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I'm (almost) Drupal 7... and so should you!

I've now created three different Drupal 7 sites, and I can heartily state that I'm pleased with where the community has come in the past couple of years—especially from a UX perspective (the admin overlay has actually turned out to work VERY well across all the browsers I use). I will be posting more impressions of Drupal 7 from a themer's perspective in the coming weeks (check out an older post on D7 theming here).

I'm going to attempt an upgrade of this website to Drupal 7, then walk through creating a new D7 theme (hopefully to be contributed back) for this site.

Now that D7 has hit release candidate, a full release (1.0) can't be too far off, and nothing helps improve Drupal more than to start moving smaller production websites on shared hosting servers from 6.x to 7.x! The more people that do this, the more people can help fix the lingering bugs that are keeping Drupal 7 from more widespread adoption by those already using Drupal 6. You see... everyone benefits!

Drupal Simplenews: Automatically Subscribe New Users to a Newsletter

One of the sites I am setting up requires that all users be subscribed to a certain newsletter (or maybe two, depending on who they are) via Simplenews when they create their accounts (actually, their accounts are automatically created via LDAP... but that's another story).

Looking around, I found this post explaining how you might be able to auto-subscribe new users, and it led me to look up Simplenews' simplenews_subscribe_user() function.

Basically, you can add a line like the following in your custom module's hook_user() function, on the 'insert' $op (for Drupal 6):

Moving from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 - A Themer's Perspective

The transition from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 has taken a bit of time, and I (like many others) simply haven't had enough time in the past few months to do D7 testing while in the midst of tens of other D6 projects.

I've committed, though, to building out three Drupal sites in Drupal 7, now that we're at beta-3, and I will be posting a few reflections, mostly from a themer's perspective on some changes—the good, the bad, and the confusing.

A New Default Theme - Bartik

Just like Drupal 5/6's default theme, Garland (which is in use on this site right now :-/), Bartik will be seen on thousands of quickly-built sites around the web, and I think the theme is robust enough for this purpose. I'm actually building one site's theme directly on top of Bartik, just modifying CSS through a single stylesheet added by a custom module.

But it's nothing amazing, in my opinion. I think it would've been awesome to have some sort of dropdown menu support in core by this point—but it looks like that will wait until Drupal 8 at least. This is probably the number one most requested feature I get on a lot of the smaller sites I'm asked to build, and having the feature in core would be über-cool.

Exported View: Show OG Content, with filters

For a few of my community-based sites, I wanted to give Organic Groups group members the ability to easily see all the content in their group, regardless of published status, content type, etc., in a list form. Kind of like the universal site Content List, except for each group, and only visible by that group's members.

I've created the view I attached below to do just that—and it has an added bonus of letting users filter their content by published status, content type, or by searching in the title. After importing the view into your own Organic Groups-enabled site, you should be able to modify the view to show links and information custom-tailored to the content on your site.

Example Screenshot:

Group Content List View

Just Created: New Drupal Module "Gallery Archive"

Gallery Archive Project Page on drupal.org

I just created my second open source software project (for Drupal), Gallery Archive. This is the first Drupal module I've created, and I'm excited to be able to dive into many more APIs I've not yet interacted with. Drupal has been a great adventure in my life, and I'm finally getting good enough with 'drupal-fu' (like kung-fu, but in Drupal-speak) that I can come up with solutions to my own problems :)

Allowing anonymous IP-based access to content with Boost, subscription model

On the St. Louis Review website (case study here), which offers much of its content based on a subscription model (you must be a subscriber to access the 'premium' content), we wanted to allow those inside our network access to nodes that were marked 'subscribers-only', without having to log in to the website and maintain a user account. Here's how we did it:

1 - Modification of Custom Subscriber Access Code

Our site uses hook_nodeapi() to limit access to 'premium' or 'subscribers-only' content. We simply added in a check to see if users were coming from a certain IP address (the IP address for our corporate network):

Druplicon Golf Ball (DrupliGolf)

After having seen DrupliBacon and DrupliCake (there are other great adaptations of the Druplicon as well!), I decided I wanted to get some creative juices flowing this weekend. I present, DrupliGolf!

DrupliGolf - Druplicon on a Golf Ball

Drupligolf is the result of a round of golf, an addiction to Drupal, and a love for the best OSS mascot in existence. (The latter reason will definitely strike a chord with anybody who's shared a drink with the Druplicon in #drupal... and actually drank).


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