Reviewing the new and modified modules
Video: Reviewing the new and modified modulesSome of the changes to core modules in Drupal 7 are sort of behind the scenes. Unless you compare the list of modules in Drupal 6 to that of Drupal 7 you might not notice that there's anything different at all. So, we are going to do exactly that. First thing we have to do is go to the modules page. In Drupal 7 you do that by clicking Modules and in Drupal 6 you click Administer > Site Building and Modules. The first thing, you notice when you look at this list is in Drupal6 there are two groups: Core-optional, which I'll close, and Core-required, which I'll open by clicking on it.
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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.
- 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
Reviewing the new and modified modules
Some of the changes to core modules in Drupal 7 are sort of behind the scenes. Unless you compare the list of modules in Drupal 6 to that of Drupal 7 you might not notice that there's anything different at all. So, we are going to do exactly that. First thing we have to do is go to the modules page. In Drupal 7 you do that by clicking Modules and in Drupal 6 you click Administer > Site Building and Modules. The first thing, you notice when you look at this list is in Drupal6 there are two groups: Core-optional, which I'll close, and Core-required, which I'll open by clicking on it.
There are five modules in Core-required, which in Drupal 7, they're still there, but they don't show up in a separate group. Instead it's all just Core. What Drupal 7 does instead is it puts required by:Drupal next to it. You'll notice that some modules such as Comment are required by other modules, like Forum, where some are simply required by Drupal as a whole. Let's do a search for those, required by:Drupal. Most of the ones that we will find have to do with fields, that is being able to add fields to entities such as Content Types and Profiles and Taxonomies. You'll learn all about those in the video "Adding fields to content types." This one field is one of those.
Field SQL Storage is another one. Filter has to do with Content Text Filtering, filters required by Drupal. This is very much like Text Formats in Drupal 6. List is another one that has to do with fields. Node is one that was required in Drupal 6. Number has to do with fields. Options has to do with fields and so on. Most of them have to do with fields. System is one that was required in Drupal 6 and Text is another field one, User required in Drupal 6 and then we're back at the beginning again. Let's start going down the list. I'm not going to mention those that are the same in Drupal 6 and Drupal 7. Instead I am only going to call out those that are either new in Drupal 7 or have disappeared or have moved in some interesting way.
First we'll start with the ones that have disappeared. Two that were in Drupal 6 but are not in Drupal 7, I am going to open this Core-optional group again, are Blog API and Ping down here. You could find out more about both of those in the video about things that disappeared. In Drupal 7, as we go down, we have a new one here, Contextual Links. you can find out about that in the video about contextual link controls. Going down just one more. We have Dashboard. That's also a new feature in Drupal 7 and I have a video about that in the series about the Dashboard.
We've already mentioned all of the ones regarding fields and I told you about Filter which was formerly Text Formats. Then as we come down a little bit more. We come to Image. Both Image and File up here have to do with the new image system, which is really great. It lets you put images and content much easier than you were able to in Drupal 6 and you can learn about that in the video about using images and content. Scrolling down further in Drupal 7 we have this Overlay module. We have a video about that as well about Using the administrativeoverlay.
Just below the Overlay module is Path. Now Path also existed in Drupal 6 but what was interesting as it wasn't checked then but it is checked in Drupal 7. What people found out was that everybody always checked the Path module. This is the one that lets you say, for example, your domain name/whatever the title of the node is as opposed to /node/6 or whatever it is. It basically turns your URLs into something more readable, which is great for search engine optimization. Going down further in Drupal 7 we have RDF. RDF stands for Resource Description Framework.
RDF adds context to data on your site. It basically makes your site more readable by other machines. It's a very interesting system which I'm afraid is a little bit more complex than I can get into now but if you want to learn more see Drupal.org/node/443824 for an excellent description of what it is and how it works. As you go to a further, much like the Path module the Search module is now highlighted by default. This is why when you first install Drupal 7 you get a search box which you didn't get in Drupal6.
It was easy enough to add in Drupal 6. You just added the module. But in Drupal 7 since they found that everyone was using it they just turned it on by default. Going down a little further we have this Shortcut module and you learned about that in the video about the toolbar and shortcut bar. As we scroll down a little bit further we get one of my favorite modules, the Testing module. Now unless you're developer, chances are you'll never use this module. We'll talk about what exactly it does in videos later in this course about development. But basically it lets module developers check their code and it really improves the quality of it. It runs automated tests against the code that they write so that the Drupal platform in general is going to be a lot more stable because it will be easier to make it stable, and we can thank the Testing module for that.
Continuing down we have the Toolbar. As I mentioned that's sort of grouped with the shortcut bar and we cover that in a video on the toolbar and shortcut bar. The Update Manager is also new. This is a big win in Drupal 7. Basically what it lets you do is update your modules and themes without ever leaving the Drupal interface. Where as before you had to go and sort of get at the guts of your server and start messing around with UNIX and so forth, now you just click a few things in Drupal and it works. I'll be showing you that in the videos about updating themes and modules Finally, there is one thing missing here which we had in Drupal 6 which was the Upload module.
In Drupal 7, because of some of the changes having to do with fields, it's simply not needed. It's handled through what's called the Field API, the same thing that gives us fields and content and profiles and so forth. Now that I've gone through the list I do want to mention one other thing about a module that's not part of core but just about everybody installed it. Or if they didn't install it they had to create a workaround on their server. It's called Cron. In my earlier course, Drupal Essential Training, I noted that you had to set up a UNIX program called Cron in order force certain periodic checks of your Drupal site.
If you couldn't set up that program or you didn't want to could use a module called Poor Man's Cron instead. Well, I never liked having to deal with either of those and I'm really happy to say that you don't have to Drupal 7 because a Cron-like function is now built into Drupal. To modify it, click Configuration and you have a choice here, Cron. Click that. You can change how often it runs or just make it run right now by clicking Run Cron. I know there was a lot to swallow, all at once. I find that looking over the Module page is a good exercise though for everyone getting familiar with Drupal or in this case getting familiar with the new version of Drupal.
That's especially true in Drupal 7 because as you click the Modules page and go down here you see that many of them have this Configure link right next to it. So anything that's new you can just click Configure, or Help for that matter, and find out more about it.
There are currently no FAQs about Drupal 7 New Features.