Denver Drupal Meetup Recap, January 2013

Last Tuesday, the Denver Open Media studio was packed with Drupal enthusiasts, determined to fulfill New Year resolutions to stay plugged into the Drupal community. As usual, many folks came looking to hire Drupal talent, including New Media, Aten Design Group and Spire Media. Check the DBUG job posts for more details on these opportunities.

Faster Front End Development Tools

The night was kicked off by [Rick Manelius](http://drupal.org/user/680072), who shared some slick tools to help streamline front end development work. Here they are in all of their glory:

LiveReload

LiveReload is an app and browser extension that provides one mercy from continually hitting refresh to see theming changes take effect. Your file system is monitored and any time changes are made Sass is compiled and the webpage is refreshed for you. This is a huge time saver and well worth the $9.99. There is also (of course) a Drupal module for LiveReload if you feel like checking that out as well.

Adobe Edge Inspect

Mobile web is here in a big way. Ensuring that your work looks beautiful across devices is standard practice. Adobe Edge Inspect allows you to sync multiple iOS and Android devices to your computer to quickly test your site in multiple contexts. Synchronized refreshing, inspector tools, and screenshots all make this a great application to use for cross-browser, mobile testing.

Browser Stack

There are several tools out there for browser-testing, but most tend to be incomplete and unreliable. With real browsers, developer tools, and mobile emulators, the hassle of setting up virtual boxes to test in IE is now unnecessary. Browser Stack.

Selenium Testing

Lastly, Rick shared the handiness of setting up a Selenium test when working on a site that requires the repeated step through of the same tasks. This becomes invaluable when working with something like a commerce site or any other scenario that involves the completion of forms with multiple fields. More on Selenium testing can be found at the July DBUG Recap post in which Ryan Kois demonstrated setting up and using a Selenium test.

Drupal Deployment

Jono Shuster presented on the ever popular topic- Deployment with Drupal. The ability to build a tremendous amount of functionality through the Drupal UI presents an acute dilemma for Drupal deployment, which is what to do with all of that configuration in the database.

A great overview was given on the most common approaches to this dilemma:

  • Santa Claus Approach (Make a list of configuration, check it twice, and recreate it on production)
  • Create your own module using hook_update_N() (This approach is well documented in this blog postby SCUG neighbors Monarch Digital).
  • Use Exportables such as CTools
  • Use the Features module

This then segued into some interesting conversations about the work being done in Drupal 8 with the Configuration Management Initiative to save configuration as files, as well as to the database. The work being done on this front includes backporting the progress made to Drupal 7 with the Configuration module.

DBUG got a bit rowdy when some people excitedly raved about the recent BADCamp session, Content Staging for Drupal that Actually Works. Finally!. Make sure to watch the video archive of the session in which Barry Jaspan shows some bi-directional editing of content across multiple sites using this recipe of Services and UUID.

All in all, the first Denver Drupal Meetup of 2013 set the bar high with a large turnout, well-done presentations, and lively discussion. Expect more great things from the DBUG community this year.

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