Latest Articles

Using Drush sql-sync ~ Overcoming Windows Issues

Tue, 03/26/2013 - 12:35 -- James Sinkiewicz

Why Use Drush sql-sync

Drush's 'sql-sync' command is meant to very handily merge a local Drupal site database with a remote site's database without having to take all the individual steps of creating a remote database dump file (using drush sql-dump), transferring the dump file to the local server (using drush rsync), and then importing it into the local database (drush sqlc < localdb.sql).

(***Note: This post assumes a rudimentary knowledge of Drush alias file usage. Please read Drush's examples.aliases.drushrc.php file for more information. The aliases used in the examples are specified as 'dev' and 'prod' in my 'mdj.aliases.drushrc.php' file which is located in my C:\Users\USERNAME\.drush directory in Windows 7. Also, I am using the latest development version of Drush, which as of this writing is 6.x-dev (8.x-1.x branch)

Using Drush sql-sync

In the following command line, I am asking Drush to run a 'sql-sync' between my source alias '' and my target alias '' and to do so in simulation mode. Don't try this in Windows Powershell. You will get some nearly unintelligible error about "splatted variables", whatever those are. (Edit 03/28/2013: See comments for solution.)

Running Drush Rsync on Windows (Solved!)

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 12:41 -- James Sinkiewicz

MyDrupalJourney LogoMy Drush Rsync-ing

It sounds like pirate-speak for the Drush ship taking on water, and for me that was not too far from the truth. I gave up on Drush Rsync after a frustrating initial attempt at getting it to work in my Windows 7 environment a few months ago.  It's difficult to get support from the Drupal Community for the Windows environment. Nearly all attempts to search for answers were met with responses like "Get a Linux box!" or "Use a Virtual Machine and load Ubuntu.", but usually I just heard 'cricket sounds'. So I just gave up and used other methods.  I am usually the only one with a Windows laptop at Drupal meetups.  It's not that the Drupal Community doesn't want to help,  it's just that they are not familiar enough with the Windows operating system to be able to offer any assistance. At least that is what I keep telling myself.  I have the same problem when it comes to Unix/Linux/Mac. I recently started attending a local meetup that is going through "The Definitive Guide to Drupal 7", a massive book of collective Drupal 7 goodness.  When trying to help the others in the group (every one of them with one or more Apple products), I find myself saying "okay, open up that thingy that shows you the files on your computer."  But I digress. Anyway, as our study group learned more about Drupal, I was constantly moving files from one location to another that I did not necessarily need under version control, which made me wish I was able use Drush Rsync like 99% of the rest of Drupalers.

Hiding Empty Shopping Carts in Drupal 7 Commerce

Wed, 02/22/2012 - 06:55 -- James Sinkiewicz

Shopping Cart EmptyI am just starting to get familiar with Drupal 7's Commerce modules. The first thing I noticed after enabling the standard Commerce modules was that doing so created a Shopping Cart Block that could be added to any Region. However, placing the default shopping cart block into a region caused the block to be shown at all times, even if it was empty. While some may define this always visibable (and often empty) shopping cart as a subconscious "call to action", I find it simply annoying.

I confess that in several day dreaming sessions, Acquia has puts me up for a few weeks to teach me how to code Drupal to accomplish my requirements. But in the real world, I have to look for non-coding ways to accomplish what I want by using modules and methods already provided by people who are a lot more knowledgeable about such things. In researching this issue/desire, I came across a threaded discussion in which Ryan Szrama, the author of Drupal Commerce, wrote " don't actually have to use the core cart block at all. You can still use the same View and just add a Block display to it. Disable the core block and voila! Hide when empty will probably work just fine." Several posters after which continued to discuss coding fixes to hide empty shopping carts.

Crickets sounds.....

How to Create A Simple Hover Gallery

Fri, 08/05/2011 - 17:59 -- James Sinkiewicz

Reminiscent of those at

A friend of mine asked me if I could create a website for his small construction business. Of course I couldn't refuse, but to make sure I would not be responsible for making all the changes in the future, I decided to use Drupal CMS to create it. I asked him to look around the internet for ideas on what he wanted to show his visitors. One of the things he asked if I could do was make an image gallery like the one at so he could show images of his work on various projects. "Of course", I said, "Drupal can do anything!"

I thought I would be able to do a quick Google search and find out how it was done. From the results, I discovered that I was not the first person to try to find out. The web was filled with unanswered requests for this information. I was never able to find out exactly how the White House's official website created their header gallery, but luckily Drupal is so flexible that there are often many ways to accomplish the same goal.

Omega Theme: Withering Heights?

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 18:51 -- James Sinkiewicz

Screen Shot

Force Equal Height For All Child Elements

The first time I saw the setting in the configuration section of a Zone to 'Force equal height for all child elements.', I thought to myself that this would be a pretty useful selection box. I mean, why wouldn't anyone want all the 'blocks' in a zone to be the same height? It would make the page look professional and polished. So, without hesitation, I checked the box, reloaded the page, and waited with anticipation to see my Heathcliff and Catherine blocks together again with equal heights (shameless play on Wuthering Heights).