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Deeson Online: Using Grunt, bootstrap, Compass and SASS in a Drupal sub theme

Drupal News - August 17, 2014 - 10:37pm

If you have a separate front end design team from your Drupal developers, you will know that after static pages are moved into a Drupal theme there can be a huge gap in structure between the original files and the final Drupal site.

We wanted to bridge the gap between our theme developers, UX designers, front end coders, and create an all encompassing boilerplate that could be used as a starting point for any project and then easily ported into Drupal.

After thinking about this task for a few weeks it was clear that the best way forward was to use Grunt to automate all of our tasks and create a scalable, well structured sub theme that all of our coders can use to start any project.

What is Grunt?

Grunt is a Javascript task runner that allows you to automate repetitive tasks such as file minifying files, javascript linting, CSS preprocessing, and even reloading your browser.

Just like bootstrap, there are many resources and a vast amount of plugins available for Grunt that can automate any task you could think of, plus it is very easy to write your own, so setting Grunt as a standard for our boilerplate was an easy decision.

The purpose of this post

We use bootstrap in most projects and recently switched to using SASS for CSS preprocessing bundled with Compass, so for the purpose of this tutorial we will create a simple bootstrap sub theme that utilises Grunt & Compass to compile SASS files and automatically reloads our browser every time a file is changed.

You can then take this approach and use the best Grunt plugins that suit your project.

Step 1. Prerequisites

To use Grunt you will need node.js and ruby installed on your system. Open up terminal, and type:

node -v ruby -v

If you don't see a version number, head to the links below to download and install them.

Don’t have node? Download it here

Don’t have ruby? Follow this great tutorial

Step 2. Installing Grunt

Open up terminal, and type:

sudo npm install -g grunt-cli

This will install the command line interface for Grunt. Be patient whilst it is downloading as sometimes it can take a minute or two.

Step 3. Installing Compass and Grunt plugins

Because we want to use the fantastic set of mixins and features bundled with Compass, lets install the Compass and SASS ruby gems.

Open up terminal, and type:

sudo gem install sass sudo gem install compass

For our boilerplate we only wanted to install plugins that we would need in every project, so we kept it simple and limited it to Watch, Compass and SASS to compile all of our files. Our team members can then add extra plugins later in the project as and when needed.

So lets get started and use the node package manager to install our Grunt plugins.

Switch back to Terminal and run the following commands:

sudo npm install grunt-contrib-watch —save-dev sudo npm install grunt-contrib-compass —save-dev sudo npm install grunt-contrib-sass —save-dev Step 4. Creating the boilerplate

Note: For the purposes of this tutorial we are going to use the bootstrap sub theme for our Grunt setup, but the same Grunt setup described below can be used with any Drupal sub theme.

  • Create a new Drupal site
  • Download the bootstrap theme into your sites/all/themes directory
    drush dl bootstrap
  • Copy the bootstrap starter kit (sites/all/themes/bootstrap/bootstrap_subtheme) into your theme directory
  • Rename bootstrap_subtheme.info.starterkit to bootstrap_subtheme.info
  • Navigate to admin/appearance and click “Enable, and set default" for your sub-theme.

Your Drupal site should now be setup with Bootstrap and your folder structure should now look like this:

For more information on creating a bootstrap sub theme check out the community documentation.

Step 5. Switching from LESS to SASS

Our developers liked less, our designers likes SASS, but after a team tech talk explaining the benefits of using SASS with Compass (a collection of mixins with an updater with some cleaver sprite creation), everyone agreed that SASS was the way forward.

Officially Bootstrap is now packaged with SASS, so lets replace our .less files with .scss files in our bootstrap_subtheme so we can utilise all of the mixin goodness that comes with it SASS & Compass.

  • Head over to bootstrap and download the SASS version
  • Copy the stylesheets folder from boostrap-sass/assets/ and paste it into your bootstrap_subtheme
  • Rename the stylesheets folder to bootstrap-sass
  • Create a new folder called custom-sass in bootsrap_subtheme
  • Create a new file in the custom-sass called style.scss
  • Import bootstrap-sass/bootstrap.scss into style.scss

​You should now have the following setup in your sub theme:

We are all set!

Step 6. Setting up Grunt - The package.json & Gruntfile.js

Now lets configure Grunt to run our tasks. Grunt only needs two files to be setup, a package.json file that defines our dependencies and a Gruntfiles.js to configure our plugins.

Within bootstrap_subtheme, create a package.json and add the following code:

{ "name": "bootstrap_subtheme", "version": "1.0.0", "author": “Your Name", "homepage": "http://homepage.com", "engines": { "node": ">= 0.8.0" }, "devDependencies": { "grunt-contrib-compass": "v0.9.0", "grunt-contrib-sass": "v0.7.3", "grunt-contrib-watch": "v0.6.1" } }

In this file you can add whichever plugins are best suited for your project, check out the full list of plugins at the official Grunt site.

Install Grunt dependencies

Next, open up terminal, cd into sites/all/themes/bootstrap_subtheme, and run the following task:

sudo npm install

This command looks through your package.json file and installs the plugins listed. You only have to run this command once when you set up a new Grunt project, or when you add a new plugin to package.json.

Once you run this you will notice a new folder in your bootstrap_subtheme called node_modules which stores all of your plugins. If you are using git or SVN in your project, make sure to ignore this folder.

Now lets configure Grunt to use our plugins and automate some tasks. Within bootstrap_subtheme, create a Gruntfile.js file and add the following code:

module.exports = function (grunt) { grunt.initConfig({ watch: { src: { files: [‘**/*.scss', '**/*.php'], tasks: ['compass:dev'] }, options: { livereload: true, }, }, compass: { dev: { options: { sassDir: 'custom-sass/scss', cssDir: 'css', imagesPath: 'assets/img', noLineComments: false, outputStyle: 'compressed' } } } }); grunt.loadNpmTasks('grunt-contrib-compass'); grunt.loadNpmTasks('grunt-contrib-sass'); grunt.loadNpmTasks('grunt-contrib-watch'); };

This file is pretty straight forward, we configure our watch tasks to look for certain files and reload our browser, and then we define our scss and css directories so that compass knows where to look.

I won’t go into full detail with the options available, but visit the links below to see the documentation:

Watch documentatation

SASS documentatation

 

Step 7. Enabling live reload

Download and enable the livereload module into your new Drupal site. By default, you will have to be logged in as admin for live reload to take effect, but you can change this under Drupal permissions.

Once you enable livereload, refresh your browser window to load the livereload.js library.

Step 8. Running Grunt

We are all set! Head back over to Terminal and check you are in the bootstrap_subtheme directory, then type:

grunt watch

Now every time you edit a scss file, Grunt will compile your SASS into a compressed style.css file and automatically reload your browser.

Give it a go by importing compass into the top of your style folder and changing the body background to be a compass mixin.

@import 'compass'; @import '../bootstrap-sass/bootstrap.scss'; /* * Custom overrides */ body { @include background(linear-gradient(#eee, #fff)); }

To stop Grunt from watching your files, press Ctrl and C simultaneously on your keyboard.

Step 9. Debugging

One common problem you may encounter when using Grunt alongside live reload is the following error message:

Fatal error: Port 35729 is already in use by another process.

This means that the port being used by live reload is currently in use by another process, either by a different grunt project, or an application such as Chrome.

If you experience this problem run the following command and find out which application is using the port.

lsof | grep 35729

Simply close the application and run “grunt watch” again. If the error still persists and all else fails, restart your machine and try to stop Grunt from watching files before moving on to another project.

Next steps…

This is just a starting point on what you can achieve using Grunt to automate your tasks and gives you a quick insight to how we go about starting a project.

Other things to consider:

  • Duplicating the _variables.scss bootstrap file to override the default settings.
  • Adding linted, minified javascript files using the uglify plugin
  • Configure Grunt to automatically validate your markup using the W3C Markup Validator
  • Write your own Grunt plugins to suite your own projects
Let me know your thoughts - you can share your ideas and views in the comments below.

 

Read moreUsing Grunt, bootstrap, Compass and SASS in a Drupal sub themeBy David Allard | 18th August 2014

Victor Kane: Super simple example of local drush alias configuration

Drupal News - August 17, 2014 - 6:12am

So I have a folder for drush scripts _above_ several doc root folders on a dev user's server. And I want to run status or whatever and my own custom drush scripts on _different_ Drupal web app instances. Drush has alias capability for different site instances, so you can do:

$ drush @site1 status

So, how to set up an aliases file?

(I'm on Ubuntu with Drush 6.2.0 installed with PEAR as per this great d.o. doc page Installing Drush on Any Linux Server Out There (Kalamuna people, wouldn't you know it?)).

Careful reading of the excellent drush documentation points you to a Drush Shell Aliases doc page, and from there to the actual example aliases file that comes with every drush installation.

So to be able to run drush commands for a few of my local Drupal instances, I did this:

  • In my Linux user directory, I created the file ~/.drush/aliases.drushrc.php
  • Contents:
<?php $aliases['site1'] = array( 'root' => '/home/thevictor/site1/drupal-yii', 'uri' => 'drupal-yii.example.com', ); $aliases['site2'] = array( 'root' => '/home/thevictor/site2', 'uri' => 'site2.example.com', );

Then I can do, from anywhere as long as I am logged in as that user:

$ cd /tmp
$ drush @site1 status
...
$ drush @site2 status

and lots of other good stuff. Have a nice weekend.

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Wesley Tanaka: Fast, Low Memory Drupal 6 System Module

Drupal News - August 15, 2014 - 5:24pm

A Drupal 5 version of this module is also available.  If you would like this patch to be committed to Drupal core, please do not leave a comment on this page—please instead add your comment to Drupal issue #455092.

This is a drop-in replacement for the system.module of Drupal 6.33 which makes your Drupal 6 site use less memory and may even make it faster. A test I ran in a development environment with a stock Drupal 6 installation suggested that I got:

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Appnovation Technologies: Some World-Class Museums Using Drupal

Drupal News - August 15, 2014 - 12:56pm

I love museums and galleries! I love Open Source! I love Drupal! Why not weave them all together into a single, harmonious blog post, I thought….

Mediacurrent: Join Mediacurrent for These Drupal and Digital Marketing Events

Drupal News - August 15, 2014 - 12:16pm

Some Mediacurrent's top talent will be leading discussions on the latest developments in Drupal and digital marketing trends in many upcoming events. Check out the links below for more information and to register. We hope to see you there and make sure you stop by and say “hello”!

Drupal @ Penn State: Drupal, Singularity, Digital Activism, and saving our institutions

Drupal News - August 15, 2014 - 9:51am

It is as important to tell a great story using technology as it is to author technology that allows more stories to be told.

Acquia: New Commons Media Integration

Drupal News - August 15, 2014 - 6:22am

Drupal is known for providing a broad range of functionality with its extensible core and the tens of thousands of free contributed modules which add or extend functionality. One challenge for people who are building applications on top of Drupal is taking advantage of this flexibility and broad range of available functionality without compromising the usability of their applications for end users, and even for themselves as site maintainers.

Four Kitchens: Frontend roundup: DrupalCon Amsterdam

Drupal News - August 15, 2014 - 5:50am

As many of you might know, I am now on the other side of the pond, so I’ve paid extra attention to the DrupalCon Amsterdam schedule as it has been coming together. I want to highlight a few frontend goodies that I’m particularly excited to see.

DrupalCon Sass CSS JavaScript Drupal

Mediacurrent: Responsive Web Design using Sass at Drupalcamp Los Angeles

Drupal News - August 15, 2014 - 4:44am

I'm very excited to be a featured speaker at this year's DrupalCamp Los Angeles on Saturday, September 6th and Sunday, September 7th. This event, held at annually at the conference center at the University of California, Irvine, is a free event for the Drupal Community of Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Greater Southern California area. My session will focus on Responsive Web Design using Sass.

Morten.dk: Frontend United copenhagen 2014

Drupal News - August 15, 2014 - 2:29am

Welcome back from your summer vacation. Now its time to get out of the sun, and get indoors and geeking out!
Its gonna be the fifth time for Frontend Drupal Badass'es that we gather and discuss & talk Drupal Frontend. We have done this since 2010 (Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, London) and now its time for the bike loving city of copenhagen to again host a little Drupal Event.

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IXIS: We are 10 today - A look back

Drupal News - August 15, 2014 - 1:33am

We are 10 today (ok strictly tomorrow but it's the weekend!)  We're all off to Centre Parcs over the bank holiday weekend to celebrate, and thought it was good time to reflect on some of the highlights and changes over the previous ten years.

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Drupal 8 and iOS: GSoC 2014 : An example iOS app project status

Drupal News - August 14, 2014 - 9:56pm
GSoC 2014 : An example iOS app project status

Hello Drupal Community,

I and my mentor Jeff Linwood ( https://www.drupal.org/u/jefflinwood ) we are very glad to inform you that GSoC 2014 project - an example iOS application for Drupal 8 has been completed.Links to all these projects along with demo video is given below. 

 

DrupalRESTKit : https://github.com/vivekvpandya/DrupalRESTKit

Tips&Tricks AFNetworking : https://github.com/vivekvpandya/TipsAndTricksAFNetworkingDrupal

Tips&Tricks NSURLSessionAPI : https://github.com/vivekvpandya/TipsAndTricksCFNetworkingDrupal

Demo :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iny71Kwgn_I

 

As per the requirement we have demonstrated CRUD operation for content entity , login - logout , fetching data from REST export ( for view). Due to file related bug in REST module () we are unable to demonstrate CRUD on file resources. We have used AFNetworking and we have also created same project with NSURLSession API.

 

 We have also created a generic DrupalRESTKit it simplifies developers task for CRUD on content entity, user, and comments. And still we are improving it. Any suggestion and feature requests are welcomed. If  you are an iOS developer then you can participate too. 

 

We have several other ideas in mind like we want to create an iOS app that can control Drupal 8 settings and configuration like putting site on maintenance mode, approving comments , user etc.

Is you face any problem regarding iOS and Drupal 8 communication ( specially REST module ) I would like to help you please mail me at [email protected]. If you find my project useful please intimate me. 

 

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