web development

My current job is that of a "Web developer." As such, I will occasionally obsess over the construction of this website.

Drupal 8 Migration

I have resisted migrating this site to Drupal 8 for years. Every time I looked into it there was some killer feature that D8 couldn't do. The times I attempted testing out the process it was always a complete disaster. Well, time is running out on Drupal 7. The old system is slated for end-of-life in 2020 and it's now or never for the "upgrade."

In this post I am going to recap my experience in migrating a fairly simple Drupal 7 site to Drupal 8. Hopefully, someone facing the same issues as me will come across this post and will find something helpful.

Long story short, the migration process sucks bad. If you don't have a little experience with directly manipulating a database or troubleshooting software in general, don't even attempt it.

I am not a command-line guy. This was…

Pages of Fun: Now with Drupal 8

Well, I have finally made the jump to the newest version of Drupal. We are now running Drupal 8 and, man, was it a pain in the butt to migrate the old site. I will forever recommend Wordpress over Drupal to anyone who doesn't want to pull their hair out every time a new patch is released.

Still, there is a lot to like about the new system. I will soon post the gory details of my migration experience, but, in the meantime, let's hope this works and that I am not swamped with comment spam.

Site Update 2017

Today I did a revamp of the site's theme. Mostly this was because Prepros no longer supports Compass in its Sass implementation. I had to go through all my sass code and remove any Compass references and write my own mixins based on them.

In the process I managed to reorganize much of my code and make some style tweaks across the site. I am going to go with slightly bigger fonts and am now using a grid system based on the Bootstrap grid instead of the confusing Zen grid. The biggest change to the site is that now the most recent post appears in full at the top of the homepage with a little "New" label in the corner. Future is now!

Major Overhaul of Planet Pimp Web Site

Did you know I maintain an informational resource page dedicated to Planet Pimp Records (the greatest record label ever to exist)? Well, now you do, and today I uploaded a massive update to the site. This is mostly behind the scenes stuff that makes the site easier for me to update, but I have also added some new features including links to external video and audio. There have also been some fancy style tweaks so the site now scales to fit mobile devices.

There are still some quirky buts, but I am working on cleaning everything up and reviewing the site and links. A big thing on my to-do list is getting rid of Flash elements and replacing them with more mobile-friendly HTML5 widgets. As always, if you have anything to add to this vital historical record, please send your contributions to me

My First Foray into SASS

As I mentioned a few posts ago, this site has received a major theme overhaul. Aside from a couple form element styles, this change was mostly structural and behind-the-scenes. The new theme is my first foray into using the SASS CSS preprocessing language. Let me tell you, it was a revelation. SASS allows you to write CSS using a super-clean tabbed coding style and (finally) allows the use variables and expressions in styles. I mean, look at this OCD coder's dreamscape:

Behold the beauty of SASS!

Gone are curly brackets and semi-colons. Now elements can be nicely nested within each other and there's lots of neat shorthand to make code more portable.

Now, I am very late to this party and it turns out much of the SASS code you find on the net is written in a more standard CSS syntax (those sass files are saved as .SCSS…

Another Site Update

Well, recently I've been trying to learn how to use SASS for styling Web pages and have kinda fallen in love with it. So here is my first go at it in the form of a new site template. Not much has changed visually, but, trust me, there have been a ton of changes behind the scenes. I will post more about this and the trials of retrofitting a Drupal theme for SASS sometime in the near future. In the meantime, look at the neat comments buttons I made!

Drupal, Pathologic and Corrupted URLs

I've been having some technincal issues with this site lately. Strange links to content within the site have been appearing at random. I would insert a hyperlink to an archived post and then, days later, I would come back to see that the URL has been rewritten with a random sub-domain prefix. My domain would appear as www.wqw.robertgomez.org or similar.

I am not entirely sure what was going on but I think bots and the Drupal Pathologic module are to blame. Pathologic is a great module that will convert any internal site link into a standardized absolute URL. In my code I would create a link with an href of "node/1098" and Pathologic would convert that href to "http://www.robertgomez.org/blog/2014/03/17/drupal-my-list-essential-modules". However, I suspect that when various bots crawled my…

Drupal: My List of Essential Modules

Taking a break from my usual and completely unnecessary review posts, I thought I'd take a moment get a little technical. This site and many others I have developed use the Drupal open-sourced content management system. Drupal is great. It's incredibly flexible, powerful and yet moderately easy to use if you have a little Web design experience.

Other systems I have used in the past, including Microsoft Sharepoint and Wordpress, don't hold a candle to Drupal. Sharepoint is an abomination and the only reason you should ever use it for a public facing Web site is if you work at Megacorp, Inc. and some idiot I.T. guy bought it as part of a multi-million dollar corporate enterprise package. Customizing Sharepoint is an exercise in futility and self-immolation. Just assume that your clean…

Upgrading to Drupal 7

Well, I've finally decided to upgrade this site to the latest verison of Drupal. The actual process of migrating to version 7 wasn't too bad. The majority of issues came from Views and fields not being named or typed the same way they were in Drupal 6. Changing all the views by hand was not that difficult and it allowed me to do a bit of how cleaning withing views. Views in Drupal 7 is sooooo much better!

The biggest challenge has been recreating the site's theme. Although the general look and feel is more or less the same as before, I have made some visual tweaks here and there. The biggest change has been the fly-out menu and the switch to a responsive, mobile-friendly layout. I'm still working on getting that finished, but for the most part the site looks good on just about any size…

Dummy Image Bookmarklet

This afternoon I came up with a handy little bookmarklet (or favlet) that uses the site dummyimage.com to create a place holder graphic. Simply drag the following link to the button bar of your browser:

Dummy Image

When you click the bookmark it will prompt you to input image dimensions. Use the format, WIDTHxHEIGHT (for example 640x480) and a new window should open up with a downloadable GIF with those exact dimensions.