Last updated June 28, 2012. Created on June 28, 2012.
Edited by bonobo. Log in to edit this page.

Drupal has its own jargon; it can range from confusing and counterintuitive to downright maddening. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it's a start.

  • Content types: content types are one of the main building blocks within a Drupal site; as the name suggests, content types hold content. However, different content types can hold different kinds of content; an event can hold information that is specific to a time, where a discussion can be used for people to talk. Most sites have multiple different content types, and the name of a content type will ideally give information about how it is used.
  • Node: within Drupal, a node is a piece of content. All data stored via a content type is a node.
  • Taxonomy: Drupal's taxonomy system is used to categorize information. It is a general term that is used to describe how things are categorized.
  • Vocabulary: a vocabulary is a specific, high level subject area. Each vocabulary consists of multiple terms (see below). For example, an example of two vocabularies used in a news site could be "Subject" and "Region".
  • Term: a term is an individual topic within a vocabulary. For example, the terms "Texas" and "The rest of the United States" could be in the "Region" vocabulary.
  • Menus: collections of links; these links can be displayed as a list, as drop-down items, with graphics, etc, depending on how they are styled by the theme.
  • Blocks: Blocks contain and display a variety of information on a Drupal site. They can be created in a variety of ways, and provide a range of options for displaying and theming content.
  • Entity: an entity is a piece of data within a Drupal site. Nodes, users, comments, and taxonomy are all entities; additionally, with custom code you can create new entity types if/when needed. You can also add fields to entities, which allows for things like detailed user profiles, or more sophisticated comment forms.
  • Fields: fields are used to store and display structured information. For example, on a user profile, you would want to create a "First" and "Last" name field to store normalized data; or, you would break an address down into individual fields to store the components of an address. There are also different types of fields; for example, things as varied as email addresses and pictures can be stored within fields, and this allows us to make some assumptions about the information stored in the field.
  • Bundle: a bundle is an entity and all its fields.
  • Core: Drupal core contains the central codebase of Drupal. Each component of core has a dedicated maintainer; in general, core is the base upon which everything else gets built. Within versions (6.x, 7.x, 8.x, etc) the structure of core will remain relatively unchanged.
  • Contributed modules and themes: The contrib space contains that has been developed and contributed by people within the community. There is a review process that contributors must go through before they are allowed to contribute modules and/or themes on drupal.org, but even with the review process the quality of code in contrib can vary. There are ways of evaluating contrib modules (and we will discuss some of them during this presentation) but in general, site maintainers should exercise caution when installing new code on their site.

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