Front End Drupal: Designing, Theming, Scripting
Product Author Bios
Emma Jane Hogbin has been working as a Web developer since 1996, helping individuals and organizations to realize both their own potential and the potential of their online presence. She creates systems that enable her clients to succeed–by using her infectious enthusiasm and ability to explain concepts without using technical jargon that puts even the greatest technophobes at ease. Passionate about helping people to acquire knowledge, Emma volunteers with the Drupal and Ubuntu documentation teams. She is well known in the Drupal community not only for her technical knowledge, but also for her engaging and humorous means of bringing Drupal to a wider audience–such as the Drupal socks and their GPLed pattern. Through her consulting company HICK Tech, and at conferences around the world, Emma has inspired people to overcome fear, uncertainty, and doubt and to tackle problems head-on. She is known as “emmajane” on drupal.org and chronicles her adventures at http://www.emmajane.net.
“For Drupal to succeed, we need books like this.”
–Dries Buytaert, Drupal founder and project lead
“Drupal faces a common problem on the Web–the relative lack of new, high quality themes. Front End Drupal tackles this problem directly and is designed to help both experienced designers and rank novices get an understanding of how Drupal theming works. In fact, I’ll be the first to admit I learned a lot from this book.”
– Dries Buytaert, Drupal founder and project lead
The Practical, Complete Guide to Customizing Drupal Sites with Behaviors, Themes, and Templates
Drupal is now the world’s #1 open source content management system: Thousands of individuals and organizations are using it to build and update Web sites of virtually every kind. As Web designers and developers adopt Drupal, they need ways to quickly customize the visuals and interactivity of their sites. Drupal offers powerful tools for doing so, but little guidance on using them effectively. Front End Drupal is the solution. In this book, two expert Drupal developers cover everything you need to know to create great visual designs and state-of-the-art interactivity with Drupal’s behaviors, themes, and templates.
Front End Drupal is 100% focused on issues of site design, behavior, usability, and management. The authors show how to style Drupal sites, make the most of Drupal’s powerful templating system, build sophisticated community sites, streamline site management, and build more portable, flexible themes. You’ll also gain hands-on experience through several case studies that walk you through the customization of everything from page templates to Web site forums.
- Prepare and organize content so it’s easier to integrate into Drupal Web sites
- Structure Drupal page templates that are easy to work with
- Configure Drupal with the modules and browser tools you need to customize your site
- Utilize Drupal’s Starter Themes and themes converted from WordPress, Joomla!™, and Drupal 5.x
- Maximize the power and usability of Drupal’s content editing forms
- Build usable community sites with user profiles, comments, and user-generated content
About the Web Site
The accompanying site, frontenddrupal.com, contains all sample code and themes presented in this book.
Please visit the author's site at frontenddrupal.com.
53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
Great book that covers more than just "theming",
This review is from: Front End Drupal: Designing, Theming, Scripting (Paperback)To properly orient this review, I should start off by saying that I know Drupal theming pretty well, so my take on things may be a bit different from someone who is totally new to theming. I've also taught a lot of folks though, on every part of the learning curve, so I can appreciate what it means to get some of this stuff to click for people. The book tells you at the start that you shouldn't be a total Drupal newbie. This book is about getting Drupal to look the way you want, but it expects you to bring some basic skills to the table. Now, that said, the first few chapters do take the time to get you oriented with Drupal; so if you are rusty, you get a refresher, and if you are cheeky and like to scoff at "prerequisites," you at least get a toe-hold of the basics before being whisked into the heart of it all. So, off we go.
As I started into it, the first thing that I noticed was that this really is not about "just" code. I was expecting to get dumped right into some... Read more
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Front End Drupal: Designing, Theming, Scripting (Paperback)Having never developed a Drupal theme (but being proficient in HTML/CSS/jquery), I found this a rather hard book to follow. It felt like the book really wanted to be a book about front-end drupal, but ends up spending quite a lot of time talking about abstract framework concepts, back-end features, and configurations (I recognize these are part of creating a user experience, but why the book choose to start with them is beyond me).
Chapter 3, the actual chapter on drupal themes was even more bizarre. There was perhaps maybe five paragraphs on making a theme. The rest is dedicated to talking about other subjects like converting themes from other CMS's and previous versions of drupal and whatnot.
The book feels more like "A Guide to Drupal 6 For People Who've Used Drupal 5 With the Stock Settings and Want To Know How To Customize It" than "Front-End Drupal".
I was hoping for a book that was more along the lines of "JQuery In Action" -- a book that is... Read more
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Becoming a Pro Drupal web designer,
This review is from: Front End Drupal: Designing, Theming, Scripting (Paperback)This book is what Drupal books ought to be, and uses the same method as other great Drupal books. I could say it takes Drupal's presentation layer apart and puts it back together again, but that would be insufficient. What it does is take the Drupal presentation layer apart in gradual stages... and has you put it back together again. It reveals the seven veils of the mystery through actual practice, and puts you in control with the tools you really need to be effective at every juncture.
And the book deals thoroughly with the domain it purports to cover, and doesn't get sidetracked. The spotlight is on web design, but it is brutally honest about what you really need to get the most out of Drupal. As a result there are incursions into other areas the professional web designer really needs to deal with. There is even an example Drupal PHP module, but the book is careful to explain that it is not a book on building modules for Drupal, and recommends the books that are for the... Read more
› See all 20 customer reviews...
Praise For Front End Drupal: Designing, Theming, Scripting
"Content management systems (CMSs) are created largely by Web developers
using back-end programming languages (such as PHP, by far the most common choice).
The free CMSs are built as open source projects, by volunteers who have many
demands on their time. As a result of both of these competing factors, far less
time is devoted to the front-end aspects of these CMSs. In turn, the "themes"
that define the appearance of a CMS-based website are typically substandard,
in the eyes of many Web designers and, most likely, countless users of those
sites. This criticism has been leveled even against Drupal, although the situation
is improving. A new book, Front
End Drupal: Designing, Theming, Scripting, is intended to help Drupal designers
everywhere speed up that process of improvement."
Michael J. Ross, Web developer and Slashdot contributor
Read the complete review on Slashdot.
Online Sample Chapter
Table of Contents
About the Authors xxv
Chapter 1: Web Page Design 1
Describing Content 2
Organizing Lists of Content 8
Page Design and Layout 14
Work Flow 25
Chapter 2: The Themers’ Toolkit 31
A Gentle Introduction 32
Theming Strategies 33
Drupal Terminology 36
Must-Have Modules 42
Browser Tools 60
Language References 65
Maintaining Your System 69
Chapter 3: Working with Drupal Themes 73
Finding Themes 74
Installing Drupal Themes 78
Administering Themes 82
Anatomy of a Theme 88
Starter Themes 94
Migrating to Drupal 6 99
Chapter 4: The Drupal Page 107
Elements of a Page 107
Sitewide Page Variables 109
Navigation and Menus 115
Grid Work 120
Changing Templates 128
Alias: Page 133
Taxonomy Templates 138
Delivering Plain Content 141
Chapter 5: Drupal Content 151
Node Templates 151
Gaining More Control Than $content Provides 155
Node Template Variables 161
Pages and Teasers 165
Making Lists of Content with Views 177
Chapter 6: Customizing the Content-Editing Forms 183
Web Forms 184
Form Candy 185
Rich Text Editing 195
Altering Forms with FAPI 201
Multiple-Page Forms 210
Improving Access to Edit Screens 212
Chapter 7: Users and Community Participation 219
Granting and Restricting Access 227
Community Comments 231
User-Generated Content 235
Private Web Site Areas 244
Chapter 8: Administrative Interfaces 251
Creating a Custom Administrative Interface 252
Task-Based Navigation 256
Administrative Menus 261
Administrative Dashboards and Control Panels 266
Custom Administrative Screens 270
Chapter 10: An Introduction to jQuery 311
A First Look at jQuery 313
Using jQuery 320
Leveraging jQuery’s Full Potential 333
Server-Side Drupal Integration 345
Architecting a Component 353
Example: Horizontal Scroller 355
Using Plugins and jQuery UI 377
Appendix A: Installing Drupal 381
Setting Up a Development Server 381
Configuring Document Root and Virtual Hosts 383
Installing Drupal–and Common Hurdles to Its Installation 385
A Quick Glance at the Admin Area 388
Installing Modules 389
Appendix B: Supplemental Code 391
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