Drupal

What Pro Drupal Development is, and What it Is Not

As copies of Pro Drupal Development, Second Edition hit the streets, I'd like to take a moment to clarify what the book is and what it is not.

What it is not

  • A complete and comprehensive guide to using MySQL with Drupal
  • A detailed howto on integrating Drupal with Sphinx
  • The ultimate reference on using jQuery/AJAX/JavaScript with Drupal
  • A step-by-step tutorial on building an ecommerce site with Drupal
  • ...

What it is

The target audience of Pro Drupal Development is smart people who know PHP (or other languages; PHP can be picked up pretty easily) and are looking for an overview of how Drupal core works. It achieves this by walking through Drupal's major systems: users, nodes, filters, triggers, themes, etc. One of the challenges in writing the book was knowing when to stop. Take theming, for example. To do justice to Drupal's theming system would take a 400-page book in itself. The same goes for working with multimedia files, or optimization, or jQuery. The idea of Pro Drupal Development is to lay down the basics in each of these areas so that the reader is oriented and can then go on to use other resources, or to just better understand the code itself. Other books are being written that will provide great detail in specific areas, and I'm glad to see that -- it's a sign that Drupal is maturing and becoming well-known enough that there is a demand.

Pro Drupal Development was written to provide an on-ramp for intelligent people starting with Drupal so they can avoid months of feeling dumb in irc or having to piece together the big picture from a blog post here, a doc page there, a README here (that's the way I learned Drupal, and it's a frustrating way to learn). If the book fulfills this goal (and from my conversations with new developers it has) then I am satisfied.

When you find errors in the book, please post them as errata so that others can benefit. I'd recommend that when you get the book, go through the errata and make notes in the margins so that when you use the book for reference, you'll see the corrections. With the first edition, we were able to correct a lot of the errors in the second and third printings.

Pro Drupal Development, Second Edition arrives

The author's copies of Pro Drupal Development, Second Edition arrived today. At 667 pages, the book is significantly thicker than the first edition!

I worked on this edition from November of 2007 to July 2008 pretty much without stopping. One morning my daughter found me in the living room writing a chapter at 3 am. It is difficult to express how much work this book has been, and how happy I am to hold the printed copy in my hands. Those who have written books will understand. :) I am glad to finally have it get into the hands of Drupal developers everywhere, and I hope that this contribution helps to complete the transition from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6. Thanks so much to all who have helped with this project!

Profits from the book go to this little guy's college fund. (And if you buy it through drupalbook.com, the Drupal Association gets a percentage of each sale.)

Second edition progress

I thought I'd update everyone on the progress of the second edition of Pro Drupal Development.

The second edition will cover Drupal 6, and is expanded to cover new core topics like actions, triggers, AHAH, etc.

I am currently ahead of my writing schedule. It looks like I will be able to work on the book intensively in May when I will be taking some vacation from my day job. This means that I will have the final chapter in about four weeks from today.

Workflow 5.x-2.0 released

I've finally got a project that uses the workflow module so I've been able to justify putting some time into it. As a result, I've released version 5.x-2.0. This version of workflow works with the 5.x-2.x version of actions, which is the backport of Drupal-6-style actions to Drupal 5. Thanks to mfredrickson and JacobSingh, intrepid workflow maintainers.

I plan to add the ability to change node workflow state while adding a comment to a node before continuing with a Drupal 6 version.

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