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Leveraging Drupal: Getting Your Site Done Right 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470410875
ISBN-10: 0470410876
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Leveraging Drupal®

As an open source, community-based content management system and web site application development framework, Drupal allows you to create interactive, media-based, database-driven web sites that become a part of everyday activities and communications. This unique book is the first of its kind to tackle the challenging task of leveraging Drupal to get a site done right and make that site work for you, based on industry-wide software development best practices.

Within these pages, you will gain insight into how to work with any release of Drupal, approach your project, establish a development environment, plan for deployment, and avoid pitfalls along the way. A real-world example of a web site application based on Drupal—an online Literary Workshop—is used throughout the book, and it walks you through the entire development lifecycle. You'll learn how to bring your web site into the exciting Drupal mainstream, customize Drupal for your specific needs, and even make "non-Drupal" looking sites. With this hands-on guide, you'll discover how to use Drupal to efficiently publish, manage, and organize a wide variety of content on your web site.

What you will learn from this book

  • Best practices to optimize the way you approach development projects

  • Methods for setting up a development environment using version control and issue tracking tools

  • How the Drupal theming system works and how it separates content from presentation and style

  • Techniques for upgrading and deploying the online Literary Workshop

  • The future of Drupal and how it might be developed and used

Who this book is for

This book is for Drupal users of all levels of expertise who are looking to put together a sophisticated web application.

Wrox guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think. Written by programmers for programmers, they provide a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Wrox; 1 edition (February 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470410876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470410875
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,527,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jason Kirst on February 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
As a website developer specializing in Drupal-based sites for the last few years, I found this book to be exactly what I needed. I have several other books about drupal, including Pro Drupal Development, Second Edition (Beginning from Novice to Professional) and Learning Drupal 6 Module Development: A practical tutorial for creating your first Drupal 6 modules with PHP, yet I have found Leveraging Drupal to be the most helpful yet.

Leveraging Drupal goes into precisely the topics related to Drupal development which your average "working stiff" building Drupal sites runs into on every job: version control, the development and deployment process, upgrades, internationalization options, theming, etc. Included are helpful life-saving tidbits such as dealing with the infamous WSOD (php's white screen of death), checking out drupal via CVS, and setting up cron. It more than pays for itself in just the first three chapters.

One of the things I like most about the book is that the author treats website development with the same respect as any software project. From the book: "First of all, in a software project (and because of it's complexity, that is what a website application is), you are either controlled by circumstances or you succeed - but only if you can maintain your grip on things."

I would compare it to my other favorite programming book: Agile Java(TM): Crafting Code with Test-Driven Development (Robert C. Martin Series) by Jeff Langr. Leveraging Drupal is similar in that after reading and digesting it, you are a more mature developer than you were before.
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Format: Paperback
This is not your typical how to book that starts from simple concepts and gradually builds into more complex areas. It starts by going into team roles and responsibilities, a subject that is seldom mentioned in any software book, and jumps right into the deep end of the pool with version control. There are screen dumps of terminal processes and code sprinkled throughout.

That is not to say that concepts are not adequately explained. They are, or that the small shop wouldn't benefit from this book. It can. It's just that the reader will find subject progression to be a bit different than typical. It works, especially within the context of the project the book covers, a writing workshop site.

As far as post-production responsibilities goes, that is one that is generally not addressed before website development and that lack shows in poorly maintained sites and inter-organizational bickering if not addressed early on in the process. I'm glad to see it mentioned here. That point highlights the audience for this book. It doesn't seem written for the lone developer or small team that builds third party sites but for an IT department that will deploy the project and maintain the site.

The project the book details, a membership based writing workshop, is well conceived as an example of the Drupal's extreme flexibility. The third party modules used, like CCK and Views are the foundation add-ons for custom Drupal sites. Other helpful modules, that I haven't used before are also covered and well. The book simultaneously covers version 5, 6 and 7 of Drupal, which could be useful within a company that has to maintain its own sites.

How to create custom administrative views for different site users is well covered.
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In creating web sites, there will be those who will find their strength in the Theming/User Interface side, and those who are wizards at functionality, creating modules that add yet more capabilities. I would consider this book best for the project manager or small shop developer who has to oversee the entire process while interacting with clients, developers and designers, and wants a thorough approach to successful use of Drupal for any size application.

While relatively new to Drupal, I have designed and developed web sites since 1995. I believe the most common problems or bottlenecks come not nearly as much from the question of the software chosen or even the design, but resolving what the site is supposed to do, who is going to use it, and how it will be managed and maintained. This became a greater issue when non-technical administrators took over the mundane tasks of refreshing content, approving users, etc., through the use of user-friendly content management systems. Development expanded and widened in scope, and content management systems are now complex applications.

As Drupal has risen in popularity through its flexibility, scalability and stability as a CMS platform, a good number of books have come out to help developers jump on board, some with a focused approach on building functionality or designing themes, while others offer more general instruction on setting up and getting a site online. Victor Kane's book falls somewhere between both, but adds two components that often are not accounted for in this kind of "how to" book.

First, he explains how to create a framework for approaching software/web site development that begins with client-oriented goals.
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