DrupalEasy Quicktips are short, focused posts intended to accomplish a very specific goal. Quicktips are exclusively available first via our @drupaleasy Twitter account.

Automatic removal of .git directories from Composer dependencies

If you've adopted a Composer-based Drupal 8 workflow (hopefully using the Drupal Composer/Drupal Project template) where you're keeping dependencies in your project's repository, then you've no-doubt experienced the annoyance of a rouge .git directory ending up in one of your project's dependencies. This will always happen when you're using the -dev version of a Drupal module. 

Drupal 8 module debugging: taming Kint's output

Debugging a Drupal 8 module can take many forms. Often, one of the first tools most developers use is the ability to output variables using the "Devel Kint" module (part of the Devel project). Much like the dsm() function from pre-Drupal 8 versions of Drupal core, the ksm() function provided by Devel Kint provides a slick way to output any variable type to the screen in a readable way. 

Using Drupal's Linked Field module to output fields as links in view modes

With Drupal 8, the use of view modes (both default and custom) is gaining momentum. This is especially true because of their ability to be easily utilized by Views. Rather than specifying a list of fields with all the required configuration in a View configuration, many site-builders are finding it much easier to define a set of view modes for their entities, have them themed once, then re-used throughout the site - including as part of a View's output via the "Show: Content" option in a View's "Format" configuration. 

Demystifying Drupal 8's breakpoints.yml file

While working through a couple of Drupal 8 projects involving a custom theme, I've been curious about the themename.breakpoints.yml file. I've dutifully updated it with the proper breakpoint values, but I've been a bit mystified with its actual purpose. There's nothing in either of the base themes I've used (Neato and Bootstrap) that actually appears to utilize the data in the breakpoints.yml files.

Checking for the existence of a field value in Twig

Twig syntax is new for most Drupalists, and learning how to check for the existence of a field value is a valuble skill for anyone building a Drupal 8 theme. For example, consider the case where there is an optional text field called "Photo caption" on a content type. If the content author populates the "Photo caption" field, then it should be output as follows:

<figcaption>{{ content.field_photo_caption }}</figcaption>

Enabling "development mode" on a local Drupal 8 site

Drupal 8 includes some great debugging tools built-in, but it isn't always super-obvious how to access them. Luckily, the Drupal Console "site:mode" command helps out quite a bit, but it also requires the site to be configured properly before it can be successfully used. I find that having access to the Twig template name suggestions is invaluable when theming a Drupal 8 site: