July 22, 2008

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Weekly review: week ending July 20, 2008

Oops. I’m a bit late. =)
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There wasn’t much else to report besides the GBS Learning Week and my feedback from it. Worked a lot during those four days, ended up slightly frazzled on Thursday and thinking about overtime. Survived making seven presentations in one week! Also, got some practice in driving, came across a few cool videos, such as What teachers make (inspiring) and the Emacs Org Google tech talk (geeky), and worked on some more Drupal stuff. Had nice chat with Mom.

Goals for this week:

  • Get that much closer to a release-worthy version of the Drupal site.
  • Blog more about Emacs in an attempt to get back on the book-writing track. Thanks to folks in #emacs and people who have been e-mailing/commenting on Emacs-related stuff!
  • Meet up with people in Ottawa. W- is going to the Ottawa Linux Symposium.

Drupal: Testing multisite/domain-access Drupal locally and on a testing server

We’re using Domain Access to manage a number of related subdomains on a single server. I prefer to develop and test locallly, then push my changes out to a testing server so that other people can try the system. I use the same domain names on my computer and on the test server so that I don’t have to make any changes in the database. To switch between them, I comment or uncomment a line like

127.0.0.1 example.com sub1.example.com sub2.example.com

in my /etc/hosts file.

However, Firefox caches the domain name information, and it can be confusing to figure out which server I’m on. The following setup makes this much easier:

  1. Install Domain Details to show the IP address of the server in your status bar. Good for a quick check – am I on 127.0.0.1 or elsewhere? (NOTE: I started with ShowIP, but it looks like ShowIP caches the information.)
  2. Install the Clear Cache Button extension.
  3. Restart your browser and customize your toolbar. Add the Clear Cache button. Click on this before switching sites.

In an ideal world, I’ll have a plugin that automatically twiddles my DNS entries, too. =)