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WTF: How do I get Drupal to put placeholder text inside my textfield?

What's that feature: the #attributes key.

Perhaps you have written your own javascript code to determine that an empty textfield does not have focus, and in such a situation place some placeholder text in the field. If you are using the FAPI there is an easier way. You can do this:

WTF: How can I find out what information is available in the node table?

What's that File (layout)?

There are many different ways to figure out what information the node table contains.

  1. You could use dsm($node); in an appropriate place in your code, assuming you have the Devel module installed.
  2. You could also use a poor man's version of dsm, a la drupal_set_message('<pre>' . print_r($node, 1) . '</pre>');.

WTF: Why is variable_get not pulling the value from the variable table?

What's that Feature?

When your code executes a variable_get what actually happens is that Drupal inspects the $conf global array variable to see if it contains an index with the variable name. It does NOT actually query the variable table.

Ways to shoot yourself in the foot: Custom module and theme names

I was writing an extremely simple custom module (for a D6 site) to make use of hook_block. Every time I enabled the module the blocks no longer displayed on the pages. Since it had been a long time since I had done any work in D6, I figured there must be something I was overlooking in how I wrote the function. If I disabled the module (or even just commented out the hook_block) function then the blocks reappeared. So, I spent a fair amount of time looking over how I had written the hook. But, I couldn't see anything wrong with it.

Drupal on AWS with RDS - PDOException

I am running a Drupal 7 site on AWS with an EC2 micro instance and RDS on Ubuntu 12.04. When I navigated to the URL patterns for Pathauto admin/config/search/path/patterns I was getting a nasty white screen with an error along the lines of PDOException: SQLSTATE[HY000]: General error: 2006 MySQL server has gone away. As it turns out, this is not the fault of Pathauto. The solution to this problem was to increase the max_allowed_packet value in the mysql server configuration.

Rules is cool until it makes you a fool

From the Rules project page:

The rules module allows site administrators to define conditionally executed actions based on occurring events (known as reactive or ECA rules). It's a replacement with more features for the trigger module in core[.]

Adding a pager to Views Slideshow displays

Many of you are probably already familiar with using the amazing Views Slideshow display plugin for Views. Out of the box it comes with different types of controls for the navigation. But, perhaps what you really want is to be able to add some other form of navigation, like those "dots" that you see in many slideshows. Here's how you do it:

Why doesn't (my custom) menu such-and-such appear in the menu settings dropdown

Well, I guess that (choose as many as apply): a) I'm really feeling like a fount of information today; b) I'm really inspired to share; c) I'm really trying to avoid doing any work. So, here's another quick pointer that may help somebody avoid a bit of frustration.

Using theme overrides

As long as I'm being sidetracked and/or feeling inspired to write, here's another quick entry. This one gives a brief introduction to hook_theme and theme overrides.

Triggers and Actions in action

It's been a really long time since I've posted anything and since I was just fooling around on the site to set up an action/trigger pair to notify me when somebody comments, I figured it would make a nice quick entry. Here's an easy example of how you can make use of Drupal's Triggers and Actions (which come as part of core.)

Credits: XWeb | Chris Herberte | Andreas Viklund