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Foundation Drupal 7: Learn How to Use the Drupal Framework to Quickly Build Feature-rich Websites 1st ed. Edition
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From the Author
This book originally started out as an idea to provide my clients with a training manual for Drupal, an "everything you wanted to know but afraid to ask" book. I was cautious about submitting the book to publishers, because a lot of what I wanted to cover are the types of things I don't want my competitors to know; the modules I use, the techniques I practice, the basic stuff I do every day. I'm very happy with the results; the book is not for hard-core Drupal developers (get Pro Drupal Development for that) but for people new to Drupal who are looking to build and administer awesome sites without the need to code. I try to explain not only how Drupal works, but how you can expand core Drupal and think in "Drupalish" terms. This book is the perfect resource for someone who is new to Drupal and needs help administering and maintaining a Drupal site. If you are a developer or small business owner (like me), this book is perfect for your clients.
About the Author
R.J. Townsend is an entrepreneur, small business owner, and overall techy (borderline geeky) guy who enjoys using technology to bring value to businesses. He is the managing partner of Cultivate Technologies, a Philadelphia-based technology consulting and development firm, which specializes in Open Source Software such as Linux and Drupal. Some of his current projects include CodeMyDesigns.com and FoundationDrupal7.com. R.J. earned his master's degree in quantitative psychology from California State University, Fullerton and worked towards a Ph.D. at the University of Delaware studying Industrial/Organizational psychology. He has published several articles on integrating research and technology and won an award for his research in 2004.
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Top Customer Reviews
But he doesn't stop there. He also makes a number of suggestions, sharing his seasoned experience and understanding of how to use Drupal and support you in following good practices so you don't have to waste time making the "beginner" mistakes. It's like have someone working with you saying, "Well here's what I've done that has worked for me." or "If you do it like this, you will avoid problems later." Then he goes on to cover topics like Search Engine Optimization, how to maintain a site and adds a collection of 50+ modules he installs on many sites - all very informative.
One of the reviews on this book mentions a lot of frustration in getting off the ground with Drupal. He is not alone and others share his frustration, but I think the issue is more indicative of where Drupal, the Drupal community and the internet infrastructure IS at the present moment than about the book. Drupal is a very powerful CMS developed by very highly skilled technical people who are fluid at its implementation. Bridging the "gap" between the complex systems / tools involved and a simple layman's step by step process is a daunting challenge. There were a few sections where Mr. Townsend moved a bit out of my comfort zone of difficulty and a few where I was confused about the exact correct approach too. Perhaps when Mr. Townsend comes out with a second edition he might break it into two books: Foundation 1 (the simple basics) & Foundation 2 (going deeper into the technology).
Overall I know this text will become a "companion" book that I will keep with me and refer to whenever I'm working on sites. His suggestions and recommendations alone are worth the price. I definitely recommend this book, it's worth the investment.
The chapter about theming was a bit weak I thought. Although, in the author's defense, you could (and people have) written entire books just about theming. The chapter does cover the key concepts, but will not give you any kind of comprehensive knowledge about theming.
The real strength of the book for the beginner is that the author covers more than just the drupal install. What kinds of servers you need, how to configure your database, tips and tricks and pitfalls, all are covered.
All in all, a great resource. The author gives plenty of suggestions about key modules that will save you hours and hours of searching and installing and evaluating. He also provides links to several online resources. If you are already a hardcore developer this may be less than what you're looking for, but if you are looking for a road map for drupal7 this is the book.
I think this book is an excellent choice if you are trying to have strong foundation in Drupal 7 or if you managed to find your way by yourself but now want to have a coherent guide which will come handy for your daily needs. I think the book will also be the victim of some commercial envy because it helps its readers to manage the Drupal by themselves instead of buying expensive Drupal consulting ;-)
For a beginner at Drupal, this book is very easy to follow and the instructions are very clear.
I was looking for a book that provided a broad introduction to Drupal that would allow me to get up to speed quickly, understand the fundamentals, and provide enough of a basis to be able to both construct something functional and to start asking tougher questions. This hit all the right points, and it was an easy read on top of it.
Definitely recommended for Drupal beginners.