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This module carries out many of the changes required to port a Drupal 7 module to Backdrop 1.x.

In some cases, Coder Upgrade will make all changes required. In most cases, you will still need to do some minor touch-up here and there. And for more complex modules, you may have to do further manual edits to address issues that Coder Upgrade can't handle (at least, not yet). Even there, though, Coder Upgrade will handle many of the required changes, still saving some time.

This module utilizes the Grammar Parser library (v. 1.0) to modify the source code. The module also utilizes the familiar Backdrop hook
system to invoke upgrade routines, allowing other modules to enhance or modify
the upgrade process.


Coder Upgrade is run from within a Backdrop installation.

  1. Copy Coder Upgrade directory to your modules directory.
  2. Enable the module at the module administration page.


Go to admin/config/development/coder-upgrade to perform upgrades.

Coder Upgrade by default will create a coder_upgrade directory in your
Backdrop /files directory. If your /files directory is not writable, there
will be a system message on install warning you of this. If your base coder_upgrade directory was not created on install, or if you
wish to change the default location, go to admin/config/development/coder-upgrade/settings
and set an alternative.

Under the base directory Coder Upgrade creates three subdirectories:

  • old
  • new
  • patch

To convert modules:

  1. Place the unpacked Drupal 7 module in the old directory.
  2. Visit admin/config/development/coder-upgrade, select the Directories tab,
    and check the box next to the module you wish to convert.
  3. Click the Convert Files button. The Drupal 7 code will be converted, then copied to the new directory.
  4. In addition to the converted module in the new directory, a patch that converts the old module will be placed in the patch directory.


For an overview of the process of porting a Drupal 7 module to Backdrop, please see the official Backdrop porting guide.

The changes made by Coder Upgrade fall into a few general categories.

Replacement of Drupal functions with Backdrop equivalents

Some functions have been renamed in Backdrop (most obviously, those with "drupal" as part of their name). CU makes these changes automatically.

.info File

CU will update the .info file per the guidelines. It doesn't touch the version, though; you'll still need to manually edit that value.

Configuration Management

The most extensive and visible changes relate to Configuration Management: for values formerly stored in the variables table, replacing them with config files. In general, CU will detect these by the presence of calls to variable_get() and variable_set() and will make the necessary substitutions, including creation/alteration of functions in the .install file, creation of a config directory and file, and, if necessary, an implementation of hook_update_N() to perform the needed conversion of data values. A few things to watch out for, though:

  • If the variable_set() or variable_get() expression contains an expression too complex for CU to handle, CU will insert a value "dynamic variable in file..." in the relevant place in the converted file. You'll need to go through and manually fix these.
  • CU assumes that any variable_get() variable name that does not begin with the module name is a variable from some other module, and will insert a "TODO..." comment at that point. You'll need to go through and manually handle these.
  • CU assumes that all variable_set() and variable_get() variables should be converted to config variables accessed through config_set() and config_get() and will make those conversions. However, persistent variables that are environment-specific should be state variables, set via state_set() and state_get() and should not be in config files. You'll need to decide for yourself which variables are config and which are state. See the documentation of variable_set() for further information about this distinction.

In places that CU knows need additional manual attention, it will insert a "dynamic..." value or "TODO..." comment into the converted file. It's a good idea to do a search for those two words (not including the ellipsis) to find all such instances. By comparing the (partially) converted code with the corresponding original code, it will often be clear what additional edits need to be made.

Using system_settings_form()

Configuration pages often use system_settings_form() to create and edit configuration variables. CU will automatically handle the changes to functions that call system_settings_form().

Things Coder Upgrade Doesn't Do


There are no dependencies. Unlike the Drupal version, the Grammar Parser Library is bundled with Coder Upgrade. The bundled library has some CU-specific changes relative to the Drupal version.


In the event you encounter issues with the upgrade routines, debug output may be enabled on
the settings page of this module. This information is quite verbose; it is recommended to enable this only with
smaller files that include the code causing an issue.

Current Maintainers



This project is GPL v2 software. See the LICENSE.txt file in this directory for
complete text.