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This is a live blog of the Drupal Media session at DrupalCon Denver by Aaron Winborn and Dave Reid. The sessions is all about the Media module. We wrote a detailed introduction to the Media module here.

Aaron wrote the Drupal Multimedia book. He introduces himself as an ALS sufferer who will likely die within a year unless he's one of the lucky 10%. If he is one of the lucky 10%, he'll live in a locked-in sate. He'ss increasingly physically weak and can't hear very well. He wrote about the condition here.

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This week Drupal fans gathered in Colorado for DrupalCon Denver.

Dries Buytaert gave the keynote address. He talked about the mobile web and the plans for Drupal 8.

There were just over 3000 people at DrupalCon this year and most of them were in the huge auditorium at the Colorado Convention Center.

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| Drupal

The Drupal project page for Context describes it in this way: "Context allows you to manage contextual conditions and reactions for different portions of your site. You can think of each context as representing a "section" of your site. For each context, you can choose the conditions that trigger this context to be active and choose different aspects of Drupal that should react to this active context."

Here's what that means to you: "you can make blocks, themes and more show only where you want them."

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| Drupal

You should always update to the latest version of Drupal to take advantage of updates and to also guard your site's security. It's not a difficult process, but there are quite a few steps if you want to avoid errors and get it right the first time. This tutorial shows you every step involved.

Here's how to update your Drupal 6 core files:

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DrupalCon Training

Next week is DrupalCon Denver, the biggest and best meeting of Drupal people from all around the world.

If you're going to be there, we'd love to meet you and will have OSTshirts for anyone who comes up and says "Hi!"

Don't worry if you can't make it, or would prefer a Joomla or WordPress event. There are at least five other major events coming up this year from Drupal and Joomla in Germany to Joomla and WordPress in California. Hopefully we'll see you at one of those events later in 2012.

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| WordPress
OSToolbar for WordPress The OSToolbar is a great way to provide OSTraining videos to your customers.

You can give your webdesign customers WordPress videos, and they can all be watched directly from inside their site. No more confused phone calls. No more emails asking about simple WordPress features. Give them the OSToolbar, and they can watch and learn the WordPress basics for themselves. The OSToolbar is one of great benefits enjoyed by members at OSTraining.com. We also have a Joomla version of the OSToolbar.

Here's how to use the OSToolbar and to give it to your customers.

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| Drupal

This tutorial will show you how to create a photo gallery in Drupal 7.

It won't create the world's flashiest or most impressive gallery, but it will work. This tutorial is designed for beginners so that they can understand the key concepts behind creating a gallery in Drupal 7.

If you're still using Drupal 6, we have a tutorial for you also.

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| Drupal

Slideshows are one of the most popular things that people want on their website and the Views Slideshow Module is the most popular way to create slideshows in Drupal.

So, it's no surprise that Views Slideshow is one of the most popular Drupal modules.

Creating a Views Slideshow isn't too difficult, but there are a quite a few steps to go through. If you're a beginner, this will be a complete installation guide.

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| WordPress

wordpress-logo-stacked-rgbWordPress started out as a simple way to share your thoughts on the web through, what was then, a new concept, blogging. People wanted to keep "web logs" of their thoughts and have other people read them and contribute comments. So WordPress was born to blog and it still does an outstanding job, but has grown into a content management system (CMS) which is something much more.

WordPress is truly astounding. Whether pushing content to social networks, competing for sales and search engine position, allowing people to subscribe to specific content WordPress is not simply a website, but rather a content-publishing platform. It allows you to take part in today's "instant" information network - the internet. It gives an individual the same publishing power as a major corporation.

WordPress is an interface

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We use the term interface quite a lot. Originally it was coined to describe a method of passing information between two very different items. Sometimes between two machines (a hardware interface) to let a computer trade information with a printer as an example. A keyboard lets humans talk to computers; it's also an interface. WordPress is an interface that simplifies the way you communicate with a database. It lets you create and manipulate data with a GUI (Graphic User Interface).

WordPress makes it possible to publish all types of information without knowing how to write code. Anyone can start using a well-setup site without much training. It's fairly intuitive since it has evolved from years of user feedback and constant revision.

WordPress is a publishing platform

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The success of early bloggers created a demand for an easy way to publish news or opinions instantly. Remember the Drudge Report during the Clinton Administration? The Drudge Report was an "aggeregator" which pulled news stories and blog entries from other sources and posted them in an aggegated blog. The notariaty of the Drudge Report is only one example of what fueled the demand for easy blog creation.

The first web pages were built one page at a time by writing all the information into a file and making it look good by writing mark-up code (HTML- Hypertext Markup Language). It might take hours to create a single page on a site.

Not very efficient for the "blogosphere", where compettiion for top blogs dependend on instant publishing. This meant that the person doing the writing couldn't always be the same person that did the web development. Information was created faster than it could be disseminated by coding pages with HTML.

The concept of "database driven" websites came about. Partly because of blogs, but also because of demands of web developer to make data available on demand. In a database driven site, all the stories and pictures are stored in a data base, and the actual pages are created only when someone visits the actual URL of the page. Showing and sellng products, creating portfolios, making directories all have a common base of data that needs to be assembled and presented on demand, in different combinations and with different looks.

You could write out various applications and programs for this, but the WordPress developers have written out the programming for you. Now you have a simple, graphical way to enter information into the database. They have also written out the most common ways to display it. And now since all this data is so well organized, other people can write applications which use the same data in different ways or allow you to add new data and combine it with the old. That's what plugins are for. They expand the core capabilities of WordPress with additional applications.

WordPress is a Content Management System

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Publishing content isn't easy. It changes all the time. New content is added, old deleted. In ecommerce, prices change, sales and promotions come and go. Information needs to be very fluid, and WordPress lets you manage this ebb an flow. It also writes rules for you. For example, it will let registered users see a post, but hide it from people who aren't registered users. But managing the information isn't it's only function.

This information also has to look good and be organized properly. The underlying programing has to be safe, fast and up-to-date. Design and technology change as well as the information. WordPress handles this by separating the functions so a change in one area doesn't affect changes in another area. That's really the basic concept behind a content management system.

If you change the design, the database is unaffected and can still be used without modification; the programming isn't affected either. The same is true for all three elements. Changing one doesn't affect the other two. If all these weren't individual, you would need to build an entire new website every time there was a change. That would be very costly and very time consuming. There are four basic components to a content management system.

  1. Core programming - the common functions and files that every site needs to function at a minimal level.
  2. Data Base - The "file cabinet" of all information properly organized, sorted and tagged for easy retrieval.
  3. Theme (design) - The display of the information when it's pulled from the data base.
  4. Plugins - Additional programming that can be added to get extra functions that aren't part of the core. These can be turned on and off at will without affecting the core programming.

About WordPress

According to the WordPress Codex, "WordPress powers nearly a quarter of new sites today, is the content management system (CMS) of choice for more than two thirds of the top million sites making it the most popular on the web, and is trusted by content publishers both large and small including CNN and the NY Times. With more than 50 million sites globally and eight years of history."

The roots go back to 2001, but it made its first appearance in 2003. You can view it's history in the Codex on this page.

WordPress.org
This is the official website responsible for all communication and resources related to WordPress. From this site you can download a copy, as well as search for free plugins and free themes. Access to the codex and and the WordPress Forum can be found here as well.

The WordPress Codex

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We've mentioned it several times. This is the location of all documentation pertaining to WordPress. It is intended to be an encyclopedia of all WordPress knowledge. It is an "open wiki" which means that it is written by contributors. You can add to or modify wiki articles. You can read more about it here. If you want to contribute, start with this page.

Like most software, WordPress is distributed under a license, which means there are certain things that you are legally permitted (and not permitted) to do with WordPress software and source code. WordPress is distributed under a license called the GNU General Public License, a very popular license in the open source industry. If that doesn't ring a bell, read on.

About the GPL
gnuThe GNU General Public License, or GPL, is an open source license. Open source doesn't just mean that you can view the source code — it has political and philosophical implications as well. Open source, or "Free Software", means you are free to modify and redistribute the source code under certain conditions. Free doesn't refer to the price, it refers to freedom. The difference between the two meanings of free is often characterized as "Free as in speech vs. free as in beer." The GPL is free as in speech.

 

 

| WordPress

There is one reason I keep hearing over and over again from people who don't use WordPress: there's no access control. For large organizations, it's essential to have close control over what users can and cannot do on our site. Drupal and Joomla both have powerful access control systems in the core.

With WordPress, if you choose the right plugin, it is still possible to have close control over what your users can and can not do. We're going to show you how with the Advanced Access Manager plugin.

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| Drupal

Drupal Display SuiteOne of the rites of passage for beginner Drupal users is to learn Panels. It's a useful tool for laying out pages and redesigning content pages without any code knowledge.

However, not everyone is a fan. Panels is sometimes criticized for being hard to use and for having performance issues.

In this tutorial we're going to introduce you to a powerful alternative: Display Suite. We're going to show you several ways in which it can make designing your content fun and pain-free.

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