Drupal Learning Journal 2. Theming, CSS, Permissions, PHP array

As I mentioned I am working on increasing my Drupal skills by doing and learning. I did some passive learning by watching videos.

1. I finished watching Lullabot’s “Theming Basics For Drupal” It is a great DVD, I strongly recommend it. I obviously didn’t master everything I’ve seen yet, but I feel I have a great overview of how theming works and can start playing with it.

2. I also watched about 75 minutes of video on CSS. I have been working online long enough to be aware of the basics of CSS, but I started to watch this series from the beginning just to make sure that I got the foundations right. The first half an hour covered mostly things I already knew, but there were a few bits of information that were new to me. So this was the right decision.

The active part of my learning, i.e. doing, right now includes moving my WordPress based SocRelig.com site to Drupal 6.2. I already did a lot of the work last year and the list of tasks to be finished before the relaunch is getting shorter and shorter. I maintain a todo list, so here I won’t mention all of the tasks I checked of, only the ones where I learned something from.

1. Using the “Views” module for the list of books, I managed to display the categories the books belong to (e.g. Academic, Popular, Christian). These categories are stored in their own taxonomy. This taxonomy was automatically set up when I imported my blog from WordPress, there the name and the URL for them would include by default the reference to WordPress. I managed to circumvent that by using Replacement patterns in the field setting of the Taxonomy in the View setup. This way the category words are clickable and lead to the list of books belonging to that category. Those list are also created by Views with the help of the Arguments.

2. I overcame an issue of the Books view where none of the columns showed up for anonymous visitors beyond the title of the books. I asked help online and got the fix within half an hour. It was a permission issue.

3. I started to theme the pages for the individual Books. I had an issue on how to call the content of variables stored in arrays in the PHP files. I asked for help and got the pointer I needed in half an hour. The answer was to use this syntax: $node->field_authors[0][‘safe’]

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