Meeting the Drupal community
Video: Meeting the Drupal communityOne of Drupal's strengths is its extensive community of users and developers who use Drupal every day and are ready to help you through the tough spots. As Drupal is open source software its community is also a good place to gain experience, credibility and connections for your contributions to the project. Finally, the Drupal community can be a gateway to jobs, especially as Drupal grows in popularity in organizations, and in the enterprise market. This video will show you where to find these resources and how to take best advantage of them.
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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
Meeting the Drupal community
One of Drupal's strengths is its extensive community of users and developers who use Drupal every day and are ready to help you through the tough spots. As Drupal is open source software its community is also a good place to gain experience, credibility and connections for your contributions to the project. Finally, the Drupal community can be a gateway to jobs, especially as Drupal grows in popularity in organizations, and in the enterprise market. This video will show you where to find these resources and how to take best advantage of them.
But, first let's talk about how Drupal got to where it is today? Drupal started as a project of the Flemish-Belgian student Dries Buytaert. In 2000, he was a student at the University of Antwerp and he wanted a way for himself and his friends to transfer information back and forth, and so he created this Bulletin Board System and he called it Drop. And if you go to archive.org you can see the original drop.org website which we can see right here from 2000. He decided to make an open source project and gave it the GPL that is the GNU Public License in 2001. By doing so he is allowing everybody in the world to contribute to it, and to extend it as they like, and from there of course it took off as many open source software projects too and by the end of that year it already reached version 3.0 at which point he also renamed it Drupal.
As I am making this video Drupal is at version 6.3, the oldest version that's still supported at this time is version 4.7 which came out in 2006. There are still people using version 4.7 and they are quite a number of people using version 5. Every year Dries Buytaert releases statistics of how many people have downloaded the Drupal project, and you can see that on his website it buytaert.net. In July of 2008, he released the statistics for this year and they showed that in the previous year there had been about 600,000 downloads of the Drupal core.
In this year they were about 1.4 million and as you can see from change in color which represents a change in version number quite a few people have downloaded version 6, which is a good sign for the Drupal community. The first place that you should be going to is drupal.org. This is the site where pretty much everything happens. One of the advantages that Drupal has is that everything goes through drupal. org if you need contributed code to help make your site better, you can find it on drupal.org if you need help and so forth. More specifically let's take a look at some other things that are on drupal.org.
Starting with documentation, there are Getting Started guides, so if you just need to get up and running very quickly, you can do that there. In addition, there are some very detailed installation and configuration help in this beyond the basics area. Once again, you can get there by going to Documentation and Detailed Installation Help here below Beyond the Basics. Additionally, there are more beyond the basics things here, which will give you, for example, contributed code that will help you add functions to your site without having to install an entire new module and so forth.
The Download section has many useful things that can be brought to your computer. The two most important of which are Modules and Themes. Modules are little plug-ins that you can put into your Drupal site to give it additional functionality, and as you can see there are many categories of modules. All you need to do is grab them, put them into your Drupal folder and enable them and we will show you how to do that in another video in this series. Themes will change the way that your site actually looks; it will change the entire face of your site. If you have ever played with any games or used any programs that have skins it's very much like a skin to your site.
For example, looking down the page you see screenshots of the different kind of themes that you can download and make your Drupal site look very much like these. From there you can of course, modify them as you like, and the thing about this is all of these themes are contributed and free and available for you from the drupal.org website. But let's say that you come across a problem that you're not able to solve. Well, that's what the support area is for. First of all they are all those Drupal handbooks that we mentioned earlier. There are also forums where you can go and ask your question directly.
What I would recommend you do before going in and just asking a question blindly is to search the drupal.org site. drupal.org very often has a search bar up here where you can search the site, however, whenever the site is under a high load it will take off to make it possible to reach the site without weighing it down with a lot of searches. If you need to search for something and the search box is not there on drupal.org you can go to google.com. And I am going to do that right now. And do your search, but first add sites: drupal.org and then you might search for.
For example cck, which is a certain kind of module in Drupal. And there you have it, it searches only the drupal.org website. Again, that's not necessary if the drupal.org search box is on the page and it will show up somewhere up here. Continuing on after you've gained some Drupal skills, you might want to give something back to the community, one way you can do that, is you could go into the forum and answers some of those questions that people have been asking. Another way is go to Contribute. The Contribute page shows a number of different ways that you can give back to the community. First and foremost as I say in the forums, second of all there are other ways to give user support, those are detailed here under user support.
If you are coder of course you can do quite a lot in development. Both the Drupal core, which is the main program, and additional modules all need people to help maintain them and your contributions will be very much appreciated there. If you are not a coder however there are still many ways that you can contribute. For example, do you speak another language? If so, may be you can help translate the Drupal core so that people in another countries can help use it. You can do that under this link here for translations. If you are a Writer you might be able to help with Documentation or Marketing or Testing, no matter what your field is, there is a way for you to contribute to the Drupal project.
So you can see that if you actively start creating sites based on Drupal you certainly will not be alone. A large and vibrant community of developers and fellow users is out there to help you find your feet and to build the best Drupal site possible. All that you need to do is reach out through the drupal.org website.
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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