UA QuickStart Drupal Distribution and Install Profile
Demonstration/starter Drupal distribution and installation profile that packages various features consistent with community best practices and UA brand strategy.
A Complete Customized Drupal
UA QuickStart is a complete customized version of the popular Drupal content management system, not an add-on to an existing Drupal-based web site. Previously to start a new Drupal site you would prepare a web server and database, then download the Drupal core software from drupal.org and install it (following the instructions at https://www.drupal.org/documentation/install). This would produce a minimally functional web site with no content, which you could then customize by adding themes and modules to fit it to your needs. Increasingly, however, you can download Drupal distributions, which not only contain the core, but also complete sets of additions to make it almost immediately useful for a particular purpose, such as an online storefront. UA QuickStart is the distribution that provides many of the features specific to the University of Arizona, and rather than an empty site, initially shows some demonstration content (which can nevertheless be turned off instantly).
Complete pre-built versions of the UA QuickStart distribution are in the
downloads area. The
file names give the release version (you will generally want the most recent
release), and the file suffixes give the compression method,
.tar.gz. Treat these exactly as you would a manual download of Drupal itself
from drupal.org: prepare a local development or test web server, a MySQL
database, expand the
.tar.gz file where you would like the site to
appear, and go through the usual steps to bring up a new Drupal site, following
the instructions from the drupal.org
installation guide. Pre-packaged
files are also available; these will generally contain the latest changes, which
might be unstable experimental features, but might also be fixes for known
Specific Hosting Environments
The University of Arizona has made special arrangements with two Drupal hosting providers, Acquia and Pantheon, and these include additional support for UA QuickStart. Contact Campus Web Services for more information.
Install Profile Features
- Creates default text formats (copied from Drupal Standard install profile, for now).
- Creates default administrator role (copied from Drupal Standard install profile, for now).
- Enables some default blocks.
Distribution Packaged Features
The University of Arizona customizations are broken up into smaller components: modules based on Drupal Features, and subthemes. Experienced developers do not have to use the entire UA QuickStart distribution, but can pick the individual modules they need. Unlike the full UA QuickStart distribution or contributed modules on Drupal.org, these are not available as conveniently packaged archive files, but each module has its own public Git repository, allowing the developer to make a copy of either the latest development version, or of some particular release.
- UA Zen Theme
- UA CAS Feature
- UA Google Tag Feature
- UAQS Core Feature
- UAQS Demo Content Feature
- UAQS Event Feature
- UA Google Tag
- UAQS Featured Content (Carousel) Feature
- UAQS Navigation Feature
- UAQS News Feature Feature
- UAQS Page Feature
- UAQS Person Feature
- UAQS Program Feature
- UAQS Publication Feature
- UAQS Unit Feature
- More to come...
Contributing to the Project
To contribute to the project you will need your own account on the
Bitbucket repository hosting service, as well as a local
development environment (like a laptop or test web server) where you can use the
Git version control system client and the widely used
Drush Drupal command-line utility. Your
development environment should include a web server that can support Drupal, for
local testing of your work. You will find it much easier to make changes on
Bitbucket if you set up SSH with public key authentication. All the UA
QuickStart repositories on Bitbucket are public, so everyone is welcome to clone
them and experiment with making changes to the local copy. Authorized developers
can make changes to UA QuickStart itself. However you can still submit changes
if you are not authorized to modify the main
you will need your own copy (fork) of the ua_quickstart repository on Bitbucket,
and have one of the authorized developers make a branch incorporating the changes
you have made there. All authorized developers should have access to the
UA Digital project on
for tracking issues, and the University of Arizona
Slack team for discussion and seeing the results
When you start working on your contribution to UA QuickStart you should check it locally, using the web development environment on your own machine, or your own test web server. When it is working to your satisfaction, you should submit it for review by some of the other UA QuickStart developers. An automated service, Probo.ci, will build a complete working copy of the UA QuickStart demonstration site that incorporates your changes, and the reviewers will be able to refer to this. If the reviewers approve and someone includes your contribution in UA QuickStart, there will be a final phase of automated tests, and (if they pass) it will appear as part of the demonstration web site for the latest UA QuickStart development version.
If you have never heard of Git, here is a
text tutorial and here is a
video tutorial to help get you
started. There is also a more comprehensive
online book, which provides an in-depth guide
on using Git from the command line. The examples given here should work with the
Git Bash command-line option from
Git for Windows and natively with the
standard versions of Git available under MacOS and Linux. Git assumes that your
local development work will take place within folders (directory subtrees) that
it can control (it makes a special
.git subfolder there for its housekeeping,
and uses several other special files). But Git will also keep some more general
settings in a more general location, like your home directory; these should
include your name and email address (to identify any changes you make),
preferences for the particular code text editor you will be using, and a list of
file patterns that Git should always ignore. This last point is important
because some operating systems will clutter your work with annoying files and
folders that the rest of the world should never see (the
.DS_Store files of
MacOS are a particularly pervasive nuisance). The
repository has a
.gitignore file to exclude some annoying files, but you
cannot count on this working in all cases. Make sure you have a global Git
setting pointing at the file (like
~/.gitignore_global) that contains the file
and directory patterns to ignore. Configure Git to play nicely with the
particular code editor you are using. In particular, all the UA QuickStart Git
repositories use the
LF character to mark line endings, so if you normally use
CR-LF as a line ending in your editor, set Git to make the conversion before
doing anything with your changes. Avoid introducing changes that only affect
whitespace characters (such as substituting tabs for spaces), and avoid
inserting extra white space characters immediately before the ends of lines.
If you do not already have an account on Bitbucket, there is no charge for
setting one up at the most basic level of service, but note that their
base-level academic subscription is also free and gives you substantially more
resources (currently 5 GB as opposed to 1 GB of file storage, and 500 minutes as
opposed to 50 minutes of time on their Pipelines build system): be sure to use
an email address from a recognized academic institution (such as
email.arizona.edu) when you create the account. Once you have set up the
account, refer to their guide
Set up SSH for Git:
this explains how to set up SSH on your own development machines if you haven't
done this already, and how to upload your public key so that you can log onto
Bitbucket to make changes without having to type a password each time. If you do
not set up SSH, only URLs that reference Bitbucket as
https://bitbucket.org/... will work, and the references to
firstname.lastname@example.org:... will not. Bitbucket support source control systems such
as Mercurial in addition to Git, and a local code management system called
SourceTree, but the UA QuickStart projects have not used them.
The examples that follow include an arbitrary Bitbucket username
but in practice you should of course substitute your actual Bitbucket username.
1. Clone UA QuickStart
Clone the official UA QuickStart repository in some location that's easy to work on.
cd ~/gitwork git clone email@example.com:tobiashume/ua_quickstart.git
If you need immediate access to a copy without having to set up a Bitbucket account, a simple
git clone https://bitbucket.org/ua_drupal/ua_quickstart.git
will work as well.
2. Check Out an Issue Branch
Change to the local clone as your working directory, and make a distinct new
branch for the issues you will be working on. If you are authorized to make
changes in the
ua_drupal/ua_quickstart repository, please make sure an issue
for it exists in
JIRA first, and make sure
the branch name is the same (it must start with
UADIGITAL- then the issue
cd ua_quickstart git checkout -b 'UADIGITAL-1140'
If you are not authorized to make direct changes, give the branch some short
descriptive label (something like
'top_level_documentation_fix'), but someone
will need to make an issue number for it later.
3. Work on Your Branch
Edit and add files according to the changes you need to make, committing changes as you go, for example:
git commit -a -m 'Fix the URLs.'
4. Build UA QuickStart
Make sure your are in the top level directory of your ua_quickstart clone (so
build-ua_quickstart.make.yml file must be in your current directory),
and you have some writable directory where your local web server will be
expecting to find site document roots (in this example
/web/Sites). Use the
drush make command to build UA QuickStart:
drush make build-ua_quickstart.make.yml /web/Sites/ua_quickstart
This should build the complete UA QuickStart distribution, with your changes
included, in the destination directory (
/web/Sites/ua_quickstart in the
example). If something goes wrong you might have to delete this directory and
everything within it, make further changes to your work, and try again. This
drastic approach (ideally also wiping any database associated with the site)
guarantees that no subtle problems linger from one build to another.
If you notice problems in the site you have built, and fix them by editing the files directly, you will have to copy the modifications back to your local ua_quickstart clone and commit them to the issue branch there. A quick and dirty way to avoid this uses a command like
drush make build-ua_quickstart.make.yml --working-copy /web/Sites/ua_quickstart
but you must then abandon your original clone and perform all the Git operations within the profiles/ua_quickstart directory of the built site, and cannot delete it without also losing your changes.
If your web server isn't on the same machine on which you are editing the code
files (even if it is in a container or virtual machine rather than a remote
server) it may make sense to make your own fork of UA QuickStart on Bitbucket
(see section 7.x below) even if you will ultimately push your changes to a
branch in the
ua_drupal/ua_quickstart repository for review. You can then
push your edits to your forked copy, and have your web server pull them from
the fork, rather than worrying about copying the edited files directly. In any
case, the destination you specify in the
drush make command must be somewhere
that your web servercan use (you might even need to make sure drush is installed
on the web server and run it there rather than the machine you use for editing).
5. Bring up the New Drupal Site
Treat the newly built
ua_quickstart directory as if it was a freshly
downloaded copy of the main Drupal distribution. Make sure the directory will be
treated as a document root in your webserver, make a database ready for it and
tidy up the permissions under the
sites/default/files subdirectory. If you
normally use a web browser to bring up a new Drupal site it should work as
expected, if you normally use the
drush site-install command, invoke it from
within the newly created
ua_quickstart directory, and be sure to explicitly
ua_quickstart profile as well:
cd /web/Sites/ua_quickstart drush si ua_quickstart --firstname.lastname@example.org --account-name=tuber --db-url=mysqli://uaqsdbadmin:MyOwnPassword@localhost/uaquickstartdb --site-name='UA QuickStart' -y
(substituting your own
--db-url database details, and
shouldn't matter in a local test in any case).
The scripts initially under devtools/ua_drupal_test can help with repeated site configuration operations (if you keep having to wipe your built copy and start from scratch): you can set environment variables to avoid having to re-enter some of the options.
6. Check the Changes on the New Site
Use some web browsers to look at the new site in your test environment, checking that your changes work and have not broken anything else. The UA Demo Content module should be providing some pre-loaded test content that exercises many of the features within UA QuickStart. If you have to modify any files, be sure to copy your edits back to your clone of ua_quickstart and commit the changes. Since a most of the custom modules use Drupal Features (exporting configuration from the database to code), one common check is to check that the re-exported Feature still matches your original code.
If they will run in your local test environment, the built-in tests using Behat may also be useful. See the directory devtools/ua_drupal_test for more information.
7a. If You Are Authorized to Make Changes: Push The Issue Branch to Bitbucket
Once everything seems to work (which might take a few iterations of further
edits and re-installing your local UA QuickStart distribution), make sure you
are back in the directory holding your clone, make sure all the changes are
committed to the issue branch in Git (use
git status to check), then push the
issue branch to the
ua_drupal/ua_quickstart Bitbucket repository. So for the
example issue branch
UADIGITAL-1140 the command would be:
git push -u origin 'UADIGITAL-1140'
origin is the usual Git shorthand for the remote repository that you
have cloned, and the
-u option updates the branch configuration for the remote
repository (unnecessary after the first push to the origin).
You might want to reorganize your local Git history to make it more
understandable for reviewers by using the
git rebase -i or
git reset --soft
commands to squash your commits (but if your changes do get merged there will be
an option to squash your commits at that stage).
7x. If You Are Not Authorized: Fork and Push
If you are not authorized to make changes directly in the
ua_drupal/ua_quickstart Bitbucket repository for UA QuickStart, visit its
web page. Make sure you are
logged in to your own Bitbucket account, then choose the “Fork” option from the
list of possible actions. This will make a complete copy of the repository
under your account, so if your Bitbucket username is
tobiashume, this would
put the copy at https://bitbucket.org/tobiashume/ua_quickstart. Make sure your
local working copy (that you cloned from the original repository) is connected
to this forked version as well, using the
git remote add command. So in the
case of the example this would be
git remote add myfork email@example.com:tobiashume/ua_quickstart.git
You can check that this is has been set up correctly with the command
git remote -v
which lists the remote repositories currently associated with your local copy: it should show something like
myfork firstname.lastname@example.org:tobiashume/ua_quickstart.git (fetch) myfork email@example.com:tobiashume/ua_quickstart.git (push) origin firstname.lastname@example.org:ua_drupal/ua_quickstart.git (fetch) origin email@example.com:ua_drupal/ua_quickstart.git (push)
The initial clone operation assigned the remote name
origin by default: you've
added a name meaningful to you (
myfork in this case) for your own copy up on
Bitbucket. Now push your local branch to your remote, for example
git push -u myfork 'UADIGITAL-1140'
8a. If You Are Authorized to Make Changes: Issue a Pull Request
Your contributions to the project should now be up in Bitbucket. Go to the main Bitbucket web page for UA QuickStart showing branches. Make sure you are logged in and it is showing your issue branch, select your branch, then select Bitbucket's “Create pull request” option, which should show it to be merged into the 7.x-1.x branch of the main UA QuickStart repository you initially forked from.
- In the title of the pull request, repeat any of the issue numbers (in the form UADIGITAL-1140) that your changes address: this helps automated updates of the issues within JIRA.
- Add a brief description of how your changes address the issues.
- In the Reviewers section, enter at least one and preferably two team members to review your request, choosing the people most directly responsible for the parts of UA QuickStart you have changed.
- Check the “Close branch” option on your issue branch, since this isn't something that should have a long-term independent existence.
It should be showing you a summary of your changes in the same diff format the reviewers will see: after a final check, select the “Create pull request” button.
8x. If You Are Not Authorized: Make a Pull Request on Your Fork
Your contributions to the project should now be up in Bitbucket, but they are
isolated in your own fork of ua_quickstart. Go to the Bitbucket web page for
your repository (it should have your Bitbucket user name in the URL, something
https://bitbucket.org/tobiashume/ua_quickstart). Select “Create pull
request” option on the list of available actions, make sure the source branch
(specified first) is the issue branch that you have just pushed to your fork,
and the destination is not your fork, but the original
ua_drupal/ua_quickstart repository. In the Reviewers section, choose someone
who should be authorized to copy your pull request to something using a branch
9a. If You Are Authorized to Make Changes: Inspect the Probo.ci Review Site
Your pull request should trigger Probo.ci to build a review site incorporating your changes, reporting the progress of the build in the University of Arizona Slack team, and updating the status shown on the Bitbucket pull request summary page for ua_quickstart. The final reported link on Slack, or the link from the status icon on Bitbucket, should let you log in to Probo.ci's system with your Bitbucket credentials, and get a button linking to the live review site (or a report on what caused the build to fail). You might have to copy and paste the URL for the review site to send it to any reviewers who do not have access to some of the systems.
If any of the reviewers suggest changes, or you yourself notice something
unexpected on the review site, you can immediately make changes to your working
clone of UA QuickStart and push the changes to the issue branch in the
ua_drupal/ua_quickstart repository. So in the example that would be
...(edit some files)... commit -a -m 'Fix problems identified by reviewer @ewdijkstra' git push origin 'UADIGITAL-1140'
Since there is already an active pull request for the issue branch, Probo.ci will immediately build a completely new version of the review site incorporating your latest changes, and automatic notifications will go out to the reviewers (because of all this automation, you might want to check your changes carefully before pushing them).
9x. If You Are Not Authorized: Wait For The Status of Your Request
If you are unable to make your own branches in the
ua_drupal/ua_quickstart repository you will have to wait for someone
to transfer your pull request into one that will trigger a Probo.ci
build, and send you a copy of the review site URL. You will be able to
push any corrections to your fork in response to the comments from
reviewers, but will need the cooperation of someone authorized to make
changes for these to appear in the actual issue branch in the main
repository and trigger a new Probo.ci review site build.
10. When Your Request Is Merged
If your changes pass review they should be merged, which adds them to the
ua_drupal/ua_quickstart UA QuickStart repository, and automatically updates
the freestanding repositories for any of the custom modules or themes you have
changed. As soon as this last change goes through, the Jenkins continuous
integration system will build a fresh UA QuickStart distribution, run some
tests on this, and (if they pass) install it on a generally visible
11. Keeping Up With Changes
If your work on an issue lasts more than a day or two, or you want to keep re-using a local copy of the UA QuickStart repository, there is a risk your copy will fall behind changes other people have been making. Assuming you are in the top level of your local cloned copy, the commands
git checkout 7.x-1.x git fetch origin git merge --ff-only
will bring the main
7.x-1.x branch in your copy up to date with the latest
changes, refusing to do anything if there are any unexpectedly complicated
git pull is an alternative command for picking up the changes).
If you have a feature branch you were working on before picking up the changes,
you can update it by something like
git checkout 'UADIGITAL-1140' git rebase 7.x-1.x
This may require some manual editing help to deal with any conflicts between your work and the recent changes: merging the main branch into your work is another approach, but won't escape the need for manual intervention if there are any conflicts.
12. Working from the Freestanding Repositories
If you do not work with the complete UA QuickStart distribution, but make your
own manual selection from the
nevertheless please submit any pull requests against the complete distribution.
The freestanding repositories are in effect read-only copies of the modules and
themes within UA QuickStart, automatically extracted from places like the
modules/custom directory each time someone merges a change that affects them.
However it may be convenient to work from your own forks of these repositories,
to make it easy for Git to push your edits and pull changes into your normal
working environment. Once your work there is finished, as a final stage you can
copy the changes into an issue branch on a fresh clone of the
ua_drupal/ua_quickstart repository, and push that to make your pull request.
Contributing New Custom Modules and Themes
If you want to contribute a completely new custom module or theme to UA
QuickStart, a little extra setup is needed. Many of the existing customizations
have a matching freestanding repository, and are not arbitrary subdirectories
within the main
ua_drupal/ua_quickstart repository, but Git Subtrees:
automated software takes care of synchronizing the freestanding repository with
the subtree in the main repository. Some additional automation helps the
process of adding new subtrees, but the initial steps in this process need the
cooperation of someone with administrative rights within the overall UA
1. Make a New Freestanding Repository
Make a new repository as part of the
main UA QuickStart project,
matching the repository settings to those in the other freestanding custom
modules (most importantly the settings “User and group access” and “Branch
permissions”). The repository name should follow the same pattern as the other
freestanding repositories (so something like
2. Add Some Initial Files to the Repository
Populate the new repository with some initial files. It does not matter too much if subsequent changes are required before the new module or theme will work within UA QuickStart, but to avoid breaking other automation there should at least be an empty CHANGELOG.txt file (and README.md is always good, even if it is minimal).
3. Make a ADDTOMONO_n Branch in a UA QuickStart Clone
In a local clone of the main
ua_drupal/ua_quickstart repository make a new
branch whose name must start with
ADDTOMONO_, so some command like
git checkout -b ADDTOMONO_1111
that references a JIRA issue number is good. Be sure not to push this branch back to the remote repository until the next change is complete.
4. Add a Placeholder File to the New Branch
Identify the subdirectory within the
ua_drupal/ua_quickstart repository where
the new repository should appear as a subtree; for most modules this will be
modules/custom. Create a placeholder file there whose name is the freestanding
repository name prefixed with
ADDTOMONO_. The content of the file does not
matter, so the commands could look like
touch modules/custom/ADDTOMONO_uaqs_admin git add modules/custom/ADDTOMONO_uaqs_admin git commit -m 'Insert placeholder file.'
if the freestanding repository being added was
5. Push the Local ADDTOMONO_ Branch to the Main UA QuickStart repository
Assuming the local clone had the
ua_drupal/ua_quickstart repository as its
origin remote, the example would look like
git push origin ADDTOMONO_1111
This should immediately trigger the automation needed to graft the freestanding
repository into the
ua_drupal/ua_quickstart repository at the position
specified by the placeholder file, delete the placeholder, and delete the
specially named temporary branch (
ADDTOMONO_1111 in this case).
6. Make Changes and Pull Requests Involving the New subtree
Once these steps are complete, the new subtree is available to feature in
changes and pull requests, just like all the others. Be careful never to push
branches named ADDTOMONO_... to the
ua_drupal/ua_quickstart repository, or
create files whose names are prefixed with ADDTOMONO_, unless they are for
grafting in subtrees in this way.
Releases for UA QuickStart and its individual features/components happen at the
same time. When a new version of UA QuickStart is ready to be tagged for
release, all of the individual UA QuickStart component projects repositories
should also be tagged automatically with the same release version, whether
changes to the individual project have occurred or not. Anyone with rights to
push tags to the
ua_drupal/ua_quickstart UA QuickStart repository can make
a new release, but in practice the process should only happen after an
extended review by the community.
To tag a new release, start from a clone of the
repository that is up to date with the remote version (assumed to be identified
origin in the example). Use the
git tag -a command to make a new tag in
the local clone, with a name following the agreed conventions for UA
QuickStart. So for example
git tag -a 7.x-1.0-alpha7 -m 'Starting to backport UAMS Features.'
then simply push this to the
git push origin 7.x-1.0-alpha7
Automation should then take over, replicating the tag across all the repositories and updating their CHANGELOG.txt files. It is important that all the repositories, even those newly added, have at least an empty CHANGELOG.txt file for the process to succeed. Finally, an additional packaging operation should build the distribution, make the archive files from it, and publish these on the downloads area.