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Drupal 6 Themes: Create new themes for your Drupal 6 site with clean layout and powerful CSS styling Paperback – September 30, 2008

3.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ric Shreves is a partner in water&stone, a web development company that specializes in open source content management systems. He works primarily as a consultant and business systems analyst is currently on extended assignment with Peace Dividend Trust. He lives in Bali with his wife Nalisa, one dog, two cats, three turtles and a mind-boggling number of fish. First and foremost, I thank my loving wife Nalisa for her support and patience. It would also be remiss of me to fail to acknowledge my friend (and editor at ComputerWorld) Stefan Hammond, who provides more than a modicum of support and encouragement -- together with much-needed reality checks. Ric Shreves is a partner in water&stone water&stone, a web development company that specializes in open source content management systems, including Drupal. Ric has been building websites professionally since 1999 and now works primarily as a web applications consultant. He lives in Bali with his wife Nalisa.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (September 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847195660
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847195661
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,427,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Oppenheim on March 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
Drupal 6 Themes from Packt Press by Ric Shreves is a remarkably disappointing book.

Many authors have tackled explaining the programming and configuration of Drupal websites, but this is the first book dedicated to teaching users how to make Drupal 6 look and feel like their own.

Out of the box, Drupal is an amazing website creation package; it has features that would take years to "reinvent" if you tried to work from scratch. From a technical, back-end , programmer's point of view it inspires admiration.

When I put my artistic, designer's hat on, though, Drupal can leave me nearly in tears. Though version 6 radically simplified and improved the design process over the previous edition, learning to skin a dynamically generated Drupal site is still an order of magnitude harder than designing a static web page. Though it is possible, for example, to use Dreamweaver in parts of the Drupal design process, ultimately your snippets of code and css stylesheets are going to need to be channeled to many different locations that on the site that are not readily viewable in a WYSIWYG environment.

In other words, to effectively give a Drupal site a makeover you need to know everything you'd need to do to design a regular website, plus a wealth of information about the "how" and "where" Drupal needs you to follow to get your vision integrated into its content management system. From a technical point of view, the way Drupal gives granular control of the design process without the need to hack the core code is an engineering marvel. Harnessing that power, particularly given the state of the online documentation is challenging.

It is for that reason that, even after working with Drupal for over a year, I looked forward to Ric Shreves Drupal 6 Themes.
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Format: Paperback
I have used Drupal to administer sites for years. It is flexible, powerful, and relatively easy to use. The one area of Drupal where I have been weak is theming. Generally, I have used contributed themes, maybe modifying colors, logos, and other simple things.

The one or two times I felt ambitious and tried to read through the documentation in order to learn how to create my own theme from scratch, I either got distracted by life, or found myself getting tired of the search and wishing I had all of the information I needed in one place to learn how to create a theme.

This book has impressed me. It is well-written, using clear language, useful diagrams and figures, and a logical progression of ideas. It starts with the basics, talking about what a theme is and defining its components. Then, it moves into the details of modifying the default themes. Up to this point, I didn't encounter anything new to me, but I was only up to chapter two.

Starting with chapter three, the book reveals and clearly describes each of the files and elements that make up a theme, using both the default PHPTemplate engine as well as other options. Later, the book teaches how to use and master this template engine to create your own custom theme, including how to create custom looks for specific pages, modules, and more.

In between the two, you learn how to download ready-made themes, contributed by the Drupal user and developer community, and modify them for personal use, knowing how and where to look for usage restrictions to avoid problems.

Finally, the book ends with some very useful appendices that show where to find every css file and what it affects, and other useful tooks and kits for developers.

This book has saved me a lot of time, and is well done. If you are responsible for a site powered by Drupal, you may find it useful as well.
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Format: Paperback
Every book has a target audience - this book's is pretty narrow is scope - people that want to understand how theming drupal 6 works. Ric Shreves hits the target! I am a mid level drupalite - not a ninja programmer or designer but not a beginner either. I found it very helpful.

Theming is the "art" of making your website look exactly how you want it. This book shows you everything you need to know on the technical side of how to make that happen. The book doesn't give design help - there are other resources for that - but if you are a good web designer and want to understand how to make drupal "pretty" this book is the best resource out there. With this book and CSS and graphic design skills you can make it happen.

Certainly all of the information in the book can be found on [...] or on other related websites, but what I like about a book is that it is focused on just the topic at hand - "drupal 6 theming" and it is in a format designed to "cover all of the bases."

As I was reading it (I have read the whole book) I found things that had stumped me -- things that are not obvious and often left out of discussions on the drupal.org discussion forums(but if you search you can find the answer) -- like to use node-story.tpl.php you have to have node.tpl.php in your theme directory ... I saw this detail noted several times in the book.

Overall I highly recommend this book and another PACKT book Learning Drupal 6 Module Development together they are very good ways to improve your drupal skills.
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