008-02-04 23:54

The OSInet team recently attended Solutions Linux, a trade fair focused on FLOSS, and while chatting with a sales engineer from a company specialized in Typo3, got asked which CMS we used, and of course answered "Drupal".

At that point, that person flinched somehow, acknowledging that Drupal was indeed one of the "Big 3" in the CMS space, along with Typo3 and Joomla, but was plagued with security issues making it rather unfit for professional deployment, as opposed to Typo3, which took security issues seriously. Continuing the discussion, it appeared that company has indeed at least acquired some Drupal knowhow too, due to customer request, but the person doing the criticizing was not directly familiar with Drupal.

Multisite and dynamic configuration items in Drupal : help from Apache

Submitted by Frederic Marand on Sat, 2008-01-12 15:07

Having recently merged a number of separately configured sites into a single consolidated multisite, I found myself with URLs like:

http://www.site1.com/sites/www.site1.com/files/somefile.png

...on all except the main site of the multisite configuration.

Although img_relocator allows me to just type things like:

<img src="somefile.png" />

... and still have these URLs be automagically generated, they still appear to those users who actually look at the URLs.

Enter mod_rewrite

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

With these sites running over Apache 2.x, mod_rewrite offers a simple way to rewrite the files URLs: in the Apache site definition file for the vhost describing the site, we can use:

Tracking the WSOD

Submitted by Frederic Marand on Tue, 2007-12-25 19:33

At long last, I've moved the OSInet sites from shared hosting to a VDS over the 4-day Xmas period, and overall it went well.

However, with new users (dare I say bots ?) eager to refresh the site after a few hours offline, I soon had to stand about 20 hits/sec, which proved to be a bit too much on this small VDS. So I enlisted the help of APC, just like the drupal.org sysops do, and like I do on the group's intranet servers and it went really faster.

Elixir bass strings, six months later

Submitted by Frederic Marand on Sat, 2007-10-27 16:27

Elixir bass set, after 6 months About six months ago, I started our spring concerts series with a brand new set of Elixir medium bass strings, based on the various recommendations I had found regarding these, centering notably on their long life span. In spite of the various warnings I had read about their peculiar tone, I thought I'd give them a chance to prove their worth.

Easier Lilypond coding with Context

Submitted by Frederic Marand on Sun, 2007-09-23 17:39

A few months ago, I discovered the Lilypond music typesetting system, and thought I had stumbled upon some sort of holy grail: here was an open source system which, at last, allowed me to write music much like program code, and did not jump me through the hoops of a UI in order to create scores and the MIDI files representing them.

Formatting PHP code in Eclipse PDT and Zend Neon

Submitted by Frederic Marand on Tue, 2007-08-21 09:24
By default, the current Eclipse-based PHP IDE (PDT) uses an indenting style based on One True Brace, and the upcoming Zend Neon version happens to be also Eclipse-based. For developers working with OSInet Drupal modules or PHP-GTK code, or anyone wishing to apply the OSInet coding style, or another form of Whitesmiths / Symbian PHP formatting, Eclipse allows for customizing the bracing/commenting style by hand-tuning, o

When Drupal 6.x dev always returns "page not found"... pages can still be found

Submitted by Frederic Marand on Sun, 2007-08-19 00:53

A problem with the yet unreleased versions of Drupal 6 is that in some cases Drupal all of a sudden seems to lose all of its paths. In my case it happened when working on a port of an OSInet module from the Drupal 4.7 to Drupal 6 API.

A symptom of the problem can be seen by checking the menu_router table and finding it to be empty, although it should contain the default site navigation.

Testing Newsflash

Submitted by Frederic Marand on Sat, 2007-08-11 10:47

2007-08-23: site updated to Newsflash 0.12 : the Helvetica selector is gone, which means some of the content of this post no longer applies.

newsflash screendump in Opera, Firefox and MSIEI've just given this blog a facelist using the Roople NewsFlash theme, and I'm somehow dubitative about it:

  • on the plus side
    • the 3 "user" blocks above content and the 3 other ones below content are a neat feature
    • the color balance feels good to me, in either of the 3 predefined colors
    • overall, it works way better than my "nested" theme a few months ago
  • on the minus side
    • although I tried various content layouts using the 3 user blocks, I couldn't get anything fit properly in them: it seems these will be specifically useful when a site has snippets of equivalent size to fill in them. This could probably be news (the theme isn't called Newsflash for nothing) or ads
    • on my screen at least, the text appears blurry, especially in Firefox
    • generally speaking, it seems bold font is used too much, with essentially the same character sizes for title, tags, and various links. I think some more gradation in font effects would be welcome
    • the site slogan is incorrectly positioned in MSIE
    • in Opera and Firefox, the site slogan ascenders collides with the site name descenders
    • the logo display code is wrong (relative URLs); I had to tweak it in page.tpl.php to accomodate the site folder structure
    • the logo setting doesn't apply properly