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Drupal: Creating Blogs, Forums, Portals, and Community Websites: How to setup, configure and customise this powerful PHP/MySQL based Open Source CMS

24 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1904811800
ISBN-10: 1904811809
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About the Author

David Mercer was born in August 1976 in Harare, Zimbabwe. Having always had a strong interest in science, David came into regular contact with computers at university where he graduated cum laude with majors in applied math and math (although he minored in computer science). As a programmer and professional writer who has been writing both code and books for about nine years, he has worked on a number of well known titles, in various capacities, on a wide variety of topics. His books have sold tens of thousands of copies and have been translated into over 6 different languages to date. David finds that the challenges arising from the dichotomous relationship between the science (and art) of software programming and the art (and science) of writing is what keeps his interest in producing books piqued. He will no doubt continue to write professionally in the future. David balances his time between programming, reviewing, writing, and contributing to interesting web-based projects such as RankTracer and LinkDoozer. When he isn't working (which isn't that often) he enjoys playing guitar (generally on stage and unrehearsed) and getting involved in outdoor activities ranging from touch rugby and golf to water skiing and snowboarding. Visit RankTracer or find him on LinkDoozer where he is generally lurking.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (May 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904811809
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904811800
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,964,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful By B. R. Brown on October 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Drupal is an incredibly powerful CMS, but with that power, comes a lot of complexity. It is, in some ways, very different than most other CMS's out there, which adds to the learning curve. But many would say that it may be one of the strongest because of these differences... this is something each user will have to determine for themselves.

Who this book is not for... anyone who has a strong understanding of Drupal, perhaps already customizing Drupal.

Who this book is for... anyone starting out new with Drupal, struggling to gain an understanding, and certainly anyone new to CMS that has chosen Drupal or is considering Drupal.

I think previous posts did a good job of recapping some of the key sections, so I won't rehash those as they are pretty good and fair descriptions.

As the book even recommends, there is much information on the Drupal site, both online documentation and in the forums. So why buy a book? The online Drupal documentation is primarily a set of technical documents... not strictly dry technical, but still primarily focused on the "what." However, anyone just getting started will likely feel overwhelmed or just confused with trying to dig through that type of documentation. It is a must, but may be better off left for doing after reading this book. And some of us just like to page through a book and have a reference at our side, not to mention, reading tons of information online can be a bit harsh on the eyes after awhile.

At the time of this writing, to my knowledge, there is only one other book, "Building Online Communities with Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress" from Apress. As I have both, I can say that it is also an excellent book. The immediate thought may be "which one should I get?
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Craig on May 27, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good introduction to the concepts behind drupal and explains some concepts like taxonomy and access control with great depth. For an aspiring drupal site admin it is a great book to read.

Once.

It is not an in-depth guide to drupal, but more of a technical overview of the concept. Most of the content is available in similar form online.

It is very easy to understand and if you learn things better with a physical book, this is a good choice.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Burge on September 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
Drupal has suffered somewhat in recent months, in comparison to other CMSs such as Joomla. Whereas Joomla, which many developers consider to be a technically inferior CMS, has steamrollered ahead, Drupal has kept on plodding along. If you don't believe me, go to Google Trends and see how the number of people searching for Joomla has doubled every three months while Drupal has inched slowly upwards, barely doubling in the last two years. Part of Joomla's comparative success has been its branding success. Whereas Drupal has a slightly intimidating blue head for a logo and a staunchly community-orientated focus, Joomla presents a more friendly image with a colourful logo and plenty of commercial options available.

Whether the Drupal community wants or needs to keep up with such a rapid expansion is one question, but books such as "Drupal - Creating Blogs, Forms, Portals and Community Websites" by David Mercer can certainly help encourage more users.

It is stronger than many other CMS books for two key reasons, First, it hasn't been been translated in the somewhat uneven and typo-strewn manner of similar books. Second, it attempts to show people the wider picture of what is involved in building a website - it delves into how to plan and think about your site rather than just the nuts and bolts of how to build it.

The first chapter introduces Drupal with a heavy emphasis on using Drupal.org to find out more. This is sensible as so much introductory material is available online. The second chapter on setting up a development environment is the chapter I had most problems with, because it doesn't quite explain things simply enough for someone setting out to build their own website for the first time.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Paul Green on October 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am an instructor at a small college in central Kansas, and have used this text as a primer for introducing students to the flexibility and power of one of the most popular open-source content management systems available to date.

Mercer takes the reader through the step-by-step process needed to install, configure and deploy Drupal effectively. He uses graphic examples of command-line entries which help tremendously for those without a great deal of experience in database creation and administration, and the progression of the chapters walks beginners through all the basics.

Once the bare-bones processes are complete, the text turns its attention to some basic customization that really make the book a benefit for the beginner.

Those already familiar with Drupal, PHP, Apache, and the rest of the LAMP lineup will most likely not find anything new in this text, but for those investigating Drupal as an open-source CMS solution, it is easily the best in publication.

I would have enjoyed a bit more content on other configurations of Drupal, such as CivicSpace, or a bit more on integrating multimedia content modules into a Drupal configuration. With the constantly-growing cache of module additions for the CMS, that could have been a separate book entirely.

My students have found the book to be easy-to-read and more importantly, easy-to-reference while working on a project. I will definitely be recommending this as a primary text for our open-source elective courses in the future.
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Drupal: Creating Blogs, Forums, Portals, and Community Websites: How to setup, configure and customise this powerful PHP/MySQL based Open Source CMS
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