Getting around with multilevel menus
Video: Getting around with multilevel menusThey say that well organized person can be comfortable anywhere, even in hell. Along those lines a well-planned menu system makes a world of difference to the comfort of your site's visitors. Drupal comes with three built-in menus and allows you to create new ones. We will show you how. To change your menus, go up to Administer and Menus. As I mentioned Drupal comes with three menus built-in, Navigation that is the menu along this left hand side, Primary links which is the menu up here and Secondary links, which is another level that goes right near the Primary menus.
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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
Getting around with multilevel menus
They say that well organized person can be comfortable anywhere, even in hell. Along those lines a well-planned menu system makes a world of difference to the comfort of your site's visitors. Drupal comes with three built-in menus and allows you to create new ones. We will show you how. To change your menus, go up to Administer and Menus. As I mentioned Drupal comes with three menus built-in, Navigation that is the menu along this left hand side, Primary links which is the menu up here and Secondary links, which is another level that goes right near the Primary menus.
Menu links only appear if you have permissions to use the links. For example here is the Administrative user; we see this link called Administer. However the ordinary user fishyjoe does not. We can take a look at that by switching to Firefox where we have fishyjoe logged in. To change the programs we hold down the Command key and hit Tab on the Mac and you see there is no Administrative menu here. We will switch back to your Administrator now. Let us take a look at how these Menus are constructed by clicking on the Navigation link here. As you can see it is a hierarchical menu. So for example we have a link for Blogs and then inside it My blog. Now that particular link is disabled. We will be enabling it later, so you can see how that affects the Menus.
You can move these items around, so for example right now we have Feed aggregator underneath Create content, but let us see want to put it top. We will go down and find Feed aggregator, there it is and grab the little arrow icon and drag it above Create content like so. That little asterisk tells you that it would not take effect until you hit Save. We do that by going to the bottom of the page and clicking Save Configuration. There, now you see exactly as we expected Feed aggregator is above Create content, but what about the Blogs item here. We click on enabled if you we want to turn it on and scroll down to the bottom and save one more time. And now we see Blogs up here. You will notice that Blogs is different from My Account because has this little turned down triangle next to it. What that means as when you click on Blogs you can see an item underneath it.
But what if you always want to see that item underneath it? Let us go back to Administer and Menus and Navigation to affect that menu. This item here Expanded means it will always appear open so you can see its child items. We will click on Expanded, scroll to the bottom again and click Save Configuration. There now no matter where we are in the Menu we see My Blog underneath Blogs. Let us go and edit that menu item by clicking on edit under Operations. As it happens Blogs is one of the menu items that is built-in and in fact all of the items under Navigation are built-in since we have not added any of our own custom menu items. You can also tell a built-in item because you cannot change the path. It is hard coded in to Drupal.
However you can change other item such as its weight that is to say, where it appears in the hierarchy whether the top or bottom. Its description, which is text that appears when you hover over the link, and some other things, again Enabled and Expanded. You can also change its Parent item. If for example we wanted to put Blogs underneath My account, we would click on this drop-down menu, go down to My account and click on Save. We do not actually want to do that. So we are going to change that back to Navigation and click Save. While we have this hierarchical structure in the navigation menu we do not actually have the same thing in our Primary links.
Let us take a look at that. We will do that by going back to Administer Menus or just this little shortcut here Menus, then click on Primary links. Here we see the two items that we added earlier. Let us say that we wanted Contact us to be underneath About Us. What we would do as with other screens in Drupal where you can drag and move things about is grab that arrow icon move it inward a little bit, so it creates a hierarchy. Click on Save configuration and because we do not have a hierarchy in the Primary links, it simply disappears. You cannot reach it. We are going to move it back out again, so you can see it. The changes that you make here will affect all users.
So let us switch again to fishyjoe and take a look at what his menus look like. To do so we reload the page by going back to the Home Page and you could see now he has Blogs and My blog and of course clicking on those take you to the places that you expect. Let us switch back to the Administrative interface again. There is another place that you can enter items to put into Menus and that is when you create content. I will show you how to do that. Click on Create content and then let us say, a Blog entry. You have the Title and Blog post categories. Let us just create a very simple thing here. My thought about the recent election and we will have that under Lifestyle. And we would enter in the body whatever it is that we are going to enter there. But first let us take a look at Menu settings. We want this to be in a menu that is up at the top. That is why I think it is very important that is goes up here, but instead of being at the same level as Primary Menus we want it in the Secondary links.
So we will change this Parent item to secondary links and let us say election thoughts. We will leave the Weight alone for now. Go down to the bottom and click Save. Now we have our Election thoughts link right up here and clicking on it goes to the page as we expected to. I am going to go back and edit that up. We can edit any menu item by going back to Administer and Menus. That one since it is in the Secondary links will be under here and then of course it is easy to edit or delete by clicking there.
As with everything else on Drupal it asks us to confirm before we delete. We say, yes and as you notice it is gone. There is one another thing to cover. In Administer and Menus and that is this little tag up here, Settings. As you can see it is a very short page and the second two items Primary links and Secondary links here are usually not changed because of course you want Primary links to go to Primary links and not Secondary links or Navigation unless you are doing some custom theming. However this first one is the place that the Menu will automatically go unless you change it when you create new content and decide that you want to put it into a Menu. I will show you that by going Secondary links and Save configuration and then Create content again, Blog and Menu settings. See now the default is Secondary links. Menus are especially helpful when you are building authoritative content driven sites when you want specific content very accessible to members in a Menu.
Menus are great for helping things on your site stand out, but as with all neat toys in Drupal be careful not go overboard. If you put too many menu choices on your site they all blend into a gray mass and nothing stands out, but with restraint a few judiciously placed menus make important information and your site much more accessible.
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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