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Exciting weekend for Drupal

Fancy Javascript Stuff

This weekend JQuery1.0 was announced. There have been hopes and dreams to add this into Drupal core for a while, but it was waiting on GPL licensing, then on a 1.0, and now on proper agreement that it works well. So far, GPL licensing and the JQuery 1.0 have happened. Now we just need to make absolutely certain that it works well as a replacement and/or simply as an addition. You can follow the progress and problemsin this issue.

There seems to be a few bumps along the way, but hopefully we can solve them.

Fast Path File System Cache - fastpath_fscache

The file based cache was an interesting issue. In HEAD, Drupal contains at least two interesting improvements: partial bootstrap using drupal_bootstrap and the ability to have pluggable cache mechanisms. The first allows a highly custom page to do only a partial bootstrap if it knows that it only needs to interact with a subset of the Drupal "world" (i.e. apis, objects, etc.). The pluggable cache mechanism allows someone to say "well, I don't like having my cache in the default location of the database because my database server is my bottleneck, so I'm going to use an extra module to cache my files to the webserver's disk which is much faster". It allows people on a shared host to get the performance previously available only to fancy/complex server's with a reverse-proxy. This is very exciting to me because several of the sites I work on are situations with 90% anonymous visits and where the database is a bottleneck (e.g. this site). In those cases this file system cache module should be a great addition.

Note that as of this post, the fastpath_fscache module is listed as being "beta" quality and not recommended for production sites. I'd love to see some performance numbers, perhaps using the guidelines that webchick put together in the handbook on HOWTO Benchmark Drupal Code.

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TradeMarks and Keyword stuffing

Trademark Enforcement of a Certain Term Within Open Source

So, I don't want to say the term, but it's clear from this search that a company has been going around to various places and enforcing a trademark. When that happens to open source projects, it gets discussed in public and everybody knows about that action. If they do it to some close-walled company then the discussion is inside the walls and nobody knows. So, thanks to the open practices of open source projects, people can know what kind of a company they are dealing with when they deal with Collabrio.

Keyword Stuffing

One of the "tricks" of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that people will try to use is called "keyword stuffing". Basically, search engines use the frequency and density of certain keywords to determine the importance of a word on a site. It makes sense that if I write a certain word or phrase a high number of times in my pages that it's an important word to me and probably the subject of the page. Webmasters (and SEOs) will take the keywords for which you are trying to get a good ranking and weave them into more parts of the site and content so that your site gets a high ranking. In the "if 2 is good, 100 is better" mindset, this can be pushed too far and the content no longer makes sense. So, what if you could use the word on the page hundreds of times but hide it from users by making the text white on a white background? This would confuse search engines into giving you a higher ranking than you deserve! Search engines don't like to be tricked. Tricking them means that their results are less valuable to their users.

Reporting Keword Stuffers

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Search as economic predictor

What do you do before taking an important action?

You research. Since this is the internet age, how do you search? Google. Yahoo. MSN, AOL, At least that's how the majority of internet users research. Maybe you use Wikipedia. If someone were sitting on your shoulder and watching all of your search terms they would know the future of your actions.

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127 is the magic number (so is 128 and 32 and...)

So, today I'm working on a fun module I plan to use as the basis for my presentation at BarCamp and I, um, keep running into unexpected situations. Most of the time these involve the number 127 in the database. I bang my head on the problem for a couple seconds and then add in enough debugging statements to see that the database is either stopping duplicate keys or rounding a number down to 127 or...

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FON Social Router - FONero Growth by Country

So, back on July 14th when I started discussing FON I took a snapshot of the FON maps page. I figured hey, this thing is growing pretty quickly, wouldn't it be neat to have snapshots of this data so I know how quickly it's growing. Today is the first installment (I was a week late on the whole monthly snapshot thing, but close enough...).

For the impatient - overall monthly growth across the entire earth is just under 25%. This data isn't 100% accurate (they add you to the map before you physically install the router, for one, and I have a feeling they are slow to remove inactive nodes as well) but it's still pretty interesting.

Freedbacking to FON

And, hey FON guys, it sure would be nice if I could get a breakdown by municipality as well. Now that Spain is at 10,000 FONeros (spanish) it would be nice to know how many of those are in Barcelona or Madrid or...

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