Training and Development for Drupal

Drupal 6

If you've enjoyed Drupaltherapy's screencasts...

Dear Drupal community,

If you've enjoyed the Drupal 5, 6 and 7 screencasts I've produced in the last few years, then I'd like to ask you to direct your appreciation to a fundraising effort for a non-profit organization that uses Drupal in some pretty neat ways.

I've been the web developer for Cambridge Community Television's Drupal-based website since 2005, and I'm also the associate director. CCTV is a 501c3 private non-profit that helps Cambridge residents use new technologies to engage in local issues - through television, radio and the internet. I cut my teeth on Drupal 4-something in launching CCTV's first iterations of its community mapping tool and facilitated civic journalism program. CCTV has nudged along a number well-loved contributed modules from the Video module to the Embedded Media Module, and directly funded a number of helpful community efforts - such as a migration script for moving between Image and Imagefield modules. It's a little organization but it has spunk!

Now, I'm hoping it's not too inappropriate to ask my screencast watchers to, if they are so inclined, show any small amount of appreciation by pitching in to CCTV's fundraising efforts. A couple of dollars or whatever. They are moving to a new facility and it's very expensive and disruptive to their operations - including the tiny improvements CCTV is normally capable of making to Drupal and the community at large. If you're in the Boston area then I'll cook you a burger at a special donor BBQ at the end of the summer.

Thanks for letting me pitch this and thanks for any support you can lend CCTV.

Sean Effel

Book Review: Drupal Intranets with Open Atrium

Before getting into the details of the book I should point out that Open Atrium is a first class example of a Drupal distribution, a specially customized installation profile for Drupal packaged up with modules, configs and data to meet specific needs. Working with a "distro" package is a great way to cut back on time with a complete solution rather than building the same tools from scratch. I've read through this book with an interest in picking apart Open Atrium to learn how to do my own distribution for Drupal.

The book covers the install, configuration and customization of this flavor of Drupal very well. The Open Atrium intranet tool is well suited to collaborative work within an organization or business, and the book covers those details very well. There is a tight walk through of configuring new work groups in chapter six that is even better than many of the online documentation for the vanilla Organic Groups module for Drupal, which is exactly what Open Atrium uses. The instruction is thoughtful and concise, people looking for an Open Atrium resource will likely find this book useful.

There could have been a better job of helping a reader from an organization visualize the power of the Open Atrium environment. The examples in the various chapters did not inspire me to solve my organization's problems with their tool, but despite these weak examples I can vouch for the power of the tools myself based on my personal experience as a developer. If you are reading this and trying to decide if Open Atrium would be a good tool for your office then take my word that it will be excellent even if this book doesn't help you envision it up front.

I do not recommend that new Drupal users pick up this book as a means of learning Drupal itself. The title and tagline of the book do not make it clear that Open Atrium is a custom installation of Drupal, I am concerned that new users would pick up this book because of the price and availability and get their new learning all mixed up. I also found a few errors, typos, etc, that one can generally attribute to the nature of a book about open source technology - the books are written quickly to keep up with the development cycles of their subjects and as a result may fall out of date very quickly or overlook some of the fine details. Packt Publishing produces a lot of books on the topic of Drupal and generally their authors do a pretty good job.

GMap + Location Screencast

FAIL (the browser should render some flash content, not this).

If you like this screencast, you can show it by pitching in to a special fundraising effort. (And here's why.)

Drupal can store and display geographic information through the use of the contributed modules called GMap and Location, part of the geocoding module stack known as Mapadelic. Together they form the foundation of building rich maps using Google's map service.

This screencast covers the basic setup required to produce your first Google mapped nodes and display all your nodes on one big map.

Prior experience with Drupal 6 core will help you follow along with this lesson, especially in the area of enabling and configuring modules and customizing content types.

Date + Calendar Screencast (Drupal 6)

FAIL (the browser should render some flash content, not this).

(If you are looking for Date + Calendar instructions for Drupal 7, look here.)

If you like this screencast, you can show it by pitching in to a special fundraising effort. (And here's why.)

Here is a fast screencast covering the Date and Calendar modules for Drupal 6. This recipe illustrates one way to let your users post their own events (like parties, appointments, meetups, etc) that include date information stored in a field. Then you can see how to display these dates on a traditional calendar layout with all the events sorted into the correct days. read more »

Views + Views Slideshow Screencast

FAIL (the browser should render some flash content, not this).

If you like this screencast, you can show it by pitching in to a special fundraising effort. (And here's why.)

Here is a fast screencast on creating slideshows using the Views and Views Slideshow modules.

Views Slideshow provides a new display style to any view called "slideshow". It uses jQuery to display screens of content on a rotating basis. Slideshows can be text, photo, video, or any sort of node, comment, or user. Users can even pause the slideshow just by hovering the mouse over the slideshow area.

To make the best use of this screencast it would be awesome to have some prior exposure to the Views module for Drupal 6. You should also have working knowledge of Drupal including the installation of contributed modules.

Filefield + jQuery Media Screencast

FAIL (the browser should render some flash content, not this).

If you like this screencast, you can show it by pitching in to a special fundraising effort. (And here's why.)

Here is a fast lesson on one of the many (many) ways of hosting and presenting video on your own Drupal website. read more »

Imagecache + Imagefield Screencast

FAIL (the browser should render some flash content, not this).

If you like this screencast, you can show it by pitching in to a special fundraising effort. (And here's why.)

This screencast demonstrates the recipe for Imagecache and Imagefield (for CCK) to build a system for posting images on your Drupal website. This is a robust and flexible system for handling images and has a bright future with more helper modules born every day.

This micro-lesson depends on prior understanding of the CCK module and the Views module. This example uses Drupal 5 since the Image* modules for Drupal 6 are not available (yet).

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