Drupal Articles

Introducing telecommunity.us

Three of you might have noticed that my blogging has been light. I'm not dead, though (though arguably, working 12 hours a day on drupal sites is a death-like experience). Anyhow, one project of mine, and Gene Crick's is beginning to take shape. I'd like to introduce telecommunity.us.

Though we're by no means "launched", we've nevertheless already received a lot of queries about it. If you're curious as to what it's all about, I think a good place to start is my boss/mentor's article in Community Technology Review.

2005: The Year Drupal Exploded

At present, Google can find 54,700 Drupal sites on the internet.

Drupal alexa rank has increased 600%+ in last year

Drupal node count has increased 290% in the past year

The Return to Civicspace

Civicspace Logo

I've put Nick Lewis:The Blog back on the official Civicspace fork. The product has come a long way since I first started using it last November. Civicspace and Drupal are both at a tipping point -- this Saturday, I'll be making the case for Civicspace at Penguin Day in San Antonio. I plan on being rather frank: if you invest in any other platform, you are making a bad investment, and you'll end up moving to Civicspace later anyways. More on why later... I need to get this site up and running again.

A Practical Tutorial on Getting Started with Drupal CVS

Some time ago, I attempted to figure out how to use Drupal's CVS. Going through their guide, I found this "guide". As scanned through the guide and gave up. I think I'm not the only one who gave up early on. The documentation was riddled with some of the most magnificently obtuse writing I've ever seen. Take for example:

Transparent copies include plain ASCII without markup, Texinfo input format, LaTeX input format, SGML or XML using a publicly available DTD, and standard−conforming simple HTML designed for human modification.

In short, that's why I'm writing this. CVS is a piece of cake. (warning... not destroying your installs is a whole nuther' ballgame... do not "experiment" on live sites.) Pay attention, this is easier than you think:

Success through Shear Stupidity

One of those weeks. Already clocked 30 hours of work straight work. My skin is turning pale from lack of sunlight, and a combination of constant eye strain, caffiene, and lack of sleep has resulted in me looking like I have too black eyes. And yet, I can't help but admit: I love my job.

Its funny to think that I've only been aware of drupal for a year, and yet it is already paying my bills. Getting to the point where those bills got payed was not easy; and I don't recommend going into this field if you need little security blankets like "money to pay rent", or "enough income to eat a healthy diet". Admittedly, a great deal of the reason it was such a difficult year was that I started with absolutely no background in web development. In many ways, the plight was like that of a college student who both takes on a fulltime load at school, and has a fulltime job to pay rent. You are required to do two exhausting tasks: learn new concepts, and earn money to live.

A Taxonomy Menu That Goes to 11

Khalid Baheyeldin writes me asking:

Do you have your own version of taxonomy_menu? I used it in the past, but did not like it because it is an obscure item in the navigation menu. So, I am wondering how you configured the "browse" block on your site?

Khalid is actually the developer behind the feedback.module and the sitemap.module. Those modules are highly recommended, btw.

Preface(for kicks)

Requirements: Civicspace 8.1+, or Drupal 4.5+ with the Taxonomy_Menu Module Installed

Drupal 4.7

...rocks my world.

A Practical Tutorial on Working with Nodes

Web Development:

Every Drupal user, at one time or another, has fantasized about having full control over their nodes (That was an odd sounding sentence wasn't it?). Well, fantasize no more, because at this early hour in the morning I will show you one damn useful trick.

node_load()

Let's say I wanted to include the body of a single node into multiple pages, and have the option of nesting those nodes into infinity. Such an include would not only have the advantage of displaying with perfect consistancy across multiple pages; most importantly, it would only need to be updated at one location. And let us also pretend that piece of content happened to be a quote by George Carlin.

Though the Carlin's quote has a path alias, its fairly easy to figure out that its node ID is 415. How do you find a node ID? Well its simple, silly. Usually you can just look at the URL of the node. The number is the node ID. (e.g. yoursite.com/node/666 = node id 666).

Armed with our node ID of 415, I am now able to load the noad.

<blockquote><?php
$MrNode = node_load(array("nid" => 415));
print $MrNode->body;?>
</blockquote>
<em>-<?php print $MrNode->title;?></em>

In line two, we load our node... in this case 415. $MrNode, the name for the node we loaded is actually an array of information. To print him properly, we must be more specific than simply "print $MrNode;". So in this case, we've printed $MrNode's body (i.e. $MrNode->body ). Finally, on line 4, we print the node's title within italics. Below, you see this beautiful code in action:

415)); print $MrNode->body; ?>
-- title;?>

Here is a link to the node which we are using. Cool, huh?

Six Apart "Ups the Ante" for Weblogging

"Ups the Ante..." ...that's pretty funny.

Six Apart, the proprieters of typepad, think that their upcoming blogging service, code named Project Comet, will revolutionize the platform. Their press release said it all:

Project Comet is creating technologies that will advance weblogging as we know it today, giving millions of people worldwide the ability to easily stake out, build and share their own distinctive place online.

Let's begin with "new technologies"...

Users will be able to create individual blogs and share sections of them with other users in an elegant and customizable way that has never been done before.

Hmmmmm..... Drupal does that. Or wait, its done that for over 3 years... So, where does one go from drupal's "a blog for every user, infinite categories for every blog, (and more content types beyond blogs)"? I suppose Six Apart is just saying that their's does it in a "elegant and customizable way that has never been done before." Just as I cry the elegant sentence: "Quick! Hide the fish-sticks in the ditch, and get your cain out! The sun will be up soon." -- which, most likely, was a sentence that has never been said before.

Why Xaneon Switched from Mambo to Drupal

Xaneon, a group of former hardcore Mambo developers explain why they switched from Mambo to Drupal:

Mambo has, for a long time, been ahead of competing CMS projects with regards to marketing. Mambo's public image is pretty, appealing and very marketable to management. Mambo has no doubt benefited from the sponsoring company and trademark owner Miro's advertising dollars in this regard.

...Now we come to the real meat of the matter. During our sojourn into the dark art known as Mambo SEF, we've necessarily become quite familiar with the internal workings of Mambo. To be candidly honest, it's not exactly impressive. Mambo is a very limiting design...

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