Remodeling Four Kitchens: A look inside our new brand
With the additions of Advomatic and Manatí, we’ve had an exciting few years at Four Kitchens. While we’ve remained fundamentally the same organization, we’ve also been evolving into something new. It’s time for our brand to catch up.Learn more
A more modern, sustainable approach to higher ed websites with YaleSites
A higher ed website is a product, not a project. Learn about Yale’s sustainable approach to digital development and how your team can do the same.Learn more
News and insights from the Web Chefs
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Drupal’s vulnerability reports are not signs of security weakness
I've been tweeting back and forth with Alex Limi, one of the founders of Plone, about the validity of the security analysis from a CMS comparison report that includes Plone and Drupal. He's proud of Plone's infrequent vulnerability notices; it had two in the last year. Drupal had 26. Alex also cited a related IBM report on security in a later tweet.
The hidden costs of proprietary software #2: Your vendor is an adversary
The relationship between customers and vendors of proprietary software is fundamentally adversarial: Proprietary vendors have business models where customer activity requires payment to the vendor. Because the activity happens entirely on the customer side and paying the vendor conflicts with the customer's desire to save money, proprietary software vendors don't trust their customers to pay them.
“CVS Instructions” tab now available for all Drupal.org projects
Drupal's CVS is now more user-friendly! As part of the Documentation Sprint at Drupalcon DC 2009, web chef David Strauss built a "CVS Instructions" tab for Drupal.org. The tab provides concise, step-by-step instructions on how to check out, commit, patch, tag, and branch any module or theme. A simple drop-down box at the top of the page allows the user to select the version of the module or theme they want to work with, and the instructions are updated to display exact, copy-and-pastable commands.
The hidden costs of proprietary software #1: Optimizing around licensing
Articles abound about the "hidden costs" of using free, open-source software. Some of the claims are legitimate; others are FUD. Here at Four Kitchens, we're on the opposite side. We advocate using free software like Drupal (and our own free-software derivative, Pressflow) whenever possible.
What makes Pressflow scale: #1 faster core queries
Drupal has a number of queries with unfortunate scalability profiles. URL alias counting (one instance in core) The biggest offender in Drupal 5 and Drupal 6 is the query counting the number of URL aliases: SELECT COUNT(*) FROM url_alias. This query dates back to when nearly every Drupal site ran on MyISAM, which is important because MyISAM keeps an exact count of the number of rows in every table, making SELECT COUNT (*) FROM an O(1) (read: fast, constant-time) operation.
Schema changes should be lazy
We're in the middle of upgrading Drupal.org, and many of the longest-running upgrades involve schema changes. Unfortunately, MySQL with InnoDB has a very unfriendly method of doing schema changes: it rebuilds the table and blocks all writes until the new table is ready. A more sensible approach would be schema versioning that allows different parts of a table to have different schema versions. This would minimize blocking, allowing schema changes to happen without downtime.
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