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Configuring dev-site specific settings is easy using the $conf array in settings.php

Sometimes I need to also disable (securepages) or enable (devel) certain modules on a dev site, but I don't know of an analogous method for doing this via settings.php

One hack which seems tempting is to define, say, menu_init() in settings.php (*gasp), and make that function check that the required modules are enabled using module_exists().

[* Yes, all manner of things might asplode if menu.module defined that function. OMG,ETC.]

So I'm wondering if people have done similar things to make sure their dev site is correctly configured, and if so, what. Is this the Poor Dev's Pantheon?

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(It was me who wrote the instructions for the hook_init() hack at http://drupal.org/node/206368.)

Recent module-level ways of supporting this workflow are underway at the Environment module, and the Production check & Production monitor.

I feel they will rapidly become too bulky: Do you really need to enable a module to ensure another module is turned off? But, at least they may be able to provide a few conventions for us, like putting the list in local.settings.php or equivalent. I hide per-instance configs in in my site_aliases.drushrc, which is my alternative to local.settings.php

I'm not going for another script you have to call, unless it's part of a fully automated workflow.

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