Video: Adding forumsOne 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.
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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 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.
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Drupal 6 Essential Training .
Here are the FAQs that matched your search "" :
- 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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