Using Drupal 1st Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 70 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-0596515805
ISBN-10: 0596515804
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Editorial Reviews Review

Using Drupal cuts out a lot of the research time and helps you dive headfirst into Drupal. It does an excellent job of explaining how to rapidly assemble a wide variety of websites using some of Drupal's most commonly used modules. Whether you're new to building websites or an experienced programmer, this book is full of useful information. By the end of Using Drupal, you'll be much more prepared to build the Drupal site you've always wanted.

Is That Site Running Drupal?
By Angela Byron
Various attempts at "fingerprinting" a Drupal site have been tried in the past, none of which are completely foolproof. These range from *super* easy stuff like checking for CHANGELOG.txt to checking the source for a reference to "drupal.css" (Drupal 4.7) to checking for common paths like taxonomy/term/1, and /user, (which might be aliased to something else with something like Pathauto/Path Redirect module), and so on. However, since Drupal 4.6, there's a super geeky trick you can use to fingerprint a Drupal site that works 90% of the time.

1. Get Firefox.

2. Get the Live HTTP Headers extension.

3. After restarting Firefox, click Tools > Live HTTP Headers. This'll pop up a little window to the side.

4. Visit a website you suspect of being Drupalish.

5. Highlight the Live HTTP headers window and type "exp", looking for the following in the output:
"Expires: Sun, 19 Nov 1978 05:00:00 GMT"

"Classic" Web Problems, Solved
Drupal version: 6.x
By Jeff Eaton

A lot of energy in the Drupal world goes towards solving complex problems: giving administrators ways to build publishing workflows without writing code, integrating with cool new APIs, automatically translating site content into Klingon... You know. The usual. With all of that energy focused on complex architectural problems, it's easy to lose sight of the simple solutions that Drupal provides for really common "classic" web problems. This really hit home the other week as I sifted through an old Zip disk with archives of sites I'd built for clients in the heady days of the late 90s. One by one, I started ticking off requests my clients had made that today's site-builders can solve in minutes with Drupal modules--no wacky configuration, no complicated recipes. Just a simple, "Yes!" when a client says, "Can you...?"

"...Make a splash page for the site?"
No problem. Drop in the Splash module, and you can use any page on your site as an interstitial splash page. It's also smart enough to tie into contextual information Drupal provides--only showing the splash screen to anonymous users, creating section-specific splash pages, and more.

"...Let visitors print out copies of the pages?"
While any web browser can print a simple copy of the current page, and custom style sheets can help clean up color schemes and images to make a page look printer-friendly, sometimes, things need tweaking. For example, embedded web links will look like simple underlined text if you rely on style sheet tweaks. Drupal's Print module generates printer-friendly versions of any page, including the creation of URL footnotes at the bottom of each printout. It can also generate downloadable PDFs of any page, and send-this-article-to-a-friend email links.

"...Show visitors a Terms Of Service page before they sign up to post on the site?"
Letting users sign up to post comments, subscribe to newsletters, and so on was just catching on when I handcrafted those old-school sites in the '90s. The Terms of Use module handles one of the tricky parts: requiring users to explicitly agree to terms of service before they can create an account. It lets you maintain your terms as a dedicated page on the site that users can read, and present it to them with an 'Approval' checkbox when they create an account.

"...Add a chat page where users can talk in real-time?"
Setting up chat rooms on web pages was always a pain in the old days. Even today it can be tricky, and there are quite a few different ways to do it. Flash, AJAX, Java applets, and more are all ready. The Mibbit module for Drupal lets site visitors chat on a custom IRC channel using a simple AJAX interface. Since it uses IRC as its backend, it can point to custom private discussion channels, or public ones like #drupal on the freenode IRC network.

"...Keep other sites from stealing my content using Frames?"
This one went out of style for a while, but when Google's AdSense and other advertising networks up momentum, some enterprising individuals resurrected the concept of "wrapping" other sites in HTML frames, presenting ads in the sidebars while leeching the original site's bandwidth and content. JavaScript can help: script snippets can force your page to open in a dedicated window instead of a frame, and the FramePrevention module makes that trick automatic.
None of these modules are crazy, groundbreaking tools that get their own articles and tutorial videos. Like many of the tools in the Drupal world, though, they do the heavy lifting that lets us focus on the really complicated tasks. Looking back, it's hard not to sigh and wonder how much time could've been saved if I'd had them at my disposal in The Olden Days...

About the Author

Angela Byron is an open source evangelist, and has been called a Drupal freak by those in the know. She got her start as a Google Summer of Code student in 2005 and since then, she has immersed herself in the Drupal community. Her work includes coding and reviewing patches, creating and contributing to modules and themes, testing and quality assurance efforts within the project, improving documentation, and providing user support on forums and IRC. Angela is on the Board of Directors for the Drupal Association, and helps drive community growth by leading initiatives to help get new contributors involved. She is a sought-after lecturer on many themes, especially the topic of women in Open Source.

Addison Berry is deeply involved with Drupal and takes part in many aspects of both the software and the community. She contributes patches to core Drupal, maintains several contributed modules, and is active in various mentoring programs such as the Drupal Dojo group and Google's Highly Open Participation (GHOP) program. Addison helps maintain the website, and is a permanent member of the Drupal Association General Assembly. Her work focuses on improving Drupal documentation and she has worked to provide a wide range of tutorials covering all aspects of Drupal from community involvement to code.

Nathan Haug is one of the forefront user-interface developers in the Drupal project. His interest in combining design and software implementation led him to complete undergraduate degrees in both Visual Communications and Computer Science. Using these skills he developed significant UI improvements for the Drupal 6 release, including Drupal's drag-and-drop implementation and a framework for easy AJAX-like behaviors. Nathan is considered the leading JavaScript developer in the Drupal project. In 2007, he led a development team at SonyBMG to build a Drupal-based platform for community websites around each of SonyBMG's music artists. He spends much of his time working between popular contribute modules such as Fivestar and Webform, or working to improve functionality in Drupal core.

Jeff Eaton has been building software for the Internet and desktop applications for over a decade. He's participated in projects ranging from web-portals for communities and nonprofits, to enterprise client-server applications for retail industries, to large-scale web applications for companies like Dow AgroSciences and the Chicago Board of Trade. In 2005, he began developing solutions based on the open-source Drupal content management framework. In the years since, he's become a core developer for the Drupal project, specializing in architecture and API development. In his capacity as a consultant for Lullabot Consulting, LLC, he's helped plan and build the software infrastructure for Drupal sites including MTVUK's music portal, SonyBMG's artist site platform, and Fast Company's groundbreaking business networking site.

Passionate about both technology and teaching, James Walker is Lullabot's Director of Education where he oversees the company's public workshops, seminars and private Drupal trainings. A leader in the Drupal community, James is a founding member of the non-profit Drupal Association and the Drupal security team. As a long time member of the Drupal community, James maintains over a dozen modules and has contributed countless patches to Drupal core. A long time believer in Open Source and Open Standards, James has spent years co-ordinating Drupal's involvement with other communities such as Jabber/XMPP and, most recently, OpenID. An engaging speaker, James is a frequently requested presenter at many types of technical conferences. His humorous and informative lectures have been among the most well-attended at DrupalCons, starting with the first - four years ago.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ O'Reilly Media; 1st edition (December 26, 2008)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 494 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0596515804
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0596515805
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.72 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7 x 1.1 x 9.19 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.9 out of 5 stars 70 ratings

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