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Appnovation Technologies: 8 Things to look for in a Managed Services Provider

ma, 2016/06/13 - 7:19pm

 

This is the executive guide to Managed Services.

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Drupal core announcements: Drupal core security release window on Wednesday, June 15, 2016

ma, 2016/06/13 - 6:40pm
Start:  2016-06-15 00:00 - 23:30 America/Chicago Organizers:  xjm catch David_Rothstein mlhess Event type:  Online meeting (eg. IRC meeting)

The monthly security release window for Drupal 8 and 7 core will take place on Wednesday, June 15.

This does not mean that a Drupal core security release will necessarily take place on that date for any of the Drupal 8 or 7 branches, only that you should watch for one (and be ready to update your Drupal sites in the event that the Drupal security team decides to make a release).

There will be no bug fix or feature release on this date. The next window for a Drupal core patch (bug fix) release for all branches is Wednesday, July 06. The next scheduled minor (feature) release for Drupal 8 will be on Wednesday, October 5.

Drupal 6 is end-of-life and will not receive further security releases.

For more information on Drupal core release windows, see the documentation on release timing and security releases, and the discussion that led to this policy being implemented.

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2bits: Slow Queries In Drupal Can Often Be Cured By Indexes

ma, 2016/06/13 - 1:44pm

Recently, we were reviewing the performance of a large site that has a significant portion of its traffic from logged in users. The site was suffering from a high load average during peak times.

We enabled slow query logging on the site for a entire week, using the following in my.cnf:

log_slow_queries               = 1
slow_query_log                 = 1
slow_query_log_file            = /var/log/mysql/slow-query.log
log-queries-not-using-indexes  = 1
long_query_time                = 0.100

Note that the parameter long_query_time can be a fraction of a second only on more recent versions on MySQL.

You should not set this value too low, otherwise the server's disk could be tied up in logging the queries. Nor should it be too high so as to miss most slow queries.

We then analyzed the logged queries after a week.

We found that the slow queries, on aggregate, examined a total of 150,180 trillion rows, and returned 838,930 million rows.

Out of the total types of queries analyzed, the top two had a disproportionate share of the total.

So these two queries combined were 63.7% of the total slow queries! That is very high, and if we were able to improve these two queries, it would be a huge win for performance and server resources.

Voting API Slow Query

The first query had to do with Voting API and Userpoints.

It was:

SELECT votingapi_vote.*
FROM votingapi_vote
WHERE  value_type = 'points'
AND tag = 'userpoints_karma'
AND uid = '75979'
AND value = '-1'
AND timestamp > '1464077478'

It hogged 45.3% of the total slow queries, and was called 367,531 times per week. It scanned over 213,000 rows every time it ran!

The query took an aggregate time for execution of 90,766, with an average of 247 milliseconds per execution.

The solution was simple: create an index on the uid column:

CREATE INDEX votingapi_vote_uid ON votingapi_vote (uid);

After that was done, the query used the index and scanned only one row, and returned instantly.

Private Messaging Slow Query

The second query had to do with Privatemsg. It is:

SELECT COUNT(pmi.recipient) AS sent_count
FROM pm_message pm
INNER JOIN pm_index pmi ON pm.mid = pmi.mid
WHERE  pm.author = '394106'
AND pm.timestamp > '1463976037'
AND pm.author <> pmi.recipient

This query accounted for 18.4% of the total slow queries, and was called 32,318 times per week. It scanned over 1,350,000 rows on each execution!

The query took an aggregate time for execution of 36,842, with an average of 1.14 seconds (yes, seconds!) per execution.

Again, the solution was simple: create an index on the author column.

CREATE INDEX pm_message_author ON pm_message (author);

Just like the first query, after creating the index, the query used the index and scanned only 10 rows and over a million! It returned instantly.

Results After Tuning

As with any analysis, comparison of the before and after data is crucial.

After letting the tuned top two offending queries run for another week, the results were extremely pleasing:

Before After Total rows examined 150.18 T 34.93 T Total rows returned 838.93 M 500.65 M

A marked improvement!

Conclusion

With performance, the 80/20 rule applies. There are often low hanging fruit that can easily be tuned.

Do not try to tune because of something you read somewhere, that may not apply to your site (including this and other articles on our site!)

Rather, you should do proper analysis, and reach a diagnosis based on facts and measurements, as to the cause(s) of the slowness. After that, tuning them will provide good results.

Tags: Contents: 
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Cheppers blog: TCPDF module ported to Drupal 8

ma, 2016/06/13 - 11:36am

A few months ago, I decided to port the TCPDF module for Drupal 8. My first thought was that it would be an easy task, but I ran into my first problem early, when I tried to pull the TCPDF library into Drupal. 

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Jeff Geerling's Blog: Hosted Apache Solr — now for Drupal 8!

zo, 2016/06/12 - 11:42pm

After a few months of testing, I'm happy to announce Hosted Apache Solr now supports Search API Solr with Drupal 8! Both Search API and Search API Solr have been getting closer to stable releases, and more people have been requesting Drupal 8 search cores, so I decided to finish testing and updating support guides this weekend.

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Drupal Console: Help us complete the Drupal Console stable release

za, 2016/06/11 - 12:52am
If you are reading this you maybe are aware or have an idea what the Drupal Console is, but in case you are not; this is a brief explanation. Drupal Console is “The new CLI for Drupal”. A tool to generate boilerplate code, interact with and debug Drupal. Why are we asking for help? The Drupal Console as many other Open Source projects is created and maintained with the effort and free time of contributors and maintainers, which is great but, sometimes the community requires those tools earlier than the contributors can produce using only in their own time. One example of that is the Drupal 8 Accelerate program,  d8rules funding program, and D8 Module Acceleration Program with the aim to bring to the community those products as soon as possible, getting money to sponsor contributors office hours to complete those products. Our situation is not so different from other projects, even though the core maintainers have some hours per week sponsored by our employer or business. But this time is not enough, and we need to use our personal time to continue with the development. We need to assign more time to check the issue queue, currently with 200+ pending issues and feature requests, to provide support on the Gitter channel, to do a much better work with the documentation, and improve the test coverage. Therefore, we need some financial assistance to try to deliver our first stable release as soon as possible. For more information and to know how to help us, please read the article in full.
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Acquia Developer Center Blog: Multisite Governance, Site Delivery, and Other Issues Related to Managing Many Sites: Part 3

vr, 2016/06/10 - 6:34pm

This is Part 3 of an interview with Will Eisner, Senior Director, Product at Acquia. Will’s primary focus is on Acquia Cloud Site Factory, which helps organizations create and manage many sites, from a dozen to thousands.

Also sitting in on the interview, via conference line, was Sonya Kovacic, a Junior Product Manager at Acquia who also works on Site Factory.

Tags: acquia drupal planet
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Acquia Developer Center Blog: Agile Training for the Government Product Owner

vr, 2016/06/10 - 6:06pm

TLDR: A new, free agile training course for government product owners has been released on the AGL Academy. Sign up now to participate in the introductory webinar scheduled for June 16, 2016 at 1PM ET (or view the webinar recording after that date).

Tags: acquia drupal planet
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DrupalCon News: Drupal 8 in the Wild

vr, 2016/06/10 - 5:46pm

Intrepid developers of the Drupal community!

This year saw the bravest of explorers venture out into the harsh and unforgiving landscapes of the World (Wide Web).

Wearing only t-shirts from past DrupalCons, they put all of their trust in the hard work of their friends and colleagues, as they set out on a mission: to use Drupal 8 on real projects!

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ImageX Media: How Can I Make It then How Can I Break It?

vr, 2016/06/10 - 5:42pm

This is the second in a series of posts recapping ImageX’s presentations at this year’s DrupalCon.

With so many testing methods available -- code static analysis checks, unit testing, functional testing, front-end performance testing, load testing, visual regression testing, etc. --  it can be difficult for a development team to choose which will work best for their project, particularly with limited time and budget available.

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ImageX Media: DrupalCon 2016

vr, 2016/06/10 - 5:27pm

DrupalCon brings together thousands of people throughout the Drupal community who use, design for, develop for, and support the platform. It’s the heartbeat of the Drupal community, where advancements in the platform happen, learnings from its users are shared, and where connections are made that strengthen the community. 

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ImageX Media: Higher Education Notes and Trends

vr, 2016/06/10 - 5:17pm

 

As a web agency that specializes in higher education, ImageX keeps its figurative finger on the pulse of the sector. Some weeks are busier than others for new data and studies being released, and this week definitely falls into the busy category. Let’s take a look at the week that was in higher education!

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released a compelling student demographic breakdown of what the higher education landscape looks like in America:

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Acquia Developer Center Blog: Acquia U and career changers - meet Doris Wong

vr, 2016/06/10 - 4:36pm
Acquia U and career changers - meet Doris Wong

Doris Wong and I sat down at Acquia's Boston HQ to talk about her interesting journey through HTML and frontend work, to UX, to fitness, and finally to Drupal and Acquia, and how even at Acquia it took time, Acquia U and three jobs (!) to really settle in. Here, we talk about that path and what she got out of Acquia U.

Read this blog post on Doris's website for a wonderful, clear introduction to who Doris is and how she got to Acquia and Drupal development.

"Not all [my] experiences were a success, but the one thing I didn’t stop doing was learning. Learning is one of the greatest tools you can have in your arsenal. I first came to Acquia as a UX intern with the goal of finding my next career. When I came to the realization that my heart was in web development, the Acquia U program came into fruition. When the program was finally announced, I hesitated to apply. I didn’t know enough about Drupal to make an educated decision but then I thought, well, why stop learning now?" - Doris Wong

Interview video - 10 min.

Guest dossier
Interview transcription
Meet Doris

jam: We are sitting here at Acquia’s headquarters. How many days have you been working here so far?

Doris: I would have to break it down three ways. I have been here for a year with three different departments. I started as a UX Intern--User Experience--with the engineering team. That was for the summer ... No actually, I extended summer. Then from there ...

Backtrack: I was a frontend developer. I teach fitness on the side, and I was kind of looking for a change. Thinking I was going to do fitness, and then I worked at a company for frontend development because I wanted to get back into it who is focused on UX.

Then, I got connected to the UX team here. Then I thought, “Alright, what’s next? I want to try something else”. Then, I met Amy Parker. She kind of convinced me to sign up for Acquia U. I got in. I was at Acquia U, then I was kind of like, “Alright. Let’s see what’s next”. Then I kind of found a role within Marketing, which was not really part of the curriculum, but I developed an interest in them. Right now, I am at Acquia as a Digital Marketer.

jam: Wow. I think we can draw two conclusions from this. The first conclusion we can draw is that you have trouble making up your mind.

Doris: Yes!

jam: The second conclusion we can draw is that three departments in a year at Acquia ... Acquia is a gold mine of opportunities for people who want to try stuff out.

Doris: Definitely. You see that a lot here. You see a lot of people who learn. It is not that I didn’t learn much from the UX or with Acquia U. All of that experience has really helped me with my current role in Marketing, which is focusing on conversion for Acquia.com. So having the User Experience and the Drupal skillset to be able to use certain products on Acquia.com has really helped. In the end, actually surprisingly, all tied in together.

jam: Introduce yourself and tell us something non-Drupal-ly about you.

Doris: Alright. My name is Doris Wong. The non-Drupal-ly thing about me is that I currently teach a dance fitness class called BollyX. It is a Bollywood-inspired dance fitness program. So for those of you who have taken other dance fitness programs, this one introduces the mainstream folks to the world of Bollywood in a fitness format. It’s a lot of fun.

jam: Wow, that’s a cool non-Drupal-ly thing. You had this odd path into Acquia U where you had already touched Acquia - but before you came to Acquia, had you heard of Drupal?

Doris: No.

jam: How did you find out about that UX internship that you applied for?

Doris: This is where the power of networking comes in. At my internship ... It was an internship doing frontend development. It was more email marketing, but the company was involved with UX consulting or research. The former director of UX at Acquia, she had previously worked at that company. That company was probably the size of maybe 10 folks, so it is definitely a small company, very personal, intimate. I developed a relationship with the CEO. The CEO and the former director of UX here were good friends. Upon my exit, I expressed interest in developing a career in UX. During that time, the director was looking for an intern and hence the connection there. Definitely network.

Meet Acquia U

jam: What were your expectations going into Acquia U?

Doris: That’s an interesting question. I don’t think I had a lot of expectations. I feel that in my experience, I didn’t have any expectations going into anything new, because it is a new program. I wanted to have a clear head going in, as to not have it affect my experience in the program. I was going in knowing that this was kind of the rebirth of the program since there was kind of a gap between the first program and this. So I knew it was going to be kind of like, so to speak, a pilot. There are probably going to be some hiccups and I knew that I would kind of have to go with it and run with it. Just having an open mind really helped me.

jam: What did you want to get out of it?

Doris: A sense of ... let me think about that. I think just kind of getting a better understanding of where I am in terms of my career and skills. It kind of helped me understand who I was and what I am capable of. Because Drupal was new, I was kind of coming from scratch. Didn’t know anything. It really helped me figure out, “Alright, this is what I can do. This is what I am capable of. What’s next?”

jam: Alright. How was it?

Doris: It was challenging. It was really challenging because it was a little more fast-paced. There were some folks within the program that had Drupal experience, some who have built sites around. I think for me having a frontend development experience really helps. Knowing a little bit – at least a general understanding of PHP, I knew the frontend stuff like CSS, HTML kind of helped, but I think it was more of the site building component and just understanding how it worked together. That was the more challenging aspect of it. But that was just the beginning. As I keep getting engrossed to it, it just got a lot easier.

jam: Run us through a day at Acquia U.

Doris: There is no typical day. But I can say that as you are going through the program, you would come in – usually the first half would be lecture. Going over ... reviews. That is also dependent on where we are. If we feel comfortable passing a subject, if we are familiar, we can move on to the next. Then, the second half of the day could be more of a project that we are working on. If we wanted to do more learning, there was some flexibility in the schedule. That was the great thing about the program, there is a lot of flexibility during the day. We will have a set schedule, but depending on what we wanted to do, the instructor was really great in allowing us to decide, “I think we want to focus on this today versus that”.

jam: What’s the most important thing you got out of going through Acquia U?

Doris: Definitely working with the team and learning more about the Acquia culture. That’s the one thing that is really good about this program is because you are not just sitting in a random office or something that you are just learning something. You are actually engrossed in the culture, so you get an understanding for what it is like working here and working with the people around you.

jam: What’s the one piece of advice that you would give for people looking for a new career?

Doris: One piece of advice is that--this may sound interesting--but you need to be dedicated. It is not easy making the transition. If you are serious about making a career change, then you want to be devoted to it and do everything you can to get better at it because you can just go in and say, “Maybe I will just try this and not do anything about it”. You are not getting much value. You have to have dedication.

jam: Would you recommend Acquia U to others?

Doris: Yes. Not only are you learning a lot from the instructors, you are also learning from your peers because we have folks that are coming from different careers and I feel that anything that you learn, you can always translate that in whatever career you end up choosing afterwards.

jam: Awesome. Thank you!

Doris: Thank you! It’s a pleasure.

Skill Level: Beginner
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Mediacurrent: Friday 5: 5 Minutes on Getting to Know Your Website

vr, 2016/06/10 - 4:27pm

TGIF! We hope you're having a great week and are gearing up for an even better weekend. Thanks for joining us for Episode 10 of The Mediacurrent Friday 5!

This Friday, Senior Drupal Developer Matt Goodwin joins host Mark Casias to spend 5 Minutes on Getting to Know Your Website

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Palantir: On the Air with Palantir podcast, Ep. 05: Consulting engagements that work - a case study with Rhodes College

vr, 2016/06/10 - 5:17am

Welcome to a new episode of On the Air with Palantir, a long-form podcast by palantir.net where we go in-depth on topics related to the business of web design and development. It’s June 2016 and this is episode #5. In this episode Account Manager Allison Manley is joined by our client Justin McGregor from Rhodes College. Allison caught up with Justin at DrupalCon in New Orleans last month, and spoke with him about how his school has implemented Drupal, how we worked together, and how it’s been going since.

iTunes | RSS Feed | Download

We'll be back next Tuesday with another episode of the Secret Sauce and a new installment of our long-form interview podcast On the Air With Palantir next month, but for now subscribe to all of our episodes over on iTunes.

Need a helping hand with effective consulting? Our years of expertise can help make sense of any challenge you're facing with your web project, whether strategy, design, development, or ongoing support in nature.

Look for our transcript of this episode added here soon.

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