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Using Drupal 122

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Michael J. Ross writes "After installing and learning the basics of the content management system Drupal, many Web developers do not know how to best proceed from there. They may realize that much of the programming potential of Drupal — and thus the earning potential of Drupal developers — is derived from the use of community-contributed modules that greatly extend Drupal's power. But there are thousands of such modules, with no objective direction as to which ones are best suited for particular tasks, and what bugs and other flaws could trip up the developer. These programmers need a thorough guide as to which modules are the most promising for the development of the most common types of Web sites. A new book, Using Drupal, aims to fill this need." Keep reading for the rest of Michael's review.
Using Drupal
author Angela Byron, Addison Berry, Nathan Haug, Jeff Eaton, James Walker, and Jeff Robbins
pages 490
publisher O'Reilly Media
rating 9/10
reviewer Michael J. Ross
ISBN 978-0596515805
summary Key contributed Drupal modules put to use creating sample sites.
Published by O'Reilly Media on 16 December 2008, under the ISBN 978-0596515805, the book is authored by Angela Byron, Addison Berry, Nathan Haug, Jeff Eaton, James Walker, and Jeff Robbins — all of whom are affiliated with Lullabot and are actively involved in the Drupal community and knowledgeable about Drupal's core and plug-in modules. Despite the old adage about having too many cooks in the kitchen, a technical book of this nature should benefit from having half a dozen authors, since each one will have his or her fortes, and the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts, as a result of this complementary expertise.

This title appears to be O'Reilly's first — and, as of this writing, only — Drupal book. This is in no way astonishing, given that O'Reilly has never been known for pushing books too quickly through development and production, simply to gain "first mover advantage." Rather, they generally work to create higher-quality efforts that will better stand the test of time — unlike the "shovel" books that some other publishers tend to push out the door, with less coherence and more errata. As a consequence, in the technical libraries of veteran programmers, one tends to see a disproportionately high number of book covers sporting pictures of animals.

On the publisher's Web page for Using Drupal, visitors can read the book's description, table of contents, colophon, errata (of which there are currently several), a link for purchasing the book in electronic form (in formats such as PDF, EPUB, and Kindle-compatible Mobipocket), and a link for viewing the book immediately online, in the Safari Books Online system. There is a simple forum for the book, which currently contains seven posts, three of which already have replies from one of the book's authors and from an O'Reilly community manager. There is a browse system that allows the visitor to read portions of each section of each chapter, and thus preview the book before purchasing it. It even includes the illustrations within each previewed section, but for some reason does not include the figure numbers within the captions.

The authors have created their own site dedicated to the book, where visitors will find brief author biographies largely similar to those found at the very end of the book, with links to the authors' profile pages on Drupal.org. Lastly, there is a download page for the source code, which comprises a copy of Drupal 6, all of the contributed modules and themes needed to complete the hands-on exercises, and the supplementary resource files for those exercises, such as logos and product images. There is a change log for the download file, and yet no mention on the page — or even in the book itself, as far as I can tell — as to which version in the 6.x release series was used for the book and in the download package.

Oddly, neither the publisher's site nor the authors' site appears to mention the free downloadable chapter (Chapter 9, "Event Management"), although it is offered in an article posted in the blog section of Do It with Drupal.

After a foreword by Dries Buytaert — Drupal's founder and project lead — the book continues for 490 pages in total, organized into eleven chapters and three appendices. Nine of the chapters each begin with a description of a case study that will be used for illustrative purposes, followed by some implementation notes, which includes discussion of the candidate modules that could be used for this particular case study, and the trade-offs among them. The contributed modules that are chosen for the implementation and their capabilities are summarized, and then further explained with hands-on exercises — in which the particular modules are utilized and configured. Each of these nine chapters takes the reader through the development of a complete Web site, and is wrapped up with discussion of additional modules applicable to the kind of Web site being created. In Chapters 2 through 10, the case studies are: a simple Drupal site that supports client editing, a job posting board, a product reviews site, a wiki, a site for managing publishing workflow, a photo gallery, multilingual sites, an entertainment events management site, and an online store. Chapter 1 provides an overview of Drupal — covering modules, users, nodes, organizational schemes, and content types — preceded by a brief history of content management systems. Chapter 11 explores site theming, with details on the files and other elements that make up a theme, and how to customize them. The book's three appendices cover installing and upgrading Drupal, choosing the right modules for a job, and a list of the modules and themes used in the book.

The book's material is current with Drupal version 6, but should be of some value to any developer opting, for whatever reason, to stick with version 5. Speaking of versions, the authors should have mentioned which version of Drupal they chose, including the minor release number. The Drupal code in the aforesaid download package indicates that the chosen version is 6.4.

This book is unique, in that most if not all other Drupal books on the market are either introductory in nature — which at best devote only a single chapter to discussing third-party modules contributed by developers — or more advanced, specializing in a particular subject area, such as Drupal site security or e-commerce. Using Drupal, just as the title indicates, examines the detailed usage of best-of-breed modules to accomplish specific goals that one often encounters as a Web developer.

One of the most valuable aspects of software development books written by veteran programmers, is their discussions of various solutions to a particular problem — regardless of its size or complexity — and the reasons why they chose one approach instead of any of the others. Using Drupal is no exception. The authors examine the advantages and disadvantages of various third-party modules, even those that were not chosen for implementing the sample Web sites.

In any computer programming book, screenshots and other figures can be most helpful to the reader, because they reinforce the narrative descriptions of the cumulative results of all the steps up to that point. The screenshots are even valuable to someone following along on his own computer, because they provide immediate confirmation that he has not missed a critical step in the process. Using Drupal offers a generous amount of such screenshots, as well as information tables that help in visually breaking up the text. The only weakness with some of the screenshots is the lack of contrast between the text and the background, resulting in a dark gray shown on a light gray background — not always clearly readable.

The book is substantial in length and content, and naturally it cannot adequately cover dozens of sorts of Web sites. But clearly the book would have been more complete if it contained a chapter explaining how to allow content to be viewable by a limited set of authenticated users. An ideal case study for this would be the implementation of an e-zine site, for which prospective subscribers could view the homepage and other marketing material, but only subscribers could read the actual e-zine's contents. Even better would be to make this sample site fee-based, and show how to accept payments through PayPal (or some other payment systems for which there are Drupal modules) and possibly validate new subscribers automatically and instantly, using PayPal's IPN feature.

The flaws of this book are few and minor. There are unreported errata, most of them grammatical — e.g., "as [the] ability" (page 10) and "modules [that] were" (page 89) — which are to be expected in the first edition of any technical book. Speaking of errata, on the publisher's Web site, the errata should be sorted — or sortable — by page number, so it is much faster for people to see if a discovered erratum has already been reported. In addition, the URLs within the book that do not contain any filename (e.g., "http://www.example.com"; page 8) are in most if not all cases missing the trailing "/" (the root directory). Yet my primary complaint pertains to its production, and not its writing: For countless lines within the text, the spaces separating the words are too narrow, making it difficult to distinguish the words from one another when reading rapidly. As a consequence, each one of these lines almost appears to be a single word. (Skilled programmers know the great value of using whitespace in their code for enhancing readability; the same is certainly true for the printed word.) This readability problem is exacerbated by two factors: The ink color does not appear to be pure black, but instead a dark gray, which possibly has the advantage of producing less glare, but provides less contrast. Secondly, the serif font selected (whose name does not seem to be identified in the book — a common practice ages ago) has quite thin curves, which arguably does make the font face more stylish, but diminishes readability.

In terms of the target audience, the authors do not assume that the reader knows PHP (although some is shown in the chapter on theming), but they do assume that the reader is comfortable installing a PHP-based content management system and all of its required technologies, and familiar enough with Drupal to be able to navigate through the administrative area, download and add modules, and perform other basic admin tasks. Programmers just getting started with Drupal will benefit the most from this book, while experienced Drupal programmers will most likely learn some hitherto unknown best practices, and perhaps even some valuable modules or techniques that the individual has never seen before.

Using Drupal is a detailed and information-packed guide to the most promising contributed modules, and how they can be best employed for creating common types of Web sites. Drupal developers should find this a valuable part of their technical library, especially when they begin creating one of those types of Web sites for the first time.

Michael J. Ross is a Web developer and freelance writer.

You can purchase Using Drupal from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Using Drupal

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  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Friday January 09, 2009 @03:10PM (#26391111) Homepage

    "Pronouncing 'Drupal'"

    • Or pronouncing "Web 2.0" application names in general...

      But for the record: DROO-puhl

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by BitZtream (692029)

      Anyone who can't read well enough to figure out how to pronounce the name, probably isn't going to be saying it. Its not really that difficult.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hansamurai (907719)

      Funny you should say that because the other day I was talking with a friend about our involvements with open source communities (he's on the Debian project) and I mentioned I was getting into DROOpal and he's like "you know, it's actually DRApal." He pointed out it was based off the Dutch word druppel for rain drop.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        In English, it's pronounced Drupal. That's the big problem with using an actual word (and not a name or something made up) as a trademark (which Drupal is.) There are simply multiple ways to pronounce it and although you could insist it be pronounced a certain way specific to your language, you'd be an asshole. Thinking about this sort of thing is not new;

    • That's why I hate foreign words in English -- you never know what syllable should be stressed.
    • by WillKemp (1338605)

      "Pronouncing 'Drupal'"

      The pronunciation of "drupal" is unusually easy across many different languages. I guess you could pronounce the "up" like the south eastern English pronunciation of the word "up", but can can't see why you would...

  • Drupal and the CMS. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mfh (56) on Friday January 09, 2009 @03:11PM (#26391121) Homepage Journal

    I like Drupal. I've used it many times and have always thought of it as one of the better CMS packages available.

    What I would like to see, would be a more freeing kind of extensibility, so that I could whip up fast plugins that would behave in a very reliable and systematic manner. I've tried to extend it in the past but have always preferred how easily Wordpress reacts to new code. The Wordpress docs and forums appear to have a faster method of making information available to developers.

    However, if I was planning a brochure-based website that would have some fresh content from time-to-time, I would not object to Drupal, but only if I was certain that I would never have to extend the core mechanics of what they offer... it's simply too unpredictable (at least as of this past August, which is when I last fiddled with it).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The core Drupal download is good for a brochure site but it powers some massive sites. It runs my current site, integrated with Gallery 2. I used to like Wordpress but my site outgrew it.

      I've been using Drupal off and on since 4.7. In version 6 I've really gone into it and am building a couple large sites with it. I'm using a pile of contrib modules and they integrate very well together. The Views module and the theming system have minimized the amount of custom PHP I have to write.

      The learning curve is ver

      • by mfh (56)

        I think the difficulty with finding the right (and current) info is a reason that people come away with the impression you've got.

        There were some features of Drupal that I really loved, but could not extend. I remember being mixed up between what people on the forum were saying, when much of it was not bound to a particular build or release so it was indeed out of date and then you have much time wasted spinning your wheels, instead of just knowing a particular answer, fast.

        I think this kind of thing happen

        • I've never seen any hints of intentional obscurity. It's just a matter of having thousands of users and contributers. Some are going to talk a lot about what they do, some expect you to step through the code if you want to figure it out. There's a lot of code and documentation to wade through and nobody to hold your hand.

          It definitely is getting to be a big complicated project though. When you give it the second glance, be sure to talk about what you do - help reduce the obscurity.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by lysergic.acid (845423)

        i just started learning CakePHP and jQuery to build a new informational & e-commerce site for our company (a record label). this is actually the first time i've worked with any web development frameworks, so it's all very new to me. originally i was thinking about going with an open source CMS--preferably an e-Commerce-oriented CMS like osCommerce--but i wasn't sure how extensible it would be.

        is Drupal suitable for mid-sized e-commerce sites that might require a lot of custom features (shopping cart, mp

        • I've used CakePHP (1.2 beta) and Drupal (4,5 and 6) but Drupal more recently. I like both very much. If I were building a site with the features you describe I'd go with Drupal. Either way you've got a lot of learning ahead of you but at least with Drupal, if you get it right, you'll have the benefit of piles of modules that are already tested and other people who are familiar with them. CakePHP can get you just as far but in my experience you're doing a deeper pile of custom code.

          There are at least a coupl

        • by qohen (104310)

          FWIW, Warner Bros. Records uses Drupal very heavily for its artist sites.

          Check this out post, for example, on WBR's VP of Technology Ethan Kaplan's blog: http://blackrimglasses.com/archives/2007/07/26/wbr/ [blackrimglasses.com]

          (Mind you, it appears that ecommerce may be handled outside of Drupal--whether that's due to some a lack in Drupal or some WBR-specific reason (e.g. legacy system), you'd have to ask check w/Ethan).

    • Concrete5... (Score:3, Informative)

      by msimm (580077)
      Have you looked at Concrete5 [concrete5.org]? One of the things I've enjoyed about it is the use of 'blocks' for defining/extending functionality. The UI is also one of the best I've used and search is built on lucene via zend (framework).

      It's a little sparse (you won't find nearly as many pre-made plugins, ala Wordpress) but if you need a clean base to build on you might like it.
  • I've been using Drupal for a while, but only in the most minimal way. To me this looks like an excellent book to really ramp up the use of Drupal in more advanced ways that I had been considering, but was not quite sure the best direction to take.

    I'm not sure exactly why Drupal appeals to me more than the other CMS systems - I reviewed quite a few pretty carefully before selecting Drupal (about two years ago), and I just liked Drupal from a feature and technology perspective.

  • Drupal.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ..isn't that some tranny with a show on tv?
    • by macdaddy (38372)
      To the best of my knowledge FOX Network hasn't given Ann Coulter her own show, yet.
  • by webchickenator (1064974) on Friday January 09, 2009 @03:35PM (#26391379)

    Disclaimer: I am one of the book authors (Angela - hi! :))

    Just to address a couple of points:

    There is a change log for the download file, and yet no mention on the page â" or even in the book itself, as far as I can tell â" as to which version in the 6.x release series was used for the book and in the download package.

    In Appendix C, there are version numbers of all the modules and themes used in the book, including the version of Drupal (6.4). I've now added a note to the http://usingdrupal.com/source_code [usingdrupal.com] as well. :)

    Oddly, neither the publisher's site nor the authors' site appears to mention the free downloadable chapter (Chapter 9, "Event Management"), although it is offered in an article posted in the blog section of Do It with Drupal.

    *forehead slap* I can't believe we forgot to put that there. I blame the holiday rush. ;) Added a note to the front page of http://usingdrupal.com/ [usingdrupal.com].

    I'll also speak with our contacts over at O'Reilly about mirroring these items on their "official" infrastructure.

    But clearly the book would have been more complete if it contained a chapter explaining how to allow content to be viewable by a limited set of authenticated users.

    Yes, the very first chapter written for this book (back on Drupal 5 at the time) was one on Organic Groups which covered the access control aspects in-depth. Unfortunately, due to our book schedule vs. Drupal 6's contributed module release cycle, we had to chop this one. :( I'm hoping that if we end up doing a second edition of the book for Drupal 7, we can add this chapter back in. :)

    The flaws of this book are few and minor. There are unreported errata, most of them grammatical â" e.g., "as [the] ability" (page 10) and "modules [that] were" (page 89) â" which are to be expected in the first edition of any technical book.

    If you have a chance, please report those! While we fell behind a bit during the holidays, we're hoping to get back caught up on errata review within the next couple of weeks.

    Also, a quick correction to the review. In the author list, Jeff Robbins is listed twice, both in the review text and the book info table.

    Thanks again!

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Yes, the very first chapter written for this book (back on Drupal 5 at the time) was one on Organic Groups which covered the access control aspects in-depth. Unfortunately, due to our book schedule vs. Drupal 6's contributed module release cycle, we had to chop this one. :( I'm hoping that if we end up doing a second edition of the book for Drupal 7, we can add this chapter back in.

      This seems like a pretty important thing to leave out. One of the biggest reasons why people use a CMS is to have authenticated logins and to have the ability to limit content to a limited set of authenticated users. It seems to me if I had to choose between that chapter and one of the more oddball case studies, maybe I'd probably cut the case study, but that's just me.

      • by webchickenator (1064974) on Friday January 09, 2009 @04:46PM (#26392255)

        This seems like a pretty important thing to leave out. One of the biggest reasons why people use a CMS is to have authenticated logins and to have the ability to limit content to a limited set of authenticated users. It seems to me if I had to choose between that chapter and one of the more oddball case studies, maybe I'd probably cut the case study, but that's just me.

        The problem was the module quite simply wasn't ready for Drupal 6 at the time our publishing deadline came up, and anything we tried to write about it would be fortune-telling at best, completely and utterly inaccurate at worst. And we (both the authors and O'Reilly) didn't really feel comfortable with that...

        In hind-sight, we perhaps should've started a whole new access-control chapter from scratch that didn't use this module (I rather like the case study posed by the author of the review), but it wasn't clear until it was kind of too late that this was going to be a show-stopper. :(

        There is a sidebar in Chapter 2 that alludes to access-control modules you can use to protect your content, however. So the book is not *completely* devoid of this information. It just isn't gone into to the same extent as other topics.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by juliesteele (1244386)

      Secondly, the serif font selected (whose name does not seem to be identified in the book -- a common practice ages ago) has quite thin curves, which arguably does make the font face more stylish, but diminishes readability.

      This information can be found in the back of all O'Reilly books in the Colophon section (along with information about the animal on the cover :) ). For Using Drupal, "The cover font is Adobe ITC Garamond. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and th

    • Uhhh, hi there. Not to be annoying, but I still can't quite get WTH Drupal is exactly. It looks like custom interpreter combined with a database frontend, but I'm not quite sure. Content management system doesn't speak heaps either. Sorry.

      Disclaimer: I'm in high-school specializing physics, soooo... I'm not exactly a webdev in the making. Sorry if the question is idiotic.

  • by mtapman (1259686) on Friday January 09, 2009 @03:42PM (#26391459) Homepage
    I've been using Drupal for a variety of website tasks for about a year now. As a novice (at best) programmer I'm more interested in the functionality of the tools than in customizing them or inventing new tools, so for me it's important that my content management tools be fully functional. So far, Drupal's only real gotcha is the lack of seamless upgrades. This isn't a huge problem if you're willing to spend several minutes/hours every week or two upgrading your site, however it does become an issue if you're handling multiple sites. Whereas Wordpress has a built in upgrade function, Drupal requires you to manually delete existing directories and upload the new code every time there is a core update. Modules are a bit easier in that you only need to delete and upload that module's directory, and a well organized site keep the modules away from the core code (e.g., in /sites/all/modules instead of in /modules). Security seems pretty good so far, with just a few core security updates over the last year, I think. Modules often have more security issues, but the most popular modules seems almost as stable as the core. I believe both CCK and Views, two immensely popular modules, are being ported into core for Drupal 7. Drupal's usability is good once you get used to the organizational structure but there is a steep learning curve because of all the options. For example, installing a module requires the upload of the code into the /sites/all/modules/... directory, enabling of the module in the module control section of the site, running of the update.php script (as the root user of the site), and setting of the permissions for the modules (which is often a complex process). Granted you don't do module installation that often but it's a serious process when you do. Too long to proofread! Sorry for the wall of text...Drupal's worth a try and I'll probably pickup this book to see what is has to offer.
    • I'm trying to decide what CMS to use for a site, and this was useful to know. Thanks.

      I need to setup a blog and forum, and I've been debating over Drupal or a Wordpress + forum hybrid. I like the fact that Drupal has a forum integrated, so you can just create one user login and have access to both sections of the site.

      I think Wordpress is a bit easier to work with if all you want is a blog, but I'm probably leaning towards Drupal right now since I need a bit more.

      I also tried looking at bbPress, which is

    • I am amazed you cited Wordpress as better than Drupal. Wordpress is a horrible piece of code, written by people who care only about the newest in oooh-shiney.

      I've got several Wordpress sites under administration and they give me nothing but headaches. I'm a rotten sysadmin but Wordpress just makes my life that much harder. My brief foray into Drupal was like a trip to heaven in comparison.

      Tip: by far the best way to install and update Wordpress is through the subversion checkout and switch commands.

      And need

    • by bigdadro (452037)

      I've done several sites using Drupal and ran into some of the upgrade and module installation SNAFUs mentioned here.

      I found DRUSH [drupal.org] to be one of the most useful modules available for handling module updates and installation. It is basically a CLI swiss army knife for tasks like module management, cache management, log management, etc. In short it is just plain awesome.

      By using Drush and having Drupal Core checked out via CVS it is trivial to keep everything up to date in an automated fashion.

  • by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Friday January 09, 2009 @03:44PM (#26391487)

    http://www.lullabot.com/audiocast/the_drupal_song [lullabot.com]

    Amuse/annoy your coworkers!

  • by stephthegeek (733850) on Friday January 09, 2009 @03:49PM (#26391529) Homepage
    I also did a review of this book [topnotchthemes.com]. It's awesome. Much better with hands-on, practical walkthroughs than any others out there.
    • by multisync (218450)

      Much better with hands-on, practical walkthroughs than any others out there.

      Check out this [packtpub.com] one. I found that it filled in the gaps left by the online handbook quite nicely. I also like that the publisher funnels some of their profits back in to the projects their books cover.

  • by scorp1us (235526) on Friday January 09, 2009 @03:55PM (#26391595) Journal

    I've read a couple books, but I still don't know how to use it. All the books I read thus far spent 1/2 the time on installing it, which should only be a chapter. The rest of the time, they talk about "nodes" which is too abstract a concept for my friend Prudence, who runs a counseling website to grasp.

    What we really need is a guide on "do this to make a menu", "do this to make a blog", "do this to enter the blog article", do this..., etc. I really have no idea to layout a site and get what I want. So there Drupal sits, well-installed, but doing nothing. Because that's what the books covered.

    • Disclaimer: I am one of the book authors (Angela - hi! :))

      I share your feelings about the extent to which many tech books dwell on these basic concepts. I'm like you. I don't need 3 pages telling me how to extract a tarball. I don't need an entire chapter dedicated to how to use various FTP clients to transfer files. I can get a web application installed, that's not the hard part. I want to hurry up get my hands dirty with the tool and start being productive! This is why we chose a completely different appr

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by scorp1us (235526)

        It would be more than sufficient to show several sites, with various layouts and allow the reader to select one, or elements from several, and see the steps which made the site or element. This would vastly increase confidence and shorten time to deploy.

        Call it "The Drupal Cookbook"

  • "In any computer programming book, screenshots and other figures can be most helpful to the reader"... not me, I tend to find the BNF of the grammar the most helpful.

  • I've looked over the moduals at drupal.org, but haven't found anything useful. Does anyone know of a decent project management modual? I've used PHPProject in the past, it doesn't need to be as complex as that. I really just need to be able to assign tasks to users, define projects, and maybe allocate resources to tasks and projects. Gnatt, time estimates, milestones and such would be a positive bonus, but not a requirement. And no, I don't really have the time to make one myself...

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by stubob (204064)

      I've used Project + Project Issue Tracking with success.
      http://drupal.org/project/project [drupal.org]
      http://drupal.org/project/project_issue [drupal.org].

      Everything else (except Gantt charts) could be created as content pages within the project.

      For a more integrated system, I'm a fan of Trac, which is Python, not PHP. The wiki markup linking of Trac is worth it on its own.

      • Sweet! Thanks, I'll look at those over the weekend. I've gotten many of my friends to loving Drupal because of it's vast amount of plugins. I have yet to dip into doing any of my own, because this was really the only thing I couldn't find that already existed. I knew their had to be something out there, I just couldn't really find it. Now if I can just fix the access problems I'm having with it and cron.org to update my feeds lol

  • Slightly off topic, but is Drupal the best option for someone with little to no programming knowledge, such as myself? I'm just trying to set up your typical blog-style site with daily posts and the ability to let people comment on each item... nothing fancy. Currently I use Joomla. While I like much about it, I am still finding it difficult to manipulate the template's visuals to my liking. Also, it would be nice if the CMS came with integrated forums, eliminating the need for multiple user accounts. I've
  • by f1vlad (1253784) Works for Slashdot on Friday January 09, 2009 @04:15PM (#26391885) Homepage Journal

    I have extensive experience building in Drupal -- module and theme development.

    I've noticed that immediate impression people have about Drupal is that it's only a blog CMS. But it isn't so at all. I welcome you to visit Drupal founder's blog, where he lists all interesting sites that use Drupal. Sometimes even I am (pleasantly) surprised at the ogranizations and institutions who move on to use Drupal. Check it out: http://buytaert.net/tag/drupal-sites [buytaert.net]

  • Excellent book (Score:2, Insightful)

    by blakhol (919393)

    This book fills out the lineup of Drupal books rather nicely:

    Building Powerful and Robust Websites With Drupal 6: good intro book for the non-programmer

    Learning Drupal 6 Module Development: the basics of module development

    Pro Drupal Development, 2nd ed: exhaustive documentation/reference of how Drupal works, system by system

    Using Drupal: Now that you understand the above, how you put it all together

    And there are some other ones for specific applications like multimedia and education.

  • That this ought to be free to be used by all--I like the free ebook comment but then, whatcha see is whatcha get...

    or maybe I've just had to use too much eighties music to get a point across to some students this past week.

    yes, I know there is a 'd' at the front of the back end system.
  • ... if you're already a serious drupal user, you've probably preordered it. When our company decided to focus on Drupal Development, one of the first things I did was sign up for one of Lullabot's Drupal training workshops. I paid almost $2,000 for the 5 days, which featured 3 of the authors. It was one of the best sources of Drupal information I've encountered, easily worth the cost. There's no questions that all of the authors are "Drupal superstars", contributing an enormous amount of programming, docu
  • Fun Fact (Score:1, Troll)

    by SilentOneNCW (943611)
    Fun Fact: Every book review posted on Slashdot gives nine out of ten.
    • by iluvcapra (782887)
      Just like Rolling Stone and new albums... Detection bias-- for volunteer reviewers on community site it's only worth their time to review something they liked. In Rolling Stone's case, there's just so much music out there that they only bother to review the stuff they like, and the review, like on slashdot, is essentially an endorsement.
    • Awww. :( And I thought Michael *liked* it.
  • You wrote:

    Secondly, the serif font selected (whose name does not seem to be identified in the book - a common practice ages ago) has quite thin curves, which arguably does make the font face more stylish, but diminishes readability.

    And yet the last part of the entire book, the Colophon, where these things go, says this:

    """The cover font is Adobe ITC Garamond. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSansMonoCondensed."""

  • Every time I looked at Drupal I found it too complex for whatever simple site I was setting up. I have used Joomla, which was easier to jump into, but simplistic and inflexible. Honestly, SharePoint 2007 is much easier to use and fairly powerful and flexible. If you don't want to set up and administer the swerver, you can buy hosting or even get it free (with limitations) from a number of providers.

  • Its definitely designed more towards community/portal/media/big sites then say a small business site. It can be used towards small sites but the way the breadcrumbs and taxonomy works it'll be way easier to use something like WebsiteBaker or Etomite. Having said that I've used Drupal for the last 6 sites I've built.

    Also once Ubercart is much more mature Drupal/Ubercart will be a killer combo.

    The other thing that Drupal is missing is a little better forum system and a proper photo/media gallery. The current

    • by rjung2k (576317)

      I've built nearly a dozen small-to-medium-sized business sites using Drupal, and I don't see a major reason to stop. Granted, Drupal's stock e-commerce functionality is rather basic, but between its continued development and Ubercart, I find that I can get what I need fairly painlessly.

      I don't think I could do a massive site in Drupal, but that's only because I do my work solo. ;-) But for small-to-medium-sized sites, it's easily my go-to CMS.

  • Drupal is awesome. I'm not crazy about the fact that it's written in PHP... but I have to admit it's one of the better-written PHP projects.

    I use it for a bunch of Web sites, including my company's site. It's extremely powerful and pretty easy to customize.

    Intersect my liking for Drupal with my love of O'Reilly books and I feel a purchase coming on...

  • Drupal is software written by amateurs--oh, they are well-meaning and their sheer numbers swamps the efforts of most other projects, making it a powerful temptation for the get-it-done-now. But Drupal is terribly convoluted, inefficient, buggy and expensive (it is impossible to deploy a Drupal site without an admin on retainer to apply the numerous security updates)--its arcane architecture was written to accomodate the quirks of the non-object oriented and now-obsolete PHP4--its a bandwagon with a long and

  • (with apologies to Michael Elkins)

    I've had occasion to download and test out dozens of Content Management Systems over the past ten years or so. Drupal is the first one where I looked at the code and didn't immediately think "Oh, crap. I should really rewrite half of this."

    Drupal has a steep learning curve. After working with it for two years, I feel like I'm just beginning to grasp some of the underlying concepts.

    Drupal isn't the fastest CMS out there; it isn't the easiest to use; it isn't the biggest o

  • Drupal rocks!
  • Joomla! Rules Simple, clean and easy to use.
  • by sochdot (864131)

    I'm not kidding. So much of what I used to do for a living is trivial with Drupal. Writing custom modules for our clients is fun again and I never have to worry about mundane every-site stuff like user management, perms, front controller dispatching...you name it; if it's common, Drupal will do it for you. Or a contrib module will.

    I started picking up Drupal in late 2005, played and learned for a couple of years, and 2008 was almost entirely Drupal builds. From cookpolitical.com where we worked out seri

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