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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Desperately needs revising
I gave this book 4 stars only because I am pretty sure it's the only book that covers a lot of the material and I don't want to deter people from reading it. If there were other books on this subject, I would have given it 2 or 3 stars. The writers seem to have a poor grasp of the craft of writing; they fly through difficult concepts and are curiously wordy in explaining...
Published on February 14, 2011 by Neal J. Burns

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Drupal 7 book
Although it seems like a Drupal 7 book it's about Drupal 6.
Searching in drupal.org you're forwarded with one (or maybe more) link here, and in amazon.com this book is listed in the Drupal 7 books results.
However, if you look for a complete Drupal 7 guide, this is not a good choice.
Published on September 2, 2011 by Sadan


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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Desperately needs revising, February 14, 2011
By 
Neal J. Burns (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Drupal's Building Blocks: Quickly Building Web Sites with CCK, Views, and Panels (Paperback)
I gave this book 4 stars only because I am pretty sure it's the only book that covers a lot of the material and I don't want to deter people from reading it. If there were other books on this subject, I would have given it 2 or 3 stars. The writers seem to have a poor grasp of the craft of writing; they fly through difficult concepts and are curiously wordy in explaining simple concepts. I bought it primarily to shed light on the mysterious dark reaches of CCK and Views. I admit that I have skipped the chapters on the low-level APIs, but, having read the chapters aimed at users, I feel that I am only halfway to being an expert, particularly on Views. The problems are made worse by the fact that, despite having been published only last month, there is no mention of Drupal 7, CCK 3 or Views 3. I think there is potential in this book, but they need to expand their coverage of advanced uses of Views, add some discussion of the new versions, and preferably bring on a professional writer to revamp the material already covered. Here's hoping for a much improved second edition.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panels, Now I understand Panels, January 1, 2011
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This review is from: Drupal's Building Blocks: Quickly Building Web Sites with CCK, Views, and Panels (Paperback)
I've been working with Drupal for about a year and have struggled. Drupal does indeed have a steep learning curve. This is not news to the Drupal community or anyone trying to learn Drupal. Here is the good news. This book goes a long way toward flattening that slope.

If you've built a site with Drupal you've used CCK and Views but you might not have realized what you didn't know. Earl and Lynette have taken a straight forward approach to teaching CCK, Views and Panels (I'll get to Panels in a minute). They give you the information you need to get going while also giving you the background about why Drupal does it that way and what goes on "behind the curtain". A newbie and a more experienced Drupal user are both able to learn about CCK and Views at a level that is appropriate for them.

I've worked with Panels a little but never quite understood exactly what I was doing and why. I really worked by trial and error. No longer.

This book has helped me understand the why and how of Panels in a way that nothing else has. I will be using Panels on every project I build from now on. I understand how to use context and variants, panel pages and content panes now. Drupal's Building Blocks will be at my side. I am sure that I will be referring to it regularly.

Drupal's Building Blocks is now part of my "Essential Drupal Library" along with Using Drupal and Pro Drupal Development.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Addition to My Drupal Reference Library, January 5, 2011
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This review is from: Drupal's Building Blocks: Quickly Building Web Sites with CCK, Views, and Panels (Paperback)
I have been a strong advocate of the Drupal project for 3-4 years, but it wasn't until this past fall that I actually started building a Drupal site - and a rather complex one at that. I quickly realized that the steep Drupal learning curve that I had read about - or "learning cliff" as the authors point out in this book - is indeed real. If there's a shortcut to learning Drupal, I haven't found it. But the good news is that books like "Drupal's Building Blocks" is a much-needed, welcome addition to any Drupalite's library - whether you're new to Drupal or a veteran. It includes several screenshots and exercises throughout to provide you with practical hands-on experience, so it does a good job of "telling" you and then "showing" you how it's done.

My background is in relational database design, development and management. In non-Drupal terminology, this book focuses on three aspects of development:

(1) Data storage - Using the CCK (Content Construction Kit) module, you can build out your custom "tables and columns" through Drupal's administrative front-end (not the database back-end). The book teaches you about the history, philosophy and usage of the CCK module - through the UI and through (php) code. Even though Drupal modules take care of all table management in the database (most often MySQL), it is interesting to see how Drupal handles M:M relationships on the back-end, along with multi-value and shared fields (columns).

(2) SQL queries - Using the Views module, you can use its UI (or API) to create both simple and sophisticated SQL SELECT statements. In a CMS like Drupal, users enter the data, and modules like Views help display it back out in a myriad of ways. Given that the author developed this module, it was great to get his perspective on how to use this module as it was intended. I had a lot of "aha" moments as I read through this section of the book. And if I ever want to get "geeky" about my Views (to improve performance, etc.), there's a full chapter devoted to the Views API.

(3) The display/UI - Whereas the CCK and Views modules work behind the scenes, the Panels module is all about presentation and making sure our website looks and feels the way we want. Panels isn't the only presentation tool available in Drupal, but it's one of the more robust options with a solid administrative UI. It's also tightly integrated with Views. I will be referring back to this section a lot as I continue to ramp up on what this module can do.

I wish this book had been available last fall. It would have saved me a lot of time ramping up on these "building block" modules for Drupal. It doesn't really focus on advanced use cases for these modules, but it equips you with the foundational knowledge you need to tackle these advanced use cases - on your own and with the help of the Drupal community.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Drupal 7 book, September 2, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Drupal's Building Blocks: Quickly Building Web Sites with CCK, Views, and Panels (Paperback)
Although it seems like a Drupal 7 book it's about Drupal 6.
Searching in drupal.org you're forwarded with one (or maybe more) link here, and in amazon.com this book is listed in the Drupal 7 books results.
However, if you look for a complete Drupal 7 guide, this is not a good choice.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can see the light in Drupal, January 26, 2011
This review is from: Drupal's Building Blocks: Quickly Building Web Sites with CCK, Views, and Panels (Paperback)
I have been building a site in Drupal. I started playing with it last year after reading Teach Yourself Drupal in 24 hours. That is a mandatory starting point. Lets face it, most of the support docs are written by techy coders.
That makes a learning cliff sheer with no hand holds.
Happily this book answers many questions I had, and many questions I did not think of yet. We need more books like this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice, January 26, 2011
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This review is from: Drupal's Building Blocks: Quickly Building Web Sites with CCK, Views, and Panels (Paperback)
Wish I had read this book before 'Pro Drupal Dev' book.
A must book if you work on CCK/Views/Panel and want to master the concept.
The only thing I miss is more in-depth coverage and specific examples on Views API (ch 11). It lacks on examples/exercises on describing DB schema tables using hook_views_data(), and how to use handlers and plugins using Views API.
Views 3 will be available in Drupal 7, and depending on how much features Views 3 supports in addition to Views 2, you may need to rework on Drupal 7 for many things you learned from this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good but outdated, October 10, 2012
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This review is from: Drupal's Building Blocks: Quickly Building Web Sites with CCK, Views, and Panels (Paperback)
If you are looking for the latest Drupal 7 info, you won't find it here. It is still a good book and you can learn, just know that certain things have changed, sometimes a lot, in the current Drupal version.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth while, April 1, 2011
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This review is from: Drupal's Building Blocks: Quickly Building Web Sites with CCK, Views, and Panels (Paperback)
I have just started with Drupal and CCK and that exactly what this book is about. How to cope with CCK-fields, views and Panels.
It is not a book for dummies. Drupal is a tool with a steep learning curve. This book wil helps you.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenominal, March 4, 2011
This review is from: Drupal's Building Blocks: Quickly Building Web Sites with CCK, Views, and Panels (Paperback)
I actually subscribed to a service to get early access to this book. It does a good job of covering many core Drupal concepts and addressing needs with *real* modules. So many of the books I looked at ignored cck, views, and panels (or just modules entirely) and all regurgitated the same tired examples. If I could recommend any *one* book for a someone looking to push their ability with Drupal forward, it would be this one.

You need to know the basics to really get much out of this book, but make no mistake it belongs on your shelf.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Completely out of date, December 22, 2013
This review is from: Drupal's Building Blocks: Quickly Building Web Sites with CCK, Views, and Panels (Paperback)
This book refers to Drupal version 6.
1. CCK was revamped and included in core in Drupal 7
2. Views User interface in Drupal 7 is completely different with different terminology.
3. Panels and the Panels UI is also completely changed.
Offering this book for sale is deceptive!
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Drupal's Building Blocks: Quickly Building Web Sites with CCK, Views, and Panels
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