Last week, I started writing about my tribulations managing the configuration of a multisite, multilingual application using Features, i18n, and friends. I listed the site components that needed to be managed, and described the basics of saving string translations in a feature.
This week, I'll describe a particularly challenging component I had to deal with: inoffensive-sounding menu items. Should be easy, right?
In my role as development team leader, I am responsible for the application architecture that allows other team members to focus on building functionality with minimum friction and rework. As such, one of my biggest tasks is to ensure that new features and configurations can be reliably deployed to the various stages: development, testing and production.
My current project is an Arabic/English application built on Drupal 7, that is deployed in multisite fashion to several partners.
Over the years, I've accumulated a large collection of e-books and digital music albums, not to mention family pictures. Information overload is not a philosophical point of view, it's a real problem that forces me to devote time, effort and money to maintain that collection.
That's probably why so many media organizers exist. Because I believe that all applications should be delivered from the Web, and because no ready-made Web media organizer struck me as fulfilling my needs, I started to write my own using Drupal 6, dubbed Mediatheque.
About a month ago, I started porting Sheetnode to D7. The natives were getting restless on the issue queue, so I thought I would pacify them with some serious porting effort. I am glad to announce that the port was completed a few days ago: Sheetnode 7.x-1.0-beta1 is now available, a fully-functional port of the latest D6 version.
The porting process was surprisingly smooth. I'd been avoiding porting my modules to D7 because it felt like rewriting the same code all over again - and I hate rework.
I wrote last time about the latest developments to my Views Auto-Refresh module, which periodically refreshes a Views page, either by reloading the whole view, or by incrementally inserting new items only. It's a useful tool for activity streams and other Twitter-like, real-time lists.
Still, I had a nagging feeling that my code was endangering the server. Consider this: every 15 seconds, each connected browser invokes a full Drupal bootstrap plus a full View render, just to ask the server if there are new items.
Imagine you are creating an activity stream for your site. You'd like to use Views because it gives you all the power you need to query items and style them on the page - all in time for your 11am nap. However, the resulting page is static and users have to keep refreshing it manually to see updates. In 2011, that's just uncool.
That's why I created Views Auto-Refresh, a Views Hacks sub-module that implements an auto-refreshing mechanism that integrates right into Views 2 or 3.
I've been a lazy adopter of Drupal 7. I admit it, mea culpa, but I'll leave this discussion to another post. What happened in the mean time is that VBO for D7 languished for a year or so in a zombie state until it was rescued in early May by Bojan Živanović, bojanz on d.o. He started out by announcing a sandbox project containing his code, and a few days later, I was convinced that this was the way to go for VBO on D7.
I wanted to create a node view containing both the original node and its translation, sort of like this neat Meedan.net page.