Hi, I'm new to Drupal and have just installed it on wamp localhost. I expected it to create the database during install but it didn't ... not a big deal as creating a database is simple.

My first impressions of Drupal are good and am looking for tips 'n' advice on where to start. Talented amateur so be gentle ... nothing to complicated please.

How helpful and friendly are the members of this community ?

Comments

John_B’s picture

You should read the documentation on this site following links from Documentation link at top of this page.

For a more gentle introduction you should try some of the reasonably priced video tutorial series from drupalize.me, buildamodule.com and lynda.com. Much of the video material on learnbythedrop.com (which was free last time I looked) is for earlier versions of Drupal but still relevant. There are also good books, many listed on this site (Google for Drupal books). For Views and Panels modules 'Drupal's Building Blocks' is especially good. For Views the free video series from nodeone.se 'Taming the Beast' is good (and there are others there).

If you are using Drupal with contributed modules the skill set is somewhat different than if you are a programmer using it as a framework and extending it by writing your own code. Ideally a Drupal person learns both, and starts with learning what is available in terms of ready-made software, which is an immense field in itself.

Almost everything you need is on this site. It is just not always as easy to find or follow as it should be. Using outside resources (books, videos, & blog post tutorials) adds some advanced material, and some easier, more digestible access to the basics.

Note that the Drupal community is very active with local meetups, groups and so on, as well as international Drupal Conferences and larger national and regional Drupal Camps, many of which amount to free or very cheap training in your area, and are usually welcoming. It is worth seeking out Drupal colleagues and enthusiasts this way. Many people also use IRC for live support. Some UK based things are found on drupal.org.uk and by following links found on that site as well as on meetup.com.

Whatever faults you may find in the community (and of course problems do arise) you will find it more helpful and welcoming and supportive, and more likley to get together socially, than almost any other software community in existence.

Webdongle’s picture

That is all helpful but a little general. More specifically
https://drupal.org/documentation says

Theming Guide
Customize the interface using templates, CSS, etc. Override the output from core or contributed modules

But when you click the link there is nothing on the page mentioning overrides
.
Where exactly is the documentation for displaying extensions and for controlling what is on each page ?

Where exactly is the documentation for ACL ?

Jaypan’s picture

The page you get is only the top page of the theming guide. If you scroll to the bottom there is a table of contents of sorts.

What is ACL?

Webdongle’s picture

I looked on that page for 'Override the output from core or contributed modules' but (although the link to that page describes it as being there) I can find nothing on that page that relates to 'Overrides'. I could click every link on that page but was hoping that I would not have to do that. I also have tried the search to no avail but will keep looking.

ACL = Access Control List
Generally speaking it refers to different users and what they can see/edit etc. How does Drupal handle users and user groups, permissions etc ? Is it done in one place or several places ? Any links to that documentation would be helpful.

I understand the concepts of building a website ... I also understand some html, php and css(although I google copy/paste adjust the code rather than write it from scratch). So reading all the documentation means reading many things that I already understand. It would be much more efficient for me to go directly to the 'nitty gritty' but If I need to spend time reading everything else then so be it.

Jaypan’s picture

The reason Drupal theming has a guide, is because it's a huge topic. There are literally books on it - the theming guilde on Drupal.org is the short version. And the guide isn't about how to do HTML and CSS and positioning elements, it's about how to theme a Drupal site.

reading all the documentation means reading many things that I already understand.

How would you know - you didn't read the documentation. I would be surprised if you already knew much of any of it, since it's Drupal specific, and there aren't any other systems like Drupal.

How does Drupal handle users and user groups, permissions etc ? Is it done in one place or several places ?

Drupal access has nothing to do with theming, access is handled by modules. Modules are for functionality, themes are for display.

Drupal has two permission systems. The first is handled by a set of arbitrary permissions - any module can create any permissions it wants, and use those permissions however it wants. The permissions created by a module are then attached to roles. Roles are then attached to users. This allows for fine control over exactly what users get which permissions.

The other permission system is the node grant system. Modules can define arbitrary grants for view and CRUD on nodes. When a user tries to access a node, either to view, create, update or delete it (or them), the system does a cross reference to see if the user has that grant. This allows for a lightweight, yet very strong grant system to ensure that users cannot improperly access nodes in any manner in which they aren't supposed to be able to.

John_B’s picture

That sums it up well. The word 'overrides' may be confusing. What it means is: "this is how you write code to customise the Drupal theme, (or sometimes to customise the appaerance of the webpage via a module)", and in that sense if you do some customisation via code you are 'overriding' the themes and layouts you get out of the box in Drupal core (or in contributed themes you may choose use without further customisation).

Also as Jaypan said we do not normally talk about ACLs in Drupal. If you have a block list of blocked IPs handled by Drupal or by the server you might see the term ACL; otherwise we refer to the 'permissions' or 'access' system.

If you find the documentation too basic, you can go directly to api.drupal.org to read the APIs, and the book Pro Drupal 7 Development for more advanced material. However, there is plenty of meat in the documentation for most people new to Drupal, included skilled php developers. It is just not as well organized as it might be, so you may need some patience to explore it. Also check out the videos tutorials series noted in my earlier post, which are well respected and useful even for many experienced Drupallers.

WorldFallz’s picture

ACL can also refer to http://drupal.org/project/acl and it's what enables content_access to extend itself to individual node level permissions.

_
Don't be a Help Vampire - read and abide the forum guidelines.
If you find my assistance useful, please pay it forward to your fellow drupalers.

Webdongle’s picture

@john_b that helps

That sums it up well. The word 'overrides' may be confusing. What it means is: "this is how you write code to customise the Drupal theme, (or sometimes to customise the appaerance of the webpage via a module)", and in that sense if you do some customisation via code you are 'overriding' the themes and layouts you get out of the box in Drupal core (or in contributed themes you may choose use without further customisation).

Yes I know that ... it is the reason the description caught my attention and why I clicked the link. I was hoping it would take me to a page describing what files needed to be created and where they need to be created in order to override the way Drupal core files displayed.

If you find the documentation too basic, you can go directly to api.drupal.org to read the APIs

I don't find the documentation too basic just difficult to navigate. Will check out the link to the api but that may be more than I need at this stage.

Webdongle’s picture

@Jaypan thanks that helps.

How would you know - you didn't read the documentation. I would be surprised if you already knew much of any of it, since it's Drupal specific, and there aren't any other systems like Drupal.

Because I have read some of the documentation. So far I have found out that the modules download page has links to dependencies ... discovered how to activate the modules and worked out how to see if the dependacies of that module are installed and if activated ... installed Tinymce editor, created 2 test pages and added them to the menu ... and found out how to switch the default template. So please don't patronise me by assuming what I have and haven't done. OK what I have done is not much but I have read some of the documentation. Just because I learn by trial and error and by experimenting and not by following 'parrot fashion' does not mean I have not read anything.

Now I wish to learn how to alter the look 'n' feel. I am looking to see how much it done with the template configuration, how much by the css and how much by files that override the Drupal output.

The reason Drupal theming has a guide, is because it's a huge topic

Yes but when a link to a page has 'Override the output from core or contributed modules' then one would expect the page it linked to would have that somewhere on the page ... even if it was referenced in a table of content. I clicked a link that had a description of what I wanted to see only to be taken to a page that had no further reference to it.

Drupal access has nothing to do with theming

Yes I know that ... the questions about overrides and ACL were two separate questions.

Modules are for functionality, themes are for display

Yes I know

Drupal has two permission systems

Great ... no link to the documentation but it gives me the terms I need to search for

John_B’s picture

Sometimes I provide links when making points. I unerstand whey Jaypan may not have done so. Even though I am familiar with drupal.org, finding a link to insert can add quite a lot to the considerable time spent on these answers (and most of us who answer are making a living from Drupal, so it is not only on a hobby). It is because of the admitted difficulty of navigating the site, in part, that i have drawn attention to the many months-worth of quality training available at bulidamodule.com, and drupalize.me. I would also suggest browsing the books section https://drupal.org/books. It is true that whilst most of what you need is in the documentation here, it will not provide the most efficitient way of learning Drupal.

Webdongle’s picture

Sometimes I provide links when making points. I unerstand whey Jaypan may not have done so. Even though I am familiar with drupal.org, finding a link to insert can add quite a lot to the considerable time spent on these answers (and most of us who answer are making a living from Drupal, so it is not only on a hobby)

Yep ... links are helpful but finding them myself is part of the learning process so replies with the terminology that you use are extremely helpful. But if it's quicker for you to keep typing answers than to find the links then it is going to be a long time for newbies like me to find them. Nevertheless ... that will be a useful learning experience for me.

in part, that i have drawn attention to the many months-worth of quality training available at bulidamodule.com, and drupalize.me.

I am not very good at learning 'Parrot fashion' ... I learn more by deciding what I want to achieve and finding out what is required to achieve it. As good as training videos are I learn faster from reading and doing than I do from watching and doing.

It is true that whilst most of what you need is in the documentation here, it will not provide the most efficitient way of learning Drupal.

That is true for many things not just Drupal that's why I like locating the specific pages rather than just reading the docs for the sake of reading.

The answers Jaypan and yourself have provided are helpful and contain terms that will help when I am searching for what I need. And I am grateful both of you have taken the time to reply to my post ... thanks.

Jaypan’s picture

Yep ... links are helpful but finding them myself is part of the learning process so replies with the terminology that you use are extremely helpful. But if it's quicker for you to keep typing answers than to find the links then it is going to be a long time for newbies like me to find them. Nevertheless ... that will be a useful learning experience for me.

I would have posted links if I had known any, but in the end I would have done the same thing you are doing - googling the terms I gave you! That's why I explained it the way I did, so you could have something to work with.

Webdongle’s picture

@jaypan

Thanks that helps me. I am also reading through the boards on https://drupal.org/forum/18

The hardest thing I am having at the moment is when I have to unpack into /sites/all ... even when I do that the admin screen says it is missing. Methinks there is a setting somewhere that I need to find. If I need to I will put a post in one of the support boards.

eddiemayan’s picture

Brother it will be better to get your first step on template customization and module customization. they are basic steps for practical drupal learning.