Drupal Site Building – 2 Day – Madison, WI

Drupal Site Building – 2 Day – Madison, WI
Event on 2013-07-15 09:00:00

In two days, participants will be brought up to speed on Drupal and will be ready to face their own project. Learn how to manage media, build calendars and complex, dynamic queries of content by selecting and configuring the most favourite modules.

Objectives include:

Build complex and powerful functionality
Articulate ideal practices of site building with Drupal
Configure both controlled vocabularies and free tagging with Taxonomy
Manage navigation through Drupalʼs menu system
Configure your site to improve search, through the use of URL path configuration
Be healthy to configure automatically generated thumbnails
Know how to create advanced listings of content
Maintain a secure and speedy website

at University of Wisconsin – Madison
Computer Science Building
Madison, United States

Is it a good idea to start using Joomla / Drupal without basic HTML and/or CSS knowledge?

Question by Ginak: Is it a good intent to begin using Joomla / Drupal without basic HTML and/or CSS knowledge?
I want to do web design, so I was going to begin with HTML and CSS tutorials. Then I came crossways CMS such as Joomla and Drupal. I’m just wondering if it is a good intent to begin learning Joomla or Drupal and leave the HTML and CSS tutorials.

Best answer:

Answer by Huzz
It’s certainly one way to do it, while basic HTML and CSS is still very useful, it’s doable to effectively use CMS like Joomla without understanding the HTML and CSS going on behind the scenes.

To give you an example of a website developed using Joomla go here http://www.jclf.org/

Add your own answer in the comments!

Create Page UI in Drupal 6

A few nice css link styles images I found:

Create Page UI in Drupal 6
css link styles
Image by kentbye
To take a full screenshot of a Drupal page:

* Expand as many fieldsets as you’d like and have it as you want it to appear.

* Firefox -> File -> Save Page As… -> Format: Web Page, complete — Save to the Desktop

* This will create a page.html (i.e. the last argument), and a folder page_folders

* Any images that are contained in the theme directory will need to be copied over into the page_files directory. So copy and paste the entire /themes/garland/images folder to page_files, and the theming images will correctly appear.

* Garland’s style.css should be in the page_files, and the import CSS HTML should look like:
< link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" media="all" href="page_files/style.css" >

* Paparazzi! -> Open File -> Select page.html from the desktop.

* Keep the default minimum size of 800×600 (the 800 width includes the scrollbar)

* Click the "Capture!" button

* Do a "Save Image As…" and save & upload the png

UPDATE: Or just use the Page Saver Basic Firefox extension as suggested by greggles

UI of Drupal Views Module 5.x.1-6 (primary fieldsets expanded)
css link styles
Image by kentbye
To take a full screenshot of a Drupal page:

UPDATE: Use the Page Saver Basic Firefox extension as suggested by greggles — or Mac users can follow an substitute way as described below…

* Expand as many fieldsets as you’d like and have it as you want it to appear.

* Firefox -> File -> Save Page As… -> Format: Web Page, complete — Save to the Desktop

* This will create a add.html (i.e. the last argument from admin/build/views/add) — as well as a folder add_folders

* Garland’s style.css should be in the page_files, and the import CSS HTML should look like:
< link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" media="all" href="page_files/style.css" >

* Any images that are contained in the theme directory will need to be copied over into the add_files directory. So copy and paste the entire /themes/garland/images folder to the add_files folder, and the theming images will correctly appear.

* If the sidebar images don’t appear, then the CSS syntax might looks like this: < style type="text/css" media="all">@import "/themes/garland/style.css"> — if so, then it needs to be changed to < link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" media="all" href="add_files/style.css">
The CSS files of admin.css, defaults.css, system.css from /modules/system might need to be put in the add_files folder if this is the case — and the add.html might also need to be changed to this syntax.

* Mac users can download Paparazzi! screen shot taker from here.
Paparazzi! -> Open File -> Select page.html from the desktop.

* Keep the default minimum size of 800×600 (the 800 width includes the scrollbar)

* Click the "Capture!" button

* Do a "Save Image As…" and save & upload the png

UI of Drupal Views Module 5.x.1-6 (all fieldsets expanded)
css link styles
Image by kentbye
To take a full screenshot of a Drupal page:

UPDATE: Use the Page Saver Basic Firefox extension as suggested by greggles — or Mac users can follow an substitute way as described below…

* Expand as many fieldsets as you’d like and have it as you want it to appear.

* Firefox -> File -> Save Page As… -> Format: Web Page, complete — Save to the Desktop

* This will create a add.html (i.e. the last argument from admin/build/views/add), and a folder add_folders

* Any images that are contained in the theme directory will need to be copied over into the add_files directory. So copy and paste the entire /themes/garland/images folder to add_files, and the theming images will correctly appear.

* Garland’s style.css should be in the page_files, and the import CSS HTML should look like:
< link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" media="all" href="page_files/style.css" >

* If there are the CSS syntax looks like this: < style type="text/css" media="all">@import "/themes/garland/style.css"> — then it needs to be changed to < link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" media="all" href="add_files/style.css">
The CSS files of admin.css, defaults.css, system.css from /modules/system should also be put in the add_files folder if this is the case.

* Paparazzi! -> Open File -> Select page.html from the desktop.

* Keep the default minimum size of 800×600 (the 800 width includes the scrollbar)

* Click the "Capture!" button

* Do a "Save Image As…" and save & upload the png

Drupal 6 Book – Review

I’ve been learning Drupal on-and-off (as spare time allows) since last summer. Reading this latest Mercerian effort I’ve undoubtedly benefited from reading the Drupal 4.7 text. The 4.7 title definitely got me up and running as a Drupal novice, so this formula and style is familiar to me. There are some physical changes: the paper on this latest offering (my copy at least) has superior contrast. I could not find the exact font details, but the print size is larger and so there are fewer words per line which naturally helps readability. Consequently, the 4.7 book’s 267 pages translates to 362 pages as measured to the last page of the index.

As a Drupal beginner myself I’ve struggled due to:

* The whole client-server set-up and creating a database driven community.

* Drupal’s likeness to an iceberg:

o what you can see – themes, modules, users, forums

o what you can’t see the MySQL, PHP, CSS, server, template and other files…

o Oh yes, and the things that are on the water-line – blocks, menus, ‘nodes and content’

* Drupal files and folder structure

o The location of core Drupal elements vs contributed elements (and your content)

* Security, access and permissions

o managing users

* Upgrading and configuration

o Drupal is very much a work-in-progress

* Customisation – themes, styles, being ‘original’ – extending Drupal.

The first fifty pages wage an introduction to Drupal, how it all started with its creator Dries Buytaert. Plus installing server software and Drupal itself. Several photos of the Drupal website highlight this as a pivotal resource with its forums and great sense of community. Mercer had me wondering that you might not be actuation the envelope if you don’t need help at some stage.

On page 32 ‘The Drupal Environment’ a sentence says that readers ‘… might well like to dive straight in and make modifications to your Drupal site.’ This seems a bit premature to me, as six pages later we are concerned with obtaining and installing Drupal. As this is my first book review the adopted convention is a stolen sentence or two from Packt’s summary of the book, with my thoughts:

Chapter 1 introduces you to the world of Drupal and looks at where Drupal comes from, where it’s going, and what it can offer you. – The Drupal community is an invaluable resource and in addition to reading and struggling I’ve attended a individual group, were everyone has something to offer and there is much enthusiasm and skills on tap. So Mercer highlights the web and forums as a source of support and might possibly have prefabricated more (even without specific details) of the number of local Drupal individual groups and events. Nonetheless, this thorough introduction is capped off with an explanation about Drupal’s position as an open source project and the licence. This more than anything explains Drupal’s dynamic credentials. Guidance is provided here on building a website – including ‘phone a friend’ – and don’t forget paper and pencil for planning and developing ideas.

Chapter 2 deals with how to get everything you need up and running on a development organisation and also briefly looks at how all the requisite technologies gel together to produce a working Drupal site. … – Going for a combined package, I tried ApacheTriad and XAMPP before settling on WAMP5 for the Apache server, MySQL and PHP5 software. The thing is don’t give up. I installed-scratched Drupal a couple of times; my excuse – I’d give it some time … and then leave it alone. … Like many things in life, you need to devote and invest time on which to build your knowledge and skills (even an occasional 10-15 minute session can help). This chapter is very informative whichever server approach you adopt. As the tip advises – keep that admin password safe! Mercer’s task here must be helped I believe by the Drupal 6 install process. Even though not yet ‘automatic’ it has been greatly improved.

Chapter 3 sees us adding functionality to the newly created site. … – At this point David Mercer had me wondering: I’ve heard that a lot of people try Drupal and other CMSs and give up. If there were CMS exit questionnaires what would they reveal? A DHTML menu module is used as a module example and needing to find this again it is there in the comprehensive index. Blocks and menus take some getting used to, well for me anyway. It is not necessarily that they are very complex – they are just cussed on 1st, 2nd, even 3rd acquaintance. If you forget to activate a block, a menu will not show. There are graphic handles for drag-and-drop operations within menus, which helped me to finally grasp things. Mercer’s advice to check through the modules that are acquirable for your version is well worth the effort. Yes, the number of modules can be overwhelming, but the diversity and scope wage a reason to forge on and there’s more to follow.

Chapter 4 looks at the most general settings that all Drupal administrators need to contend with. … – This chapter could be titled ‘chicken or egg’, since you need to comprehend the functionality of Drupal in order to commit to developing your site. There are a lot of options for site configuration and again it’s good advice to take the time and check out the acquirable settings, displayed here in photos with descriptions. Try to appreciate primeval on the role of clean urls (and path aliases p.325); using two browser windows can help too.

Chapter 5 concerns itself with the topic of access control. … – This chapter I will certainly be re-reading. It has prompted me to realise that for my new site a forum is vital. Even though I’ve some static content to archive, this would be a waste of Drupal’s power. Here roles are covered, with emphasis on planning and creating an access policy p.116. Throughout the book you are reminded about only giving users the permissions they need to perform task x, y or z and NO more. Mercer points out that what roles you have and what your site can ‘deliver’ overall is also dependent on administration. Are you a one-admin band or will you have some help? It is always difficult to expect the future, hence the need to plan an access foundation upon which you can build.

Chapter 6 gets to the heart of the matter by beginning the book’s coverage on content. … – This chapter sheds light blog entries, book pages, forum topics and pages with these content types just the beginning. The learning here is not just the ‘what’, but ‘how’ to administer content, plus distinguishing (or not) between nodes and content. When you are working on your site and styles remember the ‘input format’ section of this chapter – again really useful. I wondered why my drop capitals and plateau effects were not showing. It was just that some HTML tags were not granted through the filter.

Throughout the book the work flow approach helps instill confidence by hand-holding step-by-step and yet also encouraging you to experiment alone. Another insight for me here is the wider potential of Drupal’s RSS aggregator. You also realise how swift the publishing turn-around is these days, with the photos of the feed aggregator are dated 02/05/2008. p.166. I have in mind a collaborative book on Hodges’ model, so the five pages devoted to the book content type evidenced essential reading. There are graphic handles for drag-and-drop operations within books, in addition to the menus as mentioned previously.

Chapter 7 gives you the edge when it comes to creating engaging and dynamic content. While this chapter doesn’t require you to be an expert in HTML, PHP, and CSS it does introduce you to the basics and shows how, with a tiny knowledge, extremely powerful and professional content can be created. … – There are some Drupal pearls here: taxonomy, the content construction kit (CCK) and HTML, PHP and content posting. There’s even a brief intro to HTML. Time also for considered reading with descriptions of terms, vocabularies, thesauri and related Drupal elements. With some awareness of clinical terminologies and having read this and other Drupal sources I wonder if I’m under estimating the power of Drupal?

The CCK section has me a tiny puzzled. My next task is to install CCK in Drupal 6.2 as Mercer recommends to see if it works. At the time of writing this review though the Drupal site says they are creating a preliminary, development version [of CCK] for D6 soon. As Mercer acknowledges the CCK is dependent on another module called Views, which is still not yet ready for version 6. In a way something like this is to be expected of a book that is first off the blocks. Mercer still sets the CCK up nicely though, as I’m tantalised by the possibilities, especially when combined with Views as I saw demonstrated at the NW England Drupal individual group.

Chapter 8 gives you a run down of how attractive, functional interfaces are created in Drupal through the use of themes. … – Time to get the hands dirty; first though as with the modules I’ve followed Mercer’s advice and checked through the acquirable themes. You could be excused for believing it is a waste of time poring over all the themes (although not that many are acquirable for D6 as yet). On the other hand let physics work for you and (like me) you will gravitate towards a couple of themes. If bones are essential for structure, support and locomotion, then chapters 8 & 9 wage the meat of the book and Drupal.

Chapter 9 really adds the freezing on the block by looking at a host of more advanced topics. From dynamic and responsive content using JavaScript and native jQuery support to supporting opened and implementing actions and triggers, you learn to enhance your website and add that something special. … – I blame Mercer 4.7 (plus some exciting demos) for prompting me to invest in a specific jQuery book. (The individual group directed me to another seminal Drupal book – the ‘Pro’ title.) jQuery accounts for a brief but very effective five pages, that I hope to incorporate into my test site efforts very soon. Drupal 6 has seen a major emphasis on internationalization and localisation. This is very welcome functionality for me, that Mercer serves over about 15 pages. My new website must be global in reach, Drupal can deliver and Mercer shows the way. Translation files are still in the future for this Drupal student, but for languages, cacheing, throttling and performance I know were to go for help. OPENID could be a real scoop for individual uptake and is covered in just over four pages and begs further investigation. The book is peppered throughout with urls and tips for more resources and reading.

Chapter 10 takes a pragmatic look at the type of tasks in which you will need to be proficient in order to successfully run and maintain a Drupal site. … – Having backed up the database and run cron jobs manually, there is one major thing that I’ve still to do and that is the non-trivial task of upgrading. The single appendix deals with deployment.

I’ve a lot yet to establish in terms of learning Drupal and demonstrating proficiency (a deployed website would help!). I’m convinced though that Mr Mercer is helping me move forward with this latest very instructive Drupal book. Significantly there is quite a team behind this title. I wholly endorse this summary from the Packt site:

Written in the same style as the original Drupal title, this book is a pragmatic look at the steps necessary to get a website up and running. Drawing on years of writing experience, David Mercer utilizes a friendly, engaging style that is both clear and concise – perfect for the Drupal newbie.

For more information, please visit www.PacktPub.com/drupal-6-create-powerful-websites/book

David Mercer was born in August 1976 in Harare, Zimbabwe. Having always had a strong interest in science, David came into regular contact with personal at university where he graduated cum laude with majors in applied math and math (although he minored in personal science).


As a programmer and professional writer who has been writing both code and books for about nine years, he has worked on a number of well known titles, in various capacities, on a wide variety of topics. His books have sold tens of thousands of duplicates and have been translated into over 6 different languages to date.


David finds that the challenges arising from the dichotomous relationship between the science (and art) of software programming and the art (and science) of writing is what keeps his interest in producing books piqued. He will no doubt continue to write professionally in the future.


David balances his time between programming, reviewing, writing, and contributing to interesting web-based projects such as RankTracer and LinkDoozer. When he isn’t working (which isn’t that often) he enjoys playing guitar (generally on stage and unrehearsed) and getting involved in outdoor activities ranging from touch rugby and golf to water skiing and snowboarding. Visit RankTracer or find him on LinkDoozer where he is generally lurking.

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