Jacob Rockowitz: A guide to auditing, reviewing, and improving a Drupal module

Drupal CMS

There are plenty of resources in the Drupal community for learning how to build a module. This article is not about building a custom module. My goal is to provide a guide for auditing and reviewing a Drupal module. In doing so, I’m aiming to help you achieve your goal to understand, document, clean up, and hopefully improve a Drupal module.

Prerequisites before auditing and reviewing a module

Maybe it goes without saying, but before you examine a module, you should know how to create one from scratch. I recommend looking at some Drupal core modules and maybe a few popular contributed modules.

One expert tip is to experiment with the `drush generate` command, which provides starter code for every possible feature and aspect in a module. The help text from the `drush generate` command serves as a table of contents of sorts for what is contained in a Drupal module.

It’s essential to understand the typical uses of a Drupal module so that you can conceptually categorize what the code is doing. For example, if you see a form alter hook, you should assume that the module is enhancing or tweaking another core or contributed module’s form.

Generally, Drupal modules will:

Extend core and other modules.Enhance a contributed or custom theme.Create new functionality.Integrate with external systems.

It is also important to note that a Drupal module should have a well-defined purpose with clear objectives. A good Drupal module developer leverages the Drupal community’s best practices, making it easy for other developers to understand and improve the code.

Steps to audit and review a module

Step 1: Play with…Read More