Things you can learn by just reading....

Yes, this is yet another Pro Drupal Development post. It is a great book, any serious up and coming Drupal dev should read it end to end, and then read it all again.

But first I wanted to hit the criticism that I have heard, such as 'Why did core devs write a book for $30 instead of posting handbook pages?'. The thinking behind this is that since Drupal is free software (as in freedom to alter the open source code), all help associated with Drupal must also be free, as in free from charge. There are numerous books written for proprietary software, and the hard working authors expect a return for their efforts. So is it if someone writes a book about an open source project, then they have to donate the efforts for free???? Of course not!

I am actually glad to have purchased the book and in a certain sense donated back to the core devs who keep pushing the limits of what Drupal can and should do. And most likely the folks complaining haven't offered much in return to the Drupal community, they are just takers. Because really, is $30 really that much to ask for a book that will extend what you can do with the free software you already have. Remember, Microsoft sure doesn't give their software away for free, nor can you look at the code.

Anyway, back to the original purpose of this entry, a quick list of things I didn't know before reading this nice book:

  • In theming, many know you can make seperate node templates, simply by appending the node type to the name of the file, like node-book.tpl.php, but now I know you can do with blocks too with the module name and delta, block-user-2.tpl.php.
  • Again in theming, that $form['#base'] can be used to group many form validation and submission routines together.
  • Form API, the #access property can limit exactly which parts of the form is seem by a user.
  • Again in forms, I now know how to group elements in a selection box (sometimes it is the small things that really help out).
  • Caching, if you need accurate user logging, don't use the aggressive caching, and for static pages, the Fastpath option may speed things up even more.

I have taken many more notes, but as to not bore I will end here. Thank you again John and Matt, and the whole rest of the Drupal community for making such a secure, robust, efficient and fun CMS to use.

Great to hear you're

Great to hear you're enjoying the book.

I wish I could say I would have had the discipline to contribute my efforts solely to the handbook, but the truth is I probably would've given up. Having the support of Apress behind our efforts ended in a professional publication that would've otherwise not seen the light of day. They imposed deadlines, hired editors that made me look like an actual writer. And their marketing power to expose Drupal to the corners of the world not reachable through the handbook is amazing. Either way it was a labor of love and we're grateful to the whole community for their continued efforts.

Who are these people

Who are these people complaining about the authors getting a return for their hard labour? Likely they are the leeches one finds on many open source projects who live on the labour of others.

As a non-developer/non-themer, I was completely sold on the book when I read the free sample chapter on theming. In about 15 minutes, I understood theming better than I have ever done in the last three years of following/using drupal. I went and purchased the ebook. I think, this one book, more than anything else, will result in Drupal usage skyrocketing over the next year or so.

P.S: You might want to turn off anonymous commenting off as some spam friends seem to have already shown some interest:-)

Yes, a few spam-bots give a

Yes, a few spam-bots give a couple replies per post, but it is not enough to turn off comments yet. Maybe will add the captcha.