28th January 2015

View from the dev team - January 2015

John Ennew
Technical Director

The fourth Wednesday of the month is Coder Lounge for the Deeson development team. Here we work on our own community projects or delve deep into a technology or problems which interest us.

Continuous integration

Steve was hooking up our Jenkins to a Bitbucket repository. We have a few sites doing this via Github already. We started by using a Bitbucket plugin, but a really useful blog post by Felix Leong showed how to do it using the native Jenkins callback url. So now our sites can be built on any Git push. 

The project we’ve put it on is actually right at the very beginning of development. It’s currently with our UX team who are doing Bootstrap prototypes. Still, the code would benefit from being versioned and it needs to be hosted somewhere where the client can see it.

The UX team are happy using the Web Storm tools to push in to the repository, but would be less confident SSHing in to the server and doing a pull. Now they don’t have to! Also, now it shouldn’t be part of the normal process to do a push without it being pulled to the dev environment, so they also don’t need to worry about merges, etc on the dev site. Build management is encouraging good process from the very start.

This is all part of our review of how we can better align UX, design and development. More on that later!

Nice Pagers

Adam has begun a new module to implement a pager with similar behaviour to this on here. Adam has already implemented this style of pager for a couple of our clients and thought it worth contributing back to the wider Drupal community. The initial version of the pager will likely work with just Apache Solr driven search results pages but there are plans to override the standard Drupal pager and to optionally allow AJAX loading of the pages rather than forcing a full page load.

Linux Containers for local development

Additionally Adam has been tinkering with Linux Containers (LXC) and has been building a proof of concept development VM using Vagrant and Virtualbox which he hopes will eventually replace his current development environment, Acquia Dev Desktop.

Symfony and MongoDB

John's been working on better understanding of Symfony applications and how they work with MongoDB using Doctrine's document management system. These are good underlying technologies for pure web APIs which we're using for a number of projects now.

Drupal Modules

Mike worked on updates for one of his community modules, Elastic Email provide ability to view the logs and customising the test emails.