Video: Adding blogsOne of the most popular features of social online media is the ability to easily keep journals, commonly known as Blogs. By default, Drupal installs software that allows every registered member of your site to maintain a Blog and presents those Blogs in a convenient and familiar way. As you are site's Administrator, you have complete control over which members, if any, may keep Blogs and you might decide to only allow yourself that privilege, but first, you have to turn on the blogging module. To do so you go to Administer and Modules.
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Drupal is a free, open-source content management system (CMS) for a variety of platforms. It has a robust user community and easy-to-use administration features. Drupal Essential Training covers all the important aspects of installing, configuring, customizing, and maintaining a Drupal-powered website. Instructor Tom Geller explores blogs, discussion forums, member profiles, and other features while demonstrating the steps required to make Drupal perform. He also teaches fundamental concepts and skills along the way, including installation, backups, and updates; security and permissions; flexible page layouts and CSS; menu navigation; and performance monitoring and disaster recovery. He also discusses how to select and install the community-supported modules that further expand Drupal's capabilities, and gives experienced PHP programmers tips on customizing page templates. Example files accompany the course.
- Understanding the inner workings of Drupal
- Creating stories, pages, blogs, forums, and polls
- Managing users and comments
- Setting and customizing themes
- Exchanging content via RSS
- Stopping comment spam with a CAPTCHA
- Launching a site and joining the Drupal community
One of the most popular features of social online media is the ability to easily keep journals, commonly known as Blogs. By default, Drupal installs software that allows every registered member of your site to maintain a Blog and presents those Blogs in a convenient and familiar way. As you are site's Administrator, you have complete control over which members, if any, may keep Blogs and you might decide to only allow yourself that privilege, but first, you have to turn on the blogging module. To do so you go to Administer and Modules.
Now, we've already turned it on, but if you haven't, you would make sure that this is clicked, so that it's checked, go down to the bottom of the page and say, Save Configuration. Once you have done that, there will be an additional type of content under Content types. To see that go to Administer and Content types and there you have it, Blog, but your job isn't done there, because you have to give permission to allow certain people on your Drupal site to create and edit their Blogs. To do so, go to Administer, and scroll down to Permissions.
Again, we have already done this, but if you want to allow everybody to keep a blog, you would check anonymous user. If you only wanted your members to create Blogs, you would check authenticated user. We also have an additional group called Contributing user. That's next to Create Blog Entries, we however not given them permission to delete their own blog entries or edit their blog entries. In other words, once they have started them, they have to keep them. I am going to give Contributing users that additional ability to edit their own blog entries. Whatever changes you decide to make, go down to the bottom of the page, and click Save permissions.
So, now we've allowed certain users to create and edit their blogs. I am going to switch to one such user. The one we have logged in, on the separate browser called Firefox and that user's name is Fishyjoe. Fishyjoe clicks on Create content and then Blog Entry and let's just add an entry here; how about, "I've decided to take the plunge. I'm going to buy some underwater property. Does anyone have tips to help me?" And we will go down to the bottom here and click on Save, that's very much like creating a story, or page, or any other Content type.
By default, all Blog posts go to the front page and if we click on the icon here, we will go to our front page, scroll down and since these are kept in reverse chronological order; it will be at the top. Also, Blogs allow Comments, you can comment directly by clicking on Add new comment or if we go back to that page by clicking on the Back button we can click on the Title of the Blog and see the entire Blog and then say, Add New Comment. You will also notice an additional link here, which will give us a list of all of the posts that Fishy Joe has made in his Blog, let's take a look at that.
We had earlier added one Blog post, " Can you help me find the lender?" So, here we have the most recent one at top and then again in reverse chronological order, the next one. If you want to see everybody's blog, you could just say localhost or whatever your website is, localhost/blog and that gives you everybody's Blog at once. Since, Fishy Joe is the only person who has created Blog post, that's all that shows up on this page. Of course, you could create a menu that would go directly to this page and we'll show how to that in the video about menus.
Blogs are a great way to get people involved in your site, but there is a downside, they get people involved in your site in unregulated ways that could go against your interests. So they are best, if you either limit blogging to those site members who you can trust, such as employees of a company or for community sites where you are not trying to enforce a particular point of view.
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Drupal 6 Essential Training .
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- Q: While following along to the installation instructions in the “Installing WAMP and Drupal on Windows” chapter in the Drupal Essential Training title, an error occurs when attempting to open the local host page. Nothing appears except for an error reading “WAMPSERVER server offline.” What is causing this?
- A: There is a known problem with some versions of WAMP that include a version of PHP (5.3) that some versions of Drupal is not compatible with. See http://tomgeller.com/content/tips-running-drupal-windows-using-wamp#comment-831 for more information.
If that is not causing the issue, reference the tips at http://tomgeller.com/content/tips-running-drupal-windows-using-wamp.
If you don't see the solution at either of those links, try using another AMP stack, such as XAMPP or the Acquia stack installer. See http://tomgeller.com/content/what-hells-wrong-drupal-wamp for discussion about these.
- Q: After installing XAMPP and running Drupal for the first time, the Administration menu does not appear. What is the reason for this?
- A: There are several possible problems. Here are some likely solutions. (These may also solve problems encountered with other AMP stacks.)
- Increase XAMPP's PHP allocation.
- Check to make sure all XAMPP's paths are correct and that permissions are correct. If the database information appears, but not Drupal's supporting files, and an included theme is being used, the supporting files will be in the /modules folder.
- Another solution is to not use WAMP or XAMPP. One option is to use Acquia's Drupal Stack Installer ("DAMP"), which can be found at http://www.acquia.com/downloads. However, that installs Acquia Drupal, which is a version of "normal" Drupal extended with additional modules. If only core Drupal is desired, see the instructions at http://acquia.com/blog/kieran/try-drupal-7-alpha-your-laptop-or-desktop. (The instructions are for Drupal 7, but will work for Drupal 6 as well.)
- Q: In the "Using the example files" movie, the method of importing information to the database is shown, using the backup in Chapter 10. When attempting to do this, the following error is shown: "No data was received to import. Either no file name was submitted, or the file size exceeded the maximum size permitted by your PHP configuration. See FAQ 1.16." The system is running the latest versions of Apache, PhP and MySQL, on Windows Vista. What could be causing the problem?
- A: This is probably caused because your AMP stack allocates too little memory to PHP.
That's especially true if you're using WAMP, which only gives PHP 2MB of memory, when it really needs at least 16MB.You'll see the issue if you go to the MySQL-controlling phpMyAdmin screen (probably at http://localhost/phpMyAdmin) and click "Import": The maximum file size allowed is 2,048K. That's only 2MB, and the databases for most Drupal sites are much larger than that. (The example site for Drupal Essential Training gets as big as 5MB.) The video "Installing WAMP and Drupal on Windows" shows (at around 3:30) where the php.ini file is, but here are some more-complete instructions to increase that memory limit.
- Click the WAMP icon in your system tray.
- Select "PHP". In the side menu, select "php.ini" to open a file containing PHP's configuration options.
- Search for the line, "upload_max_filesize = 2M".
- Change it to "upload_max_filesize = 32M" (or whatever you like).
- Save the file and restart WAMP. (Better yet, restart your computer entirely to be sure. I'm frankly not sure whether it makes a difference.)
- Now go back to that "Import" screen in phpMyAdmin: You should notice that the limit has changed.
- Q: I don't remember the default username and password used demonstrate Drupal.
- A: The default username used in the course is "admin"; the default password is "booth".
- Q: How can I change Drupal's administrative username and password?
- A: If for some reason the default exercise file username (admin) and password (booth) don't work, you can change them in the database itself using phpMyAdmin. (This technique is demonstrated in a video from Chapter 8, "Recovering from disasters".)
- Open your Drupal database with phpMyAdmin.
- Go to the "users" table. Click the Browse icon.
- For the row where uid = 1, click the Edit icon. (Note the value under the "Name" column: That's the administrator's username.)
- In the "pass" row, select "MD5" under the "Function" column
- In the same row, enter your new password under the "Value" column.
- At the bottom of the screen, click the "Go" button. You should now be able to log in with that username and new password.
- Q: In Windows Vista, the WAMP icon disappears from the system tray after a certain amount of time. How do I get it to reappear?
- A: To make the WAMP icon reappear (so that you can access localhost, phpmyadmin, php.ini, etc.), you have to activate the "start WAMP server" icon (from start menu, desktop or wherever). The system tray icon will reappear.
- Q: My .htaccess file disappeared. What caused this?
- A: A few times during the Drupal Essential Training video series, the instructor says to copy a Drupal installation by selecting all the files in the folder and then "dragging and dropping" them, either to a server or another location on your local computer. This is not the best way to do so, as the hidden file ".htaccess" will not be copied.
There are two ways to get around that problem:
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- When installing Drupal for the first time: Instead of copying files from the Drupal folder, move the entire folder to its target location and rename it. This is the easiest solution for those without experience with Unix.
- Use the command-line interface to copy the .htaccess file.
- Q: In the video, the instructor says the current version of Drupal is 6.3, but on the drupal.org site, the latest version is 6.17. Which is the newer version of Drupal?
- A: Drupal 6.17 is newer than version 6.3. For some reason, the the version numbers go 6.3, 6.4... 6.9, 6.10... 6.17. It’s counter-intuitive, but that’s the order.
- Q: My WAMP phpMyadmin will not allow me to upload the exercise files. It returns this message: "No data was received to import. Either no file name was submitted, or the file size exceeded the maximum size permitted by your PHP configuration. See FAQ 1.16." There was no previous database to drop, so what do I need to do to make this work?
- A: This is a common problem, caused not by Drupal, but by WAMP. WAMP only allows you to upload files of 2MB or smaller, which is much too small. The solution is detailed at http://tomgeller.com/cant-import-a-drupal-site-in-windows.
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