Leveraging Drupal: Getting Your Site Done Right, by Victor Kane.
From the Introduction:
This is a book you have to read. This is a book you have to work through (by installing, wrapping your head around and reusing downloadable Drupal instances)... It is the author's earnest hope that the contents of this book may be shared with many kinds of Drupal users...
However, the problem this book attempts to solve, and in this sense it is perhaps unique, is the sad but true fact that the development of any website today involves the ability to master with at least a practical level of solvency, a huge number of disciplines. You need to be in a certain sense the Renaissance kind of person capable of either dealing with or (and this is extremely important) delegating when you cannot, an extremely wide range of skills. Meaning that you are very often in the position of needing to get up to speed on a wide variety of issues. This book attempts to bring them into a single, convenient space.
As a result the book focuses, in a detailed and practical manner, on a wide range of disciplines, tools and best practices you need in order to optimize the way you approach development projects built on this CMS and framework...This is for people who, given a set of website requirements and a community of users who need to use that website, have to learn how to fashion Drupal to their needs, how to domesticate Drupal, in short, how to get it done...
You definitely form part of the audience of this book if you are:
A website developer interested in looking over the shoulder of
experienced Drupal developers and learning all the steps and
how-to's of all the processes that they need to master in order to
efficiently harness Drupal.
- A website developer who has most sites done in Drupal 5.x, and so still needs to push the envelopoe there, but who is making the necessary transition to the awesome Drupal 6.x, which now becomes the standard and the basis for all new projects.
Website developers interested in learning how to set up a professional
Drupal shop, including practical examples of best practices in
business modeling and requirements capturing, iterative and
incremental development, testing and deployment and maintenance in
regard to the Drupal website development life-cycle.
Anyone interested in finding out the shortest path between what her clients
need, on the one hand, and how Drupal can be used to get there.
An IT professional with experience in developing website applications
using other frameworks and technologies, who is now interested in
either using Drupal for a specific project, or in evaluating it.
Web designers who are interested in finding out how to convert their
XHTML/CSS designs into working Drupal sites.
Project managers who need to understand the dimensioning of what is entailed
in various kinds of website development using Drupal.
Untrained end users who are having a Drupal-based site delivered to them and
need to school themselves realistically in terms of what it means to own and house-train a modern website.
Anyone curious about how anything Drupal actually gets done.
The book is structured around a real world example of a website
application based on Drupal, the On-line Literary Workshop. As such,
its organization mirrors the development life-cycle as a whole, with
the exception of Chapter 10, which covers the development of an
entire real-world, multi-lingual application from start to finish.
The first chapter takes you from business vision and scoping of the
project to the laying out of an agile approach tailored to Drupal
website application development based on an iterative and
incremental approach with frequent builds and prototyping, oriented
towards a maximum of client participation.
The second and third chapter deal with gradually setting up a complete,
no-nonsense development environment-including development, test
and production sites-using version control and issue tracking
tools. As you work through these chapters, you analyze, design and implement your first cut of
business objects while working with Drupal itself to get an initial
prototype up and running.
The fourth chapter is a fully fledged planning sprint, starting with the
refinement of the project user stories, their final assignment to
phases and iterations, and the test-driven implementation of the
first batch. The architectural baseline, concerned with mapping
Drupal modules and architecture to the design and implementation of
the project's functionality, is completed.
The fifth and sixth chapters cover various implementation sprints.
You use development documentation and project tracking to extend a
project within the project and find it a home as part of the website
itself, which becomes self-documenting.
The seventh chapter covers more user story implementation, but also
concentrates on explaining how the Drupal theming system works, and
how it cleanly separates content from presentation and styling. A
great deal of hands on practice is included, as well as a concrete
recommendation and demonstration for using the Zen theme as a
systematic starting point for all your Drupal theming.
The eighth chapter is an aside on upgrading from Drupal 5.x to 6.x,
taking the author's blog, http://awebfactory.com.ar,
as a real world example.
The ninth chapter is a hands on step-by-step approach to upgrading the
On-line Literary Workshop to Drupal 6.x, including the upgrading of
all content and modules, including CCK, Views, Organic Groups,
Pathauto, Private Messaging and more.
Chapter 11 takes the development of the On-line Literary Workshop a great
leap forward with the implementation of another round of user
stories, and also includes a section on how to turn a standard
XHTML/CSS template into a Drupal theme for use with your project.
Chapter 12 is the JQuery chapter. Enough said.
Chapter 13 deals with the Drupal 7 release, its roadmap and the philosophy
behind it, its feature list and architectural style, and also covers
its installation and use.
Chapter 14 completes the On-line Literary Workshop deployment, explaining
how to use the advanced help module to provide customized context
sensitive help, and how to turn your whole project into a reusable
installation profile anyone in the community to download and use.
Looking ahead, and with the objective of exploring as many alternatives as
possible as a basis for serious Drupal development and use, Acquia
Drupal is explained and explored in Chapter 15 as an enterprise ready commercial services
based distribution of Drupal. This chapter brings you the possibility of starting
out with enhanced off-the-shelf functionality, monitoring and support.
Acknowledgements and thanks:
The Drupal Community at http://drupal.org itself, who have managed to bring together a hugely talented and motivated community network, and who owe their success to their ability to begin to transcend national boundaries, must be acknowledged in first place.
In second place, the unknown and unwitting poster to the forums and handbooks of drupal.org who have provided answers in the nick of time on countless occasions.
I must acknowledge also the Drupal Dojo group (http://groups.drupal.org/drupal-dojo), an incredibly selfless ‘‘share the knowledge'' self-teaching group that started operations in January 2007 and is ow getting ready to launch Drupal Dojo 2.0. This group had a lot to do with my getting up to speed with Drupal Development, as someone coming from a strong Java Enterprise and C++ background.
Also, I thank the kind people at Wiley Publishing including Carol Long, who helped me make this book a reality, and Maureen Spears, who was my lifeline. In addition, I‘d like to convey a word of thanks to the technical editors - Joel Farris, Dan Hakimzadah, and Benjamin Melancon as well as Robert Douglass of Acquia - who all were instrumental in shaping the code and text; as well as Miguel Martinez, of Buenos Aires, who took my photograph for the cover.
To all who post. All who test. All who post issues and solutions in the Bazaar.
Saving the best for last
The people at Wrox assured me from the start that a percentage of sales will go to the Drupal Association.