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The RPGnet Newsletter: RPGnet Newsletter #31

RPGNet - 24 November 2015 - 12:00am
About Rogue Games support and the newest Media threads.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Superseeds: The Boz, Part 3

RPGNet - 24 November 2015 - 12:00am
Profiles and seeds for The Boz.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Pantheon Blog: Explicit Drupal: Clear Intentions in Drupal 8!

Planet Drupal - 23 November 2015 - 7:36pm
Much of the conversation in the Drupal 8 development cycle has focused on “NIH vs. PIE.” In Drupal 8 we have replaced a fear of anything “Not-Invented-Here” with an embrace of tools that were “Proudly-Invented Elsewhere.” In practice, this switch means removing “drupalisms,” sections of code created for Drupal that are understood only by (some) Drupal developers. In their place, we have added external libraries or conventions used by a much wider group of people.
Categories: Drupal

OSTraining: Put Drupal Sites in Maintenance Mode Manually

Planet Drupal - 23 November 2015 - 7:14pm

Drupal allows to set a website offline with a few clicks via the admin interfacte.

However, we've seen situatuons where the admin interface becomes unavailable, often via a white screen of death.

In this tutorial, I'm going to show you a manual way to force your Drupal 7 site in maintenance mode.

Categories: Drupal

Greater Los Angeles Drupal (GLAD): GLADCamp 2016 is at SCALE 14x on January 21, 2016!

Planet Drupal - 23 November 2015 - 2:43pm

Greater Los Angeles Drupal Camp (GLADCamp) is a full day of Drupal on January 21st, 2016, at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California.

We've partnered with SCALE 14x, the 14th annual Southern California Linux Expo, and are planning an all-day event that's packed with activities, including presentations and sessions.

GLADCamp has a focus on "Drupal for good" and civic engagement. We're still looking for a partner venue where we can feature either a non-profit summit or a Coder's with a Cause "barn raising" to benefit a local 501c3 non-profit, but for now we're ready to announce GLADCamp on January 21st, 2016.

Are you looking forward to warmer weather? Join us at GLADCamp, the sunniest DrupalCamp of the season!

We'll be announcing our call for presentations in the next couple of days.

Stay tuned to this event announcement, the website and @GLADCamp on Twitter for upcoming news and announcements.

Register for GLADCamp 2016

To register for GLADCamp 2016, you must register for SCALE. See the SCALE website for more information or register now at  

Who should attend GLADCamp?
  • Anyone wanting to know more about how Drupal can help you solve your problems.
  • Anyone wanting to network with others using Drupal in your area, either geographically or in your industry.
  • Anyone wanting to grow their Drupal team, or be hired for Drupal work.
  • Anyone wanting to give back to the Drupal community. The power of Drupal is in the community so contributing back helps us all.
  • Anyone wanting to learn more about Drupal, past, present and the future.
  • Non-profits wanting to learn how to use Open Source and Drupal to amplify your efforts.
GLADCamp needs you!

We can't do it without your help. We need volunteers to help with the following activities:

  • Join the session selection committee! We need a team that accurately reflects our community and expected attendees;
  • Help with info/registration desk (2 hour shifts); answer questions, sign attendees in;
  • Be a timekeeper at sessions in order to keep our presentations on schedule;
  • Join our video team and help record sessions and assist presenters with screen recording software;
  • Design and print signs, posters and badges for GLADCamp; we can provide logo and brand guidelines;
  • Wrangling volunteers for day-of tasks;
  • Organize evening reception, including help finding a location near the Pasadena Convention Center;
  • Print designers: design and print common area signs, posters, badges;
  • GLADCamp set-up and breakdown!
Tags: Planet Drupal
Categories: Drupal

DrupalCon News: The Druplicon Tours India

Planet Drupal - 23 November 2015 - 12:26pm

We couldn't be more excited to bring DrupalCon to India: it's a unique and colorful nation with many amazing cultures. Though the Con itself will be held in Mumbai, we strongly recommend that anyone traveling to India for DrupalCon take the time to tour some of the many fascinating regions of India.

How much does India have to offer? Our friends at Niswey illustrated the Druplicon on a tour of the country, experiencing four unique cultures that India has to offer. Here's the comic, and you can see more information on each frame below.

Categories: Drupal

Web Wash: Build a Blog in Drupal 8: Create and Manage Menus

Planet Drupal - 23 November 2015 - 12:22pm

A website's navigation plays an important part in how easy a site is to use. It's essential that you spend time fleshing out the overall IA (Information architecture) or you'll end up with a site that's hard to use and difficult to navigate through.

Previous versions of Drupal have always offered a simple interface for managing menus, and Drupal 8 is no exception.

In this tutorial, we'll continue building our site by adding in some menus. We'll create a custom menu which'll be used to display links to popular categories, then create an "About us" page and add a menu link to the footer.

Categories: Drupal

Axelerant Blog: How To Set Up Drupal RESTful Caching

Planet Drupal - 23 November 2015 - 11:00am

The Drupal RESTful module has a multitude of caching options and sorting through them on your own for the first time can be slow. This article will help you get started with Drupal RESTful caching.

NOTE: RESTful 2.x module was recently released. This article focuses on the 1.x RESTful module version and the techniques mentioned below may not work if you are using any other release.

Your caching options can be controlled at various levels in code. Knowing which layer your application needs is just as important as knowing how to execute, but we’ll start off with how, we’ll move on to why later.

hbspt.cta.load(557351, '5ad743d7-d16e-4b64-bc0a-078bc790dea1'); Start with Drupal RESTful Caching

To start caching your endpoint, the initial configuration is setting render to TRUE in the plugin file under render_cache key.

RESTful skips caching your endpoint if this setting is FALSE, which is the default value. In addition to this, Drupal RESTful also ships with support for the entitycache module for entity based endpoints.

Here’s how a typical flow looks like for an endpoint:

function viewEntity($id) { $cached_data = $this->getRenderedCache($context); if(!empty($cached_data->data)) { return $cached_data->data; } // perform expensive stuff and construct payload $values = construct_payload(); $this->setRenderedCache($values, $context); return $values; }

$context is the entity context, like the bundle name, entity ID and any other metadata you might find to be relevant to constructing your cache key. In most cases, just the bundle name, entity type and ID would suffice. RESTful fills in other contextual data like endpoint name, GET parameters, etc. RESTful builds your cache keys in a crafty way so that it is easy to do CRUD operations in bulk. For instance, clearing all caches for the “articles” endpoint would be something like clear("articles::*").

Within the RESTful project, RestfulBase.php houses all the caching primitives, like getRenderedCache, setRenderedCache, clearRenderedCache and generateCacheId. The last function, generateCacheId, constructs the cache key based on the $context supplied to that endpoint.

Preventing Cache-Busting

It is also worth noting that Drupal RESTful caching allows you to override the key generation logic on a per-endpoint basis. This is especially useful when you want to build a custom cache key.

While working on, we had to build a cache key which is agnostic of specific GET parameters. By default, the generateCacheId builds a different key for the following endpoints:

  • articles/23?foo=123456
  • articles/23?foo=567898
  • articles/23?foo=986543

Though a different key for each of these calls makes sense in most cases, it is redundant in some cases. E.g. we return the same payload for all the above 3. To change this behavior, we ended up overriding generateCacheId.

The setRenderedCache, getRenderedCache, and clearRenderedCache operate upon the default cache controller, which can be specified in the plugin using the class key inside render_cache. This value defaults to DrupalDatabaseCache.

This default value can also be explicitly set to your favorite caching backend. In our case, we use the memcache module and set this value to MemCacheDrupal. Again, Drupal RESTful allows you to configure caching backends on a per-endpoint basis.

Managing Caching Bins

Cache backends have this concept of bins, which is an abstraction for similar data which can be grouped together. Examples from the Drupal core are cache_filter and cache_variable.

There is a bin setting for every endpoint in the plugin file, which is cache_restful unless we explicitly specify otherwise. It is advisable to store high traffic endpoints in exclusive bins.

There is an expire setting for each endpoint, which dictates the cache expiration for that endpoint. This defaults to CACHE_PERMANENT, which means that the entry will never be wiped off until it is explicitly selected for clearing.

The alternative is CACHE_TEMPORARY which indicates that it will removed in the next round of cache clearing.

These are the very same constants used in Drupal cache interface’s cache_* calls. There is a middle ground too, which isn’t documented. The expire value can be set in seconds. This is a deviation from Drupal’s convention of mentioning it as a timestamp.

Varying Caching by Role or User

Some endpoints need to be cached for each role, and some for each user. This granularity can be controlled by the granularity setting, which takes either DRUPAL_CACHE_PER_USER or DRUPAL_CACHE_PER_ROLE. This depends to some extent on your authentication mechanism too.

We wrote our own authentication mechanism and had a user created exclusively for the API and serving the endpoints. We gave this user an exclusive role and configured per-role caching for all the endpoints.

Here’s how the plugin configuration looks for one of our endpoints:

$plugin = array( 'label' => t(Recommended Videos'), 'resource' => recommended_videos', 'name' => recommended_videos__1_1', 'entity_type' => 'node', 'bundle' => video', 'description' => t('Get all recommended videos for a given article.'), 'class' => RecommendedVideosResource__1_1', 'authentication_types' => array( 'my_custom_token', ), 'minor_version' => 1, 'render_cache' => array( 'render' => TRUE, 'expire' => CACHE_TEMPORARY, 'granularity' => DRUPAL_CACHE_PER_ROLE, ), // custom settings 'video_sources' => array(youtube', 'vimeo'), ); The anatomy of a Cache key

A cache key using the default key generation logic looks like this:


The corresponding endpoint URL looks like this:


The first part is the API version, followed by the resource name, which is “recommended_videos”. The next part is either a “uu” or “ur” depending on whether it is user level or role level granularity. Next is the entity type (e.g. node) with a prefix “pa”. This is followed by the entity ID part, which is “ei:105486” in this case.

The last part is the truncated key-value list of GET params foo and bar. Each logical section is separated by a “::” so that it is easy to do a selective purge, as in wiping out all endpoints for v1.0 of the API would be a call to clear("v1.0::*").

Note that a GET for a collection of resources like latest comments results in a viewEntity for each item in the collection and as many cache entries. If you want a single cache entry for the whole collection, you have to custom build your payload and call setRenderedCache as shown in the initial endpoint workflow code snippet.

Other Considerations Be Diligent, Validate Cache Strategies Early

RESTful is designed as being very modular from the ground up and has a provision for controlling caching settings for every endpoint. Such a high level of control is both good and bad. Digging through an issue for hours because some settings for an endpoint are misconfigured isn’t fun for anyone. Unless the settings are clear and explicit, it makes issues hard to debug and sort out.

Be diligent and validate your caching strategy from the beginning.

Memcache Stampeding

Another thing to look out for is memcache stampeding. Memcache stampeding occurs when a missing key results in simultaneous fetches from the database server, resulting in a high load. Memcache is designed to prevent too many requests from piling up.

With our work with, we could mitigate the need for passing these requests to Memcache by properly managing our Varnish layer.  We will detail on how we fixed the stampeding issue and constructed a Drupal RESTful Caching strategy in a later post. Stay tuned!

Need help with Drupal RESTful Caching on your team? Learn More Drupal RESTful Caching Resources

The post How To Set Up Drupal RESTful Caching first appeared on Axelerant.

Categories: Drupal

Acquia Developer Center Blog: Integrating Drupal with a Proprietary Analytics Platform: How Did it.

Planet Drupal - 23 November 2015 - 9:07am
Stefan Deeran

One of the great things about Drupal is its flexible system of nodes and taxonomies. This allows for bespoke categorization of many types of content.

At, we wanted to take advantage of that., which has an alliance with Acquia to bring joint tech solutions to the worlds biggest media companies, works with hundreds of digital publishers to provide audience insights through an intuitive analytics platform.

Tags: acquia drupal planet
Categories: Drupal

AJAX Mini Panels for Pages

New Drupal Modules - 23 November 2015 - 7:34am

This module allows you to AJAXify a panels page by making links and form submissions on the page cause the specified mini-panels embedded in that page reload themselves via AJAX.

To use this module, simply download and enabled it, then turn on Panels Mini Ajax in the configuration for the panels pages you want AJAX enabled on.

Categories: Drupal

Computers can perceive image curves like artists

Virtual Reality - Science Daily - 23 November 2015 - 7:34am
Imagine computers being able to understand paintings or paint abstract images much like humans. Now a researcher demonstrates a breakthrough concept in the field of computer vision using curves and lines to represent image shapes and furthermore to recognize objects.
Categories: Virtual Reality

Cryptic.Zone: Where is hook_page_alter in Drupal 8?

Planet Drupal - 23 November 2015 - 7:11am

In Drupal 7, hook_page_alter was a convenient way to go when we needed to modify page elements that were added by other modules. Drupal 8 does away with this hook - hopefully for the better. To fill the void created by hook_page_alter’s dismissal, the following hooks have been introduced.

Categories: Drupal

ERPAL: Automation is the key to support SLAs

Planet Drupal - 23 November 2015 - 5:15am

If you want to grow recurring revenue by providing SLAs for your Drupal projects, automation is THE key to offering a reliable response time. Of course, you could build a dedicated 24/7 support team - but the cost will be exorbitant!

There are many tools out there for digitizing your support and automating some of the processes. A well-defined support concept is the key to success. In this blog you'll get an introduction in four foundations of automated support systems. Read more

Categories: Drupal

Conserving Tennis For Two - by Ben Johnson Blogs - 23 November 2015 - 4:41am
I worked with Brookhaven National Laboratory and the New York Historical Society to recreate one of the first videogames ever made: 1958's Tennis For Two. Here's what I learned by recreating a game designed half a century ago.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Own Your Hiring Process Pt. 2 - by Shaun Leach Blogs - 23 November 2015 - 4:41am
Part 2 of owning your hiring process. This week I talk about what my process is. What's yours?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to Supercharge Your Mobile Ad Revenue - by Pavel Golubev Blogs - 23 November 2015 - 4:41am
Learn a couple of things on how to improve your ad revenue.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Why Should You Participate in Game Jams - by Stas Korotaev Blogs - 23 November 2015 - 4:41am
Game Jam is an awesome opportunity to improve your skills and even more. Here I wanted to show some of the reasons to participate in a game jam yourself.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Some tips for hiring audio contract work - by Sebastian Uribe Blogs - 23 November 2015 - 4:41am
A short list of tips for making it easier to find the right freelancer for your game audio.
Categories: Game Theory & Design
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