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| Drupal
The Absolute Beginners Guide to Drupal Distributions

One of the most common hurdles that Drupal beginners face is learning to navigate all the modules available on Drupal.org.

With over 38,000 modules, choosing which ones to use can be a daunting experience.

One answer is often to use a distribution.

Building your own e-commerce, intranet or a social networking site in Drupal can be intimidating. Imagine how much easier it would be if an expert had found all the best modules for your purpose and had combined them into one package. Imagine that you could download and install that package as easily as a normal copy of Drupal. That's what distributions can do for you.

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| Drupal
Using the Drupal Theme Developer Module

There is one module that makes designing for Drupal 7 much, much easier: Theme Developer.

You can think of Theme Developer as a Drupal-specific version of Firebug or Chrome Developer Tools. Using Theme developer you can click on any element of your Drupal site and get a breakdown of how it was built.

Theme Developer has some downsides: it's not been updated in a while, and (like anything related to the Devel module) shouldn't be used on live sites. But, it can still be a useful tool for Drupal 7 themers.

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| Drupal
Creating Printer-friendly Versions of Drupal Articles

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to add a "Printer-friendly version" button to your Drupal articles. This produces a super-clean version of your article, with any of the site design.

The main reason you'd want to do this is a courtesy for your readers. Many still print things they read online and you don't want them to waste that expensive printer ink just to print your logo and theme as well as the article.

Without this solution, you'd likely need to create a separate CSS file with styles specifically for the printed page.  Fortunately, the "Printer, email and PDF versions" Drupal community module makes this much easier. It will automatically create a printer-friendly version of each article

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| Drupal

How to Use Tokens in Drupal FieldsToken is one of the 3 most popular modules in Drupal.

It allows you to use small placeholders to automatically complete tasks.

To take a simple example, if you put [site:name] on your site, it will be replaced by the actual name of your site. To take a more complicated example, you can use Token together with the Pathauto module to automatically create URL patterns for your whole site.

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| Drupal
prepopulate

One of our members wanted to automatically fill in Drupal fields from another node.

It took a little experimentation, but we managed to make it work using the Token, Token Filter and Entity Reference modules.

This technique works for nodes, but it should allow you to automatically popular field using data from users, comment or any other entity.

Before you begin, follow these steps to enable tokens in Drupal fields. You must allow tokens inside fields before this tutorial will work.

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| Drupal
What Are Experimental Modules in Drupal?

Drupal 8 introduced an interesting new approach called "experimental modules".

These experimental modules are included in the Drupal core, and have inspired several questions from OSTraining members. What are these experimental modules, and is it safe to use then?

Yes, experimental modules are shipped with the Drupal 8 core, but they are not yet fully supported. Here's the official explanation:

Experimental modules allow core contributors to iterate quickly on functionality that may be supported in an upcoming minor release and receive feedback, without needing to conform to the rigorous requirements for production versions of Drupal core. Like other features, new experimental modules can only be added in minor releases, but unlike other features, they may change between patch releases while they are still experimental.

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| Drupal
Add Parallax Styled Blocks to Your Drupal 8 Theme

In this tutorial, I will explain how to use custom block types to create a Parallax effect in your Drupal 8 subtheme.

To follow along with these steps, it would help to have a good understanding of Drupal 8 theming. You can click here to take our Drupal 8 Theming Class.

To be able to follow this tutorial, you also need to install Bootstrap and create a subtheme from the CDN folder. You can follow our guide here in our earlier post.

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| Drupal
Create a Drupal 8 Bootstrap subtheme using CDN

Bootstrap is an incredibly popular option for creating Drupal themes.

Using the Bootstrap CDN allows you to quickly and flexibly add custom code that overrides the Bootstrap defaults. This is a great way to make your own Drupal theme based on Bootstrap.

In this tutorial, we will demonstrate how to create a Drupal 8 subtheme that uses the Bootstrap CDN.

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| Drupal
Drupal 8 Field Layout Alternative to the Display Suite

In Drupal 7 to create custom displays, you would probably use Display Suite.

Drupal 8 just added a potential alternative to the Display Suite in the core experimental modules. The Field Layout and Layout Discovery modules will allow you to assign a layout to specific content types.

In this tutorial you will learn how to customise the display of content on a content type level with the Field Layout and Layout Discovery modules.

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| Drupal
The Bigger Picture Surrounding the Drupal Controversy

This has not been a fun couple of weeks in the Drupal community.

If you've missed the events, you can catch up with this list of links. There's dozens of articles in that list, plus hundreds more think-pieces, tweets and Reddit posts.

You don't need me to add to another opinion on what happened.

Instead, I'd like to try and situate this controversy into the broader flow of recent events.

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| Drupal
Opening the Gates For Drupal.org Code Contributions

Proposals to improve the Drupal contribution process have been heavily debated for the last few years. 

Until now, the only thing everyone could agree on was the current process was broken.

Currently, many submitted modules are hung out to dry, because very few people have time or energy to fight through the submission process. You are lucky if you get your module accepted within 6 months. Many developers have waited much longer.

We were astonished to learn that our theme, called Breeze, was the first theme project to complete the approval process in 2016. And it was published in September! There were no new theme contributors for the vast majority of 2016. 

Fortunately, big changes have come to the approval process for code on Drupal.org.

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| Drupal
Creating a Drupal 8 Private File System

An OSTraining member asked how they could set up a Drupal 8 private file system.

In Drupal 7 you could do this from the configuration at Administrator > Configuration > Media > File System.

In Drupal 8, we have to set the private path manually.

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| Drupal
How to Setup Mollom on Drupal 8

An OSTraining member asked how to set up the Drupal 8 "Mollom" module. Mollom is a very useful way to protect Drupal from spammers invading your forms.

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to go through the process of its installation and setting up.

If you are using Drupal 7, we have the How to use the Mollom Module in Drupal 7 class that covers how to do this in detail.

Let's get started.

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| Drupal
How to Use Pathauto in Drupal 8

Many modules have been in flux during the early stages of Drupal 8's development.

Few modules have changed as much as Pathauto, which the vast majority of Drupal sites use to control their URLs.

In this tutorial, I'll show you the current way to use Pathauto with your Drupal 8 site.

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| Drupal
checking upgrade status of modules

Are you a Drupal 7 user who wants to migrate to Drupal 8.

You're not alone. "Can I rebuild my site in Drupal 8?" is a very common question in the Drupal community.

This tutorial will show you how to use the Upgrade Status module to see if you can rebuild your site in Drupal 8. 

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| Drupal
Show Drupal Content in Tabs, Using Views

One of our OSTraining members asked how best to make a tabbed view of content in Drupal 8. We already have a whole class on tabs in Drupal 7, but D8 works differently.

For this tutorial, I used 2 content types: "Article" and "News". We are going to show the Articles in one tab, and the News in a second tab.

In Drupal 8, you can make tabs without using any extra modules at all.

As a tip, I used the Devel module to create some dummy content for this exercise. You don't have to do this, but Devel always make it easy to test content-heavy tasks.

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| Drupal
5 Ways to Tell if a Site is Built in Drupal

One of the most common questions we get at Drupal beginner classes is, "How can I tell if a site is built in Drupal?"

We get that question because it's just not possible to know the answer without a few tips and tricks.

If you look at a website such as WhiteHouse.gov, there is no way of telling if it's built Drupal. The design of a site is completely independent from the platform it uses.

We're going to give you 5 ways to tell if a site is built in Drupal. Not all of these suggestions will work on all Drupal sites, but taken together they should give you a clear answer.

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| Drupal
Using Panels to Build Page Layouts in Drupal 8

One of our OSTraining members asked about the current state of the Panels module in Drupal 8. They already had experience with Panels in Drupal 7.

Panels is one of the most popular ways to create page layouts in Drupal.

In this quick tutorial, we will show you have to create your Panel in Drupal 8. The process is definitely different when compared to Drupal 7, although many similarities remain.

For this tutorial, you do not need to have experience with Panels.

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| Drupal
The Easiest Way to Debug Drupal Themes and Modules

Are you looking for an easy way to find errors thrown by your Drupal modules and themes?

A lot of new developers are learning to create their first Drupal 8 modules or Drupal 8 themes. Often they've made a very small typo or spacing error and are looking for an easy way to debug their mistake.

Follow this tutorial, and you'll quickly be able to see a detailed list of recent errors on your Drupal site.

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| Drupal
Contribute Your Code on Drupal.org, Part 6: Review Process

Previously we talked about connecting and checking that you are connected to your sandbox project, uploading your project and checking it against Paraview. 

Now, in Part 6, we're going to look at getting your theme reviewed. This is perhaps the trickiest and slowest part of the whole contribution process, so pay close attention. We're going to help you do everything possible to ensure a speedy and successful application submission. 

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| Drupal
Contribute Your Code on Drupal.org, Part 5: Upload Your Project Files

In previous posts in this series, we talked the process of contributing to Drupal.org.

Those posts covered setting up your project, configuring Git, creating sandbox projects, and much more: 

Now, in Part 5, we are going to upload our project and ensure that the project meets Drupal's standards.

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| Drupal
How to Update Drupal 8 Sites

Throughout the life of your Drupal site, you'll have to perform updates. New features, bug fixes and security patches will be released for Drupal itself, plus modules and themes. This process is essential to maintain a healthy Drupal site.

We're going to take you through the steps needed to update your Drupal sites. Watch the following 5 videos below, and you'll keep your Drupal 8 running on the latest version.

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| Drupal
When is Drupal 7 End-of-Life

So Drupal 8 is here and that has a significant impact on Drupal 7 users. Drupal 7 is no longer the latest and greatest version.

One question we often get now is this:

When will Drupal 7 reach end-of-life and no longer be supported?

The simple answer is, "We don't know".

The longer answer is, "We can have a good guess". That's what this blog post is about. We hope to give you more details so you can plan for the future of your Drupal 7 site.

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| Drupal
Contribute Your Code on Drupal.org, Part 4: Connecting to the Sandbox

Welcome to Part 4 of this series that shows how to start contributing modules and themes to Drupal.org.

In previous parts of this series, we talked about the different ways in which you can contribute to Drupal, setting up your project and configuring Git. 

Now we need to connect to our sandbox and test that it is working properly. To do this you need an SSH Key. If you're unsure about this, watch our class on SSH Keys

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