About Me

Freelance computer scientist, web developer and devops. Consultant to many high profile, large Drupal deployments and flagship Drupal websites. Specialist in maintainable and scalable website development and security issues. Speaks Drupal, Ruby, and C++.

I've been doing Drupal full time for 7 years. I architect complete Drupal-based solutions, troubleshoot Drupal sites, optimise Drupal setups, and develop Drupal modules. I also created the Cyril programming language for live coding.

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Featured Posts

Drupal Site Builder Patterns - The State Machine

In this new series for my blog, I'll be documenting some common design patterns for Drupal site builds. This first post is about the State Machine pattern, which is something I've used on several sites recently.

First, let me explain what I mean by "pattern". If you are already familiar with design patterns in Object-oriented software then you can probably skip this bit, but I think it's useful for context.

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Everything I know about Drupal in 2 days

Right now, there is no more efficient way of building sites than using Drupal 7. At its core a stable CMS framework, and with a few solid 'API' modules from contrib-land, it offers everything you need to quickly build out functionality required for most websites in a flexible and easily customisable way.

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I Don't Use Recruitment Agents

I started working with Drupal full time in 2007. I knew back then I was on to a winner, as none of the other open-source systems I evaluated at the time offered the same power and flexibility. It took a while for mainstream web development community to catch on, but over the years the Drupal community has seen massive growth, and now Drupal powers some of the biggest sites on the internet, well over 1 million websites.

But, this success brings problems, and one recurring complaint I've heard over the years has been about the difficulty in finding top Drupal talent. This has made Drupal a prime target for recruitment agencies deception and dirty tricks.

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A serious bug in OpenSSL was disclosed last night. I just happened to check Hacker News late last night, about 2 hours after it had been posted.

Luckily, by this time Ubuntu had released updated packages for OpenSSL, and as most of the servers under my control are running Ubuntu Server, I could easily patch them to remove the vulnerability. The fix for RedHad seemed to take a little bit longer to arrive, but it's here now.

Patching the vulnerability is just the first step, there's a lot more work to do to recover from this bug...

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Drupal Theme Generator Update

It's been a week now since I demoed my proof-of-concept for an automated theme generator at the Drupal show and tell event so I thought I'd collect together the feedback I've received so far and post an update.

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Drupal Theme Generator Demo

I've been playing with the idea of automatically generating Drupal themes from static HTML/CSS/JS using annotations in the HTML markup. I put together a basic proof-of-concept of a tool to generate a Drupal theme, ctools layout and style plugins, and view modes and templates.

Last night at the Drupal Show and Tell event in London I gave a live demo of the theme generator in action. The event was recorded, so will be online eventually, but for now I've recorded this demo as a couple of attendees suggested this would give a better idea of the detail that couldn't be seen on the screen during the live demo.

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