drupal 8

The 2020 Drupal Local Development Survey

DrupalCon Minneapolis is two months away, and that means it's time for the 2020 Drupal Local Development Survey.

2019 results - Local Drupal development environments
Local development environment usage results from 2019's survey.

If you do any Drupal development work, no matter how much or how little, we would love to hear from you. This survey is not attached to any Drupal organization, it is simply a community survey to help highlight some of the most widely-used tools that Drupalists use for their projects.

Take the 2020 Drupal Local Development Survey

Migrating JeffGeerling.com from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 - How-to video series

Drupal 8 Live migration YouTube series image for JeffGeerling.com

This website is currently (as of February 2020) running on Drupal 7. Drupal 8 was released in November 2015—half a decade ago. Drupal 7 support has been extremely long-lived, as it will not be end-of-life'd until November 2021. As with all software, once it is out of date, and security patches are no longer provided, it becomes harder to ensure the software is secure, much less running well on the latest servers and PHP versions!

Therefore, I decided it was time to start migrating JeffGeerling.com to Drupal 8. And I figured instead of fumbling through the process all by myself, and maybe posting a couple blog posts about the process at the end, I'd adopt a new mantra: Let's fail together! (Just kidding—sorta.)

Migrating JeffGeerling.com to Drupal 8 — LIVE!

tl;dr: Subscribe to my YouTube Channel; I'm going to start migrating this website to Drupal 8 on a livestream every Tuesday at 10 a.m. US Central (3 p.m. UTC).

Ever since Drupal 8 was released, I've been waffling on the decision to migrate/upgrade this website (JeffGeerling.com) to Drupal 8. The site started off years ago as a static HTML site generated by Thingamablog, a really old Java-based static blog generator.

In the years since, I migrated from Thingamablog to Drupal 6, and from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7. Each of these migrations also incorporated a complete redesign, and I did another semi-redesign halfway through the Drupal 7 lifecycle, to the design you see today:

Drupal VM 5.1 ('Recognizer') brings PHP 7.4 support

PHP 7.4.0 running on Drupal VM with Drupal 8's status report page

Drupal VM 5.1.0 was just released (release name Recognizer), and the main feature is PHP 7.4 support; you can now begin running and testing your Drupal sites under PHP 7.4 to check for any incompatibilities.

PHP 7.4 includes some new features like typed properties, arrow functions, and opcache preloading which could help with certain types of code or site deployments (I'm interested to see if opcache preloading could help the startup time of Drupal inside container environments like Kubernetes!).

Running Drupal in Kubernetes with Docker in production

Update: Since posting this, there have been some interesting new developments in this area, for example:

Since 2014, I've been working on various projects which containerized Drupal in a production environment. There have always been a few growing pains—there will for some time, as there are so few places actually using Docker or containers in a production environment (at least in a 'cloud native' way, without tons of volume mounts), though this is changing. It was slow at first, but it's becoming much more rapid.

Drupal 8 successes and failures

Thoughts about Drupal 8, Drupal 7, Backdrop, the Drupal Community, DrupalCon's meteoric price increases, DrupalCamps, and the future of the framework/CMS/enterprise experience engine that is Drupal have been bubbling up in the back of my mind for, well, years now.

I am almost always an optimist about the future, and Drupal 8 promised (and usually delivered) on many things:

  • Vastly improved content administration
  • Views in core, and even better than ever
  • Media in core
  • Layouts in core
  • Modern programming paradigms (fewer #DrupalWTFs)
  • 'Getting off the island' and becoming more of a normal PHP application (kinda the opposite of something like Wordpress)

But one thing that has always been annoying, and now is probably to the state of alarming, for some, is the fact that Drupal 8 adoption has still not hit a level of growth which will put it ahead of Drupal 7 adoption any time soon.

The 2019 Drupal Local Development Survey (updated with results)

Update: The results are available for viewing in our presentation slides: download the 2019 Drupal Local Development presentation (PDF). There is also a video of the survey results presentation from DrupalCon Seattle.

It's that time of year again! Leading up to DrupalCon Seattle, Chris Urban and I are working on a presentation on Local Development environments for Drupal, and we have just opened up the 2019 Drupal Local Development Survey.

Local development environments - 2018 usage stats
Local development environment usage results from 2018's survey.

How I upgrade Drupal 8 Sites with exported config and Composer

tl;dr: See the video below for a run-through of my process upgrading Drupal core on the real-world open source Drupal 8 site codebase Drupal Example for Kubernetes.

Over the years, as Drupal has evolved, the upgrade process has become a bit more involved; as with most web applications, Drupal's increasing complexity extends to deployment, and whether you end up running Drupal on a VPS, a bare metal server, in Docker containers, or in a Kubernetes cluster, you should formalize an update process to make sure upgrades are as close to non-events as possible.

Rendering Twig templates programmatically in Drupal 8

From time to time, I have the need to take a Twig template and a set of variables, render the template, replacing all the variables within, and then get the output as a string. For example, if I want to have a really simple email template in a custom module which has a variable for first_name, so I can customize the email before sending it via Drupal or PHP, I could do the following in Drupal 7:

Make composer operations with Drupal way faster and easier on RAM

tl;dr: Run composer require zaporylie/composer-drupal-optimizations:^1.0 in your Drupal codebase to halve Composer's RAM usage and make operations like require and update 3-4x faster.

A few weeks ago, I noticed Drupal VM's PHP 5.6 automated test suite started failing on the step that runs composer require drupal/drush. (PSA: PHP 5.6 is officially dead. Don't use it anymore. If you're still using it, upgrade to a supported version ASAP!). This was the error message I was getting from Travis CI:

PHP Fatal error:  Allowed memory size of 2147483648 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 32 bytes) in phar:///usr/bin/composer/src/Composer/DependencyResolver/RuleWatchNode.php on line 40

I ran the test suite locally, and didn't have the same issue (locally I have PHP's CLI memory limit set to -1 so it never runs out of RAM unless I do insane-crazy things.

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