Drupal 6 Essential Training
Illustration by Don Barnett

Setting user profiles


From:

Drupal 6 Essential Training

with Tom Geller

Video: Setting user profiles

One of the ways that you can control what your users do is by allowing them to have their own identities in their profiles. For example, do you want them to be able to upload icons of themselves? Should their posts be able to include signatures? Should they be allowed to change their usernames? Controls for these options are hidden away in several parts of Drupal's administration interface. This video will show you where they are. We have set up two users already. We can see them if we go to Administer and then scroll down to Users. They are called fishysue and fishyjoe and both of them have contributing user permission. Some changes that affect user profiles are done by the Administrator while some are done by the user. Let's take a look at some that you, as the Administrator, can change. The first thing we will do is go to Administer and Permissions, and then go down to the user module. Now remember, the anonymous user is the person who has never signed in to your site. The authenticated user is the one who signed in to your site and became a member, while Contributing user is a level that we created. We are only going to work with authenticated user here. In the user module you have several choices. The second to administer permissions and administer users are usually reserved for Administrators. We don't want to give that to every authenticated user. Change your own username is something that some sites do actually use because it gives a little bit of fun to each person if they can change their username. But we are not going to allow them to do that. We will only give them permission to access other people's user profiles. So we click there and Save Permissions. That's one example of how the Administrator can give additional permissions to users.
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  1. 4m 36s
    1. Welcome
      49s
    2. Using the example files
      3m 47s
  2. 28m 50s
    1. Drupal is a CMS
      7m 43s
    2. Choosing Drupal
      5m 31s
    3. Checking Drupal's requirements
      4m 26s
    4. Understanding the inner workings of Drupal
      4m 32s
    5. Meeting the Drupal community
      6m 38s
  3. 11m 26s
    1. Learning key terms in Drupal
      5m 19s
    2. Touring Drupal's interface
      6m 7s
  4. 34m 28s
    1. Installing WAMP and Drupal on Windows
      9m 41s
    2. Installing MAMP
      4m 34s
    3. Setting up the database on a Mac
      2m 1s
    4. Downloading and installing Drupal on a Mac
      6m 32s
    5. Troubleshooting installation problems
      3m 49s
    6. Automating updates with cron
      7m 51s
  5. 25m 34s
    1. Setting up clean URLs
      5m 51s
    2. Backing up your Drupal site
      3m 31s
    3. Restoring your Drupal site from backup
      4m 18s
    4. Wiping your Drupal installation clean
      2m 6s
    5. Updating Drupal
      9m 48s
  6. 15m 35s
    1. Using the Administration menu
      6m 20s
    2. Setting site information
      4m 50s
    3. Setting the theme
      4m 25s
  7. 35m 6s
    1. Understanding security and permissions
      7m 2s
    2. Controlling site access with user management
      3m 39s
    3. Creating users
      7m 57s
    4. Setting user profiles
      9m 40s
    5. Creating contact forms
      6m 48s
  8. 19m 18s
    1. Creating your site's basic info pages
      7m 12s
    2. Understanding page layout
      5m 40s
    3. Creating a flexible layout with blocks
      6m 26s
  9. 15m 34s
    1. Monitoring performance
      4m 51s
    2. Recovering from disasters
      7m 37s
    3. Improving administration skills
      3m 6s
  10. 41m 1s
    1. Understanding nodes
      6m 49s
    2. Creating basic content: Stories and pages
      7m 9s
    3. Enabling other content types
      9m 22s
    4. Adding blogs
      3m 48s
    5. Adding forums
      6m 56s
    6. Adding polls
      6m 57s
  11. 34m 48s
    1. Exploring content categories
      7m 44s
    2. Exchanging content via RSS
      9m 47s
    3. Using input filters
      7m 40s
    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 38s
    1. Finding modules
      6m 52s
    2. Unpacking and installing modules
      6m 29s
    3. Configuring modules
      3m 49s
    4. Implementing complex modules
      5m 28s
  14. 32m 10s
    1. Ensuring automated updates with poormanscron
      3m 10s
    2. Defining custom content types with CCK
      12m 53s
    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 18s
    1. Changing page templates with PHP
      8m 15s
    2. Using PHP in content
      5m 20s
    3. Implementing PHP snippets
      6m 43s
  17. 10m 14s
    1. Launching your site
      5m 51s
    2. Joining the Drupal community
      4m 23s
  18. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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Watch the Online Video Course Drupal 6 Essential Training
6h 52m Beginner Aug 25, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • 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
Subject:
Web
Software:
Drupal
Author:
Tom Geller

Setting user profiles

One of the ways that you can control what your users do is by allowing them to have their own identities in their profiles. For example, do you want them to be able to upload icons of themselves? Should their posts be able to include signatures? Should they be allowed to change their usernames? Controls for these options are hidden away in several parts of Drupal's administration interface. This video will show you where they are. We have set up two users already. We can see them if we go to Administer and then scroll down to Users. They are called fishysue and fishyjoe and both of them have contributing user permission. Some changes that affect user profiles are done by the Administrator while some are done by the user. Let's take a look at some that you, as the Administrator, can change. The first thing we will do is go to Administer and Permissions, and then go down to the user module. Now remember, the anonymous user is the person who has never signed in to your site. The authenticated user is the one who signed in to your site and became a member, while Contributing user is a level that we created. We are only going to work with authenticated user here. In the user module you have several choices. The second to administer permissions and administer users are usually reserved for Administrators. We don't want to give that to every authenticated user. Change your own username is something that some sites do actually use because it gives a little bit of fun to each person if they can change their username. But we are not going to allow them to do that. We will only give them permission to access other people's user profiles. So we click there and Save Permissions. That's one example of how the Administrator can give additional permissions to users.

Another place is in User settings. Much of this page, which is shown in another video, has to deal with when people first sign up on to this site. User registration settings and User e-mail settings deal with when people first become members. The last two sections down here, give additional power to users in setting their own identity, Signature support and Pictures. By giving users Signature support, it means that every time they post on the site, it will add a little tag of their choosing. For example, this is the name of my company; this is where I am located. Under pictures, we have enabled it and you can choose where on the server those pictures are stored, we are not going to change that in this case. If there is a default picture, for example, if you want to show say, a little icon of a fish for all people who haven't chosen their own icon, and you can select how big the icons can be, by default 85 X 85 pixels which is a fairly small icon.

In addition, you can set the file size and give people guidelines. Let's just say, Keep it clean, keep it kind. Very good and we will say Save Configuration. Now you will see when you do that, it will save the options and then it will also create this additional directory to store those pictures. There's one other place that we can change the permissions we give users to set their own identity and to let other people contact them. That would be under Administer, Permissions and the Contact module. If you want to allow people to contact the site administrator, you would say yes, Access the site-wide contact form and then go down to the bottom and say Save permissions. Finally, there are certain changes that are affected by the user. These are, as I mentioned, the Signature and Picture, which the user can choose to include or not include and whether they give a personal Contact form.

We have already seen, how you can allow users to include a Signature and a Picture. The personal contact form would allow users to open up their e-mail box to all of the other users on the system to a form that's created on the site. To turn this ON, you would go in to the Contact form administration link and then go to Settings. By default it's turned ON. That is to say, each user can send messages to other users. If you don't want that to happen, possibly because you want to avoid abuse, you could turn it OFF. But we are going to leave it ON.

Now that we have made the Administrator settings, we can take a look at what individual users can actually do. To do that, I am going to sign in as an ordinary user while keeping this administration window open. Unfortunately, you can't do that in one single browser because the browser holds a cookie that says who is logged in at the moment. So you can't have more than one person logged in. One way I have found that works really well to keep more than one user signed in is to have more than one browser type on your computer. For example, here we are looking at Safari for the administrator. I am going to switch over to Firefox, a different browser, and go to my site. So I am going to login here as fishyjoe and let's say he set his password to booth. Login, we don't need to remember that. And there we are. Now let's go to his own account and see what sort of options are available to him as an ordinary user. Click on My account and then click on Edit. He can change his e-mail address if he wants. He can change his password and here, since we are allowing signatures, he could say, "Yarr, I be Fishy Joe!" He can also upload a picture and here's where he can set that personal contact form. It gives a little bit of help text here to explain to fishyjoe exactly what happens if he enables this. Let's go ahead and enable it though. He can change his time zone if he likes and click Save.

So there you can see the user has certain powers to affect their own identity. You as the Administrator can give them additional powers and I will show you how to do that now. First, I am going to switch back to the Administrator interface by going back to Safari. We can give users additional powers by going to Administer, Modules and turning ON a Module that's called Profile. Click in there and then click Save Configuration and we will just check to make sure that's the most recent version and indeed, it is. To see what that Module controls, we are going to go to Administer and then down to Profiles, which is under User management.

Profiles allow you to add additional fields. So if for example, you want to find out, how old the person is or what their favorite restaurant is or anything like that, you can do so. Let's add for example, a single line text field to the profile. This is going to be called Personal information, the Title will be Age, the Form name is an internal name that Drupal uses. You must make sure that you don't use the same name for more than one field. We will just call this profile_age and here we will explain, Please enter your age.

Underneath that, you have several options, for example, you can make it a hidden field, which only Administrators could see. For example, you could say, this person is a troublemaker and the user will never see that. But administrators could tag each individual user with special information. You can make it a private field that only certain users can see. Public field. That's only shown in some places or a public field that's shown throughout the site, wherever it appears. We are going to keep it as a public field that's shown on the profile page only, which is the default. Page title is if you want to create a page, that has all of these fields for all of the users, for example, here's a page with the list of every body's age. We don't really need to do that. So we are going to leave that blank now. Finally, you can choose where exactly it appears, that is if it's the first thing, the second thing, and so forth, by changing Weight. We are not going to change that right now because we are only adding one field. But after you have to have numerous fields you may start playing around with which one appears first.

In our case, we really want to know, how old somebody is. So we are going to force them to enter value and further more, we think, they should enter it when they first register for the site. So I am going to click Visible in user registration form. This form will auto complete while the user is typing, will look for other values that are already in the system and suggest the ones that match the first two letters that somebody has entered. We will click on Save field. There, we have created a new field called Age. Well, what exactly does that do? Let's go back to the user, fishyjoe and let's click Edit again. Now we are editing his personal account, but you will see a new addition here, Personal information. We click on that and we see, ah! They are requiring me to enter my age right now. So we will do that. Click on Save and there it is.

As you can imagine, you could have quite a lot of information in the user profiles, for example, for a dating site, you might have age and gender and what you are looking for and so forth and all of that could then be used for matching. We have only just scratched the surface of what you can do with profiles. Other modules that you can download let your users apply information that they enter in their user profiles. For example, if you ask everybody for their location, one particular module collects all of that information and then can show a map that tells you where all of the users are and who exactly is near you. The user account information and profiles can be a very powerful way of building community on your Drupal site.

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.)
  1. Increase XAMPP's PHP allocation.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 

  1. Click the WAMP icon in your system tray.
  2. Select "PHP". In the side menu, select "php.ini" to open a file containing PHP's configuration options.
  3. Search for the line, "upload_max_filesize = 2M".
  4. Change it to "upload_max_filesize = 32M" (or whatever you like). 
  5. 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.)
  6. 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".)

  1. Open your Drupal database with phpMyAdmin.
  2. Go to the "users" table. Click the Browse icon.
  3. For the row where uid = 1, click the Edit icon. (Note the value under the "Name" column: That's the administrator's username.)
  4. In the "pass" row, select "MD5" under the "Function" column
  5. In the same row, enter your new password under the "Value" column.
  6. 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: 
  1. 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. 
  2. Use the command-line interface to copy the .htaccess file.
Sorry for the error.
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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