Musings of a Manchester Drupal guy

Drupal, Open Source, Analytics, Social Media.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Improving product creation workflow in Drupal Commerce

Drupal Commerce represents a quantum shift in how to approach web shops on the platform. One aspect which has changed is the way products are generated. They exist as product entities which are related to a content types via a node reference. Lost you already? Well I think my clients would be lost at least.

The implication is that in order to publish a product you need to fill in 2 forms, ouch! I can see why it has been done this way, abstracting products from nodes allows us to create bundles and products which are only available when bought together. The unintended consequence is that my customers might get confused / daunted / make mistakes.

Fortunately Nylin has contributed "Commerce Product Display Manager" module which streamlines the process of product creation. It allows users to visit


and use one form to create the product entity and the node (or reference an existing node)


[ Download Commerce Product Display Manager ]

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lowther Castle gardens


Ambitious plans are in place to restore Lowther Castle and its grounds to their former glory. The gardens are now open for the public to explore. Its certainly a fascinating place and worth seeing before the work starts to realise what will be achieved over the coming years.

Posted via email from Paul's posterous

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tweeting once is a waste - reaching your audience

The chances of a Tweet being missed is high. As Twitter goes mainstream its inevitable people will follow more people. You can never be sure when your audience is online. If you appeal to a global audience this becomes particularly relevant.

The solution is to repeat your tweets 3 times distributing timings through the day. The times will vary depending on the habits and global distribution of your audience.

A great way to do this is using scheduled tweets in Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.

@guykawasaki uses this technique to great effect, by tweeting every 8 hours he reaches 3 global audiences without annoying people with repeated tweets because they are in bed.

Posted via email from Web, Social, Analytics, Open Source

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Remarkable javascript charting


Presenting data online has never been so easy nor beautiful. Highcharts is just one example of many Javascript based data visualisation tools.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

TED Talks - iPhone App


TED Talks are the kind of presentations which can leave a permanent impression, challenge your thinking, open your mind.

I am delighted to discover there is a TED app for iPhone which allows access to an extensive archive of taljs, enjoy.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Most Drupal Ecommerce sites are missing a huge opportunity! Want to know what?

I have proposed a session at DrupalCon London to present what event triggered emails are and importantly how to deliver them on the Drupal Platform.

"Event triggered emails are one of the most powerful types of email" -

To present, I need votes - I need your support

In order to have my proposal accepted, it will only take a minute ....

To vote please visit

Then go to

There is a 5 star (yellow voting section under the title) PLEASE VOTE 5 STARS! ;-0


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My Facebook account has been hacked! What should I do now?

Facebook has revolutionised communication. The benefits have also introduced new risks. Recently I noticed my Facebook account featuring undesirable posts which I most certainly did not create. The nature of the posts related to sex sites and stalking software. There are only 3 ways in which I expect a Facebook account could be compromised.

  1. A person with access to your computer or smart phone changes your password or simply posts on your behalf.
    • Do not stay signed in at work or in public spaces
    • Assign a password to your smart phone
  2. Apps which you have granted access to your Facebook account are not trust worthy and abuse their access
    • Revoke access to any App you are not totally sure about
    • Revoke all App access if you are not sure
  3. Software cracks have been run against your login to identify your weak password
    • Reset your password

How secure is your password?

So you think your password is secure? I expect it could be hacked in minutes, hours or days by any desktop PC! Read my article on how to create a secure password and discover how long cracker software would take to break into your accounts.

Do not use the same password twice

Never use the same password for multiple networks, email addresses, banks. If you do, a hacker will follow a trail and access all manner of private information.

Notify Facebook

If you suspect your account has been hacked be sure to notify Facebook at

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So you think your password is secure? Want to know how fast can it be cracked?

Online security has never been more important. It's time you considered how strong your password is, otherwise your accounts could be hacked in minutes by easily acquired software.

Does your password meet with these best practice rules?

A strong password should

  • Contain capitals and lower case
  • Contain numbers and special characters e.g. one or more of !@£$%^&*() (shift key and 1234567890 )
  • Not consist of a dictionary word or a name (like a maiden name, town / city, pet name etc)

How fast can I crack your password?

Try visiting and type it in, see how fast it can be cracked. The answer might be disturbing.

Strong passwords should take years to crack, ideally 100's or 1000's.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Drupal? Which big brands use Drupal? Well actually ....

It's a question I am sure you've all been asked. As Drupal gains mainstream acceptance it happens less frequently but some clients do gain confidence when they hear the following organisations and brands are using Drupal

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

MediaThursday in Manchester - great digital creative minds meet

MediaThursday is a new free networking event is aimed at getting the Manchester digital creative industry talking. I have never been a fan of recruitment companies, this offers a viable alternative for real world meetings of minds.

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Sunday, May 01, 2011

Tatton Park celebrates Japanese garden centenary


With poignant timing the outstanding Japanese garden at Tatton Hall, Knutsford, reaches its centenary. These eye catching traditional fish kites are presently decorating the monument at the far end of the gardens. If you have not witnessed the gardens, they are stunning right now, well worth £5 entry.

Posted via email from Paul's posterous