D8 Software Process Improvement Discussions at Core Dev Summit

We can substantially improve our core software development process with some simple steps in Drupal 8.

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  • Improve our issue queue setup on drupal.org.
    Our issue queue works the way it does because Drupal worked that way a long time ago. We can do better than that.
    • Each core issue should have an issue summary, and the issue summary should be correct and complete before commit.
    • An issue should have links to related and dependent issues.
    • There should be checkoffs for docs, usability, security, etc.

    Of course we know how to do this with Drupal. Let's do it. Related issues: Improve the workflow for documentation of core API changes and Provide a mechanism for issue meta discussions

  • Drupal 7 FAPI's #states: A Great New UI Improvement For Forms

    The little-known #states feature has gone into Drupal 7, and it rocks.

    Before you read on, try this dynamic form live at d7.drupalexamples.info. It's developed without using a line of javascript, just plain Form API.

    Essentially, you can provide dynamic behavior in a form based on changes to other elements in the form. An easy example: Often you only need to collect information if a particular element is selected. If they select type=student, you don't have to require them to fill in a further "Employer" field.

    The new #states example in the Examples module's Form Example shows how a dynamic form can work. You can try it out live as well at d7.drupalexamples.info.

    Examples module now on api.drupal.org

    Thanks to excellent work by api module maintainer drumm, all of the examples in Examples module are now available on api.drupal.org.

    If you're not familiar with Examples module, it's an attempt to provide easy-to-understand examples of key Drupal APIs, so that developers have a known source of a working example they can understand. Back in the day, there were a few examples in the Documentation branch of contrib in CVS, but they were poorly maintained and nobody knew how to improve them. All of those have been moved to Examples (for D6 and D7) and updated.

    So with Examples now on api.drupal.org, you have more than one way to access the various examples:

    Drupalcon: Best Practices in Contrib Development

    Mark your calendar for Wednesday the 21st at 3pm: Greg Knaddison, Dave Reid, Derek Wright, Jennifer Hodgdon and I are doing a panel presentation on how to maintain and support a contrib module or theme. It will cover:

    Community management: Enlisting help, finding maintainers and co-maintainers, handling abandoned projects, dealing with duplication, handling the issue queue.

    Drupal project management: What's expected of a maintainer, code and release management.

    Coding issues: Coding standards, documentation, namespacing, simpletest, internationalization.

    Resources for maintainers.

    If you're a maintainer or might become one, or want to start helping overburdened module maintainers by helping out with these responsibilities, come and hear about how to contribute to the community more effectively and efficiently.

    Debugging with Git Bisect

    As most of you know, the marvelous git version control system is the future of the Drupal repository. You've probably heard people rave about lots of very important features: It's distributed, FAST, branching and merging are easy.

    But today I'm here to rave about a more obscure wonderful feature of git: the git bisect command. With this command you can find out where in the history a particular bug was introduced. I made a short screencast to explain it:

    [This material was developed for a presentation at Drupalcamp Colorado in June of 2010. If you find any problems with it or want to suggest any improvements, send me an email or catch me on IRC (rfay).]

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    Debugging Drupal Presentation posted

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    My presentation for Paris Drupalcon is posted: randyfay.com/debugging_drupal.

    Debugging Drupal session is a go for Paris Drupalcon

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    I just got an email that my Debugging Drupal session for Drupalcon Paris is a go! I had already been told that none of my sessions went, so it was quite a surprise. Should be a good session. And the CTools Plugin session, which didn't go, will be done as a BOF add-on to the big session by MerlinOfChaos on CTools in general.

    Ctools Plugin Example done, Finally!

    I finally got the Ctools Plugin Example module and documentation updated and submitted. Merlin of Chaos seems happy with the idea, so I'm hoping it can make it as a module distributed with Ctools, which is a fundamental part of Panels.

    One of the nicest things about Panels (now provided by Ctools) is the ability to write relatively simple pieces that extend it. But it's been kind of hard to figure out the magic. Hopefully this module + documentation will help out.

    Update 19 August: It's been committed, so it will be in the upcoming full release of CTools.

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