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Acquia Podcast:
Meet Cal Evans ... Meet Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuire (Part 1)
November 21, 2014 @ 10:42:02

The Acquia podcast has released a special episode today spotlighting a video interview with Voices of the ElePHPant host Cal Evans and Jeffrey (jam) McGuire of the Drupal community. They decided to do a joint podcast, combining the Acquia and Voices of the ElePHPant podcast, giving you a look behind the scenes at Cal himself.

They talk about how Cal became involved in open source, how he discovered Drupal specifically, his involvement in the PHP community as a whole and where he works/what he currently does. They also talk about why Cal thinks PHP is such a success and his own "virtual user group" project, NomadPHP.

You can catch the interview either through the in-page video player or directly on YouTube.

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Link: https://www.acquia.com/resources/podcasts/acquia-podcast-167-meet-cal-evans-meet-jeffrey-jam-mcguire

Anthony Ferrara:
A Lesson In Security
November 03, 2014 @ 09:11:49

In his most recent post Anthony Ferrara gives a lesson in security prompted by the recent major issue with a SQL injection vulnerability in Drupal. He gets into detail about the vulnerability itself and the ultimate question: "how could this happen?"

Recently, a severe SQL Injection vulnerability was found in Drupal 7. It was fixed immediately (and correctly), but there was a problem. Attackers made automated scripts to attack unpatched sites. Within hours of the release of the vulnerability fix, sites were being compromised. And when I say compromised, I'm talking remote code execution, backdoors, the lot. Why? Like any attack, it's a chain of issues, that independently aren't as bad, but add up to bad news. Let's talk about them: What went wrong? What went right? And what could have happened better? There's a lesson that every developer needs to learn in here.

He details (complete with code examples) where the vulnerability was, how it could be exploited and what the resulting SQL would look like when it was abused. Fortunately, the fix for the issue was relatively simple, but fixing is easy - distributing that fix is much more difficult.

How did this happen? Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. It's going to happen sooner or later. Heck, this vulnerable code was in the database layer since 2008, and was just discovered two weeks ago. That says something about how complex vulnerabilities can be.

He suggests that the bigger lesson here isn't about who made the mistake or even the code that caused it. It's more about how it was handled, and that, in using any kind of CMS/framework like this there's always risk. People are human, people make mistakes - "the key is how you deal with it".

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Link: http://blog.ircmaxell.com/2014/10/a-lesson-in-security.html

Voices of the ElePHPant:
Interview with Tess Flynn and Larry Garfield
August 19, 2014 @ 09:37:18

The Voices of the ElePHPant podcast has posted a new episode in its series of community interviews today. In this latest episode host Cal Evans talks with Tess Flynn and Larry Garfield, both well-known members of the Drupal community.

The episode was recorded at Twin Cities Drupal Camp and features Larry playing the guest host role interviewing Tesss Flynn, a module maintainer for Drupal. They talk about Drupal sessions presented by both Larry and Tess as well as another from Fredric Mitchell. They also talk about the idea of "Contrib Champions" that can help share major changes (and answer questions) about large changes that might effect them.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player or by downloading the mp3. If you like the episode, be sure to subscribe to their feed and get the latest episodes as they're released.

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Link: http://voicesoftheelephpant.com/2014/08/19/interview-with-tess-flynn-and-larry-garfield/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Understanding Drupal's EntityFieldQuery
March 19, 2014 @ 10:02:16

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a recent post that aims to help you understand the EntityFieldQuery class in the Drupal framework. The class lets you find entities based on properties, field values and other generic metadata.

When building complex web apps, you'll eventually have to interact with a database. To retrieve data in Drupal one can use the database abstraction layer provided, which requires some SQL knowledge to be used properly. From Drupal 7 EntityFieldQuery API is provided, which lets you fetch information about entities from Drupal without actually building SQL queries. In this article, let's see how we can use the EntityFieldQuery API to fetch data from Drupal and use it in our modules.

He starts by explaining a bit about the class and includes a bit of code showing how to create an instance of it. He then moves into the creation of a sample module that only locates an entity and relays the results back to the calling script. As a part of the example, he shows how to make the query to locate all "node" entity types and create a sidebar with links to each. He shows the addition of conditionals to the location call for properties, values and fields (as well as ordering the results).

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/understanding-drupals-entityfieldquery/

Voices of the ElePHPant:
Interview #2 with Larry Garfield Drupal 8 & Object Oriented Programming
March 12, 2014 @ 09:07:16

The Voices of the ElePHPant podcast has posted the second part of their interview with Larry Garfield (part one is here) talking about Drupal 8 and OOP.

Topics mentioned include the D8FTW blog post series, Refactor Chicago and the Chicago Advanced Drupal User Group.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player or by downloading the mp3 directly. You can also subscribe to their mailing list for this and more great shows.

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Link: http://voicesoftheelephpant.com/2014/03/11/interview-2-with-larry-garfield-drupal-8-object-oriented-programming/

Voices of the ElePHPant:
Interview #1 with Larry Garfield Drupal 8 & PHP 5.4
February 26, 2014 @ 09:59:51

The Voices of the ElePHPant podcast has released their latest episode interviewing a member of the PHP community. This time Cal Evans talks with Larry Garfield about Drupal 8 and PHP 5.4.

This is part one of the interview and they talk about things like: Larry's company, Refactor: Chicago, the Chicago Advanced Drupal Users Group and a blog about traits.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player or by downloading the mp3 directly. If you enjoy the interview, you should also consider subscribing to their feed.

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Link: http://voicesoftheelephpant.com/2014/02/25/interview-1-with-larry-garfield-drupal-8-php-5-4/

Smartbridge.com:
Rapid Website Development The Case for LAMP and WordPress (Part 1)
August 05, 2013 @ 10:14:06

Smartbridge.com has posted the first part of a series of articles looking at rapid development with WordPress and the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP).

As more and more people around the world have access to computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, these users are getting connected to the internet, ready to jump into the virtual world of unlimited and unrestrained information. Websites today are the most popular tool to deliver this vast information to an ever increasing audience. Let's talk about choices when it comes to rapidly developing custom non-enterprise websites.

He starts by eliminating some of the language alternatives off the bat because of either their lack of quality CMSes or complexity. He then moves on to Open Source options, focusing in on PHP for its low learning curve and popularity. There's a brief comparison of Drupal and WordPress, but it's pretty high level. He's saving the good parts of WordPress for the next part of the series.

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Link: http://www.smartbridge.com/blog/rapid-website-development-the-case-for-lamp-and-wordpress-part-1/

Matthew Turland's Blog:
Setting up EC2 for Drupal with Puppet
February 14, 2012 @ 11:14:40

In this new post to his blog Matthew Turland shows how to set up a puppet configuration to deploy and set up an EC2 environment for Drupal.

I'm currently working on a project that involves running Drupal on Amazon EC2. To save time in setting up future new VM instances, I decided to take the opportunity to learn puppet. For the time being, I'm using a single VM to run the full LAMP stack and running puppet without a server by copying my puppet manifest to the VM and using puppet's apply command to apply it locally. However, this manifest can easily be adapted for a multi-VM environment.

He includes the full configuration in the post that does a few things including setting up the correct PHP timezone, starting up the Apache instance, installing a few PHP modules (like PDO, MySQL and GD) and setting up the MySQL server. He also includes the commands needed to run the configuration and point it at the correct EC2 instance.

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Larry Garfield's Blog:
PHP project structure survey
January 16, 2012 @ 13:08:38

Larry Garfield has posted the results of some of his research into popular PHP frameworks and projects and see how they handle their structure as it relates to the PSR-0 standard.

As Drupal is in the process of considering how to restructure code to best leverage the PSR-0 standard, I figured it would be wise to take a quick survey of how some other major projects organize their code bases. This is not a complete rundown of every project, simply roughly comparable notes for those areas Drupal is currently discussing. I am posting it here in the hopes that it will be useful to more than just Drupal.

The projects he looked to for his examples were:

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Lukas Smith's Blog:
Drupal using Symfony2 HttpFoundation is huge
September 06, 2011 @ 11:37:35

As Lukas Smith mentions in his latest post, the Drupal project has made a switch to use the HttpFoundation component of the Symfony2 project as a integral part of their HTTP handling.

[...] The fact that Drupal8 will use Symfony'2 HttpFoundation component is huge, because it will make integration a breeze. Basically Symfony2 converts a Request instance to a Response. So if both Symfony2 and Drupal8 use the same Request and Response classes it means that creating a sub-request and handing the response from Drupal8 into Symfony2 (or vice versa) will require no conversion at all.

He also points out Drupal's use of the ClassLoader component will make integration even easier. This is great news for Symfony fans out there that have been needing to work directly with a Drupal install (or even those wanting to create new Drupal additions in the environment they're familiar with). You'll have to wait for Drupal 8 to get these benefits, though.

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