Although predominantly a Drupal developer in the last few year, having had to learn ExpressionEngine for a contract project I have used it to build this site, my reasons for using it were explained in the following thought. As I get more involved with Drupal 8 I have been looking at other Symfony based projects, such as Silex and Sculpin, this site will shortly be rebuilt in Sculpin.

Increasingly there will be more articles and resources. I have had in the past a number of blogs on the Blogger platform, the main one at chris-on-the-web.blogspot.co.uk. but all of these can now be considered deprecated apart from the rather highly focused running-on-drupal8.co.uk (early and now ongoing experimentation with a Drupal 8 based blog site).

As the potential for realistically using Drupal 8 for feature-rich sites looms nearer, I am getting more and more eager to work with it for real, however also enthusiastic about working with Symfony and similar technologies.

At the moment

Note: The following are web/programmer related things, I do other things as well (really).

Work time

​Recently I have been experimenting with Apache 2.4 combined with PHP 5 PHP-FPM (rather than the more usual NGINX setup). This has been very successful for a number of high traffic Drupal 6 sites that I have moved from a single physical server to a number of VPS instances (saving over £600 in monthly hosting costs).

On my Drupal 8 blog I have been trialling switching in HHVM.

I am currently taking a break from Drupal for a while and working with other technologies (although often related, such as Symfony and Silex). Lucky enough to be involved with a big interesting project to deliver services and tools to help people doing a worthwhile job, rather than web sites. There is also a bit a return to Java particularly in connection with Drools (a rules engine).

Spare time and fun time

I have been doing doing a lot of my free-time development on the Codio.com web ide. I have written an article along with a script to aid development set-up of Drupal 8 on Codio.

I tested the Drupal contributed virtual machine project and raised a couple of issues with patches to fix. This is a Vagrant set-up, provisioned with Puppet and derived from a puphpet.com configuration, it is intended to be used as a development virtual machine for Drupal 8. I made a few modifications that may not be entirely useful for most and I started a fork on Github I have written more about this project. Ultimately I have concluded that the underlying approach is not sound or efficient so after investigating some Ansible based alternatives, I am finding the excellent Drupalvm project is probably the best development option.

Drupal 8

I have turned into more of a contractor than a freelancer. Part of the problem of contributing to the Drupal community for me has been not having employers that allow me any time for this, as a Drupal contractor however I guess I am the employer of me. In that case I have decided to spend more time working with the Drupal community (particularly in Bristol and the South West of England), working on issues (I have contributed to a number of contrib.. and core issues issues and documentation) and a blog about Drupal 8, running on Drupal 8. The Drupal 8 blog has involved working on the Drupal blog module (moved to contrib. for Drupal 8) and starting to work on theming in Drupal 8.

Chinese language software

I have been working on a prototype for some Chinese language learning software, the initial protoype is written in Python to run on Scripting Layer for Android, the repository is on Github.

A little background behind some of functionality I am supplying is on my Chinese learning blog. I need to write some documentation and then start work on the next prototype (which won’t require SL4A). Update: aiming to finish all documentation and writeup soon. Can’t wait to get a few peoples feedback on this and working on the next more accessible/functional prototype.

In the Pipeline

​I am polishing off and testing (via self use) my initial Chinese language fuzzy pinyin prototype which was written in Python to run on an android device, I have started work on a web base prototype that will be easier for others to use at the moment though Drupal work both professional and community is taking up most of my spare time.