Beanstalkd + Drupal

The Beanstalkd homepageIn my last post I described how you make Drupal work with Gearman – a pretty good job server, which allows you to do things asynchronously, in the background. However cool Gearman is, there are a couple of downsides to the way it operates:

  • Its queueing protocol is too simplistic. Once you claim an item from the queue, you cannot release it (unless you create a client in a worker and add the identical item), postpone (bury), etc. So if the worker dies, the item is lost.
  • The Drupal integration module is sporadically maintained and still requires that you write quite a bit of code to get things working.

A great alternative is Beanstalkd. Written in C, it is super fast, and there is a PHP-written client – Pheanstalk – that provides for neat integration. Moreover, the Drupal module is actively maintained and has a full-fledged Drupal Queue backend class. Continue reading

Coming Up: The ITP Winter Show

ITP Winter Show 2014 posterNew York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) has been at the forefront of leading-edge technology for almost four decades now. The two-year graduate program is renowned for the creativity of its students and their project work, which ranges from the latest in wearable computing to amazingly innovative mobile apps to – well, you name it! (For instance, ITP grad Dennis Crowley’s thesis project eventually developed into the app-juggernaut Foursquare.)

Next Wednesday and Thursday, December 17th and 18th, is your chance to see the latest projects coming out of ITP. If you have the time, we urge you to check out the Show’s details and stop by to check out what’s being worked on! Continue reading

Scavenging for the Holidays

The arch at Washington Square, NYC.Last week, Boyle Software’s New York City staff and friends celebrated the holiday season with a chilly-but-raucous scavenger hunt through the narrow streets and avenues of Greenwich Village.

Following a course laid out in the “Secrets of Greenwich Village Scavenger Hunt” by Watson Adventures, three intrepid teams of clue-hunters spread out over the West Village to discover new spots and encounter little-known tidbits of Village history. Did you know that Mark Twain wrote most of THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER within a couple of blocks of Washington Square? Have you seen the Cafe Wha? where Jimi Hendrix was discovered? Do you know the place where Bob Dylan wrote “Blowin’ In The Wind”?* All this and much, much more was learned over the course of the 90-minute hunt. Continue reading

Ogilvy: Promoting Hope

Ogilvy logoBoyle Software has been working for Ogilvy & Mather for almost a decade now and could not be happier supporting such a bold, global, high-end agency.

For example, check out this award-winning, viral ad they created for Google India, called “Reunion.” Wildly successful, it has even generated real, political talk of easing travel restrictions between India and Pakistan.

Continue reading

Supporting NYU

NYU logoBoyle Software is proud to continue a long tradition of work for New York University.

We did our first work for NYU over ten years ago; and last year we expanded the relationship and started migrating various schools and departments to the University’s implementation of the Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) content management system.

Last month we started designing and developing new, custom functionality for NYU, including coding new AEM components. In addition to CMS work, we continue to assist several NYU departments with UX design as well as a broad mix of front- and back-end coding.

A school as large, global and diverse as NYU will always have new technology challenges; and we’re thrilled to play a part in crafting smart solutions for them.

If you missed it, please check out this blog piece about Uwe Kristen’s discussion of responsive design, given a couple of months ago at NYU.

New Hosting for AMI Magazines

I am very pleased to announce that Boyle Software has won a new contract with American Media Inc. (AMI). In addition to our regular software development work, we will be taking over all hosting and support for the magazine publisher’s web and mobile sites in 2015.

AMI

Among others these sites include the wildly popular: Shape.com, FlexOnline.com and NationalEnquirer.com.

By moving the sites into a true cloud infrastructure, we can better monitor and scale the magazine sites for optimal performance. We will simplify and unify the technology stacks for speed, security, maintenance and efficiency. Plus, the new infrastructure will allow us to develop and deploy new features faster and seamlessly in the future.

Drupal 8 Front-end Resources

Drupal 8Finally. Almost four years after Drupal 7 was released, Drupal 8 beta was born last month. Beta means that there are still critical bugs to fix (over 100, to be precise), but, nevertheless, this is a good time for Drupal developers to start getting familiar with what their life is going to be like in the near future. As of this writing, Drupal 8.0.0-beta3 is the latest release.

Because Drupal 8 is in beta and features are still subject to change, books or tutorials are scarce or non-existent at this point. However, there are already resources that offer useful insights into Drupal 8’s new features. Continue reading

Gearman + Drupal

Gearman logoTo say it simply, Gearman is a job server framework, allowing a site to execute some background processes in parallel – possibly even on different instances. Most likely you would only need this handy framework if you run a high-load website, especially if it is offering something more than just a blog functionality: automated email notifications, advanced gaming logic, etc. But even in a simpler setup you might find Gearman quite helpful.

Continue reading

A great night of agile talk

Sam Prasad discusses agile methodologiesThis past Wednesday evening, our New York City HQ played host to an informative TechTalk comparing the Kanban and Scrum agile development methodologies. Dr. Samuel Prasad shared his extensive knowledge, giving the assembled audience – Boyle Software staff members, friends, and client guests – insights from his years  of coaching organizations adopting “new,” unfamiliar agile modes of doing business. Continue reading