phpDay! Applicazioni Facebook con Drupal

by Alice Avallone on May 15th, 2009

Segnaliamo con grande orgoglio il talk dei nostri Paolo e Stefano Mainardi al phpDay, l’evento italiano dedicato a php  – oggi e domani a Verona. Tema del (doppio!) intervento? Sviluppare applicazioni Facebook con Drupal!

Facebook permette ad applicazioni esterne di poter essere totalmente integrate all’interno della piattaforma Facebook.com. Nel talk verrano presentate tecniche di integrazione sia per applicazioni Drupal già esistenti, sia per l’utilizzo di Drupal come piattaforma di eccelenza per lo sviluppo di nuove applicazioni. Presto online le risorse!

UPDATE: Come promesso, ecco le slide dell’intervento!

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Capistrano? Sì grazie

by Redazione on October 6th, 2008

Inutile dire nuovamente quanto ci piaccia Capistrano ma al contrario è molto utile farvi vedere come lo utilizziamo anche al di fuori di Rails.

In occasione dell’incontro del Ruby Social Club avvenuto il 24 settembre scorso nei nostri uffici Giovanni ha infatti preparato una presentazione dove illustrava come utilizzare Capistrano per effettuare il deploy di Drupal.

Grazie ai potenti mezzi tecnologici messici a disposizione dalla rete siamo qui oggi a riproporvi la stessa presentazione in versione integrale e senza censure.

Slideshare in questo ci ha dato una grossa mano, di seguito il documento.

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Developing Social Networking Applications with Drupal

by paolo on August 30th, 2008

Image by David King

I’ve been toying for a long time with the idea of tying a Drupal based social network, and at last I got the opportunity of doing that thanks to WikiSAP.

WikiSAP scope goes beyond what Drupal offers out of the box and thanks to that we’ve been able to appreciate the flexibility and the power offered by a well modeled development framework and an endless library of community contributed modules that allowed us to cherry pick in a sea of extra functionality.

Drupal learning curve is steep, the official documentation is sparse and has almost no entry level support and there isn’t an exhaustive document about the complex hooks and overrides system provided by the Drupal core.

A quick search shows that many people stick to good old PHP, rather than going for Drupal, probably scared of the many configuration options.  However building a social site is very possible as there are a number of modules supporting groups and messaging and that can be used in combination as proposed in the lists you can find on Linux Notes, Programming Bulls and Neemie’s blog.

Some good books later, and with an eye fixed on the API page (excellent) we were able to get up to speed and become productive.

Once we reached productivity-land we were able to choose the following modules to extend Drupal beyond the CMS-stage into a Social Network:

In addition to those modules there is a set of “standard” modules, not part of the core, but absolutely needed for any serious Drupal development: CCK, Views and Workflow-ng.

Some modules don’t offer the full functionality you’d expect, like Privatemsg, that doesn’t allow to send messages via email or to select contacts from the user’s buddylist. To solve this problem I developed a module that extends Privatemsg, you can find it here. It’s called Privatemsg-ng.

Privatemsg-ng adds the following features to Privatemsg:

  • Integration with OG, Buddylist, User roles (core)
  • File attachments (the recipient gets a link that allows him to download the attachment)
  • Outbound mailing is integrated with job_queue

If you never tried Drupal I highly suggest you try it now.

You can find the italian version of this post here.

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Sweeter, Nicer Drupal with Capistrano

by Ivan Vaghi on July 18th, 2008

We didn’t make a fuss about it (although we wish we had the time to do it :-) but we have recently released Montalbano.tv

We are working hard to fatten our portfolio, and it has been great to put a new notch on the belt in our portfolio, side by side with WikiSAP.it.

Both Montalbano and WikiSap are Drupal-based system, as they have a strong editorial component and make wide use of the CMS capabilities of Drupal.

Drupal is very very nice to get started, but as clients start asking you for more complex features – yes they always do! – you have to develop custom modules, do strange magic with the rendering hooks and coordinate more and more people working on the same Drupal instance. Not an easy task on Drupal, if you ask me.

What makes me proud about the people here at MIKAMAI is that we are never happy to just get the work done, but we are always try to extract every nugget of knowledge to hone the process and get the job done better and faster. Giovanni, our Technical Director, is now working on our own Drupal distribution, where we try to address many of the problems that you meet when doing team development on Drupal.

One big point is the externalisation of logic from the DB to files, do that we can put everything nice and safe on Git. The other issue is the deployment. Drupal doesn’t really help with it.. fortunately we are all Ruby on Rails developers and Capistrano always lends an helping hand. Here are Giovanni’s thoughts and experience on using Capistrano to deploy Drupal applications in our projects. Enjoy the post.

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