Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Friday, 24 February 2012

Today I learned something new: Drupal on shared hosting OK

Thanks whoever commented on the post below:
  • Overlay
  • Dashboard
  • Context Links (this required by Commerce I think but I can skip the other two)
save a lot of memory if disabled.

Thanks whoever posted on http://drupal.org.uk/node/322
  • Several shared hosts do survive the memory demands of Drupal
  • There's one in North Carolina that specialises in Drupal and one in Purley. The thread attracts some people who want support email or phone support and some who have someone else to pay the bill, so it's hard to compare recommendations.
  • Meanwhile Heliohost.org enable one free account per user if it's active. The server is a testbed rather than a hotbed, with maximim add-ons and minimal constraints but 205 other users - few of them active - which this tool shows on a machine in Sacremento, California, routed via Frankfurt to me here in London.
Thanks to two pieces I've skim-read a bit at the start and still learned from.
  • I discovered caching for Drupal.
    "Shared server - no Varnish, no Memcache or APC" on a "case study disaster" told at Drupaldownunder was the clue. Now I know how a database driven site can be made to work as well as a plain html site: you add a cache so that it becomes almost an html site. I have managed to install Memcache; Varnish might not be ready for novices yet and one called "Boost" requries a snippet of .php added to the settings file. Does this need the opening and closing tags? Best avoided for novices just for a while. Evan as I type this I discover "content delivery networks" from skim-reading parts of the same lecture timetable. If I type ".nyud.net" after the domain part of the host for these apes, they load quicker!
  • I discovered that Drupal doesn't let you delete the settings.php file from a previous installation unless you use an FTP program to do it. Discovered from a blog in Australia - just a glance at the first couple of paragraphs confirmed the problem and its solution.
  • http://drupal.org/node/326504 about scalability looks relevant
So. Lots of little things come right in the world sometimes and I will not try to get a job as a bonobo monkey ape in a zoo.



Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Drupal 7 doesn't work on cheap hosting. (This is a secret designed to annoy people when they discover).

This is the conclusion I have reached after loads of developer videos failed to tell me: they use dedicated servers or their own hard discs.

The problem seems to be memory limits which have risen by mistake for no particular reason. Just as a Ryan Schama talks about "project creep" in his lecture, Drupal 7 has a Server Memory Creep towards needing an expensive host which nobody advertised or planned: it just happened and caught a lot of people out.

For those on the borderline there are three cacheing products

I find this frustrating because I did a bit of research over a year ago, trying to find out how to make a low-magin, loss making business sell more and at the time Drupal 6 / Ubercart was the fastest-loading software and I searched for days to find the fastest cheapest host. Now the calculation is a different one which rules out this host and this whole school of software together, and probably Drupal software altogether. I have spent over a year trying to learn the XYZ thing while shopping carts have forked and re-built themselves. Now I discover that I should have gone with Virtuemart in the first place. Such is life. If you read about an american going crazy and shooting people in a shopping mall, maybe they had just tried to install Drupal. Or maybe it was looking at the awful overpriced stock in TKMAX that did it. One of the two.

What other annoying things are there in life? Youth is wasted on the young? Trades unions let you down when you get an unfair dismissal? Radio station editors don't like news or music? Maybe I should petend to be a Bonobo Monkey and live in a park where zoo keepers will feed me.


Monday, 6 February 2012

Ubercart 3 is go
  • Ubercart 3 more-or-less mostly installs from my one-click Drupal installer and then trying to download one module at a time. Now the essential modules are installed I'm beginning to get fatal memory errors dispute a php.ini file saying that memory ought to be 128MB; I should work down the list of hacks in case something else works.
  • Ubercart 3 still expects complex shipping to be done with a module from the shipping company, which Royal Mail does not supply. I read that you can contribute a country, or maybe edit an existing one, to turn it into Europe or Worldwide which are the two overseas Royal Mail zones. From there it should be possible to write a shipping quote by weight.
  • Ubercart 3 doesn't have any books published about it on Amazon, but it seems pretty similar to Ubercart 2 except that it uses Drupal's standard Rules, apparently, and there is a knobbly bit on the side of a block that is something to do with editing. Probably lots of other things.
  • Someone has written about the two programs in a piece that I haven't read or made sense of -
    http://www.markroyko.com/blog/2011/12/14/ubercart-3-vs-drupal-commerce?utm_source=The+Weekly+Drop&utm_campaign=f26f5aec6a-The_Weekly_Drop_Issue_14_12_22_2011&utm_medium=email
Update 11.2013: Ubercart guides
  • Drupal 7 Ubercart 3 Ecommerce Manual by David Ipswich is a quick guide

  • Ubercart.org list videos by Peter Yarowski some of which are transcribed on this blog

  • Drupal 7 for Dummies (second edition) has an Ubercart 3 chapter which I have not read

For Drupal Commerce

  • Building E-Commerce Sites with Drupal Commerce Cookbook [Paperback]