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Drupal 7 Fields/Cck Beginner's Guide Paperback – Jul 15 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (July 15 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184951478X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849514781
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.7 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,591,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Dave Poon is a web developer and designer based in Sydney. He started his career as a freelance graphic and web designer in 1998 and works with web development agencies and medium-size enterprises. After graduating from Central Queensland University with a degree in Multimedia Studies and a Master's degree in IT he began his love affair with Drupal, and works for a variety of companies using Drupal. Currently, he is the director of Erlango (http://erlango.com), a web product development startup, located in Sydney and Hong Kong, which is using Drupal as a framework to create web products and customized CMS. He was the technical reviewer for Drupal Intranets with Open Atrium, published by Packt Publishing.

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Format: Paperback
The striking characteristic of Drupal version 7 is the introduction of the default module Field. Default because it comes inside the Drupal 7 distribution. Quite unlike the situation with the CCK module, which was compatible with Drupal 6 but which had to be explicitly downloaded on its own, after you had installed Drupal 6. But this easier aspect of the Field is really only a trivial advantage related to installation. The improvements are well documented in the text, showing how it is more intuitive and thus easier for a Drupal beginner to pick up.

Some of you with a background in relational databases can see from the text and screen captures in the book how there are glimpses of an underlying database. But handily for those without this background, you do not have to know much about relational databases. Using Field in Drupal mostly shields the formal complexity of relational theory from the user.

Chapter 2 has a quick rundown on the core field related modules. Already and hopefully you can discern from these that care has been taken to devise a base set of modules that can satisfy most article types in a web page. But and this is a key point of Field that the book highlights, suppose those base modules are not precisely what you need? The book shows how you can readily customise by adding fields [lower case!] to a default content type.

Later portions of the book also look at how the display [ie. appearance] in a web page can be further customised.

Nor should you forget that Drupal is a content management system. As with any CMS, there are different roles, or types of users. And some users can be assigned different editing permissions on a generated web page, compared to a generic visitor to that page.
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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A worthwhile addition to your Drupal 7 library Aug. 17 2011
By Peter Griffiths - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you are unfamiliar with the changes ushered in with Drupal 7, you might wonder whether acquiring a book about the featured Drupal 7 aspect is a good investment to make.

As its title - Drupal 7 Fields/CCK Beginner's Guide - indicates, 'fields' (as this term is applied within a Drupal frame of reference) are a major topic within the book. Since the redesign of the Drupal 6 CCK (Content Construction Kit)and its porting to the Drupal 7 core as the Field API module, Drupal 7 fields provide a convenient means to customize almost every aspect of a Drupal 7 website. Fields, moreover, can interface with contributed Drupal 7 modules for enhanced field functionality.

While conceding that Drupal 7 Fields/CCK Beginner's Guide covers an important and wide ranging topic, you may still be unsure that it will meet your needs as a Drupal novice or a Drupal 6 user making the transition to Drupal 7. In this regard, I think the book maintains a good balance of explanations punctuated with pop quizzes, structured tasks and tasks requiring some independent thought. I think the way in which Dave Poon has structured the book, so that book readers use fields to develop a web site as they proceed through the book, is an excellent approach to have taken to the subject matter at hand.

I have awarded Drupal 7 Fields/CCK Beginner's Guide four stars for enabling me to gain familiarity with a key Drupal 7 website development resource with very little conscious effort on my part.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great way to learn about fields Oct. 18 2011
By mediacurrent - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Drupal 7's release earlier this year came with a lot of changes to defacto standard Drupal features. One of the biggest changes is the introduction of the Fields system. Field, a core module in Drupal 7, replaces the Content Contstruction Kit (CCK) contributed module that's been a part of Drupal since version . For those developers and content managers that are used to using CCK in past versions of Drupal, the new Field module opens a whole new way of thinking about content modelling in Drupal 7. For those people picking up Drupal for the first time, the new Fields system provides a logical approach and much more flexibility for building customized content structures that didn't exist in Drupal previously.

To brush up on the new Fields system in Drupal 7, I picked up Drupal 7 Fields/CCK: Beginner's Guide by Dave Poon. The book does an excellent job of breaking down Fields in an easily digestable way. Drupal 7 Fields/CCK: Beginner's Guide is written in a simple, easy-to-read style that will help content managers and developers alike understand the new Fields system. Poon organizes the book into lessons that build on top of each other, giving readers quizzes and mini-tutorials at the end of each chapter. He also includes an example website project that readers can use to learn Fields in hands-on way.

The book's quizzes are a fairly good learning device but readers may have difficulty finding where the answers are located. Quiz answers are located in back of the book but it's not obvious unless the reader thumbs through book's index. Having a page number noting the location of the answers would offer readers a more immediate point of reference when checking answers to a quiz.

Poon uses screenshots of Drupal for teaching different aspects of the Fields system, a great teaching tool for beginners. At Mediacurrent, we've found the most successful way to teach Drupal newbie's is through screenshot visuals that illustrate user interaction points for accomplishing content management tasks. Poon notes where users should click on screenshots with easy to view arrows. Outside of the Drupal screenshots, no other graphic elements are used to guide the reader quickly through the book. Icons associated with a section heading would help readers flip through and reference different chapters while testing out how to use Fields in Drupal 7.

Developers reading the book will benefit from Poon's explanation of how to theme Fields and an overview of the Fields architecture toward the end of the book. He offers readers a tutorial for theming a content type using the book's example project. Moreover, he provides of list of terms and definitions related to new Fields concept in Drupal 7 and illustrates the database schema for MySQL tables associated with Fields.

To sum up, Drupal 7 Fields/CCK: Beginner's Guide is a helpful reference for learning how Drupal 7's new Fields system works. I recommend it for Drupal content managers that have a cursory understanding of how Drupal works and Drupal developers that know CCK and want to learn how its replacement, the Fields system, works in Drupal 7.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A great Walk-Through of Drupal 7 Fields for Beginners Nov. 18 2011
By Michael Hofmockel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Drupal 7 brought with it some much needed changes that solved to pain points in Drupal 6. One of those pain points was the lack of abstraction amongst the many Drupal "Objects". Nodes, comments, users, and other objects where all generated and handled in unique ways. In Drupal 7, the paradigms of Drupal 6 were jacked up and an abstraction layer for all objects was slid in place. This abstraction is coined an "entity". This much needed abstraction allows for more unified treatment of objects. Fields can now be attached to anything. This rocks! Now we can stop debating if Users should be Nodes or not. Because they are Entities!

The book Drupal 7 Fields/CCK by Dave Poon does a great job of helping the end-user get up to speed on how to deploy fields in Drupal 7. The book is laid out in a guided tutorial with screenshots. This is by far my favorite way to learn new tech. Videos, even in the same method, are not as affective as a physical book. I especially like the tests. They are a way to remind the reader of what is important and verify that it is understood before moving on. Although, I would suggest the answers immediately follow the test rather then aggregated in the back.

There is one down side to a linear flow and that is that jumping into the middle can be disjunctive and unhelpful. In this approach (linear, additive) this book is a tutorial not a reference. This does not take away from my like of the linear approach, I am just categorizing this book. References have their value as well.

I would recommend this book for newbies to power users of Drupal. The linear flow with lessons building on the previous lesson is perfect for this audience. This book in whole, will not be much use to the developer as it does not really address how to code "fields".

Pet peeve:
I wish he would not have used the acronym "CCK" in the title. The module "Content Construction Kit" was primarily migrated into Drupal 6. I recognize he addresses this, quite well actually, in the introduction but I see the audience of this book primarily as people who have never used Drupal 6. It's time to stop using this term in exchange for the use of fields and entities.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
extensive ability to customise web pages Nov. 6 2011
By W Boudville - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The striking characteristic of Drupal version 7 is the introduction of the default module Field. Default because it comes inside the Drupal 7 distribution. Quite unlike the situation with the CCK module, which was compatible with Drupal 6 but which had to be explicitly downloaded on its own, after you had installed Drupal 6. But this easier aspect of the Field is really only a trivial advantage related to installation. The improvements are well documented in the text, showing how it is more intuitive and thus easier for a Drupal beginner to pick up.

Some of you with a background in relational databases can see from the text and screen captures in the book how there are glimpses of an underlying database. But handily for those without this background, you do not have to know much about relational databases. Using Field in Drupal mostly shields the formal complexity of relational theory from the user.

Chapter 2 has a quick rundown on the core field related modules. Already and hopefully you can discern from these that care has been taken to devise a base set of modules that can satisfy most article types in a web page. But and this is a key point of Field that the book highlights, suppose those base modules are not precisely what you need? The book shows how you can readily customise by adding fields [lower case!] to a default content type.

Later portions of the book also look at how the display [ie. appearance] in a web page can be further customised.

Nor should you forget that Drupal is a content management system. As with any CMS, there are different roles, or types of users. And some users can be assigned different editing permissions on a generated web page, compared to a generic visitor to that page. The interplay between the Field and roles has also been fully implemented inside Drupal 7.

There are pop quizzes in the chapters. I did not think much of these. Too rudimentary. Either they should have been abandoned or made into more substance to challenge the serious reader.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not all the answers but it will take you a few steps closer to understanding Drupal. Aug. 16 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've been learning website development for 4 year and have focused in on Content Management Systems for the past 6 months.
Every once in awhile I will be working through a textbook and I will understand how I can develop a project with the CMS I am reading about.
With all the hype surrounding Drupal, I thought I would have developed something with it by now, but after reading through two Drupal textbooks
I'm still not sure how to use Drupal to create the website I want. CCK is the third textbook I have recently finished on the subject.

First of all, this is a beginner's guide to CCK. It assumes you have Drupal installed already and gives very little education on the basics most
textbooks devote 2 or 3 chapters to. You will be jumping right in. Creating forms for a variety of different content and then diplaying the input from those forms. (A much needed, fairly thorough content managment book for Drupal.) CCK could easily be a book for dummies. It's easy to follow and well written. I raced through theh entire textbook in one weekend.

The book doesn't go as in depth as I would hope. There is a lot of weight from pop quizes and examples repeated twice that could have easily been devoted to making chapter 9's theming instruction longer. I felt some of the space could have been better spent going into further detail on content display.

All and all, CCK is essential learning. It did get the wheels in my head turning as to how I could develop my Drupal website further. It just doesn't go far enough. Drupal has a steep learning curve and I will probably need another couple of textbooks to really understand the power of it. Drupal Themes will be my next endeavor.

(I highly recommend Textpattern CMS if you are good with CSS and want to display different content types in highly customized fashion. My favorite so far.)


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