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Meeting the Drupal community

From: Drupal 6 Essential Training

Video: 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.

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Drupal 6 Essential Training
Drupal 6 Essential Training

66 video lessons · 31435 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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