What is Drupal?

Let’s take the following scenario into consideration: Grandpa, who is a very active hobbyist, wants to create a blog for publishing some Do It Yourself guides. However, he doesn’t have much knowledge about web development except for some basic HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language), but he doesn’t want to pay lots of cash every time to employ a web developer when he wants to update his website to change the way some text looks. Thankfully, humans have always been tinkering around to find solutions to the problems they encounter. And this is where Drupal kicks in to solve Grandpa’s problem.

Drupal is a free open source (Source code is the “recipe” used to make the program. Open source means that anyone can view, change and share their modified version of this “recipe”. KFC is not “open source”!) Content Management System (CMS) that makes building, editing and managing any type of website easy for users who are not in the tech world. Drupal is also very flexible and highly scalable, which means that Grandpa won’t have to invest more money into maintenance when his website and his audience starts growing. This is the perfect solution to Grandpa’s problem!

So, what is a Content Management System, you ask? It is a content editing system that you can access on the internet. CMSs can be thought of as a huge pile of Lego bricks. You then choose the bricks you want to use to build your website. These bricks are different plug-ins and add-ons that allow Grandpa to add more functionality to his website. CMSs look like just a regular word editing software, such as Microsoft Word, where you can key-in text and insert images, which means that Grandpa’s meager web development skills will not be a problem. A CMS and its components can be explained much more thoroughly, but we’ll save that for another day. So, that’s it, you have reached the end of my explanation of Drupal. Hopefully, you have a basic understanding of Drupal now.

This blog post is part of the Google Code-In contest 2016, and I am currently contributing to the Drupal community. I thank my mentors for helping me out for writing this post.

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Testing and reviewing simplytest.me

Simplytest.me is an online service that helps you find the module, theme or distribution that fits your needs.It provides sandbox environments for testing the functionality of any project or patch before even downloading it. It is straightforward to use, quick(takes less than a few minutes to set-up) and most importantly is absolutely free. Simplytest.me was created by Patrick Drotleff.

simplytest.me UI

Why is simplytest.me helpful?

1. Fast to set up

Setting up a Drupal environment in simplytest.me to test out something is just a matter of minutes. For Drupal 8 projects, you just have to click “Next” or “Save and Continue” as all the fields are filled automatically and databases and users are also generated automatically. For Drupal 7 and less, you don’t even have to go through the Drupal installation process as the process automated for you.

2. Can share sandboxes

You can easily share any sandboxes you create by sharing the URL of the sandbox. This is especially useful if you want to share a specific Drupal environment with your colleagues for testing.

3. Mobility

You can use simplytest.me to test modules, patches, themes, and distributions anywhere, anytime and on any device that has an internet connection.

4. Setting up is a breeze.

For trying out Drupal, simplytest.me is the best way to do so, because for setting up Drupal in simplytest.me, all you need to know is how to click a button. You do not need to have knowledge of PHP, server, DBMS, etc… which is required for setting up Drupal the traditional way.

5. Extending Drupal is easier.

Adding modules, themes and patches are a lot easier in simplytest.me. All you have to do is add them while setting up the sandbox, when compared to downloading the correct version, adding them in the current directory, etc …when adding to Drupal locally.

6. Temporary.

Let’s say that you want to test out a new module which integrates social media better in your website and decide whether it’s better than your current module for social media integration. You want to do it quickly, and at the same time you don’t want it to mess with your existing module nor do you want to remove your current module as it has many saved settings that you would lose if you uninstalled it. For this, simplytest.me is the best way to test out the module, as it will create a sandbox quickly and easily that will last 24 hours (can be extended by a request to Patrick) that you can share with others.


Here is my screencast testing simplytest.me:

 

Dreditor

An extension called Dreditor(currently available only on Google Chrome) adds a button to all Drupal.org pages that allows you to quickly test out a patch in simplytest.me. It also allows you to review patches on Drupal.org in a more efficient way.You can follow this link for more info.


This blog post is part of the Google Code-In contest 2016, and I am currently contributing to the Drupal community. I thank my dear mentors for helping me out for writing this post.

Finish Entire Drupal Ladder [Git Basics] Drupal

Hi there, this is a review and a simple walk-through of the Git Basics Drupal Ladder. So without further due, let’s get started!


RUNG 1- Getting started with Git.

This rung explains to you the basics of Git.It comes with with 4 links: the first one leads to the main Drupal ladder page which explains the basics of the command line interface, and also teaches you how to install Git on various operating systems, the second link sends you to the Github’s interactive tutorial where you learn some basic Git commands, the third one helps you understand Git Branching and the last link gives you a free book for understanding Git thoroughly. I went through the first three links and managed to get a gist of what Git is and how to use it. The guides were very easy to understand and are foolproof.


RUNG 2- Install Git

The second rung is an overlapping of the first; It also has a tutorial on the installation of Git and a section on how to download a project using Git. This part was was easy to accomplish as well.

RUNG 3- Write a patch

The third rung runs through the process of creating a patch. The tutorial shows you on how to make a patch to change a string in one of the Drupal’s pages’ settings tab. There is also a bonus part,which asks you to edit and re-roll the patch. This rung was a just a little bit trickier than the first two rungs, but not unaccomplishable. Here is a link to the sample issue I had created: https://www.drupal.org/node/2835006

Note: One of the prerequisites for this rung is creating a new issue queue.In the instructions, in line 5 (Copy the following and paste into the Description box:) there is a small typo. It’s not the Description box, but it’s the Issue Summary box.

RUNG 4- Test patches

This lesson shows you how to apply the patch and also asks you to confirm that the patch is working by using the Drupal sandbox. This rung is also an overlapping of the ‘write a patch’ tutorial. There are also tips for more complex patches. Below are screenshots as proof that the patch is working…

proof for applying patch
proof for re-rolling patch(bonus)

RUNG 5 [FINAL]- RE-ROLL PATCHES

The final rung of this Drupal ladder teaches you on how to re-roll patches. It asks you to take an old patch and to make it apply cleanly to the newest version of Drupal. If it applies cleanly, you are asked to remove the ‘needs reroll’ tag.

Final Thoughts

This Drupal ladder was pretty easy to climb, thanks to the detailed explanations and instructions. I realize that the skills and information that this ladder taught me are very important in the world of coding when teamwork are required. I have witnessed that the ability to use Git and Github will definitely be crucial later on. I thank Drupal and Google Code In for having taught me this and for having let me contribute to the Drupal community.Thanks for reading my review, and I hope we meet again!

This blog post is part of the Google Code-In contest 2016, and I am currently contributing to the Drupal community. I thank my mentors [gvso, skyred]for helping me out for writing this post.

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