Over the last few months, we've been covering the Drupal community's progress towards releasing Drupal 8.
Our last update was a month ago. I explained that the core file structure had changed, plus there were over 15 new modules including Views.
Since that update, the first major deadline has arrived. Feature freeze was in the beginning of December, although that deadline slipped a little, and we can still expect new features until February.
However, lots of great new features have arrived in the last month, and so let's take another look at the state of Drupal 8.
In this blog post we're going to introduce you to Drupal entities and how they make site building easier.
In Drupal 6, there was a big difference between how Drupal handled different types of content. Nodes, comments, terms and users were all technically "content", but Drupal treated them all differently.
What happened with Drupal 7 is that we started to treat nodes, comments, terms and users in the same way. No longer was there a big difference between them.
Each individual node, user, term and comment is now called an entity.
Nodes, comments, terms and users are now called entity types. The image below from Heather James on Drupal.org shows some "entity types" in Drupal 7
Sometimes in Drupal there are many solutions to a problem.
One such problem is controlling who can see which content on your site.
Although Drupal comes with 5 permissions for content, none of them deal with access. Here are the 5 default permissions:
In another tutorial this week, we talked about a major hole in Drupal's permissions system.The hole is that Drupal allows you to control who can create, edit and delete content but not who can view it.
Because this problem impacts a lot of sites, there are a lot of available solutions. In that other tutorial, we recommended the Content Access module. In this tutorial, we're going to recommend the Taxonomy Access Control module.
What's the difference?
Over the last few months, we've been covering the Drupal community's progress towards releasing Drupal 8.
Now that the first major deadline is only a week away, it's time to provide another update.
What's the state of Drupal 8?
We've had a few members start to test Drupal 8 and several ran into a problem during the installation.
Basically their hosting service is out-of-date or incorrectly set up. During the installation they get an error message saying that something called "Magic Quotes" isn't supported.
Here's an explanation of that problem and how you can fix it.
It's fairly common to replace the title field in Drupal.
There are many possible reasons to replace the title, but most of them come down to this ... the title field is not very flexible.
To take just one example, imagine that you're adding a directory of your staff members to your site. Presumably, you'd like the person's name to be the title of each page. However, because the title field only consists of a text field with 255 characters, you can't have close control over what people enter. The solution is to replace the default title with specific "First Name" and "Last Name" fields.
So, here's how to automatically generate titles in Drupal 7.
Most of us are used to having a spellchecker when we type. If we use Microsoft Word, Google Docs and most other writing tools, you're used to seeing a red line under your spelling mistakes.
If you'd like to add a similar spellchecker to your Drupal WYSIWYG editor, here's how to do it ...
Views Slideshow is the most popular module for creating slideshows in Drupal.
Earlier this year we showed you how to use Views Slideshow to create a basic slideshow.
One of our students read that tutorial and wondered about taking things further. They wanted to create a slideshow with smaller thumbnails, similar to the one you see on WhiteHouse.gov, Grammy.com and many other Drupal sites. In this tutorial, we show you how to create a more advanced slideshow, similar to those famous sites.
It's happened to all of us who use Drupal. We've installed a new theme or module and our beautiful homepage now looks like this:
Here are ways you can try to solve this problem and get your site back online.
Aggregator is a key part of Drupal that is often ignored.
I blame it on the confusing name. No, Aggregator is not an animal in Florida that eats people. Aggregator is a module that imports content from RSS feeds into Drupal.
Because it has a name starting with "A", Aggregator is the first module that people ever see on the Modules page. In this tutorial, we're going to show you what Aggregator does and how to use it.
One of our students is building a local tourism website. They wanted to show the local weather on the site but without any of the big, ugly branding that often accompanies weather displays.
In this tutorial, we'll show you how to use the Weather module to create a local weather block.
Our Drupal students frequently want to add a map to their content. In this tutorial we're going to show you how.
We'll take the example of a Yellow Pages-style directory and show you how to display a Google Map beside each business listing.
Where do you go when you're in the market for a great Drupal theme?
There are over 1000 free themes on Drupal.org, but that is not the only option. There are companies who sell themes. For prices ranging from $50 to $500 you can expect more complete, polished designs and support staff ready to answer your questions.
Here are 10 of the best commercial Drupal theme companies.
Over the last few months some of the most talented people in Drupal have been working on usability improvements.
Their project is called Spark. Initially their improvements are being released for Drupal 7 and the hope is that they will later be moved to Drupal 8. We mentioned Spark in our summary of Drupal 8. You can also find more background in Dries's launch post for Spark.
The first Alpha release of Spark has just been released, so we decided to take it for a test drive. Come with us and see where Drupal usability is headed.
Do you work with clumsy people? Are you a clumsy person yourself? If so, then Revisions might be the solution for you.
Revisions is a quick and easy way to save a copy of every Drupal content item when you make a change. In reality, Revisions is not only useful for clumsy people but also for organizations that have a lot of content creators and for many government agencies who have record keeping rules to follow.
In this tutorial, we'll give you an introduction to the core Revisions features and then show you some useful extra modules.
If you want to learn about revisions in WordPress, check out the WordPress revisions guide.
Webform is a wonderful Drupal module.
It is possible to add Webforms to any content on your site. However, by default, you can't use the same form more than once. In this tutorial we'll show you how to re-use a webform whenever you need it.
Six months ago we said that "Drupal 8 is underway with lots of great ideas and initiatives."
Now it's time for an update. Where does Drupal 8 stand today?
Drupal 8 in a Nutshell
- When is Drupal 8 being released? Not until August 2013.
- What's great about Drupal 8? Possibly everything. This is probably the most ambitious CMS launch I've ever seen.
- Who is Drupal 8 for? To begin with, it is for developers and early adopters only. Drupal 7 took around 18 months to become more popular then Drupal 6. Most Drupal users might not be on 8 until 2015.
- Will upgrading be easy? Unlikely. It will probably be similar to the difficult move from Drupal 5 to 6 or from Drupal 6 to 7.
- I am on Drupal 5, 6 or 7. What do I do?
- Drupal 5 users should probably migrate to Drupal 7 now.
- Drupal 6 users have more time because 6 will be supported at least until 8 is released.
- Drupal 7 users are in the best situation because 7 will likely be supported for four or five more years.
Drush is a great tool for quickly managing routine tasks with a Drupal installation.
Drush allows you to search the drupal.org site, install Drupal, install modules, enable modules and much more.
This is going to be a tutorial aimed at Drush beginners. We'll explain how to install Drush, how to use it and how to perform some common tasks.
Page Title is a very simple, yet very important module when it comes to SEO on your Drupal site. This module gives you granular control over your meta titles.
Although Nodewords was the preferred option in Drupal 6, it didn't make the leap to Drupal 7 became the Meta Tags module in Drupal 7. The Page Title module is one of the options now available for Drupal 7.
The meta title is found in your HTML head code and is surrounded by <title> tags. The meta title appears in the browser bar when people are viewing the page. It also appears on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages), and a well written title can greatly increase the number of people who click through to your site.
One of our students is using Drupal's Webform module for their site's contact form.
They asked if it was possible to send submissions to different e-mail addresses based on a choice made in the form. The student wanted to send different submissions to different departments in the company.
Yes, it is possible and we're going to show you how.
Before we start, here are two useful links:
It happens to all of us ... we lose our password.
Actually recovering your original password in Drupal 7 is not possible, but resetting one is possible and we're going to show you how to do it.
Your first step should be to try and reset your password by adding this to your site's URL: /user/password/. If that doesn't work or if you don't know the email for the account, then you can use this tutorial.
One of the most common complaints we get from newcomers to Drupal is that easy, good-looking themes are hard to find.
There are themes which are easy to use, but typically these are not easy on the eye. There are also beautiful, but complicated theme frameworks.
So, to help our students, we've found 10 Drupal themes that meet these criteria:
- Easy on the eye.
- Easy to use.
If you have TinyMCE installed on your Drupal site, you have all you need to upload and play audio and video files.
The Media module is a good option for sites with more advanced audio and video needs, but if your needs are straightforward, then TinyMCE will work for you.
In this tutorial, we're going to show you how to upload and display an .mp3 audio file and a .swf video file inside Drupal content.
The Widgets module allows you to centrally manage text and code snippets across your Drupal site.
You can also combine the snippets into sets for even easier re-use.
Widgets provides some pre-defined snippets but also allows you create your own. In this tutorial we're going to do both.
As your Drupal site grows, so does your permissions page. Finding the permissions you need to change often requires a lot of clicking and scrolling.
Fast Permissions Access (FPA) is a simple Drupal module that makes managing permissions much easier. FPA puts a neat little search box on the permissions page so you can find exactly what you're looking for.
Managing comments on a busy website can get tedious if you need to login and check continually. It's very convenient to get an email with the comment text, so you can see if it's legitimate or comment spam.
To do this in Drupal we're going to use two core modules, Actions and Triggers. We'll also use the Token module to control over the content and recipients for the email
In this tutorial we're going to use Actions, Triggers and Tokens to show you how to automatically send customized emails from Drupal.
There are various ways to create lists of nodes in Drupal. So what's different about the Nodequeue Module?
Nodequeue allows you to manually control the order of your nodes. You can use drag and drop to re-order a list of nodes. Whereas a module like Views will automatically publish all of your nodes that meet certain criteria, Nodequeue allows you to control the order of those nodes.
Nodequeue is very often used for slideshows and other site features where you need to choose which articles to show.
There is one question we get time and time and again from developers who are new to Drupal: "How do I create a staging environment for my sites?"
They want to know how to create a development site / test site / live site setup. It's not easy to do.
In fact, at the moment, I can realistically tell them to do only one of three things:
- Wait for Drupal 8.
- Try Acquia hosting.
- Try the newly-released Pantheon hosting.
When you create a feature like a photo gallery, slideshow, blog or forum for Drupal, it involves installation of quite a few individual modules. In addition, each module often requires a lot of configuration.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could just create a feature just once and reuse it time and again, no matter how many modules and much configuration it needs?
That's the goal of the Features Module for Drupal. Create something once. Re-use it easily on as many sites as you wish.