Learning Drupal 6 Module Developmentby Matt Butcher
With great power comes... tremendous flexibility. Drupal is an award-winning open-source Content Management System, and the feature-packed sixth release is right around the corner. It's a
Walk through the development of complete Drupal 6 modules with this primer for PHP programmers, written specifically for Drupal 6 to get you started coding your first module.
With great power comes... tremendous flexibility. Drupal is an award-winning open-source Content Management System, and the feature-packed sixth release is right around the corner. It's a modular system, with an elegant hook-based architecture, and great code. These are a few of the perks that make Drupal a choice platform for developers who want the power of an established CMS, but the freedom to make it work for them. From social networking to AJAX to e-commerce, the hundreds of existing modules attest to Drupal's flexibility. When you create a new module for Drupal, it fits seamlessly into the look and feel of your overall site. If you can think it in PHP, you can code it as a Drupal module.
Dive into Drupal module development as we create the Philosopher Biographies website, developing new modules and themes to meet practical goals. Create custom content types. Add AJAX functionality with the jQuery library. Use external XML APIs to add content to your site. Email newsletters to site members. Use themes. Empower administrators with extra features. And bundle it all up in a custom installation profile. You won't find a "hello world" here!
If you're eager to start creating modules for Drupal 6, this is your book. Walk through the development of complete Drupal modules with this primer for PHP programmers. Specifically written for Drupal 6, this book will get you coding modules as quickly as possible, and help you add the features that will give your work that professional gloss!
Just getting started with Drupal development? This book will give you a clear, concise and, of course, practical guidance to take you from the basics of creating your first module to developing the skills to make you a Drupal developer to be reckoned with.
Are you a Drupal developer looking to update to version 6? This book covers the new and updated APIs to guide your transition to Drupal 6. The new menu system, the Forms and Schema APIs, and many core revisions are covered in this book.
- Packt Publishing
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Butcher teaches serious coding within Drupal 6. This latest version of Drupal has been heavily built out, with the key ideas of modules and themes. One slight dissonant note that the book quickly addresses is the overt lack of object orientedness. Due to the corresponding absence in the underlying PHP version when Drupal 6 was first being put together. So you are relegated to writing procedural code in Drupal. This may not be so bad for several reasons. First, if you are unfamiliar with OO, then its lack is moot. Second, the book does describe several OO aspects that have been implemented, so OO programmers can take advantage of this. Third, OO typically is better than procedural (easier to maintain) for long programs. The extended code examples of the book seem perfectly adequate as normal function calls. The book does not seem to make the following explicit. But as the latest PHP is now fully OO, future versions of Drupal might indeed also be so. There are some nice features of Drupal 6. Like the administration interface for configuring block placement, which acts like a WYSIWIG editor. So you can see for yourself how the webpage would look as you do the configuring. One slight caveat is the unclosed opening PHP tag for a module file. There is no corresponding closing PHP set. (Yuk!) It turns out that there is a good reason for this. So you'll just have to live with it. The analog of CSS within Drupal is themes. Used to factor out a common look and feel across a set of dynamically generated pages. Here is indeed a fair amount of complexity. But fairly well minimised behind APIs and some coding guidelines.