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Using Drupal

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Programming 122

Michael J. Ross writes "After installing and learning the basics of the content management system Drupal, many Web developers do not know how to best proceed from there. They may realize that much of the programming potential of Drupal — and thus the earning potential of Drupal developers — is derived from the use of community-contributed modules that greatly extend Drupal's power. But there are thousands of such modules, with no objective direction as to which ones are best suited for particular tasks, and what bugs and other flaws could trip up the developer. These programmers need a thorough guide as to which modules are the most promising for the development of the most common types of Web sites. A new book, Using Drupal, aims to fill this need." Keep reading for the rest of Michael's review.Published by O'Reilly Media on 16 December 2008, under the ISBN 978-0596515805, the book is authored by Angela Byron, Addison Berry, Nathan Haug, Jeff Eaton, James Walker, and Jeff Robbins — all of whom are affiliated with Lullabot and are actively involved in the Drupal community and knowledgeable about Drupal's core and plug-in modules. Despite the old adage about having too many cooks in the kitchen, a technical book of this nature should benefit from having half a dozen authors, since each one will have his or her fortes, and the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts, as a result of this complementary expertise.

This title appears to be O'Reilly's first — and, as of this writing, only — Drupal book. This is in no way astonishing, given that O'Reilly has never been known for pushing books too quickly through development and production, simply to gain "first mover advantage." Rather, they generally work to create higher-quality efforts that will better stand the test of time — unlike the "shovel" books that some other publishers tend to push out the door, with less coherence and more errata. As a consequence, in the technical libraries of veteran programmers, one tends to see a disproportionately high number of book covers sporting pictures of animals.

On the publisher's Web page for Using Drupal, visitors can read the book's description, table of contents, colophon, errata (of which there are currently several), a link for purchasing the book in electronic form (in formats such as PDF, EPUB, and Kindle-compatible Mobipocket), and a link for viewing the book immediately online, in the Safari Books Online system. There is a simple forum for the book, which currently contains seven posts, three of which already have replies from one of the book's authors and from an O'Reilly community manager. There is a browse system that allows the visitor to read portions of each section of each chapter, and thus preview the book before purchasing it. It even includes the illustrations within each previewed section, but for some reason does not include the figure numbers within the captions.

The authors have created their own site dedicated to the book, where visitors will find brief author biographies largely similar to those found at the very end of the book, with links to the authors' profile pages on Drupal.org. Lastly, there is a download page for the source code, which comprises a copy of Drupal 6, all of the contributed modules and themes needed to complete the hands-on exercises, and the supplementary resource files for those exercises, such as logos and product images. There is a change log for the download file, and yet no mention on the page — or even in the book itself, as far as I can tell — as to which version in the 6.x release series was used for the book and in the download package.

Oddly, neither the publisher's site nor the authors' site appears to mention the free downloadable chapter (Chapter 9, "Event Management"), although it is offered in an article posted in the blog section of Do It with Drupal.

After a foreword by Dries Buytaert — Drupal's founder and project lead — the book continues for 490 pages in total, organized into eleven chapters and three appendices. Nine of the chapters each begin with a description of a case study that will be used for illustrative purposes, followed by some implementation notes, which includes discussion of the candidate modules that could be used for this particular case study, and the trade-offs among them. The contributed modules that are chosen for the implementation and their capabilities are summarized, and then further explained with hands-on exercises — in which the particular modules are utilized and configured. Each of these nine chapters takes the reader through the development of a complete Web site, and is wrapped up with discussion of additional modules applicable to the kind of Web site being created. In Chapters 2 through 10, the case studies are: a simple Drupal site that supports client editing, a job posting board, a product reviews site, a wiki, a site for managing publishing workflow, a photo gallery, multilingual sites, an entertainment events management site, and an online store. Chapter 1 provides an overview of Drupal — covering modules, users, nodes, organizational schemes, and content types — preceded by a brief history of content management systems. Chapter 11 explores site theming, with details on the files and other elements that make up a theme, and how to customize them. The book's three appendices cover installing and upgrading Drupal, choosing the right modules for a job, and a list of the modules and themes used in the book.

The book's material is current with Drupal version 6, but should be of some value to any developer opting, for whatever reason, to stick with version 5. Speaking of versions, the authors should have mentioned which version of Drupal they chose, including the minor release number. The Drupal code in the aforesaid download package indicates that the chosen version is 6.4.

This book is unique, in that most if not all other Drupal books on the market are either introductory in nature — which at best devote only a single chapter to discussing third-party modules contributed by developers — or more advanced, specializing in a particular subject area, such as Drupal site security or e-commerce. Using Drupal, just as the title indicates, examines the detailed usage of best-of-breed modules to accomplish specific goals that one often encounters as a Web developer.

One of the most valuable aspects of software development books written by veteran programmers, is their discussions of various solutions to a particular problem — regardless of its size or complexity — and the reasons why they chose one approach instead of any of the others. Using Drupal is no exception. The authors examine the advantages and disadvantages of various third-party modules, even those that were not chosen for implementing the sample Web sites.

In any computer programming book, screenshots and other figures can be most helpful to the reader, because they reinforce the narrative descriptions of the cumulative results of all the steps up to that point. The screenshots are even valuable to someone following along on his own computer, because they provide immediate confirmation that he has not missed a critical step in the process. Using Drupal offers a generous amount of such screenshots, as well as information tables that help in visually breaking up the text. The only weakness with some of the screenshots is the lack of contrast between the text and the background, resulting in a dark gray shown on a light gray background — not always clearly readable.

The book is substantial in length and content, and naturally it cannot adequately cover dozens of sorts of Web sites. But clearly the book would have been more complete if it contained a chapter explaining how to allow content to be viewable by a limited set of authenticated users. An ideal case study for this would be the implementation of an e-zine site, for which prospective subscribers could view the homepage and other marketing material, but only subscribers could read the actual e-zine's contents. Even better would be to make this sample site fee-based, and show how to accept payments through PayPal (or some other payment systems for which there are Drupal modules) and possibly validate new subscribers automatically and instantly, using PayPal's IPN feature.

The flaws of this book are few and minor. There are unreported errata, most of them grammatical — e.g., "as [the] ability" (page 10) and "modules [that] were" (page 89) — which are to be expected in the first edition of any technical book. Speaking of errata, on the publisher's Web site, the errata should be sorted — or sortable — by page number, so it is much faster for people to see if a discovered erratum has already been reported. In addition, the URLs within the book that do not contain any filename (e.g., "http://www.example.com"; page 8) are in most if not all cases missing the trailing "/" (the root directory). Yet my primary complaint pertains to its production, and not its writing: For countless lines within the text, the spaces separating the words are too narrow, making it difficult to distinguish the words from one another when reading rapidly. As a consequence, each one of these lines almost appears to be a single word. (Skilled programmers know the great value of using whitespace in their code for enhancing readability; the same is certainly true for the printed word.) This readability problem is exacerbated by two factors: The ink color does not appear to be pure black, but instead a dark gray, which possibly has the advantage of producing less glare, but provides less contrast. Secondly, the serif font selected (whose name does not seem to be identified in the book — a common practice ages ago) has quite thin curves, which arguably does make the font face more stylish, but diminishes readability.

In terms of the target audience, the authors do not assume that the reader knows PHP (although some is shown in the chapter on theming), but they do assume that the reader is comfortable installing a PHP-based content management system and all of its required technologies, and familiar enough with Drupal to be able to navigate through the administrative area, download and add modules, and perform other basic admin tasks. Programmers just getting started with Drupal will benefit the most from this book, while experienced Drupal programmers will most likely learn some hitherto unknown best practices, and perhaps even some valuable modules or techniques that the individual has never seen before.

Using Drupal is a detailed and information-packed guide to the most promising contributed modules, and how they can be best employed for creating common types of Web sites. Drupal developers should find this a valuable part of their technical library, especially when they begin creating one of those types of Web sites for the first time.

Michael J. Ross is a Web developer and freelance writer.

You can purchase Using Drupal from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Hey, Libertarians! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26391043)

Guess what? Our government is itself the product of a market system. Cities like New York, London, and San Francisco are successful precisely *because* of their enormous governments--they compete for capital, talent, and prestige against cities with small, ineffectual governments that are unable to effectively lure and corral said capital, talent, and prestige. And as goes the city, so go city-states and nations: Somalia, being a libertarian paradise, is a rather unpleasant place to live for non-ideologues. Somalians, those who can, vote with their feet and leave.

Now go suckle Ayn Rand's rotten tits some more and leave the rest of us alone, you stupid fucking Paultards.

The C programming Disease (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26392849)

I think it's about time you assholes get out of your ivory tower and realize your smugness and your lousy programming language does nothing but keep Computer Science back 20 years. Big deal! your precious C language can access the hardware. Big Whoop! you have no build in print function. I think it's about time to stop masturbating to your boring interrupt calls and grow up. The world is evolving and if we keep outself stuck to that crud that is C, we will no achieve worth while computing. So many projects would be so much better if your legacy dated language wasn't chosen. Yeah, I'm looking at you Linux and GTK. Writing a successful GUI program in C is just as ridiculous and time consuming as it gets. Grow up and realize there are other languages that are better suited for work rather than self satisfactory masturbation you retards get. Fuck Kernighan and Richie, those guys wrote good stuff back in the 70s when the tool was needed for the job. So while you are hunting down malloc() calls because that GUI that took you 10 years to write and pissing on itself in memory leaks the rest of the world will actually be getting some work done.

#include <fuckyou.h>
 
int main(){
/* A very useless C program */
 
    fuck_the_c_language(0);
    return 0;
}

Re:The C programming Disease (2)

drodal (1285636) | more than 5 years ago | (#26393137)

While I don't agree with everthing said here, a lecture by Dennis Plauger, author of a book, "Software Tools" (with Brian W. Kernighan), and at the time, custodian of the C programming language, said that when API's get too big, like in the 10's of thousands and hundreds of thousands of functions (like X windows), You need a different paradigm or language.
API's that have hundreds to thousands of functions available are much easier to use and understand. This was in 1993'ish.

So lets not, "fuck Kernighan and Richie" if they were to invent something today, it would not be C. They only invented C to make kernel programming possible in a higher level language.

Back then, people used to say, "a kernel cannot be written in a high level language", they're way to slow....

K&R said "Bah" to that thinking and yes most all kernels today are written in high level languages.

BTW, when I first started using C in 1979, I was using a Nova Computer, running RDOS (Remember Data General anyone). In RDOS, everything was written in assembly language, yes your text editor was written in assebmly language so when Data General came up with a new computer, they get to rewrite everything from scratch......And that was the norm throughout the industry.

So the vast improvement's brought by K&R, have made lots of what we take for granted today, happen.

So yes, using C now, is a little long in the tooth.......

But I wouldn't want to use java to write an interrupt routine.........

Re:The C programming Disease (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26397143)

You sir have been trolled. Have a nice weekend.

omg (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26391055)

frist psot

Apple Computer, The Homosexual's Favorite (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26391347)

Friends,

The other day a friend asked me to comment about Apple computers. It's funny that I had only recently been thinking and praying about these queerest of computers. It certainly is true that Apple computers are very popular amongst the homosexual communities, the fact that these computers are so popular indicates the depths to which our great nation has sunk to.

The Apple corporation logo is naturally an apple with a bite taken out of it. Is it not a coincidence that Eve tempted Adam with an Apple? The apple is a symbol of defiance against God, and was an obvious choice for a company whose primary objectives include the liberalisation of all media, and which activly finances the political party that hates God.

When I first saw an apple computer (called a Mac, after the popular fast food product) with it's "fruity" design, I had assumed that it was some kind of obsolete product aimed at latte sipping east-coast homosexual designers. This initial observation turned out to be only half true:

The apple computers are not as obsolete as their gaudy designs suggest - the Apple computer company, based in that Sodomite Central, Cupertino CA, have invested a great deal of money in keeping up with more mainstream American PC brands like Dell or IBM, however rather than compete on computing power, practicality or ease of use the Apple company prefer to emphasize "eye-candy". If you are the sort of person who loves nothing more than gazing for hours at an aquarium full of brightly colored fish, then the feeling of using an Apple desktop will be most familiar.

Note the oddly-shaped apple-mouse. Unike modern computer mice, the Apple product has only one button. This is because historically Apple computer failed to license the patent for including buttons on mice. Since most apple computers are used as children's toys, their homosexual owners have barely noticed this deficiency, they are too busy thinking about sodomy worry about their computer's obvious deficiencies.

Windows appear to swim around, distorting and melding into the "dock", with almost psychedellic fluidity. Parts of the desktop become inexplicably transparant, and then return to normal or else swirl into oblivion. Control over windows is achived not through familiar buttons (like Window's "X"), but candy colored blobs, which are designed to remind the user of "Extasy" tablets. I suspect that the Apple design team must have been doing more drugs than the average touring funk-band.

The Apple OSX platform is missing a large number of common and esential productivity tools commonly used on the Windows platform. For example the endearing BonziBuddy can only be found on Windows, and therefore will only run on a Mac that has been upgraded to Boot-Camp and Windows. I suspect that this is exactly what most Mac-owners will feel forced to do.

Naturally, the big question is, does the "alternative lifestyle" approach to computer design really pay-off for the people who count: The Users?

I think the answer is no. Having used computers all my life, I consider myself an expert in the day to day tasks of computing. The Microsoft Windows operating system makes installing, uninstalling, defragmenting, and removal of viruses and spyware trivially easy. It's a shame that the Apple company (who unbelievably are much praised for their interface design) had not thought to make these everyday tasks simpler.

As I have pointed out on a number of occasions both Linux and AppleMac fail to unclude a disk-defragmentor, a personal firewall, a standard method for installing or removing software or even a system repair utility. Microsoft introduced all of this in their epoch-making "Windows Me" edition. Linux users have had to get used to the lack of these essential productivity tools, however Linux is universally acknowledged as a cheap immitation of Windows. Mac on the other-hand is marketed as a full-price premium product.

Apple computers come preloaded with iTunes which only works with Apple's oddly-coloured iPod. The Apple Mac cannot run the more popular "Windows Media Player", and is therefore incompatible with Microsoft DRM or the wildly popular Microsoft Zune. This seems quite unfair to me, and is most probably an illegal monopoly.

Finally, we should also ask ourselves - is the Apple Mac good value for money? Superficially this may seem to be the case - Apple try to match price-points with Dell on a range of products, however the clues are in the small-print. All Dell products include the industry standard Windows Vista as standard. Dell ensure that each computer comes with an operating system, without which the computer could not function. Apple computers are still bundled with OSX, an attractive but aging operating system based on the very old UNIX, a technology developed by SCO group in the early 70s. This is the the same technology which Linux developers were recently accused of stealing.

Are apple aware of thier obvious limitations? We think they must be - A couple of years ago they released a product that most shrill-voiced liberal Apple pundits believed was impossible: It's called "Boot Camp" - a utility that upgrades any recent Apple computer to be compatible with the industry standard Microsoft Windows. Industry insiders now believe that this release heralds Apple Computer Corporation's exit from the software business. For once, I'd have to agree with Apple - this would be a sensible way to preserve shareholder value.

Apple computer make a big deal out of the claim that their absurdly lurid products are "Designed in California", however a close inspection reveals that just like Linux, they are made in the Republic of China. Christians and Patriots should rather invest in an IBM ThinkPad, which is both designed and made in the USA.

Customers should also consider the moral aspects of buying an Apple computer. One reason for the queerness of Apple's products is that the company's board of directors includes Albert Gore - yes, the same Al Gore whose doom and gloom environmental cassandra-complex is intended to distract America from it's real foes (the Islamofascists and Homosexuals). Apple has historically been a major backer of the Democratic party, and both Bill and Hillary Clinton, not to mention Osama Bin Laden are avid Apple Mac users.

The simple and sad fact is that if you buy a Mac or an iPod you are funding immorality. You are helping to finance the secularists who are ruining America.

What we REALLY need (5, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391111)

"Pronouncing 'Drupal'"

Re:What we REALLY need (1)

jwietelmann (1220240) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391183)

Or pronouncing "Web 2.0" application names in general...

But for the record: DROO-puhl

Re:What we REALLY need (1, Flamebait)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391373)

Anyone who can't read well enough to figure out how to pronounce the name, probably isn't going to be saying it. Its not really that difficult.

Re:What we REALLY need (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26391665)

So you can't read well enough to think of more than one way how it could be pronounced?

And what the fuck is the comma before "probably" supposed to be for?

Re:What we REALLY need (2, Informative)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391441)

Funny you should say that because the other day I was talking with a friend about our involvements with open source communities (he's on the Debian project) and I mentioned I was getting into DROOpal and he's like "you know, it's actually DRApal." He pointed out it was based off the Dutch word druppel for rain drop.

Re:What we REALLY need (0)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391509)

There seems to be confusion about how to pronounce some Open Source words.

Drupal. Sounds like "Ru-Paul".
Linus. Sounds like "Penis".
Linux. Sounds like "Kleenex"

HTH.

Re:What we REALLY need (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394209)

well, according to this page [suseroot.com] (contains a video of an interview with Linus) there are multiple pronounciations for 'Linux' and 'Linus', so there isn't really a definitive answer to what's the correct pronounciation.

Linus seems to pronounce his name differently depending on what language he's using and/or where he's living. but in the video he does say that 'Linux' is always linn-uks.

Re:What we REALLY need (1)

Al Al Cool J (234559) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395059)

'Linux' has always been linn-uks. Torvald's accent, as heard in torvalds-says-linux.wav, made it sound slightly ee-like, and that managed to confuse many people (although I don't know how, as it has always been quite clear to me that he is saying linn-uks). Now that his accent has become more americanized, as in the video, it should be clear to everyone.

Re:What we REALLY need (1)

Jeoh (1393645) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391555)

Druppel is pronounced 'DRUHpal' in Dutch.

As a Dutchman I pronounce Drupal 'DROOpal'.

Re:What we REALLY need (1)

Metaphorically (841874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26392019)

Same as the authors of Drupal. Story is that it all started when Dries tried to register Dorp.org (dutch for "community" afaik) and got drop.org instead. Somehow that eventually turned into Drupal as a play on druppel, Dutch for "drop" or "rain drop" or sth. That's also why the logo is a rain drop.

Re:What we REALLY need (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26397695)

In English, it's pronounced Drupal. That's the big problem with using an actual word (and not a name or something made up) as a trademark (which Drupal is.) There are simply multiple ways to pronounce it and although you could insist it be pronounced a certain way specific to your language, you'd be an asshole. Thinking about this sort of thing is not new;

Re:What we REALLY need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26392499)

D. Rupaul

Re:What we REALLY need (1)

WaroDaBeast (1211048) | more than 5 years ago | (#26393035)

That's why I hate foreign words in English -- you never know what syllable should be stressed.

Re:What we REALLY need (1)

Hucko (998827) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396569)

Isn't that a reason to hate the English?

Drupal and the CMS. (3, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391121)

I like Drupal. I've used it many times and have always thought of it as one of the better CMS packages available.

What I would like to see, would be a more freeing kind of extensibility, so that I could whip up fast plugins that would behave in a very reliable and systematic manner. I've tried to extend it in the past but have always preferred how easily Wordpress reacts to new code. The Wordpress docs and forums appear to have a faster method of making information available to developers.

However, if I was planning a brochure-based website that would have some fresh content from time-to-time, I would not object to Drupal, but only if I was certain that I would never have to extend the core mechanics of what they offer... it's simply too unpredictable (at least as of this past August, which is when I last fiddled with it).

Re:Drupal and the CMS. (2, Informative)

Metaphorically (841874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391355)

The core Drupal download is good for a brochure site but it powers some massive sites. It runs my current site, integrated with Gallery 2. I used to like Wordpress but my site outgrew it.

I've been using Drupal off and on since 4.7. In version 6 I've really gone into it and am building a couple large sites with it. I'm using a pile of contrib modules and they integrate very well together. The Views module and the theming system have minimized the amount of custom PHP I have to write.

The learning curve is very steep and it has historically been hard to find the "right" pieces on drupal.org but that is improving steadily. I think the difficulty with finding the right (and current) info is a reason that people come away with the impression you've got.

Re:Drupal and the CMS. (1)

mfh (56) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391495)

I think the difficulty with finding the right (and current) info is a reason that people come away with the impression you've got.

There were some features of Drupal that I really loved, but could not extend. I remember being mixed up between what people on the forum were saying, when much of it was not bound to a particular build or release so it was indeed out of date and then you have much time wasted spinning your wheels, instead of just knowing a particular answer, fast.

I think this kind of thing happens when the driving producers behind these big complicated projects fail to connect with trustworthy marketing & development people; because the trust isn't there, things are kept sketchy by the originators -- so that the original people are valued and required. They maintain their control over the project through obscurity, in certain areas.

But if what you're saying is correct, it's very likely that they are finally getting somewhere, and perhaps deserve a second glance.

Re:Drupal and the CMS. (1)

Metaphorically (841874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391961)

I've never seen any hints of intentional obscurity. It's just a matter of having thousands of users and contributers. Some are going to talk a lot about what they do, some expect you to step through the code if you want to figure it out. There's a lot of code and documentation to wade through and nobody to hold your hand.

It definitely is getting to be a big complicated project though. When you give it the second glance, be sure to talk about what you do - help reduce the obscurity.

Re:Drupal and the CMS. (2, Interesting)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394497)

i just started learning CakePHP and jQuery to build a new informational & e-commerce site for our company (a record label). this is actually the first time i've worked with any web development frameworks, so it's all very new to me. originally i was thinking about going with an open source CMS--preferably an e-Commerce-oriented CMS like osCommerce--but i wasn't sure how extensible it would be.

is Drupal suitable for mid-sized e-commerce sites that might require a lot of custom features (shopping cart, mp3 store, artist listing, music catalog, etc.)? part of the reason i decided to go with the CakePHP framework is that it's highly extensible while producing a very maintainable site using the MVC design pattern. part of the problem i ran into using pre-written CMS packages before was that they were just too rigid to base a custom enterprise website off of.

i mean, there are a ton of business sites out there using a personal blog CMS with a patchwork of poorly integrated modules. and you take one look at the site and you can immediately tell that it was made using PHP-Nuke or WordPress or whatever. it's not very professional and just isn't appropriate for enterprise applications. the only thing worse are sites that try to use phpBB or some other forum software as a CMS, regardless of what their site is for.

i've never used Drupal before, but i keep hearing good things about it. and even if it's not suitable for an enterprise-level e-Commerce site, it seems like it might be appropriate for individual band homepages. i was originally planning on developing my own custom CMS that i can deploy on all of our band sites using different templates. but artist homepages are generally fairly basic, so i'm thinking that a custom CMS might be a waste of time.

Re:Drupal and the CMS. (1)

Metaphorically (841874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394895)

I've used CakePHP (1.2 beta) and Drupal (4,5 and 6) but Drupal more recently. I like both very much. If I were building a site with the features you describe I'd go with Drupal. Either way you've got a lot of learning ahead of you but at least with Drupal, if you get it right, you'll have the benefit of piles of modules that are already tested and other people who are familiar with them. CakePHP can get you just as far but in my experience you're doing a deeper pile of custom code.

There are at least a couple of popular shopping carts for Drupal. I'm building a simple Ubercart site [drupal.org] .

The other popular contrib modules you're almost sure to run in to are Views [drupal.org] and CCK [drupal.org] . You'll want to get some screencasts or podcasts to get familiar with those (Lullabot [lullabot.com] does some good ones - they're also the authors of this book).

I've been doing a lot with Views lately and a little with CCK. There's a pile of stuff you can do with very little custom code in the right places. It just takes a lot of effort to learn what works well together.

Concrete5... (2, Informative)

msimm (580077) | more than 5 years ago | (#26392263)

Have you looked at Concrete5 [concrete5.org] ? One of the things I've enjoyed about it is the use of 'blocks' for defining/extending functionality. The UI is also one of the best I've used and search is built on lucene via zend (framework).

It's a little sparse (you won't find nearly as many pre-made plugins, ala Wordpress) but if you need a clean base to build on you might like it.

Good target (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391129)

I've been using Drupal for a while, but only in the most minimal way. To me this looks like an excellent book to really ramp up the use of Drupal in more advanced ways that I had been considering, but was not quite sure the best direction to take.

I'm not sure exactly why Drupal appeals to me more than the other CMS systems - I reviewed quite a few pretty carefully before selecting Drupal (about two years ago), and I just liked Drupal from a feature and technology perspective.

Bundled with Ninnle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26391141)

...so Dropal developers will have everything they need.

Drupal.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26391315)

..isn't that some tranny with a show on tv?

Re:Drupal.. (1)

macdaddy (38372) | more than 5 years ago | (#26393065)

To the best of my knowledge FOX Network hasn't given Ann Coulter her own show, yet.

Wow, thanks for the great review! (5, Informative)

webchickenator (1064974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391379)

Disclaimer: I am one of the book authors (Angela - hi! :))

Just to address a couple of points:

There is a change log for the download file, and yet no mention on the page â" or even in the book itself, as far as I can tell â" as to which version in the 6.x release series was used for the book and in the download package.

In Appendix C, there are version numbers of all the modules and themes used in the book, including the version of Drupal (6.4). I've now added a note to the http://usingdrupal.com/source_code [usingdrupal.com] as well. :)

Oddly, neither the publisher's site nor the authors' site appears to mention the free downloadable chapter (Chapter 9, "Event Management"), although it is offered in an article posted in the blog section of Do It with Drupal.

*forehead slap* I can't believe we forgot to put that there. I blame the holiday rush. ;) Added a note to the front page of http://usingdrupal.com/ [usingdrupal.com] .

I'll also speak with our contacts over at O'Reilly about mirroring these items on their "official" infrastructure.

But clearly the book would have been more complete if it contained a chapter explaining how to allow content to be viewable by a limited set of authenticated users.

Yes, the very first chapter written for this book (back on Drupal 5 at the time) was one on Organic Groups which covered the access control aspects in-depth. Unfortunately, due to our book schedule vs. Drupal 6's contributed module release cycle, we had to chop this one. :( I'm hoping that if we end up doing a second edition of the book for Drupal 7, we can add this chapter back in. :)

The flaws of this book are few and minor. There are unreported errata, most of them grammatical â" e.g., "as [the] ability" (page 10) and "modules [that] were" (page 89) â" which are to be expected in the first edition of any technical book.

If you have a chance, please report those! While we fell behind a bit during the holidays, we're hoping to get back caught up on errata review within the next couple of weeks.

Also, a quick correction to the review. In the author list, Jeff Robbins is listed twice, both in the review text and the book info table.

Thanks again!

Re:Wow, thanks for the great review! (2, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391525)

Yes, the very first chapter written for this book (back on Drupal 5 at the time) was one on Organic Groups which covered the access control aspects in-depth. Unfortunately, due to our book schedule vs. Drupal 6's contributed module release cycle, we had to chop this one. :( I'm hoping that if we end up doing a second edition of the book for Drupal 7, we can add this chapter back in.

This seems like a pretty important thing to leave out. One of the biggest reasons why people use a CMS is to have authenticated logins and to have the ability to limit content to a limited set of authenticated users. It seems to me if I had to choose between that chapter and one of the more oddball case studies, maybe I'd probably cut the case study, but that's just me.

Re:Wow, thanks for the great review! (4, Informative)

webchickenator (1064974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26392255)

This seems like a pretty important thing to leave out. One of the biggest reasons why people use a CMS is to have authenticated logins and to have the ability to limit content to a limited set of authenticated users. It seems to me if I had to choose between that chapter and one of the more oddball case studies, maybe I'd probably cut the case study, but that's just me.

The problem was the module quite simply wasn't ready for Drupal 6 at the time our publishing deadline came up, and anything we tried to write about it would be fortune-telling at best, completely and utterly inaccurate at worst. And we (both the authors and O'Reilly) didn't really feel comfortable with that...

In hind-sight, we perhaps should've started a whole new access-control chapter from scratch that didn't use this module (I rather like the case study posed by the author of the review), but it wasn't clear until it was kind of too late that this was going to be a show-stopper. :(

There is a sidebar in Chapter 2 that alludes to access-control modules you can use to protect your content, however. So the book is not *completely* devoid of this information. It just isn't gone into to the same extent as other topics.

Re:Wow, thanks for the great review! (2, Informative)

juliesteele (1244386) | more than 5 years ago | (#26393707)

Secondly, the serif font selected (whose name does not seem to be identified in the book -- a common practice ages ago) has quite thin curves, which arguably does make the font face more stylish, but diminishes readability.

This information can be found in the back of all O'Reilly books in the Colophon section (along with information about the animal on the cover :) ). For Using Drupal, "The cover font is Adobe ITC Garamond. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSansMonoCondensed."

Drupal: PHP. Ugh (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26391401)

Enough said.

Free version of the book (-1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391405)

http://drupal.org/handbooks [drupal.org]

Web Am Hard, and O'Reilly really knows how to capitalize on those who can't seek out information on their own, I respect anyone who capitalizes on the ignorance of others when the ignorance involves someone doing something on the web while at the same time being unable to use a search engine.

Re:Free version of the book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26391515)

Some of us out there like to have the dead tree version of manuals.

Petty Much? (4, Insightful)

Zancarius (414244) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391589)

I respect anyone who capitalizes on the ignorance of others when the ignorance involves someone doing something on the web while at the same time being unable to use a search engine.

I can't shake the feeling this is something of a troll, but I'll bite. There are two reasons that I will purchase a tangible copy (physical--as someone else mentioned, dead tree):

1) I like to have a physical copy of a text. Sure, digital prints are easier to search and just as easy to browse, but there are times when I'd like to have something to read through no matter where I am, particularly if I don't happen to have a laptop with me. (Increasingly rare, but likely. Doctor's offices come to mind; there's no way I'm reading the cruft they have stacked atop a bare table in the waiting room.)
2) It's a great way to show your support for the authors' work and to help offset the publication costs. I've done that with the Baen Library before. I'll read some of their texts online, and if I like it, I'll go to the bookstore to purchase a couple of copies for myself and friends. If the author is especially interesting, I'll even buy a few of his or her works while I'm there if I haven't read them.

The desire to have a tangible asset isn't the result of ignorance or stupidity (though, I'd argue it's pretty stupid to waste your own paper printing out the entire thing when there's a perfectly good bound copy you can buy), and I think it's petty to attribute it to that.

Re:Free version of the book (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391621)

I don't think people who buy books instead of searching online "can't seek out information on the own". I mean, how hard is it? Does anybody outside of Myranmar and Ask Slashdot not know how to use Google? Some people just have to have hard copy. Where I work, all employees have Safari Books Online accounts that give them unlimited access to to electronic versions of all the IT titles from O'Reilly, Prentice-Hall, Microsoft Press, and about 20 other publishers. Safari's web versions are well done, too, much better than browsing PDFs. But there are lots of people who just won't use it. Have to have the dead tree version.

There seem to be a lot of authors who don't think that having free versions of their books online hurts their sales. Some actually think it helps.

Re:Free version of the book (2, Interesting)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394267)

I don't think it's as much a case of people in Myranma not being able to find things using Google, but a case of Google not being able to find Myranma.

Not quite... (5, Informative)

webchickenator (1064974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391707)

Disclaimer: I am one of the book authors (Angela - hi! :))

All of us are contributors to the Drupal handbook. In fact, Addison Berry is the Drupal project's documentation team coordinator. We definitely did NOT want to write a book that simply packaged up the Drupal community's hard work and slapped a $50 price tag on it. :P

The Drupal handbook is a fantastic resource, and is very useful to get you past installation and upgrading hurdles, provides collection of "snippets" for doing common (and not so common) tasks code-wise, is a great reference for Drupal developers, and offers many other things. So to that extent, yes. Chapters 1 (Intro to Drupal) and Appendix A (Installing/Upgrading) could be easily gleaned with the free, readily-available community documentation. If all you want to do is learn how to install Drupal and get a simple vocabulary lesson, do not buy this book! :) Read http://drupal.org/getting-started [drupal.org] .

However, something the Drupal handbook is not very good for is a project-based, soup-to-nuts, "Here's how you DO stuff in Drupal." Nor for "here are the modules that are awesome and here are modules that are less awesome, and here's why this one is awesome for certain things but not others." A cohesive guide on this type of information is single-handedly the biggest obstacle people getting started with Drupal face, and is something that really doesn't lend itself well to 500+ documentation contributors scattered across the globe writing piece-meal page-by-page.

And that stuff is the focus of the book.

Re:Not quite... (2, Interesting)

ibandyop (1449025) | more than 5 years ago | (#26392861)

I bought the book and read everything except the ubercart chapter which I left for later.

It has been an absolute lifesaver.

One thing that I still cannot get my head around is how one does a master-detail type relationship with CCK and views, or insert a view into a page and add new nodes to a page . In other words how common Db structures are implemented with CCK.
Again the book is lucid and usable as a reference and I hope there is a part 2 to it that covers more advanced techniques (not features)

There is a forum at the O'Reilly site where some questions have been answered.

Drupal Pros and Cons (5, Insightful)

mtapman (1259686) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391459)

I've been using Drupal for a variety of website tasks for about a year now. As a novice (at best) programmer I'm more interested in the functionality of the tools than in customizing them or inventing new tools, so for me it's important that my content management tools be fully functional. So far, Drupal's only real gotcha is the lack of seamless upgrades. This isn't a huge problem if you're willing to spend several minutes/hours every week or two upgrading your site, however it does become an issue if you're handling multiple sites. Whereas Wordpress has a built in upgrade function, Drupal requires you to manually delete existing directories and upload the new code every time there is a core update. Modules are a bit easier in that you only need to delete and upload that module's directory, and a well organized site keep the modules away from the core code (e.g., in /sites/all/modules instead of in /modules). Security seems pretty good so far, with just a few core security updates over the last year, I think. Modules often have more security issues, but the most popular modules seems almost as stable as the core. I believe both CCK and Views, two immensely popular modules, are being ported into core for Drupal 7. Drupal's usability is good once you get used to the organizational structure but there is a steep learning curve because of all the options. For example, installing a module requires the upload of the code into the /sites/all/modules/... directory, enabling of the module in the module control section of the site, running of the update.php script (as the root user of the site), and setting of the permissions for the modules (which is often a complex process). Granted you don't do module installation that often but it's a serious process when you do. Too long to proofread! Sorry for the wall of text...Drupal's worth a try and I'll probably pickup this book to see what is has to offer.

Re:Drupal Pros and Cons (1)

DynamiteNeon (623949) | more than 5 years ago | (#26392801)

I'm trying to decide what CMS to use for a site, and this was useful to know. Thanks.

I need to setup a blog and forum, and I've been debating over Drupal or a Wordpress + forum hybrid. I like the fact that Drupal has a forum integrated, so you can just create one user login and have access to both sections of the site.

I think Wordpress is a bit easier to work with if all you want is a blog, but I'm probably leaning towards Drupal right now since I need a bit more.

I also tried looking at bbPress, which is the forum software written by the Wordpress people. It is supposed to integrate with the wordpress user database, but as of last night, is still a bit flaky. They're still not officially released yet though (I played with version 1.0 alpha 6 last night). Having said that, I like some of the ideas and think they could be a serious contender once they get further along.

Re:Drupal Pros and Cons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26393053)

Drupal has a pretty strong multisite capability. If you are able to server your multiple hosts off of one server then you can run multiple sites (example.com,example.net,example.info) as well as subdomains from one Drupal installation.

Re:Drupal Pros and Cons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26394295)

Drupal has multisite [drupal.org] capabailities that allows you to run multiple sites off one codebase. If you set up your file directory structure using best practices [drupal.org] and use modules such as drush [drupal.org] , you can easily and quickly update mutliple sites. I have a few scripts I've written that can update the 20+ Drupal I host in less than 10 minutes.

Regarding security, I suggest signing up for the security email, it's sent out whenever there is a security problem with modules or core code. Additionally, if you enable the Update Status module, Drupal will inform you whenever a module or core code has been updated. You can also configure watchdog to send you an email/sms/etc whenever the system logs "update available".

If you use the devel module's [drupal.org] macro function, you can automate the entire process of setting up and configuring a module. You may also consider developing an install profile [drupal.org] if you want to enable and configure a specific set of modules for a specific kind of site (eg: blog, cms, forums, etc).

BTW, you don't need to run update.php when you first install a module, only when you update a module.

Re:Drupal Pros and Cons (1)

mtapman (1259686) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395037)

About the multisite issue, I've struggled with using a single Drupal instance for this because of SSL limitations within Apache. My understanding is that a single IP is associated with a single certificate, so a multisite install could only have one SSL-enabled site. Let me know if this is incorrect or if you know of a workaround. Updating the sites with a script is certainly possible, and actually the only way I know of to handle it once you get beyond two or three sites, but requiring extra scripts to do an update is a major deficiency. Check out the Wordpress update feature for an example the way I think Drupal should go.

The security mailing list is excellent and I'd strongly agree that anyone managing a Drupal install should subscribe.

I'll check out the devel's moduel. I haven't heard of that yet.

As for update.php, the actual page states this "Drupal database update...Use this utility to update your database whenever a new release of Drupal or a module is installed." So I always run it when I install a module. This makes sense to me because the update.php script is the mechanism that updates the database structure, I believe, and there's no other way for a module's changes to be inserted into the database...again if I'm wrong please let me know.

Re:Drupal Pros and Cons (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26397711)

There is NO EXCUSE for the fact that drupal does not upgrade modules, or for that matter itself, for you. It is NOT a difficult task, it is in fact very easy. I wrote a module installer once, it took me less than a day, I am simply not interested in maintaining a Drupal module right now or I would already have written one. It should be easy to wrap around the update status module, which has its failings but mostly works these days.

Excuse (1)

Bozovision (107228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26397775)

Your complaint is neatly self-contradictory, both complaining that there is NO EXCUSE while giving an excuse.

The person who should write this module is you - you have experience, you've clearly given it thought, you use Drupal and understand the update status module, it would benefit you and others - but you can't be arsed to. Good one.

Re:Drupal Pros and Cons (1)

Jacques Chester (151652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396525)

I am amazed you cited Wordpress as better than Drupal. Wordpress is a horrible piece of code, written by people who care only about the newest in oooh-shiney.

I've got several Wordpress sites under administration and they give me nothing but headaches. I'm a rotten sysadmin but Wordpress just makes my life that much harder. My brief foray into Drupal was like a trip to heaven in comparison.

Tip: by far the best way to install and update Wordpress is through the subversion checkout and switch commands.

And need I tell you to perform full database and file backups first? Wordpress database update scripts can and do have ... er ... unorthodox ideas about safely upgrading old data.

Drupal (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26391461)

Drupal consultants hide behind the notion that they're doing 'cool things in open source!' to double and sometimes triple charge the same project to multiple clients, the implementation time gets drawn out and you end up paying the price.

Dealt with some Drupal folks from a few different companies (not my choice, but, I did my best to accomodate them)

The simple project that my boss laid out ended up turning into a convoluted mess where we waited on them to finish features for other clients in the module we had requested them to customize for us..

Honestly, open source CMS systems can be great, they can be wonderful, but the 'We do cool things lets go have a "jelly" and do lunch with our laptops, tee hee web2.0" can FUCKIN SUCK IT.

Get to fuckin work you fuckin hippies, I don't pay you to fucking sit around and twitter and irc to ask people who KNOW what the fuck they're doing how to do YOUR job.

Dipshits.

Re:Drupal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26391831)

Get to fuckin work you fuckin hippies, I don't pay you to fucking sit around and twitter and irc to ask people who KNOW what the fuck they're doing how to do YOUR job.

You sound very insecure and inadequate. I doubt very much you could manage a paper route, let alone manage people.

BTW, I would like fries with that.

Re:Drupal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26391907)

u mad?

The Drupal Song (4, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391487)

http://www.lullabot.com/audiocast/the_drupal_song [lullabot.com]

Amuse/annoy your coworkers!

Re:The Drupal Song (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395465)

OMG couldn't you link to something less horrific like goatse or something?

Another review of this book (4, Informative)

stephthegeek (733850) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391529)

I also did a review of this book [topnotchthemes.com] . It's awesome. Much better with hands-on, practical walkthroughs than any others out there.

Re:Another review of this book (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 5 years ago | (#26392589)

Much better with hands-on, practical walkthroughs than any others out there.

Check out this [packtpub.com] one. I found that it filled in the gaps left by the online handbook quite nicely. I also like that the publisher funnels some of their profits back in to the projects their books cover.

notion arises US treasury used as casino style pad (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26391559)

the life0cidal illuminazis, both remaining members of the klan, the southern baptists & the freemasons are all in full time crisis mode demanding some controls be placed on the 'change' program.

congratulations, God's speed to you sir.

What I need is an end-user guide (2, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391595)

I've read a couple books, but I still don't know how to use it. All the books I read thus far spent 1/2 the time on installing it, which should only be a chapter. The rest of the time, they talk about "nodes" which is too abstract a concept for my friend Prudence, who runs a counseling website to grasp.

What we really need is a guide on "do this to make a menu", "do this to make a blog", "do this to enter the blog article", do this..., etc. I really have no idea to layout a site and get what I want. So there Drupal sits, well-installed, but doing nothing. Because that's what the books covered.

You might want to check it out... (3, Informative)

webchickenator (1064974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395101)

Disclaimer: I am one of the book authors (Angela - hi! :))

I share your feelings about the extent to which many tech books dwell on these basic concepts. I'm like you. I don't need 3 pages telling me how to extract a tarball. I don't need an entire chapter dedicated to how to use various FTP clients to transfer files. I can get a web application installed, that's not the hard part. I want to hurry up get my hands dirty with the tool and start being productive! This is why we chose a completely different approach while authoring Using Drupal.

The book does include Drupal installation instructions, of course, but it's very brief, and it's in the back (Appendix A). Out of your way unless you need it.

What you're asking for seems to be a task-based guide to using Drupal day-to-day. Writing such a guide for general public use is unfortunately basically impossible. This is because Drupal can literally look like *anything*, depending on what modules are enabled and how much customization was done in the design.

This book instead is a task-based guide to *building sites* with Drupal. If Prudence is a "hands-on" learner, she might find it valuable to work through a few of the earlier chapters. There's definitely jargon like nodes, blocks, taxonomy, cck, and views (sorry, but you really can't be very effective in Drupal without having a little bit of familiarity in these). However, instead of these things being described as abstract concepts, she would instead be doing practical things with them, and see how they fit into the overall process by building out several types of websites from scratch.

Not sure if what I described is quite up your/her alley, but it might be worth taking a browse at the local bookstore (or on Safari Books Online) and see if it'd work for you/her.

Re:What I need is an end-user guide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26398665)

which is too abstract a concept for my friend Prudence, who runs a counseling website to grasp.

That sentence is difficult because it puts a whole bunch of words in between to grasp.

lol wut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26391599)

factual inaccuracy

Not me... (1)

rthille (8526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391655)

"In any computer programming book, screenshots and other figures can be most helpful to the reader"... not me, I tend to find the BNF of the grammar the most helpful.

Project Management modual? (1)

lonesome phreak (142354) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391789)

I've looked over the moduals at drupal.org, but haven't found anything useful. Does anyone know of a decent project management modual? I've used PHPProject in the past, it doesn't need to be as complex as that. I really just need to be able to assign tasks to users, define projects, and maybe allocate resources to tasks and projects. Gnatt, time estimates, milestones and such would be a positive bonus, but not a requirement. And no, I don't really have the time to make one myself...

Try Storm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26391975)

I haven't tried it, but stumbled across it today.

http://drupal.org/project/storm [drupal.org]

Re:Project Management modual? (2, Informative)

stubob (204064) | more than 5 years ago | (#26393163)

I've used Project + Project Issue Tracking with success.
http://drupal.org/project/project [drupal.org]
http://drupal.org/project/project_issue [drupal.org] .

Everything else (except Gantt charts) could be created as content pages within the project.

For a more integrated system, I'm a fan of Trac, which is Python, not PHP. The wiki markup linking of Trac is worth it on its own.

Re:Project Management modual? (1)

lonesome phreak (142354) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394505)

Sweet! Thanks, I'll look at those over the weekend. I've gotten many of my friends to loving Drupal because of it's vast amount of plugins. I have yet to dip into doing any of my own, because this was really the only thing I couldn't find that already existed. I knew their had to be something out there, I just couldn't really find it. Now if I can just fix the access problems I'm having with it and cron.org to update my feeds lol

A bad case of stomach-flu ? (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391809)

Droupal DRuuupel? Drewpell... Sounds like a chronic disease. Anything like dropsy ? How do you spell the word - if it's a word.

Drupal or other CMS? (2)

PhillyMeeks (884443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391873)

Slightly off topic, but is Drupal the best option for someone with little to no programming knowledge, such as myself? I'm just trying to set up your typical blog-style site with daily posts and the ability to let people comment on each item... nothing fancy. Currently I use Joomla. While I like much about it, I am still finding it difficult to manipulate the template's visuals to my liking. Also, it would be nice if the CMS came with integrated forums, eliminating the need for multiple user accounts. I've tried using a user-made "bridge" which I couldn't get working.

Re:Drupal or other CMS? (1)

imamac (1083405) | more than 5 years ago | (#26392093)

I also use Joomla! quite a bit. The best forum solution is FireBoard. It's a native Joomla! component so there is no bridging requireed.

Re:Drupal or other CMS? (1)

Optic7 (688717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26392273)

Drupal also has a native forum module. That's what they use on the drupal.org website.

Re:Drupal or other CMS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26392163)

Then you're best off with Drupal. It has a forum built into the core and you simply just have to activate it. Drupal is not as easy to use as Wordpress, but once you get the hang of it - you can do anything with it. There are many tutorials out there that give the basics, Nettuts has a recent one.

I set this site up with Drupal recently and I'm very happy with it: http://scificonlist.info

Re:Drupal or other CMS? (1)

emaname (1014225) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396093)

As I already commented below, check out http://www.cmsmatrix.org/ [cmsmatrix.org] . This site has lots of choices with comparisons and a discussion board. I've found it to be quite helpful.

Check who uses drupal (4, Informative)

f1vlad (1253784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391885)

I have extensive experience building in Drupal -- module and theme development.

I've noticed that immediate impression people have about Drupal is that it's only a blog CMS. But it isn't so at all. I welcome you to visit Drupal founder's blog, where he lists all interesting sites that use Drupal. Sometimes even I am (pleasantly) surprised at the ogranizations and institutions who move on to use Drupal. Check it out: http://buytaert.net/tag/drupal-sites [buytaert.net]

Excellent book (2, Insightful)

blakhol (919393) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391893)

This book fills out the lineup of Drupal books rather nicely:

Building Powerful and Robust Websites With Drupal 6: good intro book for the non-programmer

Learning Drupal 6 Module Development: the basics of module development

Pro Drupal Development, 2nd ed: exhaustive documentation/reference of how Drupal works, system by system

Using Drupal: Now that you understand the above, how you put it all together

And there are some other ones for specific applications like multimedia and education.

Drupal sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26391951)

Drupal seems such a sweet deal at a glance. I mean you can do anything. Cck, views .. well you can build anything with that. Do you need relationships for your nodes? Wow you can use node relativity. So cool.
But when it comes down to it, your designer gives you same image files and begin coding, but in the end you spend so much time overwriting functions just to change a form label, or the RSS behaviour. And keep on overwriting stuff, while finally you realize that just because drupal can do all that stuff, it ain't really worth it unless you're either an inexperienced developer(as in you don't know how to code), or simply are satisfied with your website looking like 99% of drupal websites out there. It's just easier and faster (on the long run) to use cake, rails or what ever framework you enjoy working with.
But still why does it suck? Because if you don't have any use for views/cck, other CMS are way easier to style and maintain.

Re:Drupal sucks (1)

Optic7 (688717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26392359)

Because if you don't have any use for views/cck, other CMS are way easier to style and maintain.

Examples of what CMS are easier to style and maintain would be nice. I would really like to know.

Re:Drupal sucks (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26392629)

Anything not written in PHP?

Re:Drupal sucks (2, Insightful)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26392949)

Implementation languages seldom affect what can be developed. I could write a crappy CMS in Python, or C, or RoR, or Perl. The problem is the data and how it is structured. Usually its an interface issue. And that is a design/coding issue issue. Not because my if require {} or :\n\t

Re:Drupal sucks (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26397395)

But languages and their libraries inform design decisions. And I have tended to find that people who prefer a more structured language are generally more structured in their design.

Re:Drupal sucks (1)

Optic7 (688717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394671)

I've searched for any not written in PHP and they are hard to find. There's plone, written in python, but I understand that it's kind of large and resource heavy. Do you have any suggestions?

Re:Drupal sucks (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26397373)

Sorry, I don't have much experience with CMSs. I've just written enough PHP in my life to know that I never want to use it again :)

I've Got that Feelin (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 5 years ago | (#26392443)

That this ought to be free to be used by all--I like the free ebook comment but then, whatcha see is whatcha get...

or maybe I've just had to use too much eighties music to get a point across to some students this past week.

yes, I know there is a 'd' at the front of the back end system.

If you're just getting into drupal, get this book! (1)

evolvingweb (1449023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26392863)

... if you're already a serious drupal user, you've probably preordered it. When our company decided to focus on Drupal Development, one of the first things I did was sign up for one of Lullabot's Drupal training workshops. I paid almost $2,000 for the 5 days, which featured 3 of the authors. It was one of the best sources of Drupal information I've encountered, easily worth the cost. There's no questions that all of the authors are "Drupal superstars", contributing an enormous amount of programming, documentation, support, and general good will. The review doesn't mention that for all her tireless efforts, Angie Byron has been appointed as the official maintainer of the upcoming Drupal 7. The authors are great at Drupal, and they're some of the best communicators I've met. I have no doubt that "Using Drupal" will become one of the canonical references, right along with "Pro Drupal Development", widely considered to be the Drupal programmer's bible.

Fun Fact (0, Troll)

SilentOneNCW (943611) | more than 5 years ago | (#26393131)

Fun Fact: Every book review posted on Slashdot gives nine out of ten.

Re:Fun Fact (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#26393857)

Just like Rolling Stone and new albums... Detection bias-- for volunteer reviewers on community site it's only worth their time to review something they liked. In Rolling Stone's case, there's just so much music out there that they only bother to review the stuff they like, and the review, like on slashdot, is essentially an endorsement.

Re:Fun Fact (1)

jeffeaton (1448931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394539)

Awww. :( And I thought Michael *liked* it.

The Font (1)

abdelazer (849221) | more than 5 years ago | (#26393437)

You wrote:

Secondly, the serif font selected (whose name does not seem to be identified in the book - a common practice ages ago) has quite thin curves, which arguably does make the font face more stylish, but diminishes readability.

And yet the last part of the entire book, the Colophon, where these things go, says this:

"""The cover font is Adobe ITC Garamond. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSansMonoCondensed."""

Nobody mentions SharePoint (1)

dilute (74234) | more than 5 years ago | (#26393597)

Every time I looked at Drupal I found it too complex for whatever simple site I was setting up. I have used Joomla, which was easier to jump into, but simplistic and inflexible. Honestly, SharePoint 2007 is much easier to use and fairly powerful and flexible. If you don't want to set up and administer the swerver, you can buy hosting or even get it free (with limitations) from a number of providers.

Drupal is great BUT (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 5 years ago | (#26393803)

Its definitely designed more towards community/portal/media/big sites then say a small business site. It can be used towards small sites but the way the breadcrumbs and taxonomy works it'll be way easier to use something like WebsiteBaker or Etomite. Having said that I've used Drupal for the last 6 sites I've built.

Also once Ubercart is much more mature Drupal/Ubercart will be a killer combo.

The other thing that Drupal is missing is a little better forum system and a proper photo/media gallery. The current addons are lacking compared to say Coppermine.

Re:Drupal is great BUT (1)

rjung2k (576317) | more than 5 years ago | (#26394903)

I've built nearly a dozen small-to-medium-sized business sites using Drupal, and I don't see a major reason to stop. Granted, Drupal's stock e-commerce functionality is rather basic, but between its continued development and Ubercart, I find that I can get what I need fairly painlessly.

I don't think I could do a massive site in Drupal, but that's only because I do my work solo. ;-) But for small-to-medium-sized sites, it's easily my go-to CMS.

Drupal scales nicely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26395067)

We have a few customers that we host at my company Colocube [colocube.com] using Drupal ourselves, all multi-server environment with sharded web servers, etc. What's neat about Drupal is that it's nice on the development front in terms of controlling a consistent theme and our ability to tune the website content as a media front end to News. For what it's worth, what is probably one of the largest Drupal websites in terms of back end (23 servers total) that we host is MNN which is a Green site backed by the likes of Ted Turner here in Atlanta.

I'm working on a blog [colocube.com] that talks about scaling Drupal as well on our website, as testimony to it's use in robust, large scale environments that we are engaged in building, hosting, and maintaining.

We're really hopeful that it continues to gain traction as well as market share, it has certainly made development for common themed sites that we focus on for enterprise very easy to develop and deploy. Definite Kudos to the authors of this book, we have their book and have distributed it to our developers and I can't tell you how much it has helped to shape the mindset of how we should be thinking to use Drupal and implement it properly. I'm definitely a pleased user.

We use Drupal for our site (1)

dskoll (99328) | more than 5 years ago | (#26395297)

Drupal is awesome. I'm not crazy about the fact that it's written in PHP... but I have to admit it's one of the better-written PHP projects.

I use it for a bunch of Web sites, including my company's site. It's extremely powerful and pretty easy to customize.

Intersect my liking for Drupal with my love of O'Reilly books and I feel a purchase coming on...

oh boy here we go again (1)

eh2o (471262) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396251)

Drupal is software written by amateurs--oh, they are well-meaning and their sheer numbers swamps the efforts of most other projects, making it a powerful temptation for the get-it-done-now. But Drupal is terribly convoluted, inefficient, buggy and expensive (it is impossible to deploy a Drupal site without an admin on retainer to apply the numerous security updates)--its arcane architecture was written to accomodate the quirks of the non-object oriented and now-obsolete PHP4--its a bandwagon with a long and painful upgrade path that will probably take the next 10 years to sort out. Have fun jumping on it. (FYI I am fully on that particular wagon though I'm not particularly enthralled, obviously).

All CMS's suck. Drupal sucks less. (1)

bobv-pillars-net (97943) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396315)

(with apologies to Michael Elkins)

I've had occasion to download and test out dozens of Content Management Systems over the past ten years or so. Drupal is the first one where I looked at the code and didn't immediately think "Oh, crap. I should really rewrite half of this."

Drupal has a steep learning curve. After working with it for two years, I feel like I'm just beginning to grasp some of the underlying concepts.

Drupal isn't the fastest CMS out there; it isn't the easiest to use; it isn't the biggest or the prettiest or the most customizable even.

For any particular metric you care to define, there's probably somebody out there who does it better than Drupal.

But every time I take another look at the competition, I keep coming back to Drupal.

I recently installed a competing product, at a customer's request. From his standpoint, it was clearly superior to Drupal. It started quicker, ran quicker, and did most of what he wanted "out of the box." But every add-on came with instructions like "Open the file in such-and-such folder and find the place around line 277 that looks like ... and change it to ..." After half a dozen modifications like that one, the system can't be upgraded without ripping everything out and starting over.

There are parts to Drupal that can only be customized by hand-tweaking some program files. But the tweaks live in your theme directory, safely removed from the original (and still upgradeable) code.

Yeah, Drupal feels slow sometimes, but it's plenty fast enough to run some pretty high-profile websites.

Yeah, there's been times when it took me all day to figure out how to do something in Drupal, but the result was small, elegant, maintainable, and well-documented.

Yeah, there are dozens of CMS's out there, and they all suck. Drupal sucks less.

Drupal rocks! (1)

gluliverk (1398195) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396801)

Drupal rocks!

Joomla! Rules (1)

guysmilee (720583) | more than 5 years ago | (#26397069)

Joomla! Rules Simple, clean and easy to use.

Drupal changed my life (2, Interesting)

sochdot (864131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26397219)

I'm not kidding. So much of what I used to do for a living is trivial with Drupal. Writing custom modules for our clients is fun again and I never have to worry about mundane every-site stuff like user management, perms, front controller dispatching...you name it; if it's common, Drupal will do it for you. Or a contrib module will.

I started picking up Drupal in late 2005, played and learned for a couple of years, and 2008 was almost entirely Drupal builds. From cookpolitical.com where we worked out serious data handling, to tobaccofreecenter.org in seven languages, to globalnetwork.org with it's graphic-heavy design, I've had a blast working with this system!

Er, I didn't actually mean to trot out portfolio highlights there...but what the hell, those are good examples of what you can do with Drupal (and how to make your Drupal site not look like a Drupal site). This is what happens when someone gets me talking about Drupal. Yay!

Back on-topic: Thanks for the review. I'll definitely be picking up this book. If it's anything like Pro Drupal Development from Apress, it'll pay for itself in the first chapter with some nugget that saves me an hour!

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