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Using Features


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Presentation on Features from Drupalcamp Timisoara 2010.

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Using Features

  1. 1. Using Features <ul><li>Drupalcamp Timisoara </li></ul><ul><li>Alexandru Badiu </li></ul><ul><li>Iunie 2010 </li></ul>
  2. 2. This might have happened to you <ul><li>The dev – staging – production issue </li></ul><ul><li>You build the site </li></ul><ul><li>Client wants new stuff </li></ul><ul><li>You build it on dev, passes staging </li></ul><ul><li>Replicate on live site </li></ul><ul><li>Write update functions, manual exporting of views, cck </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  3. 3. This might have happened to you <ul><li>The “I’ve done this before” issue </li></ul><ul><li>You build some feature for client A </li></ul><ul><li>Along comes client B who wants the same thing </li></ul><ul><li>Take code, exported views, cck, push to dev </li></ul><ul><li>Work </li></ul><ul><li>Replicate on prod </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  4. 4. This might have happened to you <ul><li>The “Is there anyone editing file x.module?” issue </li></ul><ul><li>You work on a large project </li></ul><ul><li>Each dev pushes code to a repository </li></ul><ul><li>What about database changes? </li></ul><ul><li>Export views, cck and push them as well </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure each dev imports stuff after each update </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  5. 5. This might have happened to you <ul><li>The “What the f**k do I do now?” issue </li></ul><ul><li>Drupal is hard for beginners </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of modules </li></ul><ul><li>Building a feature requires multiple modules usually and some knowledge about them </li></ul><ul><li>Drupal recipes are good </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  6. 6. Do you see a pattern? <ul><li>Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a repository of “modules” that create functionality a little bit more than “list all blog posts” or “have a block with latest promoted posts in category A”? </li></ul><ul><li>Learn the open source way </li></ul><ul><li>Instant gratification </li></ul><ul><li>Uuuu, this is cool </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  7. 7. Do you see a pattern? <ul><li>Wouldn’t it be nice if you could avoid all the manual exporting and importing of new features / changes and just package functionality in a “module” that can be updated? </li></ul><ul><li>Modules are code, code can be put into versioning control </li></ul><ul><li>Database changes can’t (easily) </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  8. 8. Do you see a pattern? <ul><li>Just click to generate a new version of the “module“ </li></ul><ul><li>Check in, others check out, update is done </li></ul><ul><li>Less wrinkles and teeth grinding </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  9. 9. So what is the problem? <ul><li>This is not necessarily a Drupal only problem </li></ul><ul><li>It’s the nature of web development and the way we do it </li></ul><ul><li>Coding != Site building </li></ul><ul><li>If only products of site building could be exported… </li></ul><ul><li>Oh wait </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  10. 10. So what is the problem? Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  11. 11. Exportables <ul><li>Exportables are ways of, well, exporting things from Drupal into code bits </li></ul><ul><li>Pioneered by Views, CCK is also using this </li></ul><ul><li>Imagecache, Spaces, Context, Strongarm </li></ul><ul><li>Is this enough? </li></ul><ul><li>No, replication is still a… not a piece of cake </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of missing modules (like taxonomy) </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  12. 12. Modular design <ul><li>It can also help if your site functionality is broken into a modular design </li></ul><ul><li>Like maybe prefixing presets and views with blog_ or joblistings_ </li></ul><ul><li>Or use image_blog_medium rather than image_blog_300x50 </li></ul><ul><li>Or have site_blog.module and site_listings.module rather than that gigantic site.module </li></ul><ul><li>These are nice first steps </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  13. 13. Modular design <ul><li>What about blocks? </li></ul><ul><li>Block visibility: php code or list of pages? Both? Complex conditions? </li></ul><ul><li>What about menus? </li></ul><ul><li>I want this menu to appear when you’re on a blog post but I want this other menu to appear on listings. </li></ul><ul><li>Sitewide conditions: this should appear only if none of the conditions for the other “sections” are met </li></ul><ul><li>Add more and more sections </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  14. 14. The Context module <ul><li>Built by Development Seed </li></ul><ul><li>You create sections for your site </li></ul><ul><li>They are triggered by various conditions </li></ul><ul><li>They enable blocks, activate menus </li></ul><ul><li>They can be global </li></ul><ul><li>They can act as failbacks </li></ul><ul><li>They stack </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  15. 15. Almost there <ul><li>We can organize “visual” bits and pieces of our site using contexts </li></ul><ul><li>We can use the same organization to name the products of our various site building tools </li></ul><ul><li>We can follow a modular approach when developing our modules </li></ul><ul><li>If only we could package all these changes into a module. </li></ul><ul><li>Can it also be easy too? </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  16. 16. The Features module <ul><li>The Features module does exactly that </li></ul><ul><li>It takes different clues as to what you want to package </li></ul><ul><li>There’s the manual way too (it’s not perfect) </li></ul><ul><li>It exports automatically whatever it can (not all modules use exportables  ) </li></ul><ul><li>It adds it’s magic </li></ul><ul><li>Generates a “feature” which is actually a module </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  17. 17. The Features module <ul><li>The module contains all the necessary bits and pieces about your views, content types, presets etc </li></ul><ul><li>Contains code to activate them (create or update them) and deactivate them </li></ul><ul><li>Knows about dependencies so it won’t break the site </li></ul><ul><li>It’s a module so you can hack away </li></ul><ul><li>Once you add more stuff: click click => new version of the module </li></ul><ul><li>Install module on other site, presto </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  18. 18. The Features module <ul><li>It doesn’t use update functions </li></ul><ul><li>But you can write your own </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t script site building, uses exportables </li></ul><ul><li>This means that lots of modules don’t work </li></ul><ul><li>Webform: uses actual content rather than content types </li></ul><ul><li>Taxonomy: doesn’t use a machine name but numeric id’s </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  19. 19. Share <ul><li>A feature can be installed on any other site that has the required modules </li></ul><ul><li>You can put it on </li></ul><ul><li>Features server: repository of features </li></ul><ul><li>Internal or external </li></ul><ul><li>Get notified of updates </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  20. 20. Basic usage <ul><li>Simple demo </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We are going to build a blog feature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a context to “group” it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a content type for it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make it use a vocabulary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a listing and a block using views </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Package it using Features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deploy it on another site </li></ul></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  21. 21. More advanced stuff <ul><li>A bit about a more complex usage scenario </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CNP – Creative Network Platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Built by Raw Nerve and OpenlyConnected last year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Powers three sites: , and the “never made it” beta of Project: Groundwork </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Team scattered in 6 cities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build the first site using features, reuse for all other sites and just change small things and do the theme </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be careful with the extra things you add in a feature’s code: use drush </li></ul></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  22. 22. Even more advanced stuff <ul><li>Almost nothing about the hardcore usage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The next step: the Spaces module </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Again, Development Seed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Makes a Drupal site act like multiple sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Makes features spaces aware: selective enabling of features on a per group basis </li></ul></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  23. 23. Resources <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Using Features – Alexandru Badiu
  24. 24. Alexandru Badiu Thanks <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>