Updating Easy Drupal Admin Manual

1 Dec 2009

The Easy Drupal Admin Manual (EDAM) is a manual for a class of user that gets overlooked by most documentation: the non-technical administrator or editor who isn't setting up a Drupal site, but just wants to create content and perform simple configuration on an existing site. 

EDAM is finally getting a long-overdue updating for Drupal 6, too. So far, the changes are mostly tweaks to details of administration forms and some terminology; where simple admin and editing are concerned, the differences between Drupal 5 and 6 aren't great. Read more about Updating Easy Drupal Admin Manual

Flexible WYSIWYG editing for Drupal

16 Nov 2009

A shocking discovery for many a newcomer to Drupal is that a fresh installation offers no controls for styling text in node bodies, comments, or wherever else you might like to drop a boldface or a header.

Most of those stunned beginners eventually realize that this makes sense: Some users want no such text styling, or prefer the complete control of manual HTML tags. And for those who do want word processor-style editing controls, there is no universally-loved solution; there are many editor solutions floating about, each with its own strengths and fans. Drupal lets the administrator choose and install any of many favorites, including FCKeditor and Tiny Tiny MCE. That still irks some who want a built-in solution, but it's a good state of affairs for anyone not afraid of a little hands-on work installing a module and setting up WYSIWYG editing. Read more about Flexible WYSIWYG editing for Drupal

Checking out Amazon on Drupal 6, Part 2

7 Oct 2009

Here's the second installment of my Amazon and Drupal experiments.

First, a note on a topic I mentioned, the recent requirement that Amazon affiliates go to aws.amazon.com to acquire a new Access Key ID and Secret Access Key: The Amazon module kindly warns you right on your main admin page if your Keys are incomplete or outdated. Here's the message I didn't spot when I was troubleshooting things on my own:

The Amazon API must be configured with an Access Key ID and an Amazon AWS Secret Access Key to function. Go to Amazon API Setttings.

Helpful! All right then, on to a new feature, Amazon Stores: Read more about Checking out Amazon on Drupal 6, Part 2

Review: Drupal 6 Ultimate Community Site Guide

How-to guide for a community siteDrupal 6 Ultimate Community Site Guide

Drupal 6 Ultimate Community Site Guide is an inexpensive (€5.5), 133-page ebook by Drupal enthusiast Dorien Herremans. It aims to help moderately new Drupal users bring community-oriented features to a site, via a book-length case study: the Drupal Fun site, where you'll find the book offered.

Drupal Fun's community features include basic member functionality (login, profiles), showcases, forums, shared AdSense, newsletter, user tags, user search, and content voting. It doesn't boast the shiny appearance of one of the fancier sites out there, so it's not surprise that the book doesn't delve into creation of awesome themes. Likewise, Drupal Fun's functionality comes mostly from commonly-used modules, with only a splash of manual code in blocks or elsewhere, not groundbreaking new features via heavy custom coding. But that simplicity makes the site valuable as a case study for users who want to enable those same community features despite still-modest Drupal skills.

Read more about Review: Drupal 6 Ultimate Community Site Guide

Checking out Amazon on Drupal 6, Part 1

29 Sep 2009

How can you easily add Amazon product links to a Drupal site? If you've been working with Drupal at all, you can guess the answer: There's a module for that!

That would be the Amazon module. Yet... How do you use that module? As noted in this forum thread, the module contains nearly no documentation, and I failed to find anything among the Drupal.org handbooks. 

There's a little documentation on Drupal.org for the Amazon Store module but not for the Amazon module itself. This finding is repeated inside a comment at comment at Drupal Modules.com: "It doesn't have any documentation on how to use it but I found a lot out by visiting the issue queue and reading the user posts."

I'm trying to get Amazon working on another site, just a simple way to display some Amazon offerings alongside a node, or even an in-site "store". One solution, of course, is to paste Amazon code directly into nodes or blocks, but that's somewhat static; I'm interested in seeing what a module can do to improve upon that. Some problems and in-progress solutions: Read more about Checking out Amazon on Drupal 6, Part 1