Drupal's Building Blocks: Quickly Building Web Sites with CCK, Views, and Panels
- By Earl Miles, Lynette Miles
- Published Dec 22, 2010 by Addison-Wesley Professional. Part of the Developer's Library series.
- Copyright 2011
- Dimensions: 7" x 9"
- Pages: 384
- Edition: 1st
- ISBN-10: 0-321-59131-3
- ISBN-13: 978-0-321-59131-9
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Product Author Bios
Earl Miles, a co-founder and permanent member of the Drupal Association, wrote Drupal’s Views, Panels, and several smaller modules, and is responsible for major improvements to Drupal 6’s theming and install systems. A lifelong programmer, he is currently Director, Web Technologies for Sony BMG. Lynette Miles is a lead product engineer in technical support for Alcatel-Lucent, where she has worked for over a decade. As a member of the Drupal documentation team, she is helping to rewrite and reorganize Drupal.org’s vast documentation to make answers easier to find and understand.
“Even if you’re already a seasoned Drupal user of CCK, Views, or Panels, I’ve no doubt that this book will provide you with several new techniques and methods for getting the most out of these extremely essential modules. It certainly has for me.”
—Dries Buytaert, founder and project lead of Drupal, and CTO of Acquia
With Drupal, Web professionals can create full-featured Web sites with just a few clicks. Drupal’s core is compact and well documented, but much of Drupal’s immense power lies elsewhere—in external modules. Drupal’s Building Blocks is an authoritative tutorial, reference, and cookbook for Drupal’s most valuable modules.
The authors are Drupal insiders who’ve spent years creating and supporting these modules—Earl Miles, developer of the Views and Panels modules, and Lynette Miles, Drupal documentation team member. They’ve brought together indispensable information you won’t find anywhere else, as well as extensive sample “recipe” code designed for easy adaptation and reuse. Learn how to
- Use Content Construction Kit (CCK) to customize your data input forms around your needs
- Improve site flexibility with Drupal’s node system
- Add optional field types, including PHP-based fields
- Customize themes to display data more attractively and legibly
- Build powerful Views query displays
- Integrate with SQL databases
- Customize Views with relationships, arguments, and filters
- Optimize query performance
- Add custom styles with the Panels module
- Maintain full control over sites as you deploy into production
This book will help you create more powerful, flexible, usable, and manageable Web sites—whether you’re a Web developer, designer, administrator, architect, or consultant.
The accompanying Web site contains all examples, code, and themes presented in this book.
Please visit the companion site at http://drupal-building-blocks.com.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Desperately needs revising,
This review is from: Drupal's Building Blocks: Quickly Building Web Sites with CCK, Views, and Panels (Paperback)I gave this book 4 stars only because I am pretty sure it's the only book that covers a lot of the material and I don't want to deter people from reading it. If there were other books on this subject, I would have given it 2 or 3 stars. The writers seem to have a poor grasp of the craft of writing; they fly through difficult concepts and are curiously wordy in explaining simple concepts. I bought it primarily to shed light on the mysterious dark reaches of CCK and Views. I admit that I have skipped the chapters on the low-level APIs, but, having read the chapters aimed at users, I feel that I am only halfway to being an expert, particularly on Views. The problems are made worse by the fact that, despite having been published only last month, there is no mention of Drupal 7, CCK 3 or Views 3. I think there is potential in this book, but they need to expand their coverage of advanced uses of Views, add some discussion of the new versions, and preferably bring on a professional writer to... Read more
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Panels, Now I understand Panels,
This review is from: Drupal's Building Blocks: Quickly Building Web Sites with CCK, Views, and Panels (Paperback)I've been working with Drupal for about a year and have struggled. Drupal does indeed have a steep learning curve. This is not news to the Drupal community or anyone trying to learn Drupal. Here is the good news. This book goes a long way toward flattening that slope.
If you've built a site with Drupal you've used CCK and Views but you might not have realized what you didn't know. Earl and Lynette have taken a straight forward approach to teaching CCK, Views and Panels (I'll get to Panels in a minute). They give you the information you need to get going while also giving you the background about why Drupal does it that way and what goes on "behind the curtain". A newbie and a more experienced Drupal user are both able to learn about CCK and Views at a level that is appropriate for them.
I've worked with Panels a little but never quite understood exactly what I was doing and why. I really worked by trial and error. No longer.
This book has... Read more
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A Great Addition to My Drupal Reference Library,
This review is from: Drupal's Building Blocks: Quickly Building Web Sites with CCK, Views, and Panels (Paperback)I have been a strong advocate of the Drupal project for 3-4 years, but it wasn't until this past fall that I actually started building a Drupal site - and a rather complex one at that. I quickly realized that the steep Drupal learning curve that I had read about - or "learning cliff" as the authors point out in this book - is indeed real. If there's a shortcut to learning Drupal, I haven't found it. But the good news is that books like "Drupal's Building Blocks" is a much-needed, welcome addition to any Drupalite's library - whether you're new to Drupal or a veteran. It includes several screenshots and exercises throughout to provide you with practical hands-on experience, so it does a good job of "telling" you and then "showing" you how it's done.
My background is in relational database design, development and management. In non-Drupal terminology, this book focuses on three aspects of development:
(1) Data storage - Using the CCK (Content Construction Kit)... Read more
› See all 14 customer reviews...
Online Sample Chapter
Table of Contents
About the Authors xxiv
Part I: Content Construction Kit
Chapter 1: Introducing CCK and Nodes 3
The Node System 3
Quest for the Grail: How CCK Was Born 8
Getting Started with CCK 10
Creating a New Content Type 11
Chapter 2: Field Concepts 17
What You Should Know Before Creating Fields and Content Types 17
The Content Type Pages 17
Creating New Fields for Content 24
Putting the Parts Together 30
Chapter 3: Deeper into Fields 39
Choosing Field Types 39
Constraining Data with Widgets 43
Date Module 48
Computed Fields 51
Link and Email Fields 54
Highly Visual Media 55
Chapter 4: Themes and CCK 59
Theme Basics 59
CCK Specific Theming 62
Helper Modules 69
Chapter 5: CCK API 75
Using the CCK API 75
The Field Model 76
Widget Type Modules 85
Formatter Modules 87
Creating Field Instances Using Content Copy 91
Creating Field Instances with the CRUD API 91
Creating Data for CCK Fields 95
Miscellaneous Helper Functions 97
Part II: Views
Chapter 6: Relational Databases 101
Drupal, SQL, and the Emergence of Views 101
The Basics of Relational Databases 102
Filtering and Sorting 105
From SQL to Views to Human Language 107
Chapter 7: Creating Views 109
Views UI 109
Showing Your Views to the World: Creating Displays 131
Chapter 8: Arguments, Exposed Filters, and Relationships 137
Exposed Filters 145
Chapter 9: Theming Views 153
An Overview 153
Classes in Views 153
Template Files 156
Working with Templates 164
Chapter 10: Query Optimization 177
Balancing Development Time against CPU Time 177
Sticking with What Views Gives You 177
When You Need More Than Views 178
Experimenting with Your Site 183
Chapter 11: Views API 185
Data Architecture 185
The Views API 199
The Life Cycle of a View 201
The Database Schema and Data Hook 206
Handlers Versus Plugins 210
Part III: Panels
Chapter 12: Introducing Panels 217
Introduction to Panels 217
Chapter 13: Creating Panels 225
Your First Panel 225
Adding Content to Panels 237
Access Rules 244
Overriding Core Display Pages 246
Overriding Core Node Editing Pages 253
Chapter 14: Contexts, Relationships, and Arguments in Panels 257
Arguments in Panes 264
Chapter 15: Panels Theming 275
CSS in the Panels UI 284
CSS in Source Code 285
Chapter 16: Site Deployment 291
Configuring Your Development Environment 291
Moving to Production 293
Exporting Your Structures 294
Helper Modules 299
Part IV: Appendices
Appendix A: Other Useful Modules 303
Extending the Use of Your Modules 303
General Modules 303
Appendix B: Reporting Issues 309
Submit a Complete Report 309
Read the Documentation 310
Check Other Sources 311
Know the Difference between a Bug and a Support Request 312
Stay on Topic 312
Understand the Life Cycle of a Bug 312
Be Patient 313
Remember That You’re Asking for Someone Else’s Time 314
Contribute Back 314
Appendix C: Views API Handlers and Plugins 315
Views Handlers 315
Views Plugins 317
Views Classes 318
Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 7 and Index)
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