Installing multi-core Apache Solr 4.x on Debian, Ubuntu, Red Hat, CentOS, and more

I've installed Apache Solr on a range of servers over the years. The consistent problems are I don't do it enough to memorize it, but it's enough to be frustratingly repetitive. I end up researching the process every time. I've discovered this is a common problem for many people. There are numerous blog posts describing the process in detail. Download this, configure that, etc. This time I needed to install Solr on two local dev machines, the staging server, and the production server. I thought: "Four times? Nope, I'm scripting this!"

Disable/Prevent hotlinking of your Drupal images in Varnish or Apache

I'm going to assume you know what image hotlinking is and get to the details of prevention. The easiest to way to setup hotlinking prevention is to disable it in your Drupal site's .htaccess file. There are a few problems with this method:

The definitive Drupal "Field API Option List vs. Taxonomy" pro & con list

Here I am building out a content type for a new project again. I've got to decide whether to use a Option List field or a Taxonomy field. It's an easy choice right? Right? Once you think far enough down a site roadmap, you'll discover it rarely becomes a simple answer. I've read many articles on the subject and nothing I've found seems to cover all details. That being said, if you find any details or related links I've missed be sure to let me know in the comments.

Making a custom block with an admin settings form in a Drupal module

Often while building a Drupal website, you'll need to create a custom Block containing HTML and content. Completely standard right? It's a problem when your client or the site maintainer needs to change some of that content. They are forced to wade through significant amounts of HTML to find that little bit of content to update. Instead, why don't you build a custom settings page? Your site maintainer gets a simple form to update and you get variables to output.

Compiling the PDO_4D extension in recent versions of PHP5

Are you running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS? Are you working in PHP5? Do you need to access 4D database hosted on an external server? Have you discovered that PDO_4D won't compile when downloaded via PECL? Have I narrowed this to 0.001% of the world yet? Still with me? Well! That is exciting.

Here is how you can compile and install PDO_4D:

Use the TeamworkPM API to publish your Task List

I received a request from a few co-workers: They wanted their complete task list available to everyone in the company. The easist solution is to add everyone to their projects or give everyone admin access, but neither of those options are acceptable. So, I finally had an excuse to try out the TeamworkPM API!

Forcing a mysqldump to always be nice to CPU and I/O

Exporting or dumping a database with mysqldump, pg_dump or sqlite is a common procedure. The problem is the programs always run as fast as possible generally monopolizing your hard disk and sometimes your CPU. This can noticeably slow down other processes. Generally, responding to a HTTP request or a simply a ls command is more important than the database dump. If the dump takes slightly longer you'll probably never notice it.

An IRC server with ircd-hybrid and hybserv on Ubuntu 12.04LTS

I setup a private IRC server today on an Ubuntu 12.04LTS machine, but ran into some frustrations in the process. Hopefully, this can simplify the process for you.

Using theme hooks to display a tpl.php on a menu path

The Node, Views and Panels modules can (and should!) handle most pages you need on a site, but sometimes you need complete control of a "hard coded" content area. You could create a new Page node with a Full HTML text format. Instead, how about putting the whole thing in code? Your work will be in version control and much more straightforward to maintain. Imagine editing HTML in a text editor rather than in the Drupal admin! So much better.

Force a guaranteed git pull success story

Sometimes you need to script a git pull or you just want to completely reset a repo to HEAD. You there are loads of errors git can throw you in the process; such as error: unable to unlink old 'sites/default/settings.php' or error: The following untracked working tree files would be overwritten by checkout. Below is my take on the complete repository reset/clean/pull. Let me know in the comments if you've got a better way or find errors I'm missing.

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