Home / Taxonomy term

acquia drupal planet

Beginning Drupal with Jacob Redding - Training & Book

Jacob Redding has a great book, a cool interview and a training with us next week! Sign up here.

Beginning Drupal is a new book out by Jacob Redding, of Chapter Three. The Wrox site has some samples from the book. Jacob is an experienced instructor, and you can see that in the structure of the chapters and the exercises which guide a new learner through Drupal.

If you're an instructor, you may request an evaluation copy.

Jacob was recently interviewed by the fine folks at Drupal Easy. Mike Anello and Ryan Price are putting up some copies of Beginning Drupal to give away. You can enter to win a copy by listening and leaving a comment on the post: Interview with Jacob Redding.
You can, of course, catch Jacob and his colleague Jen Lampton, from Chapter Three delivering Acquia authorized training near Dulles, in Herndon, VA in a few weeks. Chapter Three is one of Acquia's training partners. Read more about the training events from August 16th - 19th 2010:

The great thing about the trainings we're putting on with our partners is that they are very hands on. A little less talk- a little more action. You learn by doing. There's only so far we can get by explaining how it works, you need to traverse the procedures several times before they click. You can get plenty of opportunity to sit and listen at DrupalCamps and DrupalCons- but you don't get a chance to be guided through the activities. A printed manual is there as a reference, with clear step by steps and screenshots; and an expert web developer is there to guide you and answer your questions. That's really what our training is about. If you'd like to find out more about the training, please contact us: Acquia.com/training/contact

Roadmap, or Roadblock?

I continually marvel at how much better the open source world works than the old proprietary software software world.

Yesterday I encountered an amazingly good illustration. I was discussing Drupal Commons with a team from a large, household-name enterprise that is planning a social business site. And boy, they had lots of questions!

Module authors: In SQL, don't assume INCREMENT(1) == 2

Trivia question: Suppose you execute the MySQL queries

CREATE TABLE t1 (  id INT UNSIGNED NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,  n INT NOT NULL,  PRIMARY KEY (id))INSERT INTO t1 (n) VALUES (100)INSERT INTO t1 (n) VALUES (200)

What are the values for the id column in your two rows? If you said "1 and 2", you are in good company but you are mistaken. If you want your module to be good enough to run on Drupal.org or Acquia Hosting some day, keep reading.

Problem with the Drupal learning curve

kids playing Twister
What's so wrong with saying "Drupal has a steep learning curve?" Well, it's not the most helpful analogy. And it's one of my pet peeves. I agree, it is a myth. Yes it is.
We have to keep in mind that the curve is not the path, and the initial sensation of difficulty comes from getting one's habits unstuck. Using this tired analogy perpetuates a misunderstanding about Drupal. Instead, I'd like to talk about opening doors, welcome mats, and crossing the threshold. Once you've made it through, you'll see a big difference.
Why?
Because we all want to make Drupal better, and a little bit of knowledge is dangerous. The most egregious errors are made not by people new to web development, but from experienced programmers who sneak into Drupal from a side window and re-write entire parts of Drupal on top of it. These are amazing feats of mis-understanding we see in our Client Advisory Team... and it comes from not understanding the fundamental threshold concepts of Drupal.
Drupal is peculiar- and when you get to know it, it makes a lot of sense. New Drupal users need to get familiar with what are referred to as threshold concepts, to lessen that initial sensation of disorientation. Good trainers can scaffold the learning experience, to bring learners through this process, and teach essential best practices.
At our first Drupal training with our partners, Dataflow in Belgium, Wim Mostrey, the instructor, reported that participants were so surprised "Drupal was easy"! They kept on looking for the complicated way to do things. This is where scaffolding comes in.

The web is free; shouldn't your social business software be?

Today is a fun day for me: We’re releasing Drupal Commons as a 1.0 release. Woo hoo! Time - once again - for open source to go blow the doors off another proprietary software cathedral.
Drupal Commons is Acquia’s project to create an open source social business software solution for enterprises deploying a community site - either externally-facing, or for an internal community.

Learn by Examples, the module

Budding Drupal developers will be glad to see: there are more contributions are springing out of the Examples project. Examples is a great resource for teaching experienced PHP programmers the capability of Drupal- from how to define a page, to using the Form API. It's also a great way to get familiar with Simpletest.

Connect to the Community

Are you connected to Groups.Drupal.org yet? (Affectionately called g.d.o in the community.)

Did you know on there are 317 geographical Drupal groups? (That's not including language groups.) Of those, 205 are city, regional or provincial groups: possibly a drive away for a meet up. That leaves 112 which are at the level of countries or continents which are capable of coordinating large Drupal events. I counted em!

And it's growing. Hello Ghana! Just added in July.

Views for the average Joe

The primary goal of DrupalGardens is to maximize Drupal adoption. Since Drupal adoption amongst developers is taking off like a rocket ship, we’ve focused the majority of our attention on site builders and designers. To succeed at attracting these types, Drupal—and the modules we’ve decided to include—need to be easy to use.

Where's Drupal's welcome mat?

I was on Skype when my jaw dropped. This wasn't the first time that an acquaintance asked me to take some time so he could "pick my brain" about Drupal. And it wasn't the first time that I realized someone had somehow broke in to Drupal via some sort of window, and missed the welcome mat.

Membase and Drupal

Barry and I just met with a team from Northscale -- the startup formed to support and extend Memcached, the popular key-value cache used by the largest web sites. We learned about their new database project, Membase, and talked about how it could help high-volume Drupal sites including our Acquia Hosting customers.

Membase is built on the core Memcached technology and supports the Memcached API. I'm excited about what they've done to extend Memcached:

Pages