Drupal related posts by Gábor Hojtsy.

FOSDEM 2009 is coming

This past year, I've been happily presenting at FOSDEM (which "is probably the most developer-oriented Free and Opensource conference" and is taking place in Brussels, Belgium each year). I've had a great session on new things in Drupal 6 and it was even videotaped.

FOSDEM is again coming to Brussels in 2009, and the dates are Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 February 2009. The 2008 Drupal group is now renamed for 2009, so FOSDEM-interested parties can congregate in there for this next year as well. The event itself ran on a Drupal website, and keeps running for the upcoming year as well. It would be great to set up a Drupal developer room again there in 2009!


The drupal.org redesign timeline comes to an end soon - now what?

As Tiffany published in the drupal.org post titled Drupal.org redesign officially underway in September, Mark Boulton design's activity with the drupal.org redesign is tied to a timeline, and will end in one week as originally planned. Whether this deadline is actually met or not, the fifth iteration of the prototype was posted on the groups.drupal.org group related to the redesign a few days ago.

Task specific browsers with Fluid - the making of the "Acquia Browser"

For those better in the know then I am, Fluid.app might be quite old news. I however just got on the bandwagon recently, and I thoroughly enjoy it. Fluid is a Mac OS X application, which acknowledges the fact that we are not using "the browser" anymore, but we are working on our days jobs, using our private email, posting photos, chatting with friends, etc. And these are all distinct activities or tasks we do. So we would be more comfortable looking for our "photo app", "chat app", "email app" or even "work app", but most of our interactions are now done on the web, so all these are tucked under the "browser app".

David Mercer's "Building Powerful and Robust Websites with Drupal 6" by Packt Publishing

Building Powerful and Robust Websites with Drupal 6 book coverPackt Publishing is at it again. They've published David Mercer's follow up to Drupal: Creating Blogs, Forums, Portals, and Community Websites, which was originally based on Drupal 4.7. The new book subtitled Build your own professional blog, forum, portal or community website with Drupal 6 tries to cater to the same audience but with greatly updated content.

David seems to be completely up to date on the Drupal 6 matters, as much as the March 2008 publication time allowed. This was one of the first Drupal 6 books on the market, and the author even managed to include a lengthy section on CCK. Hats off. Now that Views 2.0 is out for Drupal 6, many more people will consider using this new version as a base to start with. David caters to new users, not upgraders though, so this guide helps you get up to speed (and the Views covering books are still awaited on the market).

The book has a certain eye to detail in talking about things like setting up users and permissions. David even goes to note that setting up access rules for names or emails does not affect existing users. This practice was changed in recent Drupal versions, considering this a security bug instead of the way how Drupal works, and honestly, I don't think people expected to see this behavior noted in print. This attention to detail goes to extremes however in the examination of taxonomy. To my tastes, it would have been better to get down to more practical examples sooner instead of trying to organize the section around the theories of taxonomy. Same applies to coverage of HTML, where David tries to teach content producers certain HTML tags to write a feature-rich webpage. This might be a good idea for the theming section, but not where content is produced by end users.

With a book going into such details, you might think Drupal core fills up the pages in itself. This is however not the case. David goes to introduce contributed module installation right in chapter three with DHTML Menu module. Highly useful and/or popular modules such as Pathauto and Localization client are covered. So the book acknowledges that for building a website, Drupal core needs to be pimped up with contributed functionality. Another positive note in this approach is that even custom look and functionality is covered. In my humble opinion, this book does a modest but still better job in doing a custom theme then Ric Shreves' Drupal 5 themes accomplishes. JavaScript capabilities are also shown by integrating a custom JavaScript control.

All-in-all, I think this book is a good starter guide for Drupal 6 users, even if sometimes too detailed. You'll certainly need to be ready to learning a lot more from Views to CCK field modules while you actually build a more complex site, but starting off with a simpler website should be possible from the topics covered.