Drupal Tutorials

Investigation of Drupal's Menu System Uncovers Unexpected Treasure

Today, I spent quite a bit of time wandering drupal's menu system in search of answers. But instead, I uncovered two techniques which made me rethink the questions I was asking. As the latter sentence suggested, I'm a professional writer of fortune cookies on the side (there aren't many of us left...).

10 Drupal Modules You Can't Live Without

This is Outdated: Updated Version: 40 Essential Drupal Modules (1/4/2010)

Via my contact form, someone asked me to list 5 or 10 of the best drupal add ons. I decided to move away from "best", and rather decided to move to "can't live without". Or to put it differently, without these 10 modules, your experience with the minimial base install of drupal is likely to suck. (in spite of my physics teacher I once had who insisted that nothing sucked, but rather blew...).

The Drupal 4.7 Form API Rears Its Beautiful Head

Last night, I had a rather profound "ah-ha" moments with the new Forms API and php-template. The end result is the first node_form.tpl.php file I've ever written. The screenshot below is of a story form, with all those node options that use to be on the bottom floated to the left in a sidebar fashion.


As drupal is now blessed with this new form API, every single form on the page, be it uploads, menus or taxonomy selections is now available to be thrown around just as is the case in node.tpl.php. Amazingly, it handles AJAX uploads, and node-type and even user variables.

Drupal Vs. We, the Hairless, Fat-Headed Monkeys With Keyboards

The other night, while working at "my office", I ran into a hipster who I knew from high school. We cycled through the usual cliche selections on the coffeeshop conversation menu: discussing atheism, exsistentialism, and the question "what makes one piece of art better than another", ect. However, the conversation soon turned to an ad-based artsy/alternative publication he had secured some seed funding for.

His goals struck me as difficult; he sought to build a community of volunteer contributors, with revenue coming from ads (two red flags which become a uber-red flag because of their dependencies on each other, imho). I began giving him some advice, and ideas -- and it was at that moment that I realized Drupal, in terms of design, planning, and development isn't an inherently geeky subject, or skill. Looking over my projects over the past few months, it appears to be a platform which attracts the artists and musicians, the progressives, the forward thinking businesses, the world changers -- those whom, in the words of Apple, think different.

Keeping It Real With Drupal

Some people like SNL's Stuart Smallie (OCD, child of alchoholic, and has an eating disorder) pin messages on their bathroom mirror that that are engraved with phrases such as "people like me", "easy does it". In a similar tradition, I need to pin this list of sterling advice from 37signals on my door, bathroom mirror, and the inside of my eyelid. Some of these maxims are hugely important for people working with drupal. For example:

Fight Features: Build half a product, not a half-ass product

Running Drupal or Civicspace on a Windows Desktop Machine

Today, I’m flying to Santa Fe. I have a new fondness for air-travel thanks to a magnificent tool I recently stumbled across. XAMPP is a free, open-source, simple, nearly idiot-proof LAMP emulator that lets me create fully functional drupal sites on my laptop, complete with full database, and php support. The thing even has freakin’ phpMyadmin* installed. You can even switch between PHP 5 and PHP 4, and I also believe you can switch between mysql versions 4x, and 5x with the proper extension. All in all, its increased my productivity astronomically. Its funny – I never bothered to think of how much time I wasted over months watching a status bar move during an FTP transfer. Or – actually, I take it back, that’s not very funny.

Some Tips on Working with Drupal Taxonomy Terms

Today, while working on the redesign, and drupalfication of Cybertelecom, I was faced with a challenge: In addition to displaying the taxonomy terms that a node was filed under, I wanted to add a link to the term's RSS feed. The solution ended up being so bloody simple that I couldn't help but share it. Also, its worth pointing out that while this specific chunk of code is specialized, it reveals some damn useful tricks in dealing with the taxonomy from within single nodes.

In this tutorial's case, we will be calling the above function from within a node.tpl.php file. Within node.tpl.php file look for a line that reads:

Introductory Tips on Hacking CiviCRM

Recently, I built a website for the International Peace Tiles Project. My goals were pretty straight forward:

  1. Develop an interface that would allow users to upload photos of their peace tiles.
  2. If users wished to swap their tiles with other users, have a system in place that would track the status of the tile.
  3. Have tiles be searchable by location.
  4. Gather user’s location and status of involvement

A good golden rule to follow is never make users enter data twice, and if certain functions (i.e. filing the tile under the user’s country) can be automated, automate them. So with that rule in mind, I decided to use CiviCRM to store user data.


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