Informative articles on various technologies ...

Tools for Performance Tuning and Optimization

When tuning a site's performance, a system administrator needs certain tools to measure and monitor how the site is doing under increasing load, as well as identify where bottlenecks may be.

Linux system performance monitoring tools

On Linux, there are several tools available to you to do this. We describe what we have found as the most helpful in this section.

PHP op-code caches / accelerators: Drupal large site case study

For a large Drupal site, one of the biggest performance boosts one can do is to install an op-code cache/accelerator.

Update: 2018-March

This article was written many years ago, and the state of technology has changed, for the better. At present, the current Ubuntu 16.04 LTS comes with PHP 7.0, and the only op-code cache that works with it is the very fast Zend OpCache. It is already bundled with PHP, and therefore no extra compilation or installation steps are necessary.

MySQL InnoDB: performance gains as well as some pitfalls

In the vast majority of cases, web sites will be setup with the MyISAM engine for all the Drupal tables.

MyISAM Engine

MyISAM is the default engine on most MySQL installations, and is oriented towards read heavy workload. MyISAM started life for datawarehousing and analytics, where transactions are rarely needed. Its has no support for things that relational databases take for granted nowadays, such as lack of referential integrity, row level locking, ...etc.

New contributed userpoints module: Referral Points

I just committed to the 4.7 version of User points, a new contributed module called referral_points.

The module was written by Peter Lindstorm of Liquid CMS, with some modifications by me.

What it does is intercept all points earned, and awarding the referring user an admin defined percentage of the points the referee earned.

The module should be available shortly in the 4.7.x-2.x tarball of userpoints on

Drupal Adsense module: why would you use it?

A question that often comes up in the forums on is why would one use the Drupal Google Adsense module when they can just copy and paste the ad code from Google directly in a block?

Well, Chris of OP Tech works has a good answer: after trying alternatives, he came back to the Google Adsense module again.

Read his blog article on why the Drupal Adsense Module Is Great.

Userpoints: Showing points block only to users with a minimum threshold

A support question came up where someone is running a site that has the userpoints module on it, and wanted to show certain blocks, only if the user has a certain number of points.

Here is the code to do this:

For the block(s) you want to show/hide, select the option that says:

Show if the following PHP code returns TRUE (PHP-mode, experts only).

Then enter the following code snippet:

HOW TO: Displaying user points below avatar/user picture

In a recent support request, someone asked how to display the user's points below the user picture (avatar).

This article answers this question.

First, in your theme directory, find the file called template.php. If one does not exist, create it, and make sure it starts with the <?php tag.

Then add this function in it.

Go to the setting, and enable user pictures.

Now, below each user's picture, there should be the number of points that this user has earned so far.

Usepoints Email: An example for the new Userpoints API

Here is an example module that demonstrates how to use the new Userpoints API, currently available in 4.7.x-2.x.

This is a simple module that shows how a module can act on points gained/lost.

The site admin define a threshold of points, if it is reached, then the user will get a custom email message. The message can be customized, for example, they can get a free gift or something like that.

This module demonstrates the following:


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