Busy IRL, but happier than ever

Filed under:  Google about "Personal"

I would like to mention that I'm very busy in real life these days, I haven't had the time to produce new content here at phpMiX.org since July and I presume it will be that way for the next couple of months or so. I hope to have the time to get back as soon as possible.

I have recently changed my day job, it is now my first job directly related to internet, at meristation.com. It's a games related magazine (all platforms) in spanish, with more than 1.5 million unique visitors per month, which is about to cross the 2000 rank at Alexa, a challenge.

I'm taking over all technical matters such as system administration (there are several web servers behind a load balancer and a proxy cache, also several mysql servers), but also site development (phpBB based forums and a proprietary CMS that, well, I'm planning to migrate sometime to, prolly, Drupal).

I'm very, very happy. It is also closer to home than I could have never imagined (just at a 5 minutes walk), which means I may still have some time for my wife/kids :)

Just 2 months later...


Total page hits/unique visits snippet

Filed under:  Google about "Drupal" |  Google about "PHP"

I just thought it would be nice to share how do I display the total page hits and unique visits counter on this site's footer.

The following is a small code snippet that you can place wherever you wish, for instance on a block or a PHP template. Of course, you can change the message or customize the look to suit your needs. :-)

<?php
// please, enter to view the snippet
?>

It uses the Drupal functions variable_get and variable_set to store the data. There's no admin interface to manage these variables. If you want to modify or remove them, you need to edit the drupal variables table.

Functions used to format the counter: (PHP) number_format and (Drupal) t and format_date.


Drupal page titles like breadcrumbs

Filed under:  Google about "Drupal" |  Google about "Search engines"

The page title is one of the most important pieces of information that search engines display on their results page, for any given search query. Choosing the right title for your pages, articles (or posts of any type) is probably a key factor that may lead users to choose your site ...or just jump to somewhere else.

By default, Drupal displays the site name and the page title, which is nice. However, any given page title you need to write is probably based on the context where it is published. So that alone might be misleading if it is not seen within the correct context. That is, in some circumstancies (say a book page, taxonomy based reports, etc.) only the title might not be enough.

On the other hand, Drupal has another pretty nifty feature, the ability to build breadcrumbs based on context. That's almost perfect, for what I was trying to accomplish. All we need to do is build the page title based on the current active breadcrumb and append the page title.

I thought I could share the code snippet I'm using on this site, so you may try it and see if such a small change can be translated into more visits coming from search engine queries.


Theming the Akismet spam counter

Filed under:  Google about "Akismet" |  Google about "Drupal"

If you are happy with the job being done by Akismet, then you may wish to display a link back to the Akismet site. To do so, the Akismet module for Drupal comes with the "akismet spam counter" block and a number of options that you can use to customize how it looks. There are also some hidden features behind this block that I would like to document here. First, I would like to mention the obvious features, then I'll try to describe how is it possible to display this information exactly as you wish.


Akismet module v1.1.2 for Drupal 4.7

Filed under:  Google about "Akismet" |  Google about "Drupal"

As soon as version 1.1.0 was released this site was visited by a nice spambot and I realized that there were a couple of minor bugs in the spambot detection code. Rather than waiting for some time to see if more bugs arise I decided to fix and release it asap. Those of you who are running v1.1.0, all you need to do is update the script akismet.module with the new one, which makes the upgrade path really simple. Hence version 1.1.2 is out.

Changelog:

  • Fixed bug: Do not apply anti-spambot checks if there have already been errors detected in the form.
  • Fixed bug: Do not check for empty body/mail in anti-spambot prevention code.
  • Added a function to expand the SQL query used to match spambots. This is hopefully better, for debugging purposes.

Installation and upgrade instructions are provided in the file INSTALL.txt included in the package. Only the script akismet.module has been changed since version 1.1.0.


Akismet module v1.1.0 for Drupal 4.7

Filed under:  Google about "Akismet" |  Google about "Drupal" |  Google about "Open source"

Although it took me a bit more time than expected, I'm happy to say that Akismet module version 1.1.0 for Drupal 4.7 is here.

Changelog:

  • Added experimental feature: anti-spambot options to prevent from Denial of Service (DoS) caused by certain spambots.
  • Rewritten moderation queue. It is now a bit more powerful, allowing operations against multiple items.
  • Code related to admin and cron has been moved to external files which are only loaded when needed. This is to minimize resource consumption during normal site operation.
  • Prevent from sending e-mail notifications to the same user who has written the content.
  • Removed unnecessary code in hook_install.
  • Added a couple of columns to the {akismet_spam_marks} table to speed up some queries. Requires running http://site/update.php

For further information, please check out the files README.txt and INSTALL.txt included in the package.


phpBB 3.0 "Olympus" Beta 1 is here!

Filed under:  Google about "Open source" |  Google about "phpBB"

Although it has been a long road, the Olympus Bug Tracker was officially opened 3 months ago ...and now, the 6th phpBB birthday has come with pretty nice present for us all, the first beta has been released. Can't believe it? Go look yourself! ;-)

It's Beta1, with limited support, with no conversion/upgrade tools yet, but hey, it's Olympus and it's really coming!


Akismet for phpBB is coming nicely

Filed under:  Google about "Akismet" |  Google about "phpBB"

Douglas Bell (aka Fountain of Apples) is working on an integration of Akismet with phpBB and he has just finished the first in a series of development phases along a nice introduction on what's all about.

If you're running a phpBB based board, you might want to keep an eye to the development topic of this promising MOD. ;-)