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Understanding nodes

From: Drupal 6 Essential Training

Video: Understanding nodes

More than design or structure, content is what brings people to your site. That content can be graphics, text, media files such as movies, or even just links to other sites. No matter what it is Drupal encapsulates all contents into units called nodes. We are going to look at a few node types and explain how Drupal handles them. A node can be defined as the basic unit of content in Drupal. For example, a story, a page such as we have on the front-page here on any other entry of a content type. All nodes require a Title such as this one here. They may require a Body although that's not always necessary and must have additional options such as a check box that lets you promote the node to your site's front page.

Understanding nodes

More than design or structure, content is what brings people to your site. That content can be graphics, text, media files such as movies, or even just links to other sites. No matter what it is Drupal encapsulates all contents into units called nodes. We are going to look at a few node types and explain how Drupal handles them. A node can be defined as the basic unit of content in Drupal. For example, a story, a page such as we have on the front-page here on any other entry of a content type. All nodes require a Title such as this one here. They may require a Body although that's not always necessary and must have additional options such as a check box that lets you promote the node to your site's front page.

Let's take a look some of the options in this node. We go to it by clicking on the Title and then clicking on Edit and we can go through and see there is our Title, our Body. Here are some options to make Menu settings. That's to create a menu choice that will go directly to the story. Going down further we can change the Input format. In this case we only have two options, but the addition of other modules would let you, for example, add PHP code and perhaps some other type of input format. Revision information, which will let you save a different version every time you make a change and so forth. Very important is down here in publishing options. If this Publish box is not checked then it won't show up on your site and it won't be public.

Now this particular node is a page, but there are other content types. We can see them by going to Administer and then to Content types. We have three that are enabled Page and Story came built in with Drupal as part of the default installation. Blog Entry we turned on at another point in this series. Let's see what it looks like from an ordinary user's point of view. We are going to switch to our ordinary user who is fishyjoe and who has been launched into this other browser Firefox. If fishyjoe or any other user wants to Create content they go down to this link Create Content. They then have a choice of several different types of content. This is a list of all of the content types from the previous screen in the Administration interface that also have permissions allowing this particular user to enter that content type.

So, for example, not every user will be allowed to enter a blog entry unless you specifically say that they can. In this case, let's have fishyjoe create a blog entry. If you are a premium subscriber to lynda.com or have received this course on a disk, you will find the Exercise file which has the text we are going to enter here. We are going to get that text now by going to the Finder, hiding everything else, and opening up our folder called Exercise Files. In there, you will find it in Chapter 9, video 1 called blog- post; double click on that and there we have it. I am going to copy this text and paste it into the Drupal interface.

Command+C or Ctrl+C on the PC, switch to other program, on the Mac by the way I am doing that by holding down the Command key and hitting Tab. Clicking the Correct field Command+V or Ctrl+V to paste it and then do it again for the Body. So this user has put in everything that they really need to for the blog entry. As we scroll down, we see we don't have the all of the options we did in the administrative interface, that's because certain options are only available to the administrator. We click on Save and we have created a node, but where exactly does that node show up? Let's go back to the Administrative interface and find out. I am doing that again by holding the command key and hitting tab. In the Administrative interface you can see a list of all of the nodes. No matter what their content type by going up to Administer and Content and there you have it and we even have a little note here that shows that it's new node that the administer hadn't seen before.

If we click on it, we see the node itself. As the administrator we can also edit the node and the superuser, that is User ID number one, the one you created when you first set up Drupal, can always edit all nodes. The Administrator, as I mentioned before, has additional options such as the input format, comment settings, authoring information, all of the things we discussed earlier. I am going to just click Save. So then I'll ask the question is every page on a Drupal site a node, not necessarily. Some types of pages that aren't are the user pages. If you go up to your site and then go to /user this shows me the admin user page and if you go back to the other person and say user this is Fishyjoe's user page.

These are not actually nodes they are built in to Drupal and are not handled the same as Stories and Pages and blog- posts. A second kind of page on Drupal that's not a node are those that are created through some process. For example, Drupal has a module called aggregator which will pull in news from other websites throughout the Internet and those news pieces are put into a page. That page does not have a node ID. That is to say it's not edited in the same way. Finally, pages that are created by Drupal itself or are installed by modules, those aren't nodes either, we will go back to our administrative interface and go to Administer this page that you see here is not a node, again, it's built directly into Drupal.

All nodes can be viewed as stand alone pages and we'll see that by going to Administer and Content and take another look at this, "Can you help me find a lender?" The post that fishyjoe just put up. You see up here the URL is localhost/node/3. All that, that means is it's a node and it has ID number 3. If you go into the database itself, you can actually see the IDs. We are going to do that now. We will go to MAMP or if you are on a Windows server, you will go to WAMP. Open start page, phpMyAdmin, select your Drupal database and then go down to the table called node. There is also one called node_revisions. The difference between the two is if you have turned on revisions, sometimes you have to look in both. We are going to click on this icon, which is the Browse icon in phpMyAdmin. Scroll down a little bit and we'll see a list of all our nodes in the Drupal site and there is our blog post.

If you as the administrator wanted to change it within the MySQL database, you could actually do that by doing it here or, of course, you can change it in Drupal's interface. I am just going to scroll to the bottom here and click on Go to make sure that we save anything that we might have changed and then go back to our administrative interface. As you develop your site you may add node types that didn't come with Drupal's default installation either explicitly or by downloading modules that create new node types. Some of these nodes will be very complex even having dozens of fields beyond Title and Body but your basic understanding of nodes, how they are stored, and how to control them will serve you well for all of your content types.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Drupal 6 Essential Training
Drupal 6 Essential Training

66 video lessons · 31387 viewers

Tom Geller
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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