Thursday, October 06, 2016

When choosing any service provider, a crucial question is, "What happens if something goes wrong?" When you're choosing a hosting provider, we like to dig a bit deeper, and ask what risks are likely to be an issue for you?

Here are some of our questions:

Monday, September 12, 2016

[Update: a few days after I published this, rebranded as It's the same project, just a new name...]

In 5,000 years, will anybody be able to read (or even access) things we put online today? Here at the dawn of the information age, we are creating the archetypes that have big implications, possibly for thousands of years. There's a bunch of recent science fiction stories that imagine various futures, written with the perspective of today's web, extrapolating where things might go as humanity evolves.

Monday, September 05, 2016

I learn best when I have a problem to solve, and with one of our D8 upgrade projects, we had a mess to clean up in the menu system. This provided an excellent oppportunity to get hands-on in Drupal core, learning some of the major differences from earlier versions, and three things in particular:

  1. How easy it is to use Drupal Console to create your own tools
  2. How much the menu system has changed
  3. How to load and save just about any entity

The problem

Thursday, August 04, 2016

So there are definite "gotchas" to migrating content from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8, when you take away the assumption that the ids throughout the system will remain the same. We hit another one on a recent launch: the URL aliases imported from Drupal 6 did not get rewritten with new node ids, after the migration had started using a map.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Richard asks:

Just a question after reading an article posted here back from January 21, 2016 on Drupal 8, why has not moved to Drupal 8?  Just wondering if there was a particular reason we should avoid before jumping in?  Thanks.

Ha! What a great question!

Three reasons: Time, requirements, priorities.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Yesterday the Drupal security team gave a dire warning about extremely dangerous security vulnerabilities in multiple contributed modules. The fixes, and the details, would be released at 9am Pacific Time today.

I dropped what I was doing and started going through our customer sites, making sure they were all clean and ready for these updates when they were released.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Our branch strategy based on Git Flow did not survive. It was getting a bit old in the tooth, but the final blow was automation.

At Freelock, we've been hard at work building out automation so we can handle the maintenance on hundreds of websites with better test coverage and more confidence than ever before. Exciting news! It's all coming together, and we have it working across the board on ALL of our projects, now.

Friday, July 01, 2016

We have several Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 upgrade projects going on, which is particularly challenging given how quickly the Drupal Migration system is changing. Given that a couple of them are nearing launch, and were missing some node references, I set out to get the content updated from the production sites before launch.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

It's really a shame. Drupal Gardens has announced to its users that it's shutting down completely on August 1, and users need to move away from the service before it disappears.

It's a shame because Drupal Gardens was the only low-cost way to run a Drupal site with somebody else handling maintenance for you.

But it's not really a surprise.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Its name is Watney. Watney lives in Matrix. Watney is a bot I created about 6 months ago to start helping us with various tasks we need to do in our business.

Watney patiently waits for requests in a bunch of chat rooms we use for internal communications about each website we manage, each project we work on. Watney does a bunch of helpful things already, even though it is still really basic -- it fetches login links for us, helps us assemble release notes for each release we do to a production site, reminds us when it's time to do a release, and kicks off various automation jobs.


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  1. Again, good job on the site. Unfortunately, most people won't be able to tell just how cool it really is. There is definitely a better look and feel on the outside, but where it really shines is under the hood. In today's world of crappy software vendors who provide crappy products and next to zero service at premium prices, it's refreshing to work with someone who is honest, thorough, reasonable and willing to do what it takes to meet the customer's needs.

    Eric Leung, Director of Information Systems
    Outdoor Research

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