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Finding when a change was made in GitHub

I was recently going through some old bug reports for Backdrop CMS and I came across one that I discovered had since been fixed, though the issue was still open. Rather than just closing it, I wanted to post a link to the commit that fixed it (for posterity), so I went looking in GitHub for when the change to the file in question was made...

The file was in the core Taxonomy module, and on line 129 I could see the code that had been a problem but was now fixed:

Line 129

To see when it was fixed, I did the following:

  • Clicked on the line number - it was...

Creating a node programatically in Backdrop

For a Backdrop CMS site I'm currently working on, I needed to create a node programatically (i.e. via some PHP code, as opposed to the UI). Generally when I need to do something in Backdrop, I'll search for similar solutions in Drupal 7 and then migrate them over (Backdrop still has some catching up to do in the 'online help and tutorials' department; hence this blog post).

So I went looking for how to create nodes programatically in Drupal 7, and there were plently of results. The answer is basically to create an object or array of values (your 'node'), then run it through node_save()....

Introducing the first Backdrop challenge!

Block puzzle


I love puzzles! The little metal ones you have to disassemble and re-assemble, escape rooms (though I've only ever done online point-and-click ones), even Mastermind. I recently saw videos online of a guy solving 'sequential discovery' puzzles. These are intricate devices that, for example, require you to find a hidden pin, then use that pin to push a button, which releases a drawer containing a code that you can use to open the puzzle and find the treasure. Watching these videos I had the thought that I could create something like that in Backdrop CMS. And with Backdrop's 5th...

The Evolution of a Site designs over the years

This site just got a bit of a makeover. I changed the layout and the theme, and I wrote about the how and the why in a Backdrop CMS Showcase article.

That got me thinking about the previous designs this site has had in the past. So I went hunting and found the different versions of my site over the years. The dates are approximate, generally the year that version was last used before I changed to the next one. The earlier versions I got from static HTML files I have backed up on my computer, the rest were from the Wayback Machine.

Creating a GitHub-like editing experience in Backdrop

I'm a big fan of the editing experience in GitHub. Through using GitHub over the last few years for my contributions to various open-source projects (mainly Backdrop CMS), I've learnt to write posts in Markdown and love the way GitHub makes it easy to add syntax-highlighted code snippets, insert images, etc. I wanted to replicate some of that functionality in Backdrop, so here's what I did...

Anti-Spam Test: Introduction

No junk mail

I have been thinking recently about porting Drupal's 'Antibot' module to Backdrop CMS. On the five Backdrop sites I've built to date I use the 'reCAPTCHA' module, however I'd like to get away from needing a separate (Google) account to avoid spam, and requiring users to take an extra step to submit a form (tick a checkbox to prove they're not a robot). Antibot looks good in this case, as it doesn't require any third-party accounts and is completely hidden from the user. But before I start porting Antibot to Backdrop, I'd like to know how effective it is in relation to other anti-spam...

Building with Backdrop CMS screenshot

Yesterday I launched the latest version of, my personal blog, which I re-built from the ground up using the Backdrop CMS. This is my second Backdrop website to date; the first being my business site: A lot of work went into this seemingly simple, minimal blog website, so I thought I'd write about how I built it and how I contributed to Backdrop along the way.


The idea for a new version of came from a growing dislike of the (then) current site. It had a lot of features that either no longer worked, or were no longer being used (such as...

Learning Web Design

HTML code

One of the original iterations of this website had a page explaining how I came to learn web design. As that page no longer exists, I thought I'd re-create it here...

I was first introduced to web design in my early-teens when my uncle bought me a magazine on the subject ("How to make a web site from A to Z" by John Horner). With it, I learnt the basics of coding HTML and started down the path of becoming a web designer.

I soon started looking online for tutorials and came across HTML Goodies. That website taught me even more about coding HTML, introduced me to JavaScript, and served as a...