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Import / Export API: Progress Report #4

In a small, poorly ventilated room, somewhere in Australia, there are four geeky fingers and two geeky thumbs, and they are attached to two geeky hands. All of the fingers and all of the thumbs are racing haphazardly across a black keyboard, trying to churn out PHP; but mostly they're just tapping repeatedly, and angrily, on the 'backspace' key. A pair of eyes squint tiredly at the LCD monitor before them, trying to discern whether the miniscule black dot that they perceive is a speck of dirt, or yet another pixel that has gone to pixel heaven.


Import / Export API: Progress Report #3

The Summer of Code is now past its half-way mark. For some reason, I passed the mid-term evaluation, and I'm still here. The API is getting ever closer to meeting its success criteria, although not as close as I'd hoped for it to be by this point. A very crude XML import and export is now possible, but the ID and reference handling system - which is set to be one of the API's killer features - is only half-complete at present. Unfortunately, it's going to stay that way for a while, because I'm away on vacation for the next full week.


Drupal lite: Drupal minus its parts

It is said that a house is the sum of its parts. If you take away the doors, the windows, the roof, the floorboads, the inside walls, the power lines, and the water pipes, is it still a house? In developing Drupal Lite, I hope to have answered this question in relation to Drupal. What are the absolute essentials, without which Drupal simply cannot be called Drupal? If you remove nodes, users, and the entire database system from Drupal, is it still Drupal?


Import / Export API: Progress Report #2

The mid-program mentor evaluation (a.k.a. crunch time) for the Summer of Code is almost here, and as such, I've been working round-the-clock to get my project looking as presentable as possible. The Import / Export API module has made significant progress since my last report, but there's still plenty of work left to be done.


On death and free minds

For many years, a certain scene from a certain movie has troubled me deeply. In The Matrix (1999), there is a scene where the character 'Neo' is killed. Stone dead, no heartbeat for over thirty seconds, multiple bulletholes through chest. And then he comes back to life. Up until now, my friends and I have always derided this scene as being 'fake' and 'medically impossible'. But like Neo, I believe that I may finally have the answer.


Import / Export API: progress report #1

It's been almost two weeks since the 2006 Summer of Code began, and with it, my work to develop an import / export API module for Drupal. In case you missed it, my work is being documented on this wiki. My latest code is now also available as a project on Since I've barely started, I think that this is a stupid time to sit back and reflect on what I've done so far. But I'm doing it anyway.


An undo button for Drupal

Every time that you perform any action in a desktop application, you can hit the trusty 'undo' button, to un-wreak any havoc that you may have just wreaked. One of the biggest shortcomings of web applications in general, is that they lack this crucial usability (and arguably security) feature. However, implementing an 'undo' (and 'redo') system in Drupal should be a relatively simple task - much simpler, in fact, than you might at first think.


Australia's first Drupal meetup, and my weekend in Melbourne

I've just gotten back from a weekend away in Melbourne (I live in Sydney), during which I attended Australia's first ever Drupal meetup! We managed a turnout of 7 people, which made for a very cosy table at the Joe's Garage caf�. Read on for more details, and for some photos!


An IE AJAX gotcha: page caching

While doing some AJAX programming, I discovered a serious and extremely frustrating bug when using XMLHTTP in Internet Explorer. It appears that IE is prone to malfunctioning, unless a document accessed through AJAX has its HTTP header set to disallow caching. Beware!


A patch of flowers, a patch of code

Every gardener has a little patch of this planet that he or she loves and tends to. To these people, a patch is more than just a rectangular plot of land filled with dirt and flora. It is a living thing that needs care and attention; and in return, it brings great beauty and a feeling of fulfilment. The same is true of programmers the world over, and of the countless patches of code that they lovingly maintain throughout cyberspace.

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