January 19, 2016

We got a basic understanding of what a Drupal service is previously. Let's put that into action by creating a simple service in Drupal 8. Take note that this service what we are about to create doesn't do anything useful yet, and is written with a pedagogical purpose in mind.

November 12, 2015

Drupal 8 has this concept of services, or reusable PHP objects. The distinguishing feature of services is that their initiation is configurable. In other words, we can configure what type of instance is created and when this instance is created in the code, mostly without changing the code at all.

Why is this a big deal?

March 24, 2015

We defined what a plugin is, discussed some plugins used in core and wrote our own custom plugin previously. We shall tune it up a bit in this post.

Real world plugins have a lot more properties than the label property mentioned in our breakfast plugin. To make our plugin more "real world", we introduce 2 properties, image and ingredients.

March 4, 2015

Checkout part 1 and part 2 for understanding the concept of plugins. In this installment, we will be

  1. Implementing a new plugin from existing plugin types.
  2. Implementing a new plugin type using the annotation based discovery mechanism.

As an exercise, let's first construct an imaginary scenario where the user of your Drupal site wants choose what they want for breakfast from a list of breakfast menu items.

February 16, 2015

We saw in part 1 how plugins help us in writing reusable functionality in Drupal 8. There are a lot of concepts which plugins share in common with services, like:

  1. limited scope. Do one thing and do it right.
  2. PHP classes which are swappable.

Which begs the question, how exactly are plugins different from services? If your interface expects implementations to yield the same behaviour, then go for services. Otherwise, you should write it as a plugin.

February 10, 2015

Plugins are swappable pieces of code in Drupal 8. To see how different they are from hooks, let's take an example where we want to create a new field type.

In Drupal 7, this involves:

  1. Providing information about the field

    hook_field_info - describes the field, adds metadata like label, default formatter and widget.

    hook_field_schema - resides in the module's .install file. Specifies how the field data is stored in the database.

February 9, 2015

Annotations are PHP comments which hold metadata about your function or class. They do not directly affect program semantics as they are comment blocks. They are read and parsed at runtime by an annotation engine.

Annotations are already used in other PHP projects for various purposes. Symfony2 uses annotations for specifying routing rules. Doctrine uses them for adding ORM related metadata.Though handy in various situations, their utility is debated about a lot, like:

  1. How to actually differentiate between annotations and actual user comments?


January 13, 2015

One of the things you are likely to do if you write a custom module or a theme is include third party Javascript and/or CSS assets in it. Previously, this used to be a clumsy hook_library_info() array but is replaced by a YML file in D8. It makes asset management look more organized and easier to edit. Let's see how to do this for the colorbox module.

The new YML file will have the naming convention modulename.libraries.yml.

January 7, 2015

Though Drupal 8 is technically advanced compared to its predecessor, writing a module involves a lot of boilerplate code.