Web resources that help developers work on their Drupal 8 projects

Aug
17

We are keen to give useful pieces of advice to our blog readers. Usually we provide online business owners and site administrators with optimization tips to improve their websites’ performance, speed, SEO, design and other aspects. From time to time we also post some information that can come in handy for our colleagues  for example, some useful new resources for web developers 2016 or the list of web services where they can ask all programming questions. Today we will share a few must-have services that will be helpful for people, who develop Drupal 8 projects.

Tools for Drupal developers:

Drupal Console

Besides the Google Search Console there is one more console that is useful while working with websites called Drupal Console. If you like performing tasks on the command line, then you’ll like this command line interface (CLI), as it will make your Drupal 8 development process easier and faster by automatically generating boilerplate code out of the box without any other modules needed. It is based on the Symfony Console and other third party components. This tool helps you connect to databases, install modules and interact with your Drupal 8 installations. Drupal Console also allows you to run tests and do complex debugging from the command line.

Xdebug

After setting this PHP extension up, all you need to do is put a breakpoint in your site’s code and load a page. This way you’ll intentionally stop the execution and will get access to all variables, of global or local scope, and all other needed information to navigate through it and check it out. You can play back the code line by line to find out where your code fails.

Besides its main debugging capabilities, Xdebug is good at profiling and can provide you with gathered profiling information about your PHP scripts. It can also and do analysis to measure your code coverage, i.e. determine to which degree a test is covering your source code and how much code is executed while the test is running. A site or app with high code coverage index can be tested better and has a lower probability of incorporating bugs than a site with low code coverage.

PhpStorm

PhPStorm from JetBrains is an integrated development environment (IDE), which integrates perfectly with Drupal and other frameworks. It comprises editor for PHP, HTML, HTML5, JS and SQL, tester and debugger (in integration with Xdebug, mentioned above and Zend Debugger) and other useful features. It offers you syntax highlighting for better readability, code formatting, code autocompleting, on-the-fly error checking and error preventing. PhpStorm 2017.2 has new improvements, like support for PHP 7.2, synchronization with composer.json settings, new Composer actions and others.

Simplytest.me

If you are a module developer or theme developer, then this free online service will help you quickly and easily evaluate your Drupal 8 or 7 project by providing a sandbox environment on demand.

This service consist of a main server and a few worker servers for the temporary sandbox websites. The list of projects is taken from the update API at drupal.org. When you make a new submission, a new project appears and a configuration file with a detailed information about this submission is transmitted by SSH to that worker server, which has the less active submissions at that time. After this the project is copied, checked out and a compatible Drupal website is built.

You can start using the benefits of the tools listed above right now to make your Drupal 8 development experience more effective. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

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