Programatically working with Panels in Drupal is a bit of a nightmare. Trying to figure out how to obtain the right panel display and discover the right load and save tasks can be an utter disaster as you try trace code through ctools, page manager and panels itself while trying to understand what a ctools task or handler is or how to load them.
If you're reading this blog post then you probably know by now that caching Drupal pages with varnish is pretty easy with Drupal 7. So long as the pages are anonymous. As soon as you're logged in however, the game changes. Infact as soon as you obtain a session with PHP, the game changes and you instead rely on block level caching and views and panels caching. For some sites that will be acceptable. But when you start to scale the amount of users hitting your site, PHP just can't keep up and you'll either start to run out of connections or max out your memory.
A while ago I blogged about one of the awesome powers of Drupal 7 - the ability to be database agnostic. The ability to migrate from one database server to another. A shift from one software product to another. Now while that isn't all that newer feature. Till now its been incredibily difficult to do. Till Drupal 7. Last week, I recieved an email asking me about how to migrate a SQLite database to MySQL. While i did try help remotely, I realised it would be much easier to write an open source script to do all the work. And considering the amount of conversation this particular conversation got at Drupalcon Chicago, I decided it was worth even making it into a module with a drush backend ability.
Reading the table of contents alone on this book got me excited. It looked like an how-to of every FAQ surrounding web services and social networking integration with Drupal.
Reading in the first chapter, this book comes across in full description and easy to understand. The concept of web services and how they work could be confusing to communicate to someone who doesn't understand XML or the HTTP protocol but Trevor James has done a good job in taking the time to explain how web services work including some real examples of how Drupal uses and provides web services.
Drupal 7 is Officially released. After 2.5 years of community work, the much perfected Drupal 7 has been released in all its glory. Its features include a test driven code base with a built in test suite, a sparkling new object orientated database layer that supports not just MySQL and PostgreSQL but SQLite also, improved caching and theming layer, file streamers, a major overhaul of the user interface to make Drupal more intuitive for end users.
First thought that came to my mind when reviewing the new book from David Mercer on Drupal 7 was "Its too early". As in, it seems to early to be releasing a Drupal 7 book considering that Drupal 7 hasn't been released. I understand that the Drupal community want to launch Drupal 7 and hit the ground running as previous releases have been slow to pick up momentum but as this particular book targets users who will use and administer Drupal 7 from the GUI interface, I am cautious to recommend the first edition.