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Apache lock-down

It's a request I get a lot when a site's in development: put the website on a public server, but lock it down so you need a password to get into the site.

There are a few Drupal modules for this:

But I want to do something with Apache (why? I don't want to add a module that's not going to be used in production, and it makes testing a little more reliable).

Using memcache? You should be.

Adding memcache to a Drupal site will massively increase the performance (x2 is not unusual).

Here's a basic configuration (add this to the settings.php configuration) - more to follow soon!

Notes from a Northern conference

Last week I went to (and gave a tutorial at) the PHP North West conference, in Manchester.

Conference feedback

As always, the organisers did a fantastic job. PHPNW know how to put on a great conference, so huge thanks for all the time and effort they put in.

Ideas, thoughts, and interesting things

This is really a bit of a disjointed brain-dump of a list, because I haven't had time to really read up on these things yet.

Blog tags:

Piping to PHP

Pipes are cool, super-uber cool. Simple, elegant, and opens up more functionality than you can shake a stick at.

Unfortunately they're rather unused in the PHP community.

Blog tags:

Colouring in bash for OS-X

I like colours. I like things to stand out. Most of all, I like to be very very clear which computer I'm using when I'm typing in commands (init 0; wait-no-that wasn't the production server, was it?!)

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Drupal performance tutorial at PHPNW 7 October

The PHP North-West conference is an annual conference favourite of mine...This year they're running a tutorial day for the first time - and I'm pleased to say I'm running a tutorial on Drupal performance (and the tools we use to make Drupal faster).

I'll be talking about topics including:

Always On (IRC)

Addicted to IRC?
Feel like you're missing out when you're not logged in?
You're not alone. But there is an answer! (And it's not a self-help group).

ZNC is an IRC bouncer. Basically, it stays permanently connected to the IRC servers; you connect to ZNC, and it re-plays any messages that were sent whilst you were disconnected.

Hacking contextual links in Drupal 7

Drupal 7 comes with some cool new tools like contextual links

Contextual links are added to blocks using hook_block_view or hook_block_view_alter:

Building a WYSIWYG plugin in Drupal

As developers, we usually praise and curse WYSIWYG editors equally. They all suffer from issues, but they're usually better than the alternative - trying to convince clients and content editors to use raw HTML? Not likely!

These usually work with input filters: say for example, you have a YouTube plugin which lets you enter a video ID and embeds the video in the post.

Customising the labels on radio-buttons

Thought I'd quickly blog about this whilst this is fresh in my head!

Sometimes you want to add detail to a set of radio-buttons - e.g. you may want to show an example image below the radio-button's label:

Choose cable connection
( ) VGA
    [ pic of VGA cable ]

( ) DVI
    [ pic of DVI cable ]

( ) DisplayPort
    [ pic of DisplayPort cable ]

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