Flexible content management system (used for this blog).

A system engineer has to do what a system engineer has to do...

After reading You may want to avoid hacking your open-source CMS today I was saddened, not because Drupal fell short (it didn't), not because Open Source usage is flawed (it isn't), but because it reminds me of situations I have endured in the past from the receiving end unfortunately.

Summarizing the story, The Onion forked (as in adapted to their own wishes) Drupal 4.7 apparently not realizing the costs of maintaining/syncing their own product. Wrong expectations make up a big part of a disappointment. Good expectations are part of doing your homework.

First stable release of Drupal comment_moderation module

We released today the first stable release of the comment_moderation module for Drupal. I was lucky to have another Drupal developer David Stosik to join the project. David implemented all the remaining functionality that I wanted for the first stable release.

Warning module available on drupal.org

The warning module for Drupal that I blogged about earlier is now available from the drupal.org website at:


Try it out, it helped to decrease my comment spam without needing any drastic actions (like closing comments on older articles) and early feedback from testers proofs promising.

Let me know what you would improve !

Next up is adding the comment_moderation module as well so it becomes easier to manage your comments on moderated sites.

Dag for president

In an alternative universe, perhaps ? :-)

Go Dries !

New Drupal comment_moderation module

A second module I wrote this weekend makes it easier to moderate your comments. This was another item high on my wishlist. I didn't found anything that comes close, so please let me know if I missed another module that scratches the same itch.

The comment_moderation module simplifies the work-flow of moderating comments. If you receive a lot of comment spam, the current approval queue is very limiting:

  • It forces you to click through to the comment. If you want to publish the comment you need to edit, change it to published and submit

New Drupal warning module

One of the first things requested from a Drupal developer before contributing a module is to check whether the functionality is already implemented in another module. Because I couldn't find something similar but I do not feel confident that my search was conclusive let me explain what my Drupal warning module does.

When ham and spam do not cover the spectrum


As long as we do not make the distinction and call everything spam, we make it harder to find solutions. Mollom takes away the pain of what is typical spam, and that's why I am now only confronted with the atypical spam that is very targeted, takes effort to remove and some may even accept those comments as useful (or are being tricked into it).

What's even more, if Mollom does not make the distinction, I and others are making Mollom less effective because the atypical spam is diffusing the extremes.

Drupal for CentOS portal and forums ?

The CentOS development team is looking into another solution for the CentOS website and forums. But there is no real knowledge or experience about Drupal (especially for forums).

So this is a request to the CentOS or Drupal community for people that have experience with Drupal for forums to join the discussion and help with the requirement and question to see whether Drupal would be an option for the CentOS Infrastructure team.

Isn't it ironic ?

Not even a year after I reported annoying comment spam that looks relevant but instead advertises irrelevant websites, Kris now has the same problem !

I bet Kris his solution was not working for my problem after all ? Who would have thought ? While I should be feeling sad, I am enjoying the irony here ;-)

Comment spam happy ending

Finally I have some good news in the comment spam saga, my latest article brought some interesting comments and eventually lead to a bugfix for Drupal 6.

This however means that Drupal 5 users in a similar environment (high PageRank and unregistered comments) may still be affected. The filter module may help, but will also not help in the PageRank front as it may not differentiate normal links and contributed links, something Drupal 6.3 will do out of the box as intended.

Spam comment tale continues

Things are getting worse at the spam comment front, whereas I used to get about 2 to 3 spam comments a day (or comments that look very real but advertise a commercial website nevertheless), I now have attracted more people that leave unwanted comments. Up to 20 a day, worse than my mailbox *with* spamfilter.

This is bad...


In an earlier discussion about commenting Kris mentioned using pingback, but...

Spam is a problematic issue. I had to enable comment moderation not because the Captcha was too easy to come by, but because apparently real people are adding genuine comments and are actively abusing the URL field to point to their commercial (or virus-infected) websites.

Running Drupal 6 !

Somewhat in the heat of the moment I decided to move to Drupal6. I was not really planning on doing it until after a few months, but somehow the excitement took over to just make a copy of the database and test-run it on the copy.

I started over with the fresh Drupal6 codebase, copied over the relevant content from my settings.php and pointed it to the copy of the database. Without installing any module I just did an update and it simply worked.

To Drupal release management...

...with love.

Would it be too much to ask if new Drupal releases could be announced on Freshmeat ? The current Drupal Freshmeat-record is out of date (last updated 3 may 2006) and still refers to 4.7.0.

Having a seperate branch for both the 4.7.x and 5.x stable releases as well as the 6.x development releases would be great. Links to release notes and downloads would be superb ! And a short description of the changes gain you additional karma points.

Drupal password reset and transparent proxies

Today I experienced a problem with Drupal's one time URL behaviour when resetting your password. I am a fan of the way Drupal does this, which I think is much better than most sites are handling password resets.

However in this particular case Drupal's solution failed to work. What happens is that the transparent proxy is making a connection to the URL (that I got by mail) and then does a second request that is actually going back to the browser. In a log, it looks like this: