Oh The Huge Manatee

Drupal, Sysadminning, and Tech.

Troubleshooting Android Error -505 From Google Play

I recently got a new Android phone, and very quickly had trouble installing some of my favorite apps. Google’s Play Store downloads the app successfully, then presents me with “Unknown Error -505”.

"Error 505"

This error message means precisely nothing. It means “something went wrong during installation, and we’re not telling you what.” This drives me crazy. This blog post is about how to get more information out of that error message, and how to fix the problem.

Your device is not going to give you more information on its own. Instead, you need to install ADB, the “Android Debug Bridge” which lets you type commands directly to your Android device over a USB connection. It’s not hard to install, so go and set that up now.

Next, you will have to make sure your Android device permits you to use ADB. On the phone, go to Settings > About Phone, and scroll down to where you see “Build Number” listed. Tap on “Build Number” until you see a popup telling you that you are now a “developer”. Then go back to Settings, and tap on the new “Developer Opt…

How to Build a New Source for Drupal Migrate 8

This week I wanted to accomplish a task in Drupal 8 that would be simple in Drupal 7: Import several CSV files, each one related to the others by taxonomy terms. Most importantly, I wanted to do it with Migrate module.

Migrate in Drupal 7 is a fantastic piece of code. It is not designed to be used from the GUI, rather, it provides a framework of “source”, “destination”, and “migration” classes so that even the most convolut…

How and Why to Update the Modem/baseband Firmware on a Samsung Android Phone

If you have a Samsung Android phone, and you use Samsung’s own version of Android, this article is not for you. When Samsung sends you updates to Android, they also will include any relevant updates to the modem/baseband firmware. So stop reading and go have a cup of tea or something, your job is done.

But for everyone who uses a custom ROM like Cyanogenmod, ParanoidAndroid, or AOKP, sit up and pay attention: you’re missing some key updates for your phone, and …

Drupalgeddon: Best Practices Aren’t Good Enough Anymore

Last week’s Public Service Announcement from the Drupal security team caused a lot of attention. And rightfully so – it told us that the vast majority of Drupal 7 sites around the world are considered compromised. A mere 7 hours after critical security patch SA-CORE-2014-005 was released, robots were spotted in the wild, bulk-hacking Drupal 7 sites with this vulnerability. This is something that’s never happened to the Drupal community before, and it is extremely serious. In some way it’s our own version of Heartbleed and other highly-publicized critical vulnerabilities in open source software.

This issue should not reflect badly on the Drupal community, or the Drupal product at all. Vulnerabilities happen to every software project – particularly the large and compl…

Mobile Apps Are a Temporary Phase, All Hail the Accessible Web

Dries made an interesting post about the new HTML5 standard the other day. OK, the post itself is more of an announcement, but the meat (as far as I’m concerned) is near the end, where he says that “The trend in development seems to be towards native mobile applications rather than mobile websites.” He links to the excellent Mobile is Eating the World presentation by Benedict Evans as evidence.

Really? Because while I agree with Evans that mobile in general is the future, I don’t see it as evidence that mobile apps, specifically, are the future. In fact I believe the contrary: mobile apps are just a phase. Mobile web is going to eat the world, and it’s because of the capacity for a single source to provide machine-readable, machine-reformattable content.

What do I mean by machine-readable and machine-reformattable? Technologists will understand what I mean when I say “responsive”, and they may even understand that responsive and accessible go hand in hand. I am avoiding those terms because they are more specific …

Bug: Multilingual Auto Label Will Break Your Entity Static Cache

This is an important one to note: If you use the popular Automatic Entity Label module on a multilingual site, it will break your paths because of an interaction with Drupal’s built in object cache. I looked at this briefly a few months ago and ran out of time, but my (badass) colleague bburg figured it out this week.

For now, the only solution is a slow one – we clear static entity caches when we generate multilingual titles. That’s not an awesome fix, but it’s hard to think of a better one without any of the D8 cache tagging functionality. Massive kudos to bburg for figuring this out!

And for those of you keeping score, this is a good example of how to file a bug report for a really complex issue in a really popular module… and follow up until you resolve it.

D8 Core Sprint in DC

A quick note to all the Drupalists in the DC general area – Forum One is trying to put together a D8 core sprint in their DC office space. They’re coordinating with the DC Meetup group to try and spread the word to as many community members as possible!

If you haven’t been to a code sprint before, it’s basically a coding party. Developers get together and help each other contribute better and faster by reviewing code on the spot, mentoring each other, and generally working in small ad-hoc groups. It’s a lot of fun, and gives a big boost to development of the next generation of Drupal.

Forum One will provide the locale in downtown DC complete with…

How to Configure Authcache on Drupal 7

So you have authenticated user traffic you want to cache? Good – you’re on the right post. This post is a walk through for caching content for authenticated users in Drupal 7. We will be using the Authcache suite of modules. If you haven’t read it yet, I strongly recommend you check out my last post, Authenticated User Caching Concepts in Drupal 7.

Our goal is a simple authenticated user caching system based on Authcache’s AJAX implementation, with a Memcached backend. We will serve pages…

Authenticated User Caching Concepts in Drupal 7

Drupal has a wide variety of highly effective solutions for caching anonymous user content. The typical setup is APC, Memcached or Redis, and Varnish in front, and this can easily serve thousands of concurrent anonymous users. There is excellent documentation out there discussing this kind of simple caching.

But what about authenticated users? You can cache elements of the page using a method like Render cache, Entity Cache, or Views Content Cache. But Drupal still has to assemble each page for your users, a relatively heavy operation! If you want to address hundreds or thousands of authenticated users, you’re simply SOL by these traditional approaches.

Enter the Auth Cache suite of modules. Though this project has been around for quite some time,…