Linux Journal Founder Picks Drupal

A lot of you have been visiting here looking for information on the Drupal web content management system. This is exciting, and I hope to deliver more Drupal-oriented content here in the coming months.

Longtime Linux users should recognize the name Phil Hughes. He founded Linux Journal in 1994 and shepherded the magazine through many lean years, on the road to making it the most important Linux magazine there is. He’s now living in Nicaragua, and building a Geek Ranch. After a fling with webgen, Hughes opted for Drupal for the Geek Ranch website. He explains his reasoning, and offers his (rather simple) process for building the site in this article:

Back to Drupal

Key quote:

After a few days of playing, I am sure I have made the right decision. I found a theme I liked and tweaked it a bit. I added a few more modules and, in general, set up the basic structure of the site. One thing that makes Drupal suitable for something other than a traditional CMS is the ability to set the start page. In addition, the books are a plus as well.

I hope to be sharing a similar story soon. Stay tuned!

Updating openSUSE on the Weekend

Saturday morning is a great day for updating your system. You don’t have corporate systems dominating the servers, and new releases (and the subsequent server hammering) rarely come out on the weekends. It could just be an illusion, but I’ve just always found it just a tad speedier. This weekend, there is a bunch of new things to play with:

It also looks like progress is on the horizon for my once-favorite mail client, Mozilla Thunderbird. Here’s one guy who looks forward to hearing more from Mozilla Messaging.

And just for fun, the annual SXSW Showcasing Artists torrent is ready for 2008 (download link).

One tip on updating in openSUSE 10.3: Online Update really only gets you bug fixes for your installed applications. If you’re interested in keeping up with  the latest and greatest versions of your software, go to YaST Software Management. When the Search screen opens, go to the Package menu. Go to All Packages. You’ll see a pair of Update choices: “if newer version available” or “unconditionally.” Usually you’ll want to just get the newer version. YaST will then tell you how many packages will be updated, which can number in the hundreds, but don’t panic. You’ll get to review the list of updates, and deselect any packages you don’t want to update now. Click Accept, and the normal download/install process begins.

Happy updating!

More on the Advanced Side of DrupalCamp

Here’s another look at DrupalCamp Wisconsin from Larry Garfield’s GarfieldTech blog. He seems to have had as much fun as I did.

As befits someone of his standing in the community, he spent most of his time in the Advanced track, so if you’ve read my notes, you’ll get a more complete experience reading his comments.

Now to tackle my own Drupal site. It has suddenly become much closer to reality after this weekend.

Powered by ScribeFire.

DrupalCampWisconsin: A Summary

What a terrific day it was at DrupalCampWisconsin yesterday! An excellent turnout from all over the Midwest, fine sessions, and good company all day long, and into the night.

If you weren’t able to attend (and maybe even if you did), you’ll find interesting stuff on the wiki. The Flickr feed is here. You can view a bit of the video feed at UStream as well.

For your convenience, here’s a list of my session notes of the “newbie track,” liveblogged yesterday. I’ve cleaned them up a little, and added pertinent links.

A full day, by anyone’s standards. With more stuff for the more advanced folks.

It was great to meet so many folks, and talk Linux, Drupal, and other geeky topics. Thanks to the Web414 crew who organized it, the sponsors who fed us all often and well, Bucketworks for hosting the after-party and everyone who came out in the cold.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Drupal Theming 101

(Update: This is the last in a series (except for the summary) of live posts from DrupalCampWisconsin, with a little cleanup and added links.)

Blake Hall presents.

The professor ran late, so no break between 100 and 101. Blake made this presentation to the Madison PHP Meetup a few days ago. Also stolen from Pro Drupal Development.

Three Theme Engines in Drupal: PHPTal, Smarty (CiviCRM), TPL (Core)+Template.php

Blake is porting a WordPress theme into Drupal. See blakehall.org for what’s “nearly there.”

Every time I hear Blake give a presentation, he always says “the next version is way better.” So it is with Drupal v6, especially in theming.

Larry Garfield picks up with “what’s new in v6.”

Aim: Theming Nirvana. Not there yet.

v4.5: Theming Hell
v4.6: Purgatory, aka Xtemplate
v4.7: Limbo, aka PHPtemplate. Page, node, block and comment templates. Currently the dominant engine.
v5.0: No changes
v6: Pure CSS themes, drive toward separating out presentation. Info files create themes.

Displays the structure of Info files: Stylesheets, scripts, regions, features.

More granular control over content. Data sanitized; fewer inadvertent security holes.

Some code comparisons. Way better.

v6 offers theme inheritance. Set base theme, make whatever changes you want. Use well-named classes to identify areas (though not yet complete).

Template engine is now just a set of tags.

Time to show some code! (Writes 4 lines into demo.info) This is a naked Drupal. No Divs, no Tables, a semantic page. Adds another line: base theme = garland. Looks like Garland (standard theme).

Adds another line to reference a stylesheet. To override an existing stylesheet, reference the same name as the existing stylesheet in the Info file.

Default node template: node.tpl.php. Copy file into your site and modify (un-comment) as you wish.

Cool stuff!

There is one more session scheduled, but this reporter’s brain is getting full. I believe I’m going to call it a day, blogging-wise. I’ve got some summary ideas, which I’ll share when I get refreshed. I’ll also add links and otherwise make pretty. Thanks for reading along. Please comment as the spirit moves.

Powered by ScribeFire.