Author: Jacob Redding
Publisher: Wrox, 2010
Aimed at: Beginners to Drupal
Pros: Well-structured introduction to Drupal
Cons: Difficult to use for any specific version of Drupal
Reviewed by: David Conrad
The free open source content management system Drupal is often thought of as having a steep learning curve. Does this book help?
This is quite a good book but one that suffers from falling between the cracks between two versions of Drupal. It attempts to cover Drupal 7 but it was developed while Drupal 7 was still in beta testing. It covers Drupal 6 but only as an afterthought and this makes it difficult to use. This is a shame because apart from this it is actually well written.
It presents the basic ideas about how Drupal works reasonably well. Starting off from the usual historical account of how Drupal got started, installation and building your first website it quickly gets on with more advanced topics. It does tend to go over the various options and choices presented to you by Drupal but thankfully these are not just tedious representation of the menu items - i.e. there is some discussion and explanation.
The book covers creating custom content, user management, taxonomy, search, triggers, actions, workflow and rules, views, internationalization and themes. More advanced programmer topics are also covered with a look at contributed modules, custom modules, development hooks and module development. The penultimate chapter even explains how to use CVS to setup a development and deployment system.
It is difficult to provide a definitive verdict on this book. The problem created by it being released early and not quite matching how Drupal actually works is going to be a problem for many readers. However, overall the structure of the book is good and the right way to tackle an introduction to Drupal. My best advice is to wait for an up-dated second edition and to hope that it appears well before Drupal 8 becomes an issue.