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Pro Drupal Development 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590597552
ISBN-10: 1590597559
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John K. VanDyk has been a Drupal developer since 2004. In 2005, he organized the first Drupal conference in Antwerp, Belgium, with Drupal founder Dries Buytaert. John has contributed several modules to Drupal including the actions, workflow, publish, subscribe, and pubcookie modules and has been instrumental in the design of Drupal's Content Construction Kit. John's day job is as an entomology professor and systems analyst at Iowa State University, where he teaches undergraduate courses about insects. In his spare time, when not hacking on Drupal, John enjoys squash hunting and raising children.

Matt Westgate is a core developer of the Drupal project and original author of the e-commerce package for Drupal. Matt also wrote the path aliasing module, along with many contributed modules such as tinymce and img_assist. He currently co-operates Lullabot, a consulting and training firm focused on making open source software easy to use and understand.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (April 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590597559
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590597552
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,277,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kevin Dorff on April 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a "this is how up install and run Drupal, these are the modules that are available" look elsewhere (the Drupal site, for instance) - this book is about writing Drupal modules how Drupal works internally.

But, if you are an aspiring Drupal module writer or just want to better understand how Drupal works internally or want to be able to tinker with existing modules you CANNOT go wrong with this book. It is very detailed, is incredibly well laid out and written. The examples are spot on. Very easy to understand and teaches you an incredible amount. I'm reading it cover to cover. I am about half way through and I couldn't be happier. It has answered pretty much every question I had about developing Drupal modules and extending existing functionality. I found some of the tutorials on the Drupal web site lacking in detail, this book IS the detail I was looking for. It covers Drupal 5.0.
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Just a little warning, don't buy this book (like I did), if you want to develop for Drupal 6.

Right off the bat I got in trouble, and even the first simple example won't work in Drupal 6..

So, I'm not complaining, but I was stupid enough to buy this just before version 6 got out, don't make the same mistake, read online-tutorials or find a book that's intended for the current version..

(Maybe hardcore programmers will still find this useful, but I could use example-code that works, and this doesn't, so you're stuck researching just about everything online anyway.)
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Read the title carefully. If you are not a developer, a PHP programmer with solid MySQL background this is not your book. If you want to know how to extend Drupal with your own modules or contribute to the core project then get it and be happy.
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A top-notch guide to the complexities of Drupal's APIs and development philosophy. Both Matt and John have been active members of the Drupal core development community since the early days, and their understanding of the system's breadth and depth is obvious. When consulting or training new Drupal developers, this is the book I point them to.
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I have started moving an application from a VERY old version of Zope and the docs and articles on the Drupal website, although helpful were often hard to find, difficult to figure out what version the articles referred to, etc. I had preordered this book and have found the information much easier to use when it is all together in a nice logical order. I've already come up with several ideas for enhancing what I have already done from the information in this book. It is great for those of use trying to develop modules since it doesn't have all that "how to install this and that, etc., etc." which is information pretty easy to come by but instead has the technical information that is really useful!
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I am a fan of Apress books in general, and this superb primer is no exception. VanDyk and Westgate have provided the Drupal community with exactly the book we needed: a concise but thorough explication of how Drupal works, oriented towards the working developer.

Drupal's online documentation is vast but sometimes difficult to navigate. Pro Drupal Development explains the system from the ground up, starting with a system overview and then working logically through key components. Users, nodes, blocks, theming, the Form API, custom modules, sessions, jQuery, best coding practices -- it's all here, with the concepts explained in clear language using relevant code examples.

Security tips and warnings about common mistakes will save time and developer angst. The many reference links guided me to several sections of the online documentation I hadn't found. And there's a lot for the team player in this book, too: tips on how to customize themes to make your designers' lives easier, for example.

The book explains but doesn't belabor. The jQuery chapter, for example, is short and sweet, giving you a taste of what's possible and then pointing you to the online documentation. These guys know what you need know if you're going to be an effective and efficient Drupal developer; the result is a lean text that gets you up and running quickly.

You could learn most, if not all, of what Pro Drupal Development presents by going to the online documentation, but it would take a whole lot longer and not be nearly as pleasant to learn. My copy is already well-thumbed, and is proving to be a useful daily reference in addition to a good, readable primer.

Highly recommended for anyone involved with or interested in Drupal, and a reference shelf essential for working Drupal developers.
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This book is strictly for version 5, which they conveniently forget to mention. The current version is 6, so if you buy this book as I did, it is practically useless, as they have significantly changed the Drupal API.
It would really be nice if there was a law requiring publishers of technical books to CLEARLY state on the cover the Version number.
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Note that the first edition of this book covers Drupal 5 and thus if you (like me) want to use this book with Drupal 6 you're out of luck. Already the first example will not work as expected with Drupal 6. This wouldn't so much of a frustration if a publisher would be very clear on this. I've had the same with a book by Packt Publishing on Drupal. No clear mentioning on the version the book intends to describe. Note that I bought this book when Drupal 6.x was already around for some time.

I guess the bottom line is that when you buy any books from these guys, you'd better check for which version of the software it was written and if tha's the version you expect. If you don't; chances are that the book is outdated the moment it reaches you.
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