Mar 15 2013
Mar 15

Rather remarkably we’ve managed to avoid the top xxx module list for Drupal 7… however to recap the presentation yesterday at here it goes….

A Drupal Roadmap with Rich Gregory – Look in to some critical dev tools like Drush and other things to get you going.

1.  Display Suite (putting Views at the top almost redundant….) – thanks to Display Suite and it’s buddy Field Group Drupal 7?s core content creation kit is a flexible dashboard delivery tool.  With a few clicks you can now turn a lengthy and unintuitive form into a dashboard – i’m seeing hope for a wordpress like content adding area.

and after

and after DS + FG

Forms before Display Suite and Field Group

Forms before Display Suite and Field Group

2. Views – it should go without saying, and now that it’s going to be a part of Drupal 8 core I’m going to leave it at that… you need views to do anything worth doing.  We’ve got a half dozen or more tutorials on views here, so dig in.

3. Context – this is your logic layout tool – pick conditions and reaction.  There are numerous modules to extend context as well – in the presentation I mentioned however this only has a D6 option.   You’ll probably need to use to do essentially the same thing.  Also note that Mobile Tools allows you to use contexts to do dramatic theming changes based on the mobile device.

First up choose the conditions for your layout

First up choose the conditions for your layout

The choose your reactions

The choose your reactions

4.Rules: Rules allows your site to become a dynamic workflow management intranet style workhorse. The amount of flexibility here, much like Views, extends beyond the scope of a simple “short stack” review, however in essence you’re taking events that happen within the site, or custom crontab events, setting conditions and triggering actions. Coupled with modules like Views Rules the possibilities are amazing.

5. Entity reference - extending CCK (part of drupal 7 core) the up-and-coming successor to References. Allow content to reference other content, and as mentioned this allows View Relationships to create a SQL JOIN on your content – get more information about your Content Author, and many more options…this post here is particularly fun with references referencing references…

6. Honorable mention: Feeds – this is the bulk content migration tool of choice for folks like myself.  It’s intuitive and lets you harvest content from various sources and ingest it in to your content types, user tables, etc.. we have a few tutorials on feeds that may help you with some specifics – it’s a powerful tool, and coupled with tools like feeds tamper there are a lot of options.

7. Honorable mention: Flag.  Give your users buttons and they’ll push them.  Flags allow your users to have simple on/off buttons – categorize content, flag spam, etc…  they of course work with views, rules, and the rest of the gang :)

So there’s my short stack for Drupal 7 – I’m sure entities and entity forms probably belong on there, however for most basic sites I think this is a good start… heck probably need to talk wysiwyg editors too…. so many modules!  Thanks again to for the conference, Rich Gregory for the great tunes and the lift, and  Blue Cat Networks – the hat is bangin.

Aug 08 2012
Aug 08

Feeds is a lovely utility that has blossomed greatly in Drupal 7. As with Drupal 6 both Feeds and Feeds Tamper are Features compatible and now even more versatile with add-ons like Feeds SQL.  There are a several caveats to getting Feeds happy when working with CSV formats.  I’m coming from a Mac environment, often mapping excel spreadsheets over in to Drupal.  These are my ongoing notes, am doing a lot in Feeds and will keep this post as a list of my remarkably consistent failures.  (NB: if you’re in D6 Node Import just seems way more forgiving on all these points, just not nearly as “Drupal Hep”)

Remember to get your csv UTF-8 compatible – I like Text Wrangler for this – especially when coming from Micro$oft Excel your content may have some odd-ball encoding. So if saving as Windows, Unix, or MS-Dos CSV fails on you just open up your CSV file in there and resave

CSV fix in textwrangler

CSV fix in textwrangler

saving csv from excel for feeds

saving csv from excel for feeds








Caveats:  Another common quandary with Feeds is using it with fields outside of core CCK or Entities. While it’ll map to CCK Select Other it has a tough time, especially with multiple values.  Even with the values put in the drop-down selection area it always mapped to “Other” and then stuck in the value.

Unlike in Drupal 6 this field will throw errors if indexed, doesn’t seem to work with the Facet API, or be good for much of nothin’. Perhaps Select Or will work better, however it seems to have view limitations too.  So while none of this reflects on Feeds it’s worth noting because you may end up needing some UI tidbits… it may map to them, but it’s

Mar 19 2012
Mar 19

Note to all:  Feeds doesn’t seem to connect with user profiles = stay tuned for the fix in part 2 (hint use user import also)

Organic groups is a great way to organize groups and cascade permissions – in this example we tested against 45,000 users in 3 different roles going in to 500 groups.

While Node import did the heavy lifting for the group node creation feeds came ahead for user imports.  Node Import just has a few more settings for group node creation than does feeds.

This project came about as a conversion from an unmaintainable drupal 6 site that we converted into off-the-shelf drupal.
Modules used:

Feeds Tamper to assign multiple groups from a signle field   group node id's and role assignments in a spreadsheet

group node id's and role assignments in a spreadsheet

Feeds Tamper to assign multiple groups from a signle field

feeds tamper for role id

feeds tamper for role id

Something to remember with feeds – it can get a bit wonky over file line endings and encoding – more so than node import from what I’ve seen. These are the settings that have worked for me coming from mac excel -> open in text wrangler and resave with windows cr/lf and utf-8 encoding

Feeds Settings

Feeds Settings

The settings are pretty straightforward.

A few things to remember before you upload:

  • if you plan on making node aliases do that before you upload – views bulk operations is slower than molasses updating url aliases.  Same goes for auto node titles if you’re using them.
  • In general every node reference or user reference you have is going to slow something up
text wrangler settings for feed import

text wrangler settings for feed import

Feed mappings

Feed mappings - remember to have a unique id in there

  • organic groups access permissions settings Permissions settings

Modules tested: although a lot of modules were tested not all really made the cut. Some because they didn’t really seem useful in our case. Others (organic subgroups) because I really couldn’t get a response on IRC or the forums about how to ingest them en masse – if anyone has done this please feel free to chime in) organic groups access permissions settings

  • User Import – it only allows you to map your users to a single group.  Thankfully feeds tamper allowed us to map multiple groups per user and group post
  • User Import for Organic Groups – these two seemed promising, however UI4OG only allows the users to be mapped to one group… no good for our use case
  • OG Subgroups – ok – wanted to see this in action, never really got it working at least not through the import interface- might make a good use case for using the migration modules
  • Node Access by User Reference - I really like a lot of Node one’s ideas, and Johan Falk in particular comes up with some very clever ways of re-arranging drupal mods – so I thought I might give this intuitive technique a go – the caveats mentioned in his post indeed became insurmountable – with the need to have 16 user references in each group post my virtual machine came grinding to a halt.

About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web