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Drupal 7 New Features

Finding commands


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Drupal 7 New Features

with Tom Geller

Video: Finding commands

Some of Drupal 7's changes only affected the text. That is what things are called, rather than the more obvious graphical and code changes. These text changes are subtle, but they can make a difference in perception, especially for people who're using Drupal for the first time. For example, what used to be called Users are now called People and what used to be called Themes is now called Appearance. On top of these text changes, there were a lot of organizational changes. Links moved from one part of Drupal's administrative interface to another.

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Drupal 7 New Features
2h 38m Intermediate Oct 07, 2010

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In Drupal 7 New Features, author Tom Geller demonstrates changes to the Drupal 7 administrative interface and other enhancements that have come out of its three-year development period. This course covers its simplified installation process, new themes that will help kick-start design projects, the customizable shortcut bar that puts often-used commands in easy reach, update procedures that leverage its browser-based interface, and a new way of defining fields to create complex content types without additional modules.

Topics include:
  • Configuring the new Dashboard
  • Using contextual link controls
  • Exploring new themes
  • Reviewing the new modules
  • Understanding the expanded block system
  • Using images in content
  • Allowing users to delete accounts
  • Testing modules with the Testing module
  • Building themes using Drupal Gardens
Subjects:
Web CMS
Software:
Drupal
Author:
Tom Geller

Finding commands

Some of Drupal 7's changes only affected the text. That is what things are called, rather than the more obvious graphical and code changes. These text changes are subtle, but they can make a difference in perception, especially for people who're using Drupal for the first time. For example, what used to be called Users are now called People and what used to be called Themes is now called Appearance. On top of these text changes, there were a lot of organizational changes. Links moved from one part of Drupal's administrative interface to another.

That make things easier for Drupal newbies, but can be confusing to old dogs like me. This video gives you an overview of all of those changes, and to show this off, I loaded up Drupal6 in another tab on this window, so you see it right here. Now in Drupal 6, when you wanted to administer anything, the first thing you did was click Administer and that gives you a list of all of the administrative commands. If you wanted to look at just one group of them, for example, Content Management, you could then click the submenu Content Management, which would show you just do things that are in that part of the Administer screen.

In Drupal 7, by contrast, we have the Dashboard. You click up here on Dashboard and you get this screen. I'll explain this in another video about the Dashboard, but one of the tabs here is called By Task, and this should look familiar to you if you're use to Drupal 6. Again, it has a bunch of different groups, Appearance, Content, Structure and so forth with several settings underneath them, very much like what you had in Drupal 6. Now when you compare the two screens, you'll see that the way they're grouped isn't the same. Drupal 7 has a lot more groups for one thing.

You have Content, Structure, Appearance, People, Modules, Configuration and so forth. Also, you'll notice that each one of those groups has fewer links and a lot of things have moved around. Let's go over some of those changes. First, there's a big structural change. In Drupal 6 when you clicked on any of these Content, Management, Site Building, any of the groups, all that you got was a list of different links underneath it. In Drupal 7, sometimes you'll get a list of links underneath it. For example, when you click on structure, or if I go back a screen, you might actually get something that you could use right away.

Like when you click on Appearance. See then we get our Theme screen right away. Let's go back to our Dashboard By Task screen again. You'll also notice when I click on Appearance, there are two things underneath it, Update and Settings. Those who have turned into tabs on the Appearance page, see there is Update and Settings, and you get to exactly the same place whether you click first Appearance and then the tab, or if you just click directly on Update. Now let's go through all of these categories that we had. We'll go back to our Dashboard By Task again, and the first one is obviously Dashboard.

That takes you here. Nothing really to say about that. The second thing I want to go over is Help, but before I do that, you'll notice that Dashboard, Content, Structure, Appearance, all of these things that are listed up here on the toolbar, these are the same categories here, Dashboard, Content, Appearance, Structure and so forth. You can use either one, and in fact, I found myself almost never going to the Dashboard in Drupal 7. I just use these links in the toolbar. There is one link that doesn't show up in the Dashboard though, which is the Help link, and there is not much to say about this. It's exactly the same between Drupal 7 and Drupal 6.

For the other administrative categories, it's easiest to summarize them using charts, because there's an awful lot of them. I am just going to go through them quickly, but you might want to use these charts for reference if you're used to using Drupal 6 and can't find where something is in Drupal 7. Also, I am going to go through these from the point of view of Drupal 6. So first I'll go through Content Management and explain where to find the command for Comments and Content and Content Types and so forth. In the Content Management area, we had Comments, Content, Content Type, Post Settings and so forth.

This is where they have all gone in Drupal 7. Content is now its own category and Comments is a sub-tab underneath that. Content Type and Taxonomy have both been put under the Structure Group. Then we come to Post Settings, which is unusual because it's actually been split into several different areas. Some of it is in Site Informatio, and then Rebuild Permissions, which was formerly on that Post Settings page, is now in Status Report. RSS Publishing is now in its own group, Web Services. And I am just going to switch back to Drupal 7 very quickly so you can see that Content, Structure, and RSS Publishing area.

Going back to Drupal 7, we have Content and Structure and then that Web Services part is actually under Configuration, Web services, and there is our RSS Publishing. Continuing on inside Configuration, this has gone from 12 items to 18 items in nine categories and it's such a big thing that I have actually put all of that Configuration bit into a separate video later on in this course. In User Management, what's now called People, many of the things ended up under that People screen, but actually are made much easier to understand: Access, Rules, Permissions, Roles, User Settings and Users.

I want to talk about three of those in particular, Permissions, Roles and Users. In Drupal 6 this was all under User Management. You had to go to different screens for Permissions, Roles and Users. In Drupal 7, if you click on People, you get all of that at once. You have People and it just immediately tells you who is on your site. And then when you click on Permissions, you get a sort of sub-sub-tab here, which gives you Roles. I think this is very intelligent, because Permissions are really very closely tied to Roles, and that's something that was never acknowledged in Drupal 6 and made much clearer in Drupal 7.

Going on, we have Reports, which really have stayed pretty much the same between Drupal 6 and Drupal 7. If we take a look at the two, click on Drupal 6 and go to Reports, we have a list of Recent Log Entries and so forth. In Drupal 7 when we click on Reports, again it's pretty much the same. And that takes us to the end of the differences between the menus in Drupal 6 and Drupal 7. As you could see the biggest changes are inside Configuration, which will go into in a separate video. The process of going from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 has been extremely complicated and there have been many changes along the way.

I tried to track them all, because I was busy writing a book on it and as I'd write something about one change it would change again and then again, and it was a very tumultuous time, but to tell you the truth, I think it turned out pretty well.

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