Multilingual CSS generated content in Drupal

CSS generated content is cool. You can make those little triangles everyone seems to love, but its real purpose is to let you add presentational words that would otherwise be a pain to generate in markup for some situations.

Read on to learn how you can combine Drupal’s excellent multilingual support with CSS generated content.

A better way to theme Field Collections

Field collections are at the same time one of my most favorite and least favorite aspects of working with Drupal 7. Since they are entities they can be extremely powerful and flexible site building tools, and I see lots of unrealized potential in that, on the other hand theming can be tricky and, for lack of better word, generally feels "icky." There is little documentation online about best practices with almost all links pointing back to this thread on how to theme field collections. The proposed solutions in this thread are a mixed bag — mostly bad — but some that may work, but they certianly don't follow any best practices in drupal theming. I'll admit I have shipped field collection theming that, while working, did make me feel "dirty." Read on for a clean solution that — while simple — is maintainable and, hopefully easy to follow.

Magic: Frontend Performance for all themes

Howdy perfers!

This week’s Webperf Wednesday is short and sweet, just like your page loads when you install this new module that enhances any Drupal theme. Magic is a set of frontend performance and development workflow tools for themers. Previously many themes had their own advanced settings — many of which did the same things as other themes, but they all did it a little differently — no more with Magic.

Built by Web Chef Ian Carrico and Sam Richard (of Aurora) with contributions from Sebastian Siemssen (of Omega), Magic was built by the desire to work together to make all themes better, instead of siloing improvements within specific themes.

One less JPG

I’d like to demo a simple how-to. There are many, many techniques to make pages load faster, but this post attempts to demonstrate large gains from very small code changes.

People often build beautiful sites with multiple easy-to-use JavaScript libraries. Then, when it comes to addressing frontend performance, suddenly those libraries are an enormous download that the users are forced to bear.

Read on to see how you could make bigger and better optimizations.

DrupalCon Portland Proposals Galore

I hope you’re ready to put a bird on it and pickle that, because DrupalCon Portland is coming!

We submitted a whole lot of sessions this year on a huge variety of topics, from frontend to backend. Here are the Web Chef proposed sessions for DrupalCon Portland. If any of these strikes your fancy, please feel free to leave a comment and make your voice heard.

Minified JavaScript, on the Fly!

As web applications become richer and more complicated the amount of JavaScript running them increases. More code means longer download times which means more waiting before your application or web site is usable. Thankfully there’s an easy solution that’s already widely used in the web development community: minification. Minified JavaScript strips whitespace and renames variables to produce a smaller download size.

LMSs and more: Drupal in Education

At Four Kitchens, we have done quite a bit of work within the education industry. As we began looking into expanding our footprint within the education web technology space, we discovered that there was a corresponding need in the marketplace waiting to be filled; especially within higher ed. Universities and higher ed institutions continue to look for ways to cut costs, deliver content more effectively and easily, ease administration, and facilitate online learning/training. While several (open source and proprietary) solutions exist, there seems to be little clarity into what the options are, and perhaps more importantly, what the possibilities may be.

Responsive Images: a Drupal Implementation

The popularity of responsive web design is constantly exposing behaviors that web browsers have gotten away with over the years. Many of these behaviors — while brilliant for a single-screen web — become a direct hindrance when dealing with the multi-screen extravaganza that we face now.

One of the most hotly debated topics is responsive images. This was a topic widely exposed by Filament Group due to their work on the Boston Globe, and it continues to be an issue for every bandwidth-conscious site today.