WordPress – WPML – fix an incorrect language

I had a site using WPML (WordPress Multilingual) where the site’s language picker was set to English but a Chinese translation was consistently showing up for one particular item.

This turned out to be a simple case of the wrong language being set for the post in the database, but to the best of my knowledge you’d never be able to find that out from the UI.

Fortunately it’s easy to detect and fix with some simple PHP and SQL – the examples below use WP-CLI commands.

Firstly, you can use wp shell to verify the language the post is set to.

wpml_get_language_information('',123456);

The language is stored in the wp_icl_translations table, where element_id = the post ID.  So, using wp db query:

update wp_icl_translations set language_code = 'zh-hans' where element_id = 123456;

The above sets the post language to Chinese, which means it won’t be visible when the English version is requested.

Remember to clear any caches you are using.

 

How to install a drupal.org sandbox module using composer

Sandbox modules don’t have a drupal.org/project/foo URL like full contrib modules, and therefore you can’t use composer require drupal/foo to add them.

If you have a Drupal 8 site using drupal-composer/drupal-project, here’s what to edit in composer.json – using a sandbox module of mine as an example.

  1. Within the repositories section
"drupal-wturrell/ckeditor_remove_elementspath": {
    "type": "package",
    "package": {
        "name": "drupal-wturrell/ckeditor_remove_elementspath",
        "version": "0.0.1",
        "type": "drupal-module",
        "source": {
            "url": "https://git.drupal.org/sandbox/wturrell/3018599.git",
            "type": "git",
            "reference": "8.x-1.x"
        }
    }
},

2.  In require (or run composer require with the name you’ve specified)

"drupal-wturrell/ckeditor_remove_elementspath": "^0.0.1",

You can choose any name you like, but drupal-username/module makes sense to me.

Your sandbox module doesn’t need a composer.json file of it’s own.

Blocking ‘Next up’ notification on Amazon Prime (for people who have respect for movie end credits)

Regardless of your ‘auto play’ setting, Amazon Prime Video displays a “Next Up” box bottom right, with movie artwork, on reaching the credit offset point; because, after spending perhaps more than two hours watching a film, who doesn’t want immediately want to start another?

Here’s the adblock rule you need:

www.amazon.co.uk##DIV[class="nextUpWrapper"]

(i.e. you’re blocking div.nextUpWrapper)

Acquia Dev Desktop 32-bit MySQL

It’s worth noting the version of MySQL that comes installed with Acquia Dev Desktop 2 (5.6.41-84.1) is still 32-bit (unlike PHP which is now 64-bit).   Recently I was testing with a particularly large database and found it kept crashing with things like:

‘MySQL server has gone away’

Lost connection to MySQL server at ‘reading authorization packet’

Intensive operations such as Drupal-to-Drupal migration tended to trigger this.

I used MySQLTuner but the changes made little difference so then it occurred to me the 32-bit version simply wasn’t up to it, so I installed the latest 64-bit mariadb from homebrew instead and moved the relevant databases over to that (I have mariadb running on port 3306 and Dev Desktop’s MySQL on it’s default 33067).

So far it’s been stable.

Troubleshooting Drush with Acquia Dev Desktop

Scenario: large Drupal 7 site where cache is extremely slow or fails to clear…

drush cc all

…and eventually PHP runs out of memory (“cannot allocate”).

Check Drush is using the correct version of PHP, it may not be – use drush status or, more simply: drush php

To fix:

$ which drush
/Applications/DevDesktop/tools/drush

$ vim /Applications/DevDesktop/tools/drush

# edit the PHP version: [ -z "$PHP_ID" ] && PHP_ID=php7_1

Drupal debugging: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() EntityFieldManager.php:490

You might see this error occasionally when installing/uninstall modules, running db updates etc.

The code in EntityFieldManager.php loops through an array of entities – each of which is a bundle, for example the user entity contains all the user fields you may have created.

The trick for debugging is to dump the contents of $bundle_field_map and look for something wrong – e.g. my issue was an empty (NULL) font entity, which had been left behind after attempting to remove the fontyourface module.

Backup the DB (obviously) then look in the key_value table for records where collection = entity.definitions.bundle_field_map – for me it was a case of deleting name = font, value = N; and the problem went away.

(So an alternative to writing code is to look at the DB table first.)

Add a PHP extension to Acquia Dev Desktop

(Updated Fri 19 Oct 2018 for latest DevDesktop built Sep 19 2018 14:51:36)

Let’s assume you have the latest Acquia Dev Desktop, which comes with various PHP versions up to 7.2, and you want to install the PHP memcached extension so you can use Drupal’s memcache module to make your local development a bit faster (and test for any memcached issues on production).  But first…


Why still use Dev Desktop in 2018? Running PHP and MySQL directly is blisteringly fast compared to Docker for Mac – usually several seconds every page load, and with ADD you can instantly PHP restarts when changing a config setting (e.g. enabling/disabling Xdebug) compared to having to wait a minute or more for a Lando container to rebuild (Docker containers are immutable; you have to rebuild the container to make a significant PHP.ini change like adding or removing an extension – you can’t just restart the service). Composer is faster (still a bit annoying, of course, but consider what it’s doing in the background). Drush is faster, including rebuilding the cache. Over a day, every day, this all really adds up.  For those of you using laptops, your battery life will be extended too. (Docker can also use quite a bit of CPU when idle).

Running PHP on the host means you’re directly accessing the file system and not having to jump through all the hoops you do with Docker and Vagrant – either slow file accesses, or having to wait for changes to sync.  This is especially true with Drupal given all the caching it does.  

It’s very unpopular to criticise Docker (which I’m not, exactly – more the hype and the rush to use it on a platform it wasn’t designed for, despite the slowness issues many people experience.)  There’s a trade off between performance and configuration – the assumption seems to be you should go for whatever requires the least configuration, but is it really that hard to install the correct version of PHP or MySQL version (how about making a note of what your site runs in your Git repository?)  I’d rather spend a bit longer up front getting the configuration right and have the performance benefit each day after.  Also, if I have a choice of what to learn, I think knowledge of PHP extensions and configuration – given I’m a PHP developer – is more useful than learning loads about containers.

Comments welcome by email. (I use Ansible heavily, by the way, so I’m not opposed to automation.)  


Install steps:

You need to repeat this once for each version of PHP you want the extension available in, e.g. 7.1 or 7.2.  The example below is for 7.2.

Download the extension from here –  https://pecl.php.net/package/memcached/3.0.4 – or you can use the quicker get latest link: pecl.php.net/get/memcached

extract the tar file into its own directory – it’s fine if it’s just in your downloads folder (tar -xvf)

Then, change to that directory and run:

/Applications/DevDesktop/php7_2_x64/bin/phpize

This next line is the important bit – to make it properly compatible with the PHP version DevDesktop is using.  Without this you may get an error like:

Symbol not found: _compiler_globals
Expected in: flat namespace

./configure --with-php-config=/Applications/DevDesktop/php7_2_x64/bin/php-config

Tip: modules that don’t successfully load don’t show up in phpinfo(), so a quick way to see what the error was when PHP attempted to load  them is to do php -v (it’ll show any warnings above the version info) or php -m to get a list of all the extensions loaded and verify yours is OK.

make
make install

Important: if you need to rerun any of these steps, wipe the directory you extracted first and start afresh.

You should see:

Installing shared extensions: /Applications/DevDesktop/php7_2_x64/ext/

There will now be a memcached.so file in that directory. If it hadn’t picked the config details up, it would have written to a different directory, e.g. your default homebrew one.

Add the memcached.so file to your php.ini – you can verify where that is via  Preferences > Config in DevDesktop, but it would normally be:

/Applications/DevDesktop/php7_2_x64/bin/php.ini

extension_dir = "/Applications/DevDesktop/php7_2_x64/ext"

extension = memcached.so

You can save a backup for when you upgrade DevDesktop and it gets overwritten, but if the PHP version has changed you should compile it again – and to be honest it’s quite a quick process.

NB: I rather thought PECL had an equivalent install command line switch to load the correct php-config, so you could just run pecl install command to save time, but apparently not? Let me know if I’m wrong.

Useful reading elsewhere:

Howto: Drupal 8 and memcached on Lando

    1. Make sure phpinfo(); (available at /admin/reports/status/php in Drupal for administrators) contains a memcached section – by default Lando will install the memcached PECL package.
    2. Install and enable memcache Drupal module.
    3. configure settings.php:
      $settings['memcache']['servers'] = ['cache:11211' => 'default'];
      $settings['memcache']['bins'] = ['default' => 'default'];
      $settings['memcache']['key_prefix'] = 'mysitename_';
      
      $settings['cache']['default'] = 'cache.backend.memcache';

      Note the hostname for external connections (port 11222) is localhost, but internal connections have a different hostnamecache – to verify, run lando info

      (give it the correct sitename – this is especially important if you ever use memcached for two or more sites on the same server, to avoid conflicts.

      Also, note memcached has no security so if an application knows or can guess another applications’ prefix it can read all the data.

    4. Truncate all MySQL tables beginning with cache (Drupal bootstraps from the database by default and otherwise may continue to use them)
    5. Run drush cr
    6. You can should now work.

Verify connection and performance (e.g. hits/misses and memory used) at /admin/reports/memcache

Way to test an internal connection from PHP in a container, if you can’t install what you need:

php -a
> $socket = fsockopen('cache', "11211", $errno, $errstr);

If you don’t see any errors, it has connected.

Troubleshooting PhpStorm – entire composer.json file shows as invalid

If you’re running the latest PhpStorm (2018.2.2 at time of writing) you might have a composer.json file that’s turned entirely yellow recently, even though it’s valid.

This happens when your composer.json has a “description” key and is due to this bug.

Workarounds:

  • Disable the inspection on the file
  • or remove the “description” temporarily

Drupal – troubleshooting config synchronisation broken CSS when updating theme colours/appearance

Symptom: After deploying configuration changes to production, including a change to the theme (e.g. editing colours, colour scheme or logo on /admin/appearance/settings/bartik), you get a mostly white page because the colours are all missing. Yet when you visit that admin URL everything looks correct, and as soon as you click ‘Save Configuration’ the site is normal again.

What’s going on?

This happens if you’re using a standard Drupal .gitignore file, which typically has the following:

# Ignore paths that contain user-generated content.
sites/*/files
sites/*/private

If you export your configuration and look at color.theme.bartik.yml – you’ll find this at the bottom:

stylesheets:
  - 'public://color/bartik-7a1420bf/colors.css'
files:
  - 'public://color/bartik-7a1420bf/logo.svg'
  - 'public://color/bartik-7a1420bf/colors.css'

Every time the colours are updated a new stylesheet is created in /sites/default/files/color/bartik-[hash], but .gitignore is ignoring these files, so even if you perform a configuration sync correctly, production won’t have the CSS file it needs.

The solution is to add this to .gitignore:

sites/*/files/
!sites/*/files/color/
!sites/*/files/color/*

.gitignore syntax for inverting subdirectories is pretty confusing.  You might need to use git add –force If you see references to “double-globs”, that means **, and note it doesn’t work on all platforms (e.g. Mac).