Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thank You, from the bottom of our hearts.

On the morning of Diwali 2012, a day before Teachers Day, my wife and I found ourselves on our way to India. It was not a joyride home though. My father had bid adieu to this world in a sudden respiratory attack.  He was ambulatory, witty and independent to the very end. Also, he was very well loved and respected. Too many people have expressed grief over our loss and as many have been with us so long.

I dedicate this post to everyone who have touched our lives. Right from the very beginning till now. Sometimes it was the most unexpected of people who've shown empathy. Countless times we've been blown away by the tireless compassion shown by you all. My father was blessed in every other way - we'd always say.

My father has shown that Cancer is definitely not a disease. It is not to be frightened about. It is a door to a different world - perhaps painful to the body but enlightening to the soul. It is a world where the smallest of things can bring much happiness. And each peaceful morning is all that matters. Where a smiling face is like the radiating sun and a lending hand lets you cross an ocean.

Truth be told, my father had conquered the disease ages ago. He was never tormented by the pain in as much as a bodily discomfort and helplessness to others, as he only gained in faith and respect as it progressed, thereby giving it only his body in the end but leaving with a very strong and reaffirmed soul than ever before.

We thank each and everyone of you who have shown us this world. We have seen the kindness in your soul. Your empathy and compassion is unforgettable.

We really thank all our doctors at Amritha hospital, Cochin and Adayar Cancer Institute, Chennai - you are all God in different forms, tirelessly working and striving to help others compassionately. Truly yours is a noble profession. I have to especially highlight the work done by Adayar Cancer Institute and Cachar Cancer Center because they are hospitals with world-class doctors freely treating the poor throughout the year. My respect for them goes through the roof. I was only able to contribute as little as I could monetarily but I will make it a point to lend my voluntary help as I can too.

Now to the present and the future.

In the present day, where one in three is affected with this disease, there is not a single neighborhood that is without an affected household. Economic and social conditions aside, this disease affects victims alike. And suffice to be told that a terminal disease afflicts not just the patient, but an entire family.

Gauging from simple research, one can be quite satisfied with the level of cancer awareness spreading throughout the world now. The fight for it is also in good progress with countless agencies and pharmaceuticals in this pursuit. But what is lacking is the continued support, care and voluntary work shown by society - what you have given us and taught the invaluable benefit of. Ongoing cancer support is as much as a necessity as finding a cure. Society needs to mend itself to be more outward and supportive than inward and pleasure seeking nowadays. I now feel if I could spend some of those empty evenings from work at a needy house lending a helping hand, it could do wonders. Way better than procrastinating in front of the television or computer. This is my next journey.

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart once again for being my guide, mentor, friend and strength in times of our deepest sorrow. God Bless.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Keeping focus is necessary

A lot of us loose focus quickly. This is exactly what I don't want to be. Even after my dearest family member has either succeeded or succumbed to cancer, I want to keep fighting and supporting all means of eradicating this killer disease. Need to keep my focus. I pray to continue the good deeds that I involuntarily needed to  support.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lighter version of loading fields on an entity

Here is an alternative to entity_load() types (node_load(), taxonomy_term_load() etc.) that is useful if you want to bypass all the calls to hook_entity_load()

If you know the entity id, type and 'bundle', then this could reduce load time:

How do you call this function?

For nodes:

For taxonomy terms:

  • Does not call hook_entity_load() hooks.
  • You can implement a caching strategy based on the modules used. For e.g. when entity cache is used, field_attach_load() does not cache data in 'cache_field'

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fivestar float rating module - Drupal

I have just created a sandbox module that allows inputting of float values for Fivestar fields, so that it is easy to create ratings such as 2.7/5, 3.1/5 etc.

This module adds a field widget to the Fivestar field, which is a textfield that will take a float value as rating input. The display is unaffected and uses the default Fivestar theme functions. Users can override the theme functions to make use of better floating point precision by affecting the round() function there. See more description in the project page.

Awaiting comments, thoughts and reviews before I decide on the further course of action.

Do read this fivestar feature request first, as to what is missing and why I created this module.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Cache expiration module Alpha1 version released

What a pleasant surprise on a Monday morning to see the Cache expiration module release its alpha1 version, ready for basic use and testing.

Varnish, arguable the most common reverse proxy caching mechanism used with Drupal sites has integration with the Cache expiration module. With this module, it was not possible to selectively expire (purge) urls from Varnish. But now we can (atleast for some most commonly used cases).

Basic testing
Some basic testing gave very good expected results. First your Drupal setup to cache pages for anonymous users at admin/config/development/performance. Then by merely enabling the expire module, and using the default options enabled in its config page (snugged away in admin/config/development/performance/expire), you can see the benefits already:

For e.g:
Assume you have you home page cached by varnish (min cache liftime 5mins). Which means any edit to the homepage in that time will not show up to the anon user, who still sees the cached version. Unless you purge Varnish manually.

Not anymore, with the expire module enabled.

Cache expiration will purge the url of the homepage immediately, because you edited your homepage.

Good stuff already! That is not all. Here is a look at its optional features in the alpha1 release:

Optional features
  • When a node is expired their nodereferences and parent nodes where it is referenced can be expired.
  • When a 'promoted to homepage' node has been expired, the homepage can be expired.
  • Expire the menu(tree) when a node expires
  • Expire the term pages of those terms tagged to an expired node.
Note: 'expired node' refers to a node (url) that is being purged from Varnish on the event of it being edited.

Now, the wait for http://drupal.org/project/views_content_cache just got more exciting!