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Adding forums

From: Drupal 6 Essential Training

Video: Adding forums

One of the earliest functions the internet served when first developed 40 years ago was to permit conversations among likeminded people. Nowadays, one of the most popular venues for such conversations is the web-based bulletin board. Drupal includes functions that let you create such bulletin boards and control how your members use them. In Drupal we call them Forums. The first thing to do is to turn on Forums by going to Administer, Modules and Forums. We've already turned ours on, but you haven't, just make sure that this box is clicked, go down to the bottom of the page and click Save Configuration.

Adding forums

One of the earliest functions the internet served when first developed 40 years ago was to permit conversations among likeminded people. Nowadays, one of the most popular venues for such conversations is the web-based bulletin board. Drupal includes functions that let you create such bulletin boards and control how your members use them. In Drupal we call them Forums. The first thing to do is to turn on Forums by going to Administer, Modules and Forums. We've already turned ours on, but you haven't, just make sure that this box is clicked, go down to the bottom of the page and click Save Configuration.

As with blogs, this adds another content type, if you go to Create Content, you'll see Forum Topic. But before we go any further, we should talk about exactly what a forum is. A forum is first and foremost a place for threaded, open, multi-participant discussions. Historically speaking, these are extensions of mailing lists, bulletin board systems and the Usenet system of new stories. In Drupal, these are organized in a multilevel hierarchy. The hierarchy is as follows. First is the Forum module, which contains all of the forums. Inside that module there can be Containers, so for example, you might have a container called Cars which would have multiple forums for Scion, Toyota, Honda and so forth.

Inside each of those forums, individual users can enter topics. For example, "How do I get more mileage out of my Scion?" And finally to each of those topics, other users or the original user can enter comments such as, "Well, here's what you do to get more mileage." We'll see what this looks like when we start to build our forum. To see how this works, we're going to add a new forum that's going to be called Tips for underwater living. To do so, we go to Administer and Forums. As you can see, we've no containers or forums, we'll add a forum here and call that as I said, Tips for underwater living. We'll also enter a description, Help for those who are livin' la vida mojada! Or for those of you who don't speak Spanish, Living the wet life.

We're only going to have one forum at this point, but if you had more, you could set it up in a hierarchy, so to use our earlier example in the San forum, there might be a subcategory for XA owners, XP owners and so on down the different models. But for now, we're just going to ignore it and keep its parent at root. That is the basic place where all forums go. Weight as with other screens determines which one is listed first. We're going to leave it on 0 since we only have one and we click on Save. There we've create our first forum, I'm going to create one more forum called Buying property and I won't put in any description just to make it concise. I'll create one more called Selling property and again just save that.

If we want to see all of these, we go to our website/forum and we see a full list of all of our forums and as you can see, we've our description right here where is these two which don't have descriptions are just given by their titles. Let's go back though by going to Administer, Forums and let's set up a container. We'll add a container, which is going to be called Trading property. Again, we'll leave that at the root and save it. Now, we've this container and we can put buying and selling property into it by grabbing it by this arrow icon and dragging it down like so. Incidentally, you can also put forums as subgroups of forums like so by moving it in and out of the hierarchy. I'll click on Save and then we'll take a look at what exactly that looks like by going to /forum.

As you can see, categories show up here, but you can't actually post anything in them, there are only containers for holding other forums. So, we've these forums, but how exactly do we add information to them? First, if we want to make them available to all of our users, we're going to have to give the permissions as always. We go to Administer, scroll down to Permissions and then go down to the Forums module. The main permission that we want to give people is whether or not they can create forum topics. We'll give that to our authenticated user, incidentally we don't have to give it specifically to the contributing user because they're by their nature also an authenticated user. We're not going to allow anybody to delete or edit their forum topic, although of course you're welcome to do that if you like. We scroll down to the bottom of the page as usual and click Save permissions.

Now, let's switch to our ordinary user, fishyjoe. Now, fishyjoe can add something to the forums by going to Create Content, Forum Topic and then entering whatever information he wants, let's say Seeking equity partner and he could say, "I'm seeking a $20K equity partner for my property in Soggy Acres. Comment here for more information." Now, there's one other field that we don't see in other content types which is which forum do we want to put it in.

In this case, we'll put it into Selling property, but if you look at the list, you can see how the hierarchy is shown. Remember Trading property is a container, you can't post there, but it shows these subcategories, Buying property and Selling property. We'll put it in Selling property, if you were to try to post it in Trading property, let's see what happens. Scroll to the bottom and say Save, oh ! Tells you, you can't do it. So, now we'll go to Selling property, go down to the bottom, Save, terrific, we've created it. Let's go, take a look at it by going to directly to Forum and there it is, we see that we've one topic with one post. The other way he could have posted was by clicking on the forum itself and saying, Post new forum topic.

Let's say somebody else comes along and wants to read that. They go through here, click on the topic and then they can add a new comment if they want just as they could in other places in Drupal. But for now, we're just going to go back to our homepage. As with blogs, forums are a double-edged sword. On the one hand they can increase participation in your site, but on the other, they can result in some unpredictable and sometimes offensive content in places that you don't want it. If you decide to enable forums, I recommend that you budget ongoing time to monitor them to keep out not only flame wars, but also spam, regardless forums are well worth the time for increasing participation in your site.

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This video is part of

Image for Drupal 6 Essential Training
Drupal 6 Essential Training

66 video lessons · 31306 viewers

Tom Geller
Author

 
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  1. 4m 38s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the example files
      3m 48s
  2. 28m 55s
    1. Drupal is a CMS
      7m 43s
    2. Choosing Drupal
      5m 32s
    3. Checking Drupal's requirements
      4m 26s
    4. Understanding the inner workings of Drupal
      4m 35s
    5. Meeting the Drupal community
      6m 39s
  3. 11m 28s
    1. Learning key terms in Drupal
      5m 20s
    2. Touring Drupal's interface
      6m 8s
  4. 34m 35s
    1. Installing WAMP and Drupal on Windows
      9m 41s
    2. Installing MAMP
      4m 34s
    3. Setting up the database on a Mac
      2m 2s
    4. Downloading and installing Drupal on a Mac
      6m 37s
    5. Troubleshooting installation problems
      3m 49s
    6. Automating updates with cron
      7m 52s
  5. 25m 37s
    1. Setting up clean URLs
      5m 52s
    2. Backing up your Drupal site
      3m 31s
    3. Restoring your Drupal site from backup
      4m 19s
    4. Wiping your Drupal installation clean
      2m 7s
    5. Updating Drupal
      9m 48s
  6. 15m 37s
    1. Using the Administration menu
      6m 21s
    2. Setting site information
      4m 50s
    3. Setting the theme
      4m 26s
  7. 35m 8s
    1. Understanding security and permissions
      7m 2s
    2. Controlling site access with user management
      3m 39s
    3. Creating users
      7m 58s
    4. Setting user profiles
      9m 40s
    5. Creating contact forms
      6m 49s
  8. 19m 19s
    1. Creating your site's basic info pages
      7m 13s
    2. Understanding page layout
      5m 40s
    3. Creating a flexible layout with blocks
      6m 26s
  9. 15m 35s
    1. Monitoring performance
      4m 52s
    2. Recovering from disasters
      7m 37s
    3. Improving administration skills
      3m 6s
  10. 41m 3s
    1. Understanding nodes
      6m 50s
    2. Creating basic content: Stories and pages
      7m 9s
    3. Enabling other content types
      9m 22s
    4. Adding blogs
      3m 49s
    5. Adding forums
      6m 56s
    6. Adding polls
      6m 57s
  11. 34m 50s
    1. Exploring content categories
      7m 45s
    2. Exchanging content via RSS
      9m 47s
    3. Using input filters
      7m 41s
    4. Managing comments
      9m 37s
  12. 38m 5s
    1. Configuring your theme
      11m 27s
    2. Changing your theme's graphics
      4m 59s
    3. Finding and installing a new theme
      8m 56s
    4. Understanding Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
      5m 56s
    5. Deciphering CSS files
      6m 47s
  13. 22m 41s
    1. Finding modules
      6m 53s
    2. Unpacking and installing modules
      6m 30s
    3. Configuring modules
      3m 50s
    4. Implementing complex modules
      5m 28s
  14. 32m 12s
    1. Ensuring automated updates with poormanscron
      3m 11s
    2. Defining custom content types with CCK
      12m 54s
    3. Stopping spam using a CAPTCHA
      10m 43s
    4. Using a WYSIWYG text editor
      5m 24s
  15. 22m 18s
    1. Getting around with multilevel menus
      7m 26s
    2. Building custom menus
      5m 42s
    3. Creating easy-to-navigate books
      9m 10s
  16. 20m 19s
    1. Changing page templates with PHP
      8m 15s
    2. Using PHP in content
      5m 20s
    3. Implementing PHP snippets
      6m 44s
  17. 10m 15s
    1. Launching your site
      5m 52s
    2. Joining the Drupal community
      4m 23s
  18. 14s
    1. Goodbye
      14s

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