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November Roundup: A Selection of 5 Drupal Blog Posts That Make Great Reads

by Adrian Ababei on Nov 29 2017

The date in the calendar can only confirm what you already know/feel: it's gonna get even chillier! So, what do you do? You get yourself a cup of coffee, get cosy and... defy the weather reading some great Drupal content. Speaking of which, we do have some recommendations of Drupal blog posts for you, pieces of content which have made some great reads for us this month.

Ready? Cosy enough? Let's delve in:
 

1. What Is a Drupal Distribution and Why You Need It, from VARDOT.com

Easy to read, usable and therefore useful content...

The Vardot's blog post on Drupal distributions “keeps the promise” it makes in its headline. It answers those 2 key questions that any organization considering to power its Drupal project with a software distribution is asking:
 

  1. What is a Drupal distribution more precisely?
  2. Why should I even bother using one instead of building my Drupal website from the ground up, the “traditional” way?
     

The author, Mohammed J. Razem starts by defining Drupal distributions: installable packages including all the bare essentials:
 

Site/use case/industry-specific Drupal elements (Drupal core, modules, themes...) + Additional software components
 

Then, he goes on highlighting the most popular Drupal distributions.

Next, he ends his post by outlining the benefits that an organization can easily reap from opting for a pre-configured Drupal website over building one from scratch (and it does it remarkably, in a well-argued and well-pointed way).

… over having to scan through an overwhelmingly wide collection of Drupal modules for selecting precisely those suited for its specific Drupal project, relevant for its own use case/industry.
 

2. One of the “Enlightening” Drupal Blog Posts: Styling the WYSIWYG Editor in Drupal 8

And these are not just “big words”. We are honestly:
 

  1. impressed with Karen Stevenson's discovery
  2. grateful for having shared it with us; the ones who have experienced this inconvenience and gradually accepted that there was no way to style Drupal 8's WYSIWYG editor to suit our needs/preferences
     

How could we have kept this valuable piece of content to ourselves and not share it with you by including it in our list of favourite Drupal blog posts from November?

She altruistically points out the 2 solutions — for not only that there IS, indeed, a solution to this “limitation”, but it even comes in 2 “flavours” — for styling the editor in Drupal 8.

And then goes on and even inserts that specific piece of code from her theme's info.yml file, thus “exposing” to the world exactly how the implemented solution (she opted for “injecting” ckeditor_stylesheets into her site theme's info.yml file) should look like in your own future code.

And there's more! 

LULLABOT's (the team behind one of the very best Drupal blogs our there) director of Technology ends her post with a friendly “warning”:
 

Applying this change to your theme's info.yml file is a must, even if it's the admin theme that you might be using on your node form!
 

3. Profiling and Optimizing Drupal Migration With Blackfire, from EVOLVINGWEB.ca

Told you that we would be sharing with you only Drupal blog posts jam-packed exclusively with useful information!

Here's another great example, coming from EVOLVING WEB's PHP developer, Jigar Mehta: he practically "serves us”, on a silver plate, his team's groundbreaking discovery after struggling to improve a Drupal site's performance during a migration process.

The name of their brilliant solution? Blackfire

A code profiling tool for PHP whose “superpower” they harnessed in their attempt to drop individual migration processes' time to under 3 minutes. 

And they did reach their time performance objective goal! Here's how precisely:
 

  1. running Blackfire to analyze performance on their about-to-be-migrated-to-Drupal-8 website 
     
  2. … they did found the “culprit” negatively impacting the site's performance during migration: 50 “suspicious” SQL queries (one per row, which, surprise, surprise, weren't being recorded anywhere!) that were inevitably bogging down the website      
     
  3. … and they “confronted” it: they used statically caching on the total record pointed out by Blackfire 
     

Tada!

Blackfire saved the day and Evolving Web preserved their reputation as a team of professionals who are, moreover, proudly promoting open source and “sharing” the fruits of their works.

A big “Thank You”.
 

4. GraphQL for Drupalers - The Basics, from AMAZEELABS.com

Blazej Owczarczyk, from AMAZEELABS.com, writes a post (part of a GraphQL on Drupal 8-dedicated series, in fact) where he:
 

  1. highlights the GraphQL's Drupal module's features (still in beta); we're talking about a “group of modules, in fact: GraphQL, graphQL_core and GraphQL_content (plus the auxiliary modules)
     
  2. gives an overview of 2 valuable tools (the Explorer and the Voyager) that integrate the powerful layer query language with Drupal right out-of-the-box
     

It isn't discouragingly lengthy and it's packed with useful and usable information only. Just the way we like the Drupal blog posts that we invest our valuable time in to be. 


5. How to Produce a Custom Auto-Complete Field in Drupal 8, from LUCIUS DIGITAL 

A “tutorial flavoured”, case study-based piece of content that we strongly recommend you to add to your must-read Drupal blog posts list. For 3 strong reasons:
 

  1. it's short 
  2. it's perfectly structured and easy to read (small, information-loaded paragraphs alternating with “chunks” of “helpful” code... with a funny gif on top)
  3. it's true facts/challenge-based: the LUCIUS DIGITAL team's work (still in progress) on their real-time chat platform, Lus
     

It takes you through all the steps carried out for putting together an auto-complete field for their new app, one geared at enabling users to create new channels quick and easy.
 

And this is how our own list of top favourite Drupal blog posts from November looks like!

What about you? What pieces of content on Drupal development have caught your attention and probably even made it to your bookmarks this month?

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