I will not repeat myself, I will not repeat myself
November 01, 2012
As I've mentioned before, I am going through the "Drupal 7 Module Development" book, trying to learn as much as I possibly can as I go from chapter to chapter. I still stand by my suggestion of explaining your code in plain english. That one technique has really served me well as I try to trace the flow of Drupal's rendering process. Sure, it makes getting through a chapter take longer, but I always find the process worth while. Another thing I do that slows down my progress is typing out, by hand, every single line of code from the module examples.
Can't I just copy and paste?Sure, I've downloaded the example files from the publisher's website. I could easily read the chapter, copy/paste the files into my Drupal install, and view the results. Wouldn't this be good enough? I could still go through and 'show my work', describing what is happening at each step. What could I possibly gain from typing array after array after blessed array? Well, after typing several dozen associative arrays, it was pretty obvious to me how I could improve my module development process.
Here is a quick snippit from inside a schema array.
'title' => array('description' => 'The title of this artwork.','type' => 'varchar','length' => 255,'not null' => TRUE,'default' => '',),'changed' => array('description' => 'The Unix timestamp when the artwork was created.','type' => 'int','not null' => TRUE,'dafault' => 0,),
I don't know about you, but after moving my eyes from the book to the keyboard to type my 11th '=>' I was determined to improve my typing speed. It didn't require much. I noticed there is a very obvious pattern here with the array key and value, and decided I'd had enough.
There's a snippit for thatSo the tl:dr of it all is that by forcing myself to write out every single line of this example code, I found the repetitive pieces of code that I could turn into a snippit in Sublime Text.
And now that I have this snippit in place I'll keep typing every line, improving the speed and accuracy in which I can type out all of these associative arrays. I'll keep looking for other common patterns that trip me up and keep working those into my coding regimen.