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Drupal's Building Blocks: Quickly Building Web Sites with CCK, Views, and Panels Paperback – Dec 22 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (Dec 22 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321591313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321591319
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #329,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Earl Miles is a permanent member and founder of the Drupal Association. In 2005, Earl found Drupal and thought it was exactly what he needed to build a website in his spare time. When he found that Drupal lacked some key features, Earl ignored work for three weeks and created the Views module which has been instrumental in Drupal’s continued growth. Earl has been active in the community providing support, as well as posting tips and tricks when the mood strikes him. A lifelong programmer, he is currently employed by iO1, a company that actively participates in the development and consumption of open source software.

Lynette Miles has worked for fifteen years in professional software technical support, mainly for Alcatel-Lucent. She became involved with Drupal after attending DrupalCon Brussels and DrupalCon Barcelona. Since then, she has spent most of her contributing time working with the Drupal Documentation team and triaging the Views and Panels queues.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RenderFreak on March 14 2011
Format: Paperback
I have read quite a few books on drupal, and none of them went Into depth of cck, views and panels... Which is kind of weird seeing as they are the drupal building blocks...that is until now!! This book truly is helpful, how can't it be? Afterall, it was written by the guy who came up with views and panels!?! Just wish i had it when i started with drupal, would of saved me alot of time... Will be looking forward to the d7 version...
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Amazon.com: 18 reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Desperately needs revising Feb. 14 2011
By Neal J. Burns - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I gave this book 4 stars only because I am pretty sure it's the only book that covers a lot of the material and I don't want to deter people from reading it. If there were other books on this subject, I would have given it 2 or 3 stars. The writers seem to have a poor grasp of the craft of writing; they fly through difficult concepts and are curiously wordy in explaining simple concepts. I bought it primarily to shed light on the mysterious dark reaches of CCK and Views. I admit that I have skipped the chapters on the low-level APIs, but, having read the chapters aimed at users, I feel that I am only halfway to being an expert, particularly on Views. The problems are made worse by the fact that, despite having been published only last month, there is no mention of Drupal 7, CCK 3 or Views 3. I think there is potential in this book, but they need to expand their coverage of advanced uses of Views, add some discussion of the new versions, and preferably bring on a professional writer to revamp the material already covered. Here's hoping for a much improved second edition.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Panels, Now I understand Panels Jan. 1 2011
By D. Reinders - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been working with Drupal for about a year and have struggled. Drupal does indeed have a steep learning curve. This is not news to the Drupal community or anyone trying to learn Drupal. Here is the good news. This book goes a long way toward flattening that slope.

If you've built a site with Drupal you've used CCK and Views but you might not have realized what you didn't know. Earl and Lynette have taken a straight forward approach to teaching CCK, Views and Panels (I'll get to Panels in a minute). They give you the information you need to get going while also giving you the background about why Drupal does it that way and what goes on "behind the curtain". A newbie and a more experienced Drupal user are both able to learn about CCK and Views at a level that is appropriate for them.

I've worked with Panels a little but never quite understood exactly what I was doing and why. I really worked by trial and error. No longer.

This book has helped me understand the why and how of Panels in a way that nothing else has. I will be using Panels on every project I build from now on. I understand how to use context and variants, panel pages and content panes now. Drupal's Building Blocks will be at my side. I am sure that I will be referring to it regularly.

Drupal's Building Blocks is now part of my "Essential Drupal Library" along with Using Drupal and Pro Drupal Development.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A Great Addition to My Drupal Reference Library Jan. 5 2011
By Tamara Dull - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a strong advocate of the Drupal project for 3-4 years, but it wasn't until this past fall that I actually started building a Drupal site - and a rather complex one at that. I quickly realized that the steep Drupal learning curve that I had read about - or "learning cliff" as the authors point out in this book - is indeed real. If there's a shortcut to learning Drupal, I haven't found it. But the good news is that books like "Drupal's Building Blocks" is a much-needed, welcome addition to any Drupalite's library - whether you're new to Drupal or a veteran. It includes several screenshots and exercises throughout to provide you with practical hands-on experience, so it does a good job of "telling" you and then "showing" you how it's done.

My background is in relational database design, development and management. In non-Drupal terminology, this book focuses on three aspects of development:

(1) Data storage - Using the CCK (Content Construction Kit) module, you can build out your custom "tables and columns" through Drupal's administrative front-end (not the database back-end). The book teaches you about the history, philosophy and usage of the CCK module - through the UI and through (php) code. Even though Drupal modules take care of all table management in the database (most often MySQL), it is interesting to see how Drupal handles M:M relationships on the back-end, along with multi-value and shared fields (columns).

(2) SQL queries - Using the Views module, you can use its UI (or API) to create both simple and sophisticated SQL SELECT statements. In a CMS like Drupal, users enter the data, and modules like Views help display it back out in a myriad of ways. Given that the author developed this module, it was great to get his perspective on how to use this module as it was intended. I had a lot of "aha" moments as I read through this section of the book. And if I ever want to get "geeky" about my Views (to improve performance, etc.), there's a full chapter devoted to the Views API.

(3) The display/UI - Whereas the CCK and Views modules work behind the scenes, the Panels module is all about presentation and making sure our website looks and feels the way we want. Panels isn't the only presentation tool available in Drupal, but it's one of the more robust options with a solid administrative UI. It's also tightly integrated with Views. I will be referring back to this section a lot as I continue to ramp up on what this module can do.

I wish this book had been available last fall. It would have saved me a lot of time ramping up on these "building block" modules for Drupal. It doesn't really focus on advanced use cases for these modules, but it equips you with the foundational knowledge you need to tackle these advanced use cases - on your own and with the help of the Drupal community.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Not a Drupal 7 book Sept. 2 2011
By Sadan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although it seems like a Drupal 7 book it's about Drupal 6.
Searching in drupal.org you're forwarded with one (or maybe more) link here, and in amazon.com this book is listed in the Drupal 7 books results.
However, if you look for a complete Drupal 7 guide, this is not a good choice.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Very nice Jan. 26 2011
By I. Cho - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wish I had read this book before 'Pro Drupal Dev' book.
A must book if you work on CCK/Views/Panel and want to master the concept.
The only thing I miss is more in-depth coverage and specific examples on Views API (ch 11). It lacks on examples/exercises on describing DB schema tables using hook_views_data(), and how to use handlers and plugins using Views API.
Views 3 will be available in Drupal 7, and depending on how much features Views 3 supports in addition to Views 2, you may need to rework on Drupal 7 for many things you learned from this book.