Troubleshooting

PHP: Elapsed time and page performance

A recent project had me scouring a code base for the cause of a site's incredibly poor performance. The site was pulling data from all over the place, and the code was extremely modular, nested, and non-linear, so tracking down the actual "Herbie" in the process was a real challenge. One of the first things I did was put together some "stopwatch" code to test the length of time each section took to run, as well as to test the impact of various changes on overall page load times. Here's what I came up with to measure and output the information.

Drupal: Theme Forensics

Doing a back trace through Drupal code on exactly where an undesired activity is originating is a fairly well documented challenge. Once you've finally figured out that you want to look at something in a theming function, you still have to figure out which one. There are theme functions, more than one, in almost every module that displays something, and between core hooks and module hooks, you can pull a lot of hair out looking for the the one you need. There is a trick to making the search a little easier.

Drupal: WSOD

I've been trolling the boards a lot this week, looking for help on various road blocks. One issue I've seen a TON of is people running up against the the brick wall of the dreaded WSOD (White Screen of Death). This is when something breaks your Drupal site and the only feedback you get on the error is a blank white screen full of absolutely nothing. It can be pretty frustrating, but you need to know that there is a simple fix.

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