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Drupal's built-in data presentation tools offer several ways for web designers to clearly and attractively package their data. In Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data, Tom Geller explains how Drupal handles data so users can set up intelligent structures and implement them with Drupal's Content Construction Kit. Tom also shows how a data-driven web site can improve its interactivity by using geographic data to connect real-world addresses to maps. Exercise files accompany the course.
Before we begin, let's make sure you have everything you need to take this course successfully. This course is designed for people who have at least a basic understanding of Drupal Administration. You should be able to download and install Drupal, create and modify content, create and modify content types so that you can go beyond the simple page and story that comes with Drupal. You should be able to work with blocks and block regions and finally you should be able to install and activate additional modules. We are going to be installing a lot of modules about a dozen of them during this course.
If you don't know how to do these things, first take a look through my other lynda.com course Drupal Essential Training. That will give you the skills that you need and then you can come back to this course. There is one other change in particular that you might have to make to your Drupal installation or more specifically to your MAMP or WAMP installation. By default WAMP gives PHP 2 megabytes of memory to play with, while MAMP gives it 8 megabytes. Both of those levels are woefully inadequate for the things we are going to do. That level should be increased to at least 32 megabytes.
Fortunately that's easy. All you have to do is change a line in the file named php.ini to read 32M. I'll show you how to do that on the Mac running MAMP right now and I'll tell you how to do that on Windows in just a moment. First go to your Applications folder. On the Mac that's easiest to do by holding down Shift and Command and then pressing the A key. Find MAMP there, you can just type MAM and it will jump right to it, and open that folder. Once you are in there, go to the conf folder and php5. And there is your php.ini file. Double-click on it and it's open.
The fastest way to find the memory setting is to do Command+F and then type in MEM and there it is. You see memory limit = 8M. I'm going to change that to 32M and I save. On WAMP it's even easier, just select the php.ini choice from the WAMP pop-up menu in the Icon tray in the bottom right corner of your screen. Because this course deals a lot with data, we'll first talk about the structure of Drupal's database. In our case that's going to be MySQL as seen through the program phpMyAdmin.
phpMyAdmin is extremely popular. So if you are working on a remote Drupal installation, you should see whether your Internet service provider has it already. Chances are very good that they do. If you are working on a local installation, that is on your laptop or desktop computer, phpMyAdmin is included in just about every version of MAMP, WAMP and LAMP available. For information on installing MAMP or WAMP see the videos on those subjects in Drupal Essential Training. There is one part of this course that you want to make absolutely sure you understand well and that's the part about backing up and restoring your database. A lot of what we are going to be doing here won't really affect your site's content directly just how it's presented. Still accidents do happen and a little caution goes a long way. So go back to Drupal Essential Training and watch the videos on backing up and restoring your database if you have any questions at all and then be sure to actually do those procedures once in a while.
This course is especially useful if you already have a Drupal site up and full of information that you want to bring out in interesting ways. But if not, don't worry. You can either add data as you go or you can import it from another source into your Drupal database. So, let's talk about getting that data into Drupal and then we can have fun moving it about and making it look as good as possible.
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Q: The exercise files for the course appear to be missing.
A: Full exercise files for this course were not provided because of the unusually large amount of images, modules, and other files that would have to be installed in specific places, in addition to the database. We hope to have a solution for future Drupal courses that installs all items in their correct places.
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