Drupal and Media – Great new book

One of the biggest challenges Drupal presents is dealing with media files. Because of the open nature of the product, there is usually a lot of time needed to make something as simple as an image gallery. I spent many hours designing one myself using different image handlers, a custom content type, views and HTML entities that present


editing controls.

Packtpub.com has a great resource for those who are dealing with media files. I just picked it up but it looks like it is going to be a great resource for me. I specifically plan to use it for a video based help system for the website that I am currently working on. But check out the book at the link below.


Tools for PHP Development – Yii Framework

PHP is the backbone of Drupal and one of the most versatile programming languages for database driven  web applications. Developing applications in PHP really isn’t too difficult in general, but there are always tools that can make development easier.


Packtpub.com has released another good title focusing on the Yii Framework for fast-turnaround PHP Development. Yii provides a great workspace for PHP developers to extend their abilities to connect to databases, validate forms, manage team resources and a lot more.

This particular book, Instant Building Multi-Page Forms with Yii How-to, is one of the “quick-and-dirty” titles from Packt. Free of fluff, to the point and aggressively priced, it provides an invaluable resource for creating PHP forms that can handle anything from user registrations to payment processing. It even covers AJAX enabling your forms for truly dynamic page content without page refreshes.

Check it out today at packtpub.com.

Customizing your theme

Once again, I have a book recommendation for you. And this one may be the best of any that I have picked up. Ric Shreves’ Drupal 7 Themes. This one is great. But I do have to warn you that it isn’t for novices. I started reading this one several months ago and decided that I needed to brush up on some PHP, CSS and HTML stuff, AND learn more Drupal before I could really make use of it. But if yLearn drupalou are at that point, where the idea of adding a content type for a specific need is understood, where the files that go into a theme are reasonably well understood, then this one will be for you. This is the book that I am really going to be able to make use of going forward in my theming.


Good book for PHP, MySQL and Apache

I have been working with this particular book now for a couple of months now and I have to say that it is one of my favorites.

Sam’s Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL and Apache. – this link goes to Amazon.Image

This book is perfect for where I want to go with Drupal. xAMP is the Drupal backbone and this book covers everything that I need from the last three letters of this acronym. There code sample are well documented and helpful. Check it out if you plan to be able to develop for Drupal and not just implement the modules and themes that are on Drupal.org.

Learn Firebug

The new generation of http analyzers is awesome. I can get so much info out of these tools and many of them are free. I’ve posted about Firebug before. I found a great book at a great price to help me get started on this. Check it out over at Packtpub’s web site. I think I’m going to simply subscribe to Packt’s service. They really do have a bunch of awesome books!


PHP Programming Frameworks

PHP Programming Frameworks

Make your PHP projects simpler with a development framework.

It is difficult to leverage Drupal to its full extent without actually learning the mechanics behind it – PHP. Since Drupal is a framework for Content Management, I decided to see if there might be a similar type of framework for PHP, the soul of Drupal. I discovered this great roundup on Wikipedia on development frameworks for many different programming languages. And here I discovered Yii. You can see from both sites that the Yii (Yes It Is) MVC (Model, View, Controller) framework scores better than the others, offering more features. And it is under the BSD license so the download is free!


http://www.phpframeworks.com/ – This is another good resource, specifically for PHP.

So with the choice for Yii made, I decided to look for a book on the subject. I’ve had good luck with Packtpub before so I decided to check their web site to see if they offer anything on Yii. And lo and behold, they do.

I’ve been reading the book, working with the sample code and using Yii for a few weeks now and the book has been really helpful. The chapters navigate the development path of a real application. The book touches on every aspect that a real world development team will face in software production from user access control, issue management to production readiness. It also explores the Blueprint CSS framework, which allows the team to make the application look polished and refined.

The code examples are easy to use and well documented, allowing for a great learning experience even for a novice.

All in all, a great resource for those in software development for the web. Highly recommended.

Data Migration

Since I have been working extensively with syncing three separate but identical environments (Production, Quality and Sandbox) I’ve also been doing a lot of work with data migrations.

packtpub.com migrating-to-drupal-7
Migrate data

There are different methods and tools that work for different situations and it’s been difficult to get a handle on what will work best for a particular job.

I’ve been able to export tables straight out of phpmyadmin and import them to the new sites in a few cases. But what about larger migrations? One of my big concerns with Drupal is the large differences between major versions. How do you go from 6 to 7? What if I want to take this WordPress blog and put it in Drupal?

I’ve read many different books on Drupal and found that this one looks promising for migrating content. It’s from Packtpub and contains many useful suggestions about available tools and how to use them. Check this one out if you need a road map to migrate a lot of data.