Drupal Ramblings

Drupal Theming for the Masses

Preface

My name is Nick Lewis, and I'm a blogger and a "professional" web programmer/designer/consultant. My specialities are CSS, SEO, and drupal customization & theming. However, more importantly, I am a cyberactivist. Without going into to much detail on my political motives (which could best described as anarcho-left), one of my main goals is to expand the community of innovative open-source programmers, designers, thinkers, and developers. In one sense, I could claim I'm doing this as a "free gift", but that would be disingenious. It is my explicit hope that this guide will change the way you think about drupal, and perhaps even cause you to become obsessed with the possibilities. If this guide creates just one drupal expert who helps evolve our thinking, I think my sacrafice of time will be worth the return in a very real sense.

Web Development:

Horizontal Navigation Menus in Drupal Using CSS (Part Deux)

In our last episode, we learned how use the "float" and "display:inline" css-sledge hammers to knock drupal's nested vertical lists into displaying horizontally. Moreover we acheived this feet using three simple css rules that apply to all lists in our top-nav div to infinity. We rejoiced at the simplicity of our solution, and for a short while we believed that everything was okay in our world.

Today, the complexities of CSS will smack our rosey cheeks, burst our bubbles of optimisim, and send us hurdling back to reality. This tutorial offers nothing but blood, sweat, and tears. You will expect things to make sense -- and IE Explorer will make you look like a fool for it. However, it is a timeless truth that anything worth attaining requires sacrafice; and those who sacrafice their sanity to learning these bits of obscure knowledge will be one day kings of drupal theming, and standards based design -- they may even trick the entire drupal community into thinking they are "experts" ;-)

Drupal for Education Crushes WebCT

This may be the most significant endorsement of Drupal I've ever seen. Charlie Lowe just asked his Technical writing class to give an end of course evaluation comparing Drupal and WebCT. For those of you with sex lives, WebCT is a proprietary CMS for education that costs roughly $5000.00 a year, not including support fees. Drupal on the other hand is a completely free, and open source CMS that can be used for everything from education to politics to pornography. () Asked his students to "Reflect on your experience using Drupal (the software running the course website) in comparison to your previous experiences using WebCT in your classes".

Using CSS to Generate Expanding Horizontal Navigation Menus in Drupal

Not to toot my own horn, but everyone loves this site's top navigation menu. I've received more questions about how I did it than I can answer. As a result, I've decided to write a tutorial on it. Before beginning this tutorial, the reader should be somewhat familiar the following:

Also, be sure that you have installed PHP-Template, and a fresh copy of Box_Grey on hand.

Mambo Vs. Drupal:

I’ve noticed a recent tsunami of interest from potential clients in content management systems. Often, there is a tendency among these clients to “shop around” the dozens of open-source content management packages. They go to the various websites, and look at product features, see who is using the systems, and treat picking an open source CMS as though it was a car. For them, it is like picking between a Mazda or Toyota. Unfortunately, this tendency is misguided. Picking a CMS is a lot more like picking a stock to invest in.

 

A Profession of Space-fillers

I've been around journalists my entire life, since I was a little kid, and I haven't met more than five in three-plus decades who wouldn't literally shit from shame before daring to say that their job had anything to do with truth or informing the public. Everyone in the commercial media, and that includes Hitchens, knows what his real job is: feeding the monkey. We are professional space-fillers, frivolously tossing content-pebbles in an ever-widening canyon of demand, cranking out one silly pack-mule after another for toothpaste and sneaker ads to ride on straight into the brains of the stupefied public.

Drupal Navigation Reloaded: Displaying Taxonomy and User Menus as Primary and Secondary links.

UPDATE: I've writing a multipart tutorial on how this was done, follow it in order:

I've put together an example theme which impliments the top navigation menu that you see in this site. I'm very strapped for time at the moment, so I hope you'll forgive the lack of detailed instructions.

However, if you have any experience with creating new drupal themes, then you should have a very easy time figuring out how it works. It doesn't require any new database tables, or modules. All that is required is php-template. For the lovely categorization that you see in this site, you'll also need the taxonomy menu module, though.

The Ultimate Drupal Navigation Menu

It's alive!

Look above, at the menu I have created. I have succeeded in connecting the top navigation menu to drupal's taxonomy system. You won't see why its so cool from the front page. However, click this link to this article's category, and you'll why I'm so excited: it layers itself through colored tabs along with my taxonomies' hiearchy. Best of all, its fully integrated into the drupal CMS's database so its builds itself automatically.

The end result is magnificent. Not to toot my own horn, but my method is worthy of an instructional article. I will write it that as soon as the menu is better tested and tweaked.

Kill Drupal Trackback Spam: The quick and dirty way

Aldon Hynes created this simple php script to erase trackback spams in drupal. To use it, simply create a new node and paste the PHP code I've included below. To run the script simply access the node. One click and 800 trackback spams destroyed. Take that JRCreations.

<?php

$sql = " where ";

$sql .= " subject like '%cialis%' or ";$sql .= " comment like '%cialis%' or ";

$sql .= " subject like '%fioricet%' or ";$sql .= " comment like '%fioricet%' or ";

What is DeanSpace?

By Aldon HynesOriginally Submitted for Extreme Democracy

In the summer of 2003, Dean supporters with an interest in information technology started meeting online and talking about how they could use their skills to help the Dean campaign. Inspired by community-focused sites like Slashdot, IndyMedia, Kuro5hin, and Scoop, they looked for tools they could build or customize that could be used to help promote the Dean candidacy. They wanted to create a toolkit for people without strong technical skills to use to set up powerful, interoperable websites for of information sharing and community building.[read more...]

Note: Deanspace morphed into civicspace (which is what drives this blog)

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