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SitePoint PHP Blog:
From Request to Response: A Journey into Drupal 8 Internals
Aug 18, 2015 @ 10:22:33

In a post on the SitePoint PHP blog author Daniel Sipos takes you on a trip through the Drupal 8 execution structure, from request to response, in the internals of the tool.

In the first article on Drupal 8 module development we looked a bit at the routing aspect of this process. We’ve seen that creating pages with paths is now a matter of declaring routes that match up with controllers. The latter, as we’ve seen, can return a render array that gets interpreted into markup and displayed in the main content area of that page. However, did you know that under the hood, Drupal actually transforms that array into a Response object according to the dictates of Symfony’s HTTPKernelInterface?

In this article, I would like us to go deeper into the internals of Drupal 8 (and Symfony2) and look at what actually happens (and can happen) from the moment a request is made by a user to the one in which they see something returned in response.

He starts at the initial point of the request, the front controller, and talks about the creation of the Request instance and it's handling by the HTTPKernel. He moves into the kernel and talks about the events that are triggered during execution and provides an illustration of the flow of the request all the way through to the response. He then "goes deeper" into looking at render arrays and the HTMLRenderer handling to manage the output of the page on the Drupal side.

tagged: request response drupal8 internals symfony httpkernel overview

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/from-request-to-response-a-journey-into-drupal-8-internals/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Drupal 8 Theming Revamped – Updates and New Features
Aug 11, 2015 @ 11:08:28

The SitePoint PHP blog has a tutorial posted introducing some of the updates to the theme functionality in Drupal 8 including some new features.

If you are a Drupal developer who has dabbled in theming older versions of Drupal (5, 6, 7) you understand why frustration is the trusty companion of any Drupal themer. Luckily, though, Drupal 8 promises so many improvements that even the Angry Themer is happy for a change. It is only natural we jump in and start looking at what these improvement are.

They talk about the changes in:

  • creating a module and defining its theme
  • that Twig is now the template library
  • updates to template handling
  • how to debug themes/templates
  • working with assets and libraries

Each topic includes a summary of the changes or more information about the topic including links to other resources with more information about each.

tagged: drupal8 update theme feature twig template debug asset library

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/drupal-8-theming-revamped-updates-and-new-features/

Drupalize.me:
Learning Drupal 8 from Boilerplate Code
Jul 30, 2015 @ 11:48:06

On the Drupalize.me site they've posted a guide to getting started with Drupal 8 based on the boilerplate code that already comes with the release.

Drupal 8 represents a lot of changes and a steep learning curve for many Drupal developers and themers. While many of these changes are exciting, there are many things to learn just to get started. One way to learn about the code involved with Drupal 8 modules and themes is to take a look at core's modules and themes for examples to follow. Another is to use a code-scaffolding tool like Drupal Console to generate boilerplate code and comments that you can learn from and then customize.

He makes the assumption that you already have a development environment set up and working then helps you install the Drupal Console for use in the rest of the tutorial. You can then use this command line tool to create a new Drupal 8 installation and generate the boilerplate code for a new theme. Finally, they show the creation of the two other related components: a new module and a block plugin instance. These are generate generic code you can use as a reference point for either updating your current Drupal projects or create new ones.

tagged: drupal8 commandline console instance theme plugin block installation

Link: https://drupalize.me/blog/201507/learning-drupal-8-boilerplate-code

SitePoint PHP Blog:
How to Build Multi-step Forms in Drupal 8
Jul 07, 2015 @ 12:25:06

The SitePoint PHP blog has a post for the Drupal users out there showing you how to create multi-step forms in your application.

In this article, we are going to look at building a multistep form in Drupal 8. For brevity, the form will have only two steps in the shape of two completely separate forms. To persist values across these steps, we will use functionality provided by Drupal’s core for storing temporary and private data across multiple requests. In Drupal 7, a similar approach can be achieved using the cTools object cache. Alternatively, there is the option of persisting data through the $form_state array as illustrated in this tutorial.

They start by setting out what the end result will be - a simple two-page form with two fields each, allowing for navigation back and forth between the pages. They start with a base class defining requirements needed for both pages and setting up the necessary form structure. They walk through each part of this base class, explaining the functionality going along. With that in place they extend it with a "MultistepOneForm" and "MultistepTwoForm" classes extending the base and defining two fields on each.

tagged: tutorial drupal drupal8 multistep form

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/how-to-build-multi-step-forms-in-drupal-8/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Automated Testing of Drupal 8 Modules
May 04, 2015 @ 11:06:08

The SitePoint PHP blog has a tutorial posted talking about the automated testing of Drupal 8 modules, the components of the popular PHP-based content management system. In it author Daniel Sipos shows how to create a few tests for some functionality created in previous articles.

In this article we are going to look at automated testing in Drupal 8. More specifically, we are going to write a few integration tests for some of the business logic we wrote in the previous Sitepoint articles on Drupal 8 module development. [...] But before doing that, we will talk a bit about what kinds of tests we can write in Drupal 8 and how they actually work.

He makes use of the SimpleTest unit testing tool for PHP (versus something like PHPUnit) as it has become a standard for Drupal's own testing. He talks briefly about what SimpleTest is, how it integrates with Drupal and what kinds of tests already exist. He then gets into testing his own functionality - checking route information, that the page exists, the contents of the resulting page and the addition of a custom block plugin. He shows how to create these simple tests, extending the WebTestBase class, and checking each item on the list. He also includes an example of the resulting output of the successful testing, including time to execute and the detailed results of each test.

tagged: drupal8 automated testing tutorial simpletest introduction exists form custom plugin

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/automated-testing-drupal-8-modules/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Creating Custom Field Formatters in Drupal 8
Mar 12, 2015 @ 12:29:01

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted today showing how to create custom field formatters in a Drupal 8 application. Custom formatters allow you to enhance the current functionality of objects in the application and extend them with additional functionality.

With the introduction of annotated plugins, a lot has changed in Drupal 8. We have a more streamlined approach to describing and discovering pieces of functionality that extend the core. Along with many other components, the former Field API (part of the larger and consolidated Entity API) is now based on plugins. In this tutorial we will go through defining a custom field formatter for an existing field (image). What we want to achieve is to make it possible to display an image with a small caption below it. This caption will be the title value assigned to the image if one exists.

They start with a new custom module, starting with just the YAML configuration. Then they help you create the field formatter as a plugin in the "Plugin/Field/FieldFormatter" namespace (code included). They explain how this code works and show how to add it as a hook to make it available to the template layer. Finally they show it in use and how it places the title value into the image caption in the result.

tagged: drupal8 custom field formatter tutorial plugin image title

Link: Creating Custom Field Formatters in Drupal 8

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Exploring the Cache API in Drupal 8
Feb 26, 2015 @ 11:41:45

On the SitePoint PHP blog today there's a new tutorial (by Daniel Sipos) talking about the Drupal 8 cache and showing how to use it in an example, caching the latest post data pulled from the Drupal content.

Drupal 8 comes with many improvements over its predecessor we have grown to both love and hate. Next to prominent systems such as Views in core, configuration management or a useful translation service, there are also less known changes but that are equally important to know and use. One such improvement has been the cache API that solves many performance problems we have in Drupal 7.

They start with a basic introduction to the new cache handing and how the caches are separated out into different "bins" rather than all stored in one place. He includes sample code showing how to: save data to the cache, getting information back out and invalidating the cache to be handled by garbage collection. He also covers the cache tags, a feature that allows you to "tag" items across multiple caches and remove/invalidate them all at the same time. He wraps up the post getting into the more practical example showing the caching at work in a controller caching the contents of the posts to the Drupal site.

tagged: drupal cache drupal8 tutorial introduction improvement

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/exploring-cache-api-drupal-8/

php[architect]:
Build a VM for Drupal 8 with Vagrant
Nov 26, 2014 @ 10:22:22

A new tutorial has been posted on the php[architect] site today showing you how to build a VM for Drupal 8 with the help of Vagrant.

At this year’s php[world] hackathon, I spent my time getting a Vagrant machine configured to run Drupal 8. I know there are other options, like Acquia’s own Dev Desktop, or even Zend Server. However, I like using Vagrant to run my LAMP stacks, especially on OS X. I’ve never been able to easily run xAMP on non-Linux machines. Installing MySQL can be a pain, system updates can change the version of PHP you’re running, and some PHP extensions are really difficult to build—even with Homebrew. Vagrant simplifies getting a working development environment running by automating the provision of a virtual machine for you, usually with a tool like Chef, Puppet, or Ansible.

Oscar (the author) took advantage of some time at the php[world] hackathon to create the necessary files for building this environment. He walks you through the steps to creating the basic vagrant file with "config" options (explaining each one) and walks through the setup of additional options, software like Apache and Drupal. He then sets up the Ansible configuration to create the box, run the provisioning and configuration of the resulting server. Finally, he shows the result of the install if everything was successful.

tagged: drupal8 vagrant vm virtualmachine tutorial introduction configuration provision

Link: http://www.phparch.com/2014/11/build-a-vm-for-drupal-8-with-vagrant/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Drupal 8 Hooks and the Symfony Event Dispatcher
Oct 21, 2014 @ 13:14:53

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new tutorial posted today showing the interaction between Drupal 8 hooks and the Symfony dispatcher in the last part of their series showing how to build a custom Drupal 8 module.

With the incorporation of many Symfony components into Drupal in its 8th version, we are seeing a shift away from many Drupalisms towards more modern PHP architectural decisions. For example, the both loved and hated hook system is getting slowly replaced. Plugins and annotations are taking away much of the need for info hooks and the Symfony Event Dispatcher component is replacing some of the invoked hooks. Although they remain strong in Drupal 8, it’s very possible that with Drupal 9 (or maybe 10) hooks will be completely removed.

He starts off with a brief introduction to what the event dispatcher is and how it currently interacts with the Drupal 8 system. He uses a simple form example with two text fields and how to hook in the dispatcher to fire a "demo_form.save" event when the user submits the form. He ties this into a DemoEvent and sets up a simple subscriber. He ends the article with a look at using hooks to achieve the same kind of goal.

tagged: drupal8 tutorial hooks event dispatcher symfony component

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/drupal-8-hooks-symfony-event-dispatcher/

Acquia Blog:
5 PHP Components every Drupal 8 Developer should know: Part 1 - Composer
Jun 25, 2014 @ 12:04:23

On the Acquia blog there's a new post from Kris Vanderwater, Developer Evangelist, starting off a series of "Five PHP Components Every Drupal 8 Developer Should Know". In this first post he covers something that's more of a tool to deal with components and dependencies - working with Composer.

Drupal 8 has made a lot of changes. Architectural and technical changes abound, but Drupal 8 has also brought social changes. We’re not really feeling the full effects of those changes quite yet, but with time, I believe the implications of Drupal 8’s new direction will have an amazing impact for the good of our community. A big part of those changes was the decision to adopt outside code. [...] Interoperability is the driving force of this renaissance and that interoperability has been fueled by a combination of: [a few things including] the timely appearance of a tool known as Composer.

He briefly introduces the tool to those not familiar with it and its purpose. He links to some of the installation instructions, both global and local to a single project. He includes an example "composer.json" (to install the popular Guzzle HTTP tool) and running the "install" command. He gets into the directory structure and files that are created as a part of the installation. He also looks more deeply at the classmap file and how that relates to the files downloaded.

tagged: acquia component introduction drupal8 top5 composer

Link: https://www.acquia.com/blog/5-php-components-every-drupal-8-developer-should-know-part-1-composer