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Leveraging Drupal: Getting Your Site Done Right

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  • Posted March 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Focuses on software development process and resources

    This book starts out with a chapter on developing a map for developing a website, and then proceeds to work that map. The author spends a lot of time talking about the process of software development, with the goal of avoiding the "deer in the headlights" problem of knowing where to start or what to do next.

    As he works this, he presents a great deal of detailed information and resources regarding the software development process, which I found very useful. He also presents a series of best practices for setup of a development environment for your Drupal site work, and will introduce you to many techniques for tracking and simplifying the process.

    The book is somewhat light on technical detail, however, although I am not sure that is a fair criticism of a book that focuses on the process to the extent this one does. For example, most of the development uses Drupal 5, although he does provide two detailed examples of upgrading two real Drupal websites to Drupal 6, and has a chapter on the upcoming Drupal 7.

    The development environments discussed, however, do not really cover PHP development, and there is virtually no discussion of practical implementation of testing except for a reference to SimpleTest. And I moved from svn to git some time ago, but this book relies on CVS (for Drupal) and svn.

    Another example of the lack of technical detail is in "The jQuery Chapter". Certainly one would not expect detailed coverage of jQuery in a single chapter, but we could expect more detailed coverage of the Drupal features for using jQuery, such as jquery_plugin_add and drupal_add_js, which he uses but does not describe. The important issue of passing info from Drupal to jQuery got no more than a source comment within a two-page code dump on page 360. Most of the jQuery chapter is also for Drupal 5, a choice that is difficult to understand.

    However, the author brings together a wealth of detailed reference material on software development as well as on Drupal, and I enjoyed his writing style. I did not work the examples (since I will not be creating any Drupal 5 sites), but the book is a fairly quick read.

    In comparison to Using Drupal, both books cover many useful modules, although Using Drupal focuses more on a larger range of modules. In comparison to Pro Drupal Development, that book goes into much greater technical depth, but deals more with PHP development issues, whereas Leveraging Drupal is mostly based on the user interfaces presented by Drupal and its modules. Both of those books focus on Drupal 6.

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