Darren Huckey on Drupal


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These are the notes from Darren Huckey's presentation on Drupal at our last Refresh meeting.

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  • Advanced URL Control - The slide (#3) starts by saying ’Unlike WordPress’ which is why I am commenting. Yes Drupal allows you to control the URL for each item of content, but more importantly it REQUIRES you to manage the URL for each item of content, and that ends up being a nightmare in many cases. Yes there are Drupal modules that attempt to address this issue by putting a default value into the URL field but then you can’t be sure which URLs were manually entered and which were automatically entered thus turning a large site into a cluster-mess. In WordPress you get much more intelligent routing AND you can bypass the default URL routing using hooks and handle it however you like. Or you can do it similar to Drupal although better using this plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/custom-permalinks/ (defaults to standard WordPress URL template based routing but allows you to override vs. always using and requiring maintenance of the Drupal URL field.) Lastly, I’m building a module called Sunrise URLs in 2012 that will allow even more full control over WordPress’ URLs.
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Darren Huckey on Drupal

  1. 1. DRUPAL: Your New Best Friend
  2. 2. Why Drupal? • MTV UK (www.mtv.co.uk) • • NASA (www.nasa.gov) Recovery (www.recovery.gov) • • Playstation Asia United Nations (asia.playstation.com) (endpoverty2015.org) • • Flock Browser (flock.com) Warner Bros Records (www.warnerbrosrecords.com) • Greenpeace • UK(www.greenpeace.org.uk) Discovery Channel DE (www.discoveryclub.de) • Ubuntu (www.ubuntu.com) • The Greatful Dead • The Onion (www.theonion.com) (thegreatfuldead.net) • Popular Science • AOL (dev.aol.com) (www.popsci.com) • Yahoo (research.yahoo.com) • Lifetime (www.mylifetime.com) • Lime.com • Amnesty International (http:// • www.amnesty.org) The New York Observer (observer.com) • The Harvard Voice (www.thehvoice.com)
  3. 3. Why Drupal? • Advanced URL Control — Unlike WordPress, Drupal gives you precise control over URL structure. Each item of content in Drupal (called a node) can be given a custom URL (called a URL alias). In WordPress you are generally limited to one type of permalink URL for all posts. You can override the quot;post slugquot;, but it's much less precise than Drupal's URL aliases. You can also automate custom URL structures for each different content type with the Pathauto Module. The Global Redirect Module will automatically 301 redirect the internal Drupal URL to the custom URL alias. Unlike many other content management systems, Drupal's content pages have nice clean URLs. 1
  4. 4. Why Drupal? • Custom Content Types and Views — You can use the Content Construction Kit (CCK) and Views Modules to create new content types and create advanced custom views for them without writing any code. A few examples of quot;content typesquot; are quot;blog postsquot;, quot;news storiesquot;, quot;forum postsquot;, quot;tutorialsquot;, quot;classified adsquot;, quot;podcastsquot;. You can create as many custom content types as you would like and display them in many different ways. Most content management systems would require writing code to accomplish these tasks, but there is no programming knowledge required to do them in Drupal. 2
  5. 5. Why Drupal? • Revision Control — You can configure Drupal to save a new version of your pages every time they are editing. That means that you can go back to view or revert old revisions if you want. 3
  6. 6. Why Drupal? • Taxonomy — Drupal has a powerful taxonomy (category) system that allows you to organize and tag content. Each Drupal quot;vocabularyquot; (set of categories) can be limited to certain content types. For example, you could have blog contents that allowed free tagging (similar to WordPress categories), while your news section might have a different vocabulary (set of categories) that could only be selected from an existing list of categories. You can also have hierarchical categories, with single or multiple parent categories. Drupal's advanced taxonomy features, combined with CCK and Views, allows you to easily target all of those long-tail keywords that you researched in Wordtracker. 4
  7. 7. Why Drupal? • User Management — Drupal was designed for community-based Web sites and has strong user role and access control functionality. You can create as many custom user roles with custom access levels as you need. For example you could create the following roles, each with different levels of access to your features: quot;anonymous visitorquot;, quot;authenticated userquot;, quot;moderatorquot;, quot;editorquot;, quot;webmasterquot;, quot;adminquot;. You can keep the advanced user management features (like multiple blogs) turned off if you don't want them, enabling them later if your site grows to a point where you would like to add more community features. 5
  8. 8. Why Drupal? • Page Titles & Meta Tags — Drupal's Page Title Module gives you custom control of your HTML <title> elements, while the Meta Tags Module gives you control over your pages' individual meta description tags. This is difficult in some content management systems, but it's easy with Drupal. 6
  9. 9. Why Drupal? • Excellent Documentation — Documentation includes the official handbooks, the massive API Reference, numerous tutorials, blogs, videos, and podcasts, and the excellent new book Pro Drupal Development. There is even a Drupal Dojo community where you can learn how to become a Drupal ninja. 7
  10. 10. Why Drupal? • PHP Template — Drupal uses the PHP Template theme engine by default. Theming in Drupal is easier than theming in WordPress and doesn't necessarily require any PHP knowledge. Drupal's Theme Developer Guide is a great resource. I also recommend reading Chapter 8 in Pro Drupal Development. 8
  11. 11. Why Drupal? • Drupal Cookbooks — If you want a feature that is not built into Drupal by default, chances are that someone has already written a code snippet for it and posted it in the code snippets section of Drupal.org. 9
  12. 12. Why Drupal? • Large & Friendly Community — With so many major sites using Drupal, it's not going away soon. For an idea of the size of the developer community, take a look at the long list of community-contributed modules. The Drupal forum is highly active and are a great place to get your Drupal questions answered. You can also find Drupal support on IRC chat on channels #drupal- support and #drupal-dojo. To meet other Drupal users in your area, visit Drupal Groups. 10