Training the Web Chef Way

When the Four Kitchens’ team of web chefs develop a new training course, our guiding principle is: Provide a strong return on investment. You invest the time traveling to the training, attending, and afterwards, practicing the skills acquired. You also invest the energy and effort necessary to develop new skills. You place your trust in the trainers to guide you from where you are now to where you need to be. In return, we invest our time, energy, and best effort in creating training experiences that give you a stronger, more relevant, skillset and the confidence you need to apply it.

Ansible: Simple configuration & deployment

There’s a new kid on the block in the configuration management world that claims to be lean, simple and easy to understand. We’re using it internally for some exciting new projects, and have found that it lives up to it’s promise.

Migrating old HTML files into Drupal

The Internet in the 90’s - a much simpler place.

We’ve done several migrations for clients who need their old, legacy content imported into Drupal from a collection of static HTML files. In this post I’ll outline the procedure we use to migrate, and provide some solutions to common problems related to encoding, line endings and parsing HTML with QueryPath. Code snippets are provided inline, and complete source code is provided as a Github gist.

1. Setup a Migration source

Four Kitchens is now Bluemarine Synergistics!

Today starts a new month and a fresh beginning for Drupal. After many discussions over many drinks at DrupalCon Denver, we’re proud to announce a strategic inflection point for the Drupal community. As of today, the following companies will be merging into one company — a new formidable force in the Drupal community:

Varnish book released

Today, Varnish Software released The Varnish Book, an effort they’ve been working at since 2008. It’s available under a CC license as a PDF download and online reference from their website.

Channel your inner geek poet. Drupal Poetry is here!

In 4K Labs, (our own version of google “20% time”) we’ve built a web-based, Drupal-powered version of those “magnetic poetry” kits you may have seen on someone’s refrigerator. Drupal Poetry is a web version of “magnetic poetry,” complete with a touch-and-drag interface for tablets/phones and includes several Drupal-centric word packs. After you’ve crafted your masterpiece, log in to Twitter, and share you poem with other Drupalers and the world!

Case study: Big gains from small changes

One of our clients came to us with a performance issue on their Drupal 6 multi-site installation. Views were taking ages to save, the admin pages seemed unnecessarily sluggish, and clearing the cache put the site in danger of going down. They reported that the issue was most noticeable in their state-of-the-art hosting environment, yet was not reproducible on a local copy of the site — a baffling scenario as their 8 web heads and 2 database servers were mostly idle while the site struggled along.

Node.js and Drupal

Drupal is a great platform, but it can’t do everything. As your site grows, you’ll likely encounter use cases that Drupal can’t or shouldn’t do. Some examples include interacting with third-party APIs while preserving good page loads, or performing repeated actions (polling, etc) that result in site updates. Fortunately, separating these kinds of problems from Drupal and moving them to specialized “sub-stacks” within or near your Drupal stack is easy to do.

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