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Caching confidential - clearing items on demand

on Mon, 06/27/2011 - 13:16

A quite common requirement for caches of all kinds is to be selective about what gets cleared out and do so on demand. That way it's possible to extend the cache lifetime while making sure new content is available to anonymous users ASAP.

This is especially true for sites with a large number of pages, where say 80% of the traffic goes to 20% of the pages (going with the old 80/20 chestnut), but the remaining less-visited pages should still benefit from being cached.

Purge pages in Varnish on Acquia selectively

on Sat, 06/25/2011 - 07:08

The Purge module, which extends the Cache Expiration module, should now be able to clear updated pages out of Varnish on Acquia. The required CURL HTTP headers for Acquia Varnish should be in the dev version...issue queue is here: Acquia Dev Cloud and Managed Cloud support.

If you use Varnish on Acquia and want to fine-tune your cache, this should be useful. Purge/Cache Expiration are quite smart about what needs to be removed from the cache if content is updated and offers a few config options which should be sufficient for most needs. Note: The actual Varnish module does not work on

5 days to go for

on Sat, 06/25/2011 - 04:46

Despite growing traffic over its entire lifetime of a decade, will be closed on the 30th of June. The final stats are around 700k unique vistors a month, 4 million page views and over 44k registered users.

I will not comment here on the decision by the Brisbane City Council, which is still my employer, but I can say it's been rather taxing to work on something that's to be shut down. If you're passionate about something, you can't just pretend it's "business as usual" - I'm not a robot (yet).

So I've tried to make the best of it and to increase my knowledge as much as, Drupal 6 and Acquia

on Thu, 04/28/2011 - 11:35

Well, it's finally done....we flicked the switch just before Easter. Due to the fact that we've been having a Drupal 6 version of the previous live Drupal 5 site for months, it was relatively painless. Still, the actual process during the final day with all its little details and meticulous steps to be taken in order felt like a moon landing - just like the initial move to Drupal 5, but this time we had 6 wheeled buggies.

Being finally on Acquia hosting was not unlike moving into a newer/better apartment for me.

Migrating from Drupal 5 to 6

on Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:49

It's unlikely that updating from D5 to D6 is a one-off process for larger sites with a lot of custom modules and data. We have a nightly migration script that takes about 4 hours for a copy of our live site to be migrated to D6.

It goes roughly like this:
  1. Clean up the current D5 instance. Run drush uninstall on everything that can go. Run SQL queries on everything that gets missed by these often incomplete uninstalls....if they are there at all. Variables, tables...everything must go.
  2. Make sure everything that stays is up to date. Drush upc, drush updatedb.