Skip to content Skip to navigation

An Open Source Moment

There are times where I curse open source software but those times are far outweighed by the times that I am reminded why I love it so much.

Normally my blog posts are on the technical side because that is where I feel safe and comfortable writing in a public space but I felt compelled, okay, urged by the boss and team, to write about a moment that I gushed about during a recent staff meeting.

The week started off as a bug fix week, a sprint to tackle long-standing or annoying bugs that are in our sites and products. One peculiar bug was on our Subsite Feature: when an anonymous user first landed on the subsite node after a cache clear, they would be presented with the default (wrong) theme instead of an alternate theme. Before I even began, one of my workmates (John Bickar) pointed me to a blog article that clearly outlined the problem I was seeing. This was a very timely article as it was fresh off the press. Looking in to the issue I confirmed that, indeed, the issue described in the article was what I was seeing.

This spurred a major refactor in to how the module worked, but that is beside the point. If it wasn't for the fact that someone else wrote an article about the problem and solution, and my workmate hadn't passed it along, I would have spent many more hours in my debugger trying to figure out the cause of the issue. Yay open source!

Once the module was refactored to get around the issue with using hook_custom_theme() and loading entities, I passed off the final code to my other workmate, Greg Garvey, who did the majority of the heavy lifting of the refactor, to test to see if the solution was complete.

His testing came back negative; the issue was still happening in his environment.

Back and forth we went trying to figure out why he was still seeing the issue and why I was not. Through a bit of chance, we found out that another contributed module on his environment (subpathauto) had the same issue in it. Boo open source! Having already dealt with the issue once, I took it upon myself to fix the issue in the contributed module and posted a patch, which I hope will be adopted soon. Yay open source!

It may have been an unlikely path in which the patch came back to the subpathauto project but it really highlights the awesomeness that is open source and the Drupal community. Someone with the exact problem I faced took the time to write about it. Someone in my working group shared that information with me, and when I found the issue in another project I was able to contribute my knowledge back to it. I find times like these powerful and what will give Drupal the long term adoption we hope for.