Using Drupal
Choosing and Configuring Modules to Build Dynamic Websites
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: December 2008
Pages: 494

With the recipes in this book, you can take full advantage of the vast collection of community-contributed modules that make the Drupal web framework useful and unique. You'll get the information you need about how to combine modules in interesting ways (with a minimum of code-wrangling) to develop a variety of community-driven websites. Each chapter describes a case study and outlines specific requirements for one of several projects included in the book -- a wiki, publishing workflow site, photo gallery, product review site, online store, user group site, and more. With Using Drupal, you will:

  • Get an overview of Drupal concepts and key modules introduced in each chapter, with a bird's-eye view of each module's specialty and how it works
  • Explore various solutions within Drupal that meet the requirements for the project, with details about which modules are selected and why
  • Learn how to configure modules, with step-by-step recipes for building the precise functionality the project requires
  • Get information on additional modules that will make the project even more powerful
  • Be able to access the modules used in the chapter, along with other resources

Newcomers will find a thorough introduction to the framework, while experienced Drupal developers will learn best practices for building powerful websites. With Using Drupal, you'll find concrete and creative solutions for developing the exact community website you have in mind.

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oreillyUsing Drupal
 
4.3

(based on 7 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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    (5)

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80%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Concise (4)
  • Easy to understand (4)
  • Helpful examples (4)
  • Accurate (3)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (5)
    • Novice (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Developer (4), Designer (3)

    Reviewed by 7 customers

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    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    BEST DRUPAL FOR FIRST TIME LEARNER.

    By Sheetal

    from India

    About Me Developer

    Pros

    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples

    Cons

    • Too basic

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Using Drupal:

    Thisthe best book for learner who just start to explore Dripal. Examples are quite good. Try to coplete one chapter at a time and implement it. This is the best practice for this book.

    (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Helps you get your head around it.

    By lightscapes

    from Tacoma, WA

    About Me Developer, Educator

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice

      Comments about oreilly Using Drupal:

      Drupal is a fast-moving target, so writing a book about it is especially challenging. These authors know what they are doing, as they are all long time Drupal jockeys, deeply involved with core development, the Drupal community, and with Drupal education. With six different authors, it's refreshing that they have been able to combine their points of view into such a well-integrated publication.

      Content structure is what Drupal is all about, and the authors have also structured their book's content to make it easily accessible. After the first chapter, each is presented with the same sectional structure, beginning with a case study, a common real-world problem that Drupal might be asked to solve. This structure next leads to alternative implementation strategies, then focuses on the features of recommended modules. In their "Hands-on" section, the authors next show how to configure the modules. The chapters, each on a different case study, end with references to other modules that might further enhance functionality. Each chapter ends with a summation, including links to the modules discussed. In the course of describing solutions to the problems introduced by the case studies, the authors take the reader (with little redundancy) through many general aspects of planning and implementing a Drupal site.

      The authors' choice of case studies makes the book particularly valuable, as they cover a range of very common content management situations, including: a job posting board, product reviews, a wiki, managing publishing workflow, a photo gallery, multilingual sites, event management, and an online store.

      Site functionality is the focus of most of the book, but the last chapter addresses more the topic of presentation, in Drupal-speak, Theming. This chapter requires some knowledge of CSS, HTML and PHP to fully understand how to modify existing themes (of which there are many). There is reference to where you can learn more about these topics, as well as some code that you can copy, but the authors do not attempt to write a primer on web coding.

      Before the index, the book ends with three Appendices. The first addresses Drupal installation and maintenance. The second gives advice on choosing and evaluating modules that you might want to use for your own purpose. Since many modules are contributed by users in the Drupal community, coding quality, bug fixes, etc. can vary considerably, and the user is well-advised to apply "due diligence" as introduced in this appendix. The third appendix is a list of modules and themes used in the book, along with where to get them and their source code.

      Using Drupal is targeted at readers "somewhere between total newbie and computer science professor", and is a surprisingly accessible practical introduction to Drupal as a platform. The writing style is succinct but easy to read, without the cutesy fluff so often found in how-to technical writing for the masses. The presentation reflects the authors' continuing involvement in Drupal education and in the growing Drupal community.

      I used a library copy extensively for a project and recently got my own reviewer's copy through a club I belong to.

      (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Exactly what I was looking for.

      By Techie

      from Oakland

      About Me Designer, Maker

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly Using Drupal:

        The book was on target and a very easy read.

        I will be looking for other books by these people.

        (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        Useful but error filled & poorly edited

        By Frustrated

        from Calgary, AB

        About Me Designer, Developer, Sys Admin

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

          Cons

          • Not comprehensive enough
          • Too many errors

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate

          Comments about oreilly Using Drupal:

          Overall the printed version of the book is useful for wading your way through the intricacies and countless number of plug-ins offered in Drupal. However I have to add this caveat, the book lacks cohesion and tends to ramble back and forth and gives the impression that it was written on the fly as each author worked their way through whatever section they were charged with. This writing style and lack of decent editing makes the book extremely difficult to follow. Coupled with omissions in work flow, poor and unclear grammar, and lack of decent descriptions makes it a difficult read.

          (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          This book delivers

          By Delia

          from Charlottesville, VA

          About Me Designer, Developer, Educator

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Concise
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Expert
            • Intermediate
            • Novice

            Comments about oreilly Using Drupal:

            The preface specifies who this book is written for and then it just delivers. If you are a newbie to Drupal but with some developer or web background, then you can learn from it. Want to know what Drupal is about but have no interest in getting hands on? Want to start working with Drupal? Want to expand your present knowledge of Drupal? This is the book for you.

            The authors not only cover Drupal, its abilities and how to use it, but they also recommend modules and describe how to install and use them. They also regularly and appropriately add in interesting tips and tidbits to expand the basic message.

            The writing is clear and concise, the information is arranged in easily digested segments and finding information after reading is possible. Between its chapter descriptions and the index, I can find the information I need, something that isn't always easy in technical books.

            Keep it around as your Drupal bible!

            (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            A must-have for Drupal users!

            By dibbd

            from Undisclosed

            Comments about oreilly Using Drupal:

            I had Drupal installed for a few weeks before buying this book, and even going through online tutorials and the Drupal forum, I had a tough time "getting it".

            After reading Chapters 1 and 2, learning the very basics, it started making sense.

            I jumped to Chapter 10 and successfully got Ubercart installed and setup. Could NOT have done this at all without this book.

            Now I'm back to Chapter 3, learning CCK and Views, and wow, that is SUPER COOL. Next I'll be at Chapter 7 learning the photo gallery.

            Those chapters alone are enough for me, but I'll probably go through the others later.

            I will say that the "Using Drupal" forum seems a bit dead, I've posted a few things there and gotten no replies. I figured with six book authors at least one of them or other users would be hanging out in the forum some.

            (1 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Good book... a piece missing

            By Fabio Alessandro Locati

            from Undisclosed

            Comments about oreilly Using Drupal:

            This is a very good book... the only piece that is missing is about how to create a forum. There are a lot of ways and I thought that O'Reilly, at least, have spoken about one... it hasn't. Well, is still a good book, and great if you don't need a forum ;)

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