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My first mobile site, in Drupal of course

In 2008 I built my first Drupal site, for the furniture business of my family. The site proved to be a big success and we started some other furniture sites as well later on. I also worked on many other Drupal sites and the web in general hasn't been standing still. So last year we decided it was time for an upgrade. Not as easy as thought with a site that is ranking extremely well for a wide range of keywords. It also appeared more difficult to get to a new design.

Releasing a Drupal site? Check robots.txt!

Whenever you release a site for which it's somewhat important that it's indexed in Google: check your robots.txt.

Cheapest way to get from Brussels to Maastricht (and vice versa)

"What's the cheapest way to get from Brussels to Maastricht?" I just got this question from a friend and I think it's good more people know about an option to get from Brussels to Maastricht for just a bit more than 10 euros. Well, I'm actually going to discuss the third cheapest way to get from Maastricht to Brussels. Of course the two cheapest ways are hitchhiking and walking (in this order, since you'll be very hungry when walking from Brussels to Maastricht). If you take the train in Belgium regularly this option will be a good deal for you.

Dumped by

I decided to check out what is about, apart from parking domains. I copied 10 domains in their application form (that's the minimum) and received this a couple of days later:

In order for to pay industry leading payouts we have to ensure traffic quality for our network is of the highest standards.
Our traffic quality department has analyzed your application and has determined that it does not currently meet the standards we are looking for in new partners.

The Traffic Quality Department

Five reasons you should you start developing your domains right from the start

I'm not an average domainer. I have a strong IT background with tons of experience with search engine optimization. Hence I have a different outlook on this business that can be valuable to this business and to everyone on the Internet. Here you find five reasons why you should you start developing your domains right from the start.

  1. Domain age matters. Website age matters. The sooner Googlebot comes over to see what's going on the better. Even if there is just a standard template, this will be better than nothing.

Slicehost DNS API Python code

I'm setting up quite a few domains these days. The interface of the company is far from great and it doesn't allow bulk updates for DNS records. Fortunately I still have a Slicehost account. At the moment I don't have any VPS running there but they still allow their customers to use their DNS services. I think that's a smart way of retaining clients - and getting new ones.

So, I got some dot .so domains

I've decided to focus on creating a reasonable and steady income through SEO efforts. I'm not super proud of this activity but it gives me a lot of freedom (from offices, deadlines and clients) and I think there will be many nice side effects. The main vehicle for the Dutch language effort is Proemevlaai (actually, it's Limburgish for plum pie)

Books LLC scam on Amazon

I love books about linguistics and I've been learning Hebrew and Arabic for a while now. So I was happy to see this title on Amazon: Semitic Linguistics: Proto-Semitic Language, Semitic Root, Status Constructus, Broken Plural, Nonconcatenative Morphology, Emphatic Consonant.

Scam LLC

Remove all blocks from a Drupal theme

Very useful when moving towards Features:

DELETE FROM blocks WHERE theme = 'your_theme_name';

From drush sql-cli, of course.

This is especially useful when building a subsite, for which I'm now mostly convinced by Sections.

(mdb to) csv to MySQL

Quick and dirty PHP script to turn a CSV file into a table in a MySQL database. Used for a Drupal project, so I ran it with drush php-script. Couldn't find anything better online. Feel free to use it.

If I need it again some time I will probably make it a bit nicer (I might also make it nicer if you ask me nicely and/or pay me to do it).

In the project I'm using it, I first converted an .mdb file to .csv with mdbtools.

Rewrite Rules (not) - Lowercase URLs, but only for some specific paths

This took me enough time to get right to post a little blog post about it:

        RewriteEngine on
        RewriteMap lc int:tolower
        RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (shared|Shared|download|Download)/[A-Z]
        RewriteRule (.*) ${lc:$1} [R=301,L]

Note that this doesn't work in .htaccess - you have to put it higher up in the Apache configuration.

Recursively create lowercase symlinks to filenames with uppercase letters - in Python

I'm working on a project to convert a big ASP website into Drupal. On Windows OSes there is not really a distinction between upper and lower case characters in filenames. At first I thought to just leave the capitals, but on web pages links were sometimes with capitals and sometimes lowercase. So I added some stuff to the Apache configuration, usually inside the VirtualHost directive (this does not work in .htaccess):

        RewriteEngine on
        RewriteMap lc int:tolower
        RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} [A-Z]

Support for Dutch sites in Drupal Service Links

For my little project site about swimming pool construction I decided I needed some way to spread links better over Dutch sites. So I hacked around a little bit in Drupal's Service Links module and I just uploaded some files to support nujij en eKudos. I want to add some more Dutch sites, but there ain't that many it seems.

Ads are back - this time FLOSS only though!

This month I found out about the free software advertising network. I took the opportunity of moving my blog to Drupal to add ads for ethical computing, approved by the Free Software Foundation: "The Free Software Community now has an ethical alternative to ad networks that promote proprietary software".

Damn, I'm even tempted to click on these ads myself!

Moving my blog from WordPress to Drupal

WordPress is a great blogging platform. I've been using it for a couple of years now for my blog. However, with some small exceptions I haven't really dived deeper into it. Since most of my professional time (and a lot of my hobby time) goes into Drupal I started looking into moving my blog to Drupal. I've also been thinking about how I want to publish more about the work I've been doing.

I'm going to FOSDEM

memcache doesn't necessarily speed up your Drupal sites

Sites that show up quickly on a user's screen tend to keep the user's attention for longer and also rank better in Google. So when listening to the excellent Lullabot Podcast 80: Top 40 Drupal Modules Revisited I was caught by Drupal experts stating that Memcache would even speed up your site if it's not a high traffic site. It could off-load the database. I decided to give it a try on a relatively low traffic site of one of my clients.

Adding Group overview to CiviCRM contact summary page

Intal's CiviCRM needed some customizations. So I delved into CiviCRM's templating system, which is based on smarty.

Drupal Camp Ghent 2009

I'm going to Drupal Camp Ghent 2009 11th and 12th of December.

Hitchwiki everywhere

"Aard Dictionary is a multiplatform dictionary and offline Wikipedia reader. It runs on desktop computers, notebooks and netbooks with Windows, Linux and Mac OS X as well as Nokia Internet Tablets (N800 and N810) and anywhere Python, PyGTK and ICU are available.