The Definitive Guide to Drupal 7

New from Apress in 2011: the Definitive Guide to Drupal 7. Written by some of the Drupal community's brightest stars, and me.

Entirely too long in waiting, Drupal 7 is now here (and running this here site!). APress, publishers of Pro Drupal Development among other titles, contracted Ben Melançon of Agaric to write the Definitive Guide to Drupal 7. He tapped his friends in the Drupal community — experts in site development, theming, and various aspects of working with Drupal — to help him complete this Herculean task. I was called in to help organize the collection into a logical progression for the book's readers - and in the process, wrote several chapters on Drupal fundamentals in the course of a few weeks.

Over the course of 3-4 weeks, I write or significantly contributed to a total of 12 chapters to the book, and helped Ben organize the chapters in a cohesive way using a card-sorting technique. Chapters I was involved with include:

  • Building a Drupal Site. This chapter, the first in the book, demonstrates how to set up a very basic Drupal implementation. I fought for its inclusion in the book, and wrote the first draft of the chapter. The chapter was later edited by other contributors.  
  • Essential Tools: Drush and Git. Drush is a command line tool that makes certain functions within Drupal, like downloading or updating modules, incredibly fast. Git (also a command line tool) provides version control, which maintains code and gives you a way to roll back the code if things break on you. Both require a bit of a learning curve to get started, but they make your life significantly better once you get used to them. I wrote the first draft of this chapter.
  • There’s a Module for That. This chapter discusses how to choose the appropriate modules for your site’s functional plan, and lists a variety of useful modules for Drupal 7. I rewrote the chapter which had been started by Ben. 
  • Documenting for End Users and the Production Team. This chapter covers Drupal documentation - both in terms of documentation for site content managers (something I provide at the end of most Drupal implementations), and documenting code snippets, best practices, etc. learned while creating Drupal projects. 
  • APPENDIX: Visual Design. This appendix, included in the attached documentation, tells the story of designers in the Drupal community, and gives an overview of how to understand visual design for the Drupal platform, including understanding where content is coming from so you can design for it.
  • APPENDIX: Installation on Mac OSX. This Mac-specific appendix was written by me to explain how to set up a local development environment on the Mac platform, and perform a basic Drupal 7 installation.
  • INTRODUCTION: What’s New in Drupal 7. An overview of the more interesting new features in Drupal 7.
  • INTRODUCTION: How Drupal Works. An overview of how Drupal manages and delivers content, and definitions of key terms in DrupalSpeak. 

Client: Ben Melançon and the DGD7 Team

What they Do: Kickass Drupal Books

Writing and Teaching