January 2016

What a difference 6 months make


Yes, it's been 6 months since I last posted.  It is not that I haven't been doing anything Drupal, or have given up n learning, or just decided to stop writing.  It's because I have a tendency to get "tunnel vision" and when that happens time slips away from me. I will try to do a recap over the trial and tribulations  have had with regard to Drupal.

In this time I have struggled through a couple of Aegir upgrades.  I will say this, I have become a great deal more comfortable with it and it's processes. Currently I host 16 sites on my Aegir platform and I got the last upgrade done in about 7 hours (on and off).  I know I can streamline it down much farther but I need to make my system more effecient (and that is coming).  But as with all things, once you get comfortable with how it runs the developers have to change things, and it is with that in mind I'm truly dreading the next update.  It is scheduled to be a MAJOR one going from version 2 to version 3).  I suspect this is to go with the introduction of Drupal 8 which I suspect means that Aegir will be moving from a Drupal 6 to a Drupal 7 base. So now that I'm feeling confident I get to go back to square ONE.

In the previous month I have had to replace BOTH of my servers.  I did not have to invest a lot of time with that (since I am running most of my Web Services on LINUX VMs on Hyper-V on top of Windows Server 2012).  My new machines are a definate step up from what I used to have with 8 & 12 G of memory and using Intel i5 & i7 processors.  On my production server I have upgraded the storage to SDDs and my developement server has 7200rpm HDDs.  Now things are responding a lot quicker (to my client's happiness).

In November I had a "vacation" from Drupal because the ASP company I work with asked me to work as support for a couple of projects that they had going which meant I spent all day on the phone talking to (and training) field techs.  This meant that by evening all I was capable of was staring at the TV and not doing anything with Drupal.

In December I connected with somone in need of an onsite technician (who can work unsupervised) and also with Drupal experience because he also has Web clients and he is a drupal shop.  I spent  great deal of December working for him on a couple of network projects and starting yesterday I am working on upgrading a website to Drupal 7 (this IS FUN, and I will relate more of this little project in a seperate blog entry).

August and September were  bit of a blur with traveling and attending Summer activites, and my oldest son got married.  

This should bring me up to date.  Now on with the show.



OpenFolio Distribution

OpenFolio is a distribution I first tried out about 18 months ago.  I wanted to share a lot of pictures I was taking at events so I took a look at what Drupal had to offer.  OpenFolio is a package dedicated to displaying photos so I tried it out.  

I had the normal difficulties a Drupal beginner has with an unfamiliar distribution and had issues with it.  Most og the functionality worked but I was running into a lot of instances where the gallery would skip over displaying several of the thumbnails and after playing with is I abandoned the project after having uploaded about 400 photoes to it. There were also several other instances of trouble but that was so long agin I have forgotten them,

Fast forward to about a month ago.  I now have a new, more powerful server.  The website was still installed and functioning (it was restored with everything else when I migrated to the new server).  I enabled the website and took a look at it and discovered to my pleasant surprise that ALL the thumbnails display completely.  My interest renewed I begin the process of upgrading from Drupal 7.30 to 7.41 and then upgrading all the modules. 

I go back to Drupal.org and discover that this distribution apparently has been abandoned because the last update to the distribution was back in August, 2013.  Because of the hiearcy of Drupal (my understanding), I cannot update the modules under the Project folder I decided to copy all the modules from the project folder to the sites/all/modules folder.  That way when I run 'drush up' it will update all the modules there and drupal will bypass the out-of-date project modules and update the sites modules.  Of course I'm taking a chance of a problem cropping up because of this, but you gotta do what you gotta do, and if there is a problem I guess I'll have to roll up my sleeves and will have to work to corect it myself (and then gain more experience from the episode).  Of course one should NEVER upgrade a production site without testing the upgrade first. I did the upgrade and luckily the dev site worked fine so I then did the upgrade on the production site successfully.  

My next task was that of adjusting the default theme, adding more pictures to the site and generally making it mine.  This went without trouble and I was feeling so confident that I spun up another gallery website for more personal photos.

The thing to be learned here is to make sure your server has the horsepower to accomplish the tasks that need to be done.

You can view the results at: