Now that Drupal 8 has been released, webmechanic.org has moved to a Drupal 8 platform. Blog posts will not be migrated to the new site (since some involve custom modules that demonstrate issues specific to Drupal 7), but this Drupal 7 installation and all of its current blog posts will continue to be available at webmech.biz.
Have you ever run a PHP utility script on a Windows/IIS platform and had it unexpectedly timeout? Your IIS settings for script timeouts might be conflicting with your PHP settings.
Let's say your script is querying a remote, third-party web service for share data on 3000 articles on your site, and for whatever reason, the web service only allows you to query share data for one URL at a time. This could take a while. So on your Windows/IIS server, you set up a scheduled task to run at 1:00 am to retrieve all this data and put in your database for convenient access.
Recently, I was tasked with creating an event registration process for an existing Drupal site. This project would move the user through a number of possible paths to the final outcome of registering (or not registering), so building it as a finite state machine (using the state design pattern) seemed a good fit and would provide a flexible, easily modified, object-oriented structure for event registration.
Recently I had to include a form within an existing set of nodes (using hook_node_view), and this form had to make an AJAX callback. I put the form definition and Ajax callback function in a separate file for convenience.