Rob Loach's blog

Drupal and the Desktop Online

Since we had troubles with the VNC server when I hosted the Drupal Dojo, I've put together this screencast to demonstrate getting a software application to communicate with a Drupal server with the Services module. Enjoy Drupal and the Desktop.

Drupal and the Desktop

This saturday (January 5th), I'm going to be hosting a Drupal Dojo on getting Drupal to communicate with desktop applications entitled Drupal and the Desktop. We'll be using Mono and C# to make an application to read and write stories on a Drupal website. It'll be pretty neat, so be there!

I'll make all resources available after the presentation.

Happy Holidays

I would like to wish everyone an amazing holiday and a great 2008.

Rule #1: Do not hack core

A little while ago, I ran into a problem with a Drupal site I was working on. When the client administrator visited a page, they'd have the option to View or Edit the content. The problem was that they wanted "Edit" to display something other than "Edit".

Although this seems like an easy thing to do, it turned into a huge search and a waste of two hours of my time. I got fed up and violated rule #1 of Drupal, I opened up its files and changed "Edit" to the new string. This turned into a huge mess later on when I updated the system to Drupal 5.3. The right way to do this is to create a new mock-up-English language, and then translate individual strings to whatever you wanted. Even this seems kind of overkill for what you're doing, so there's a better way over doing it in Drupal 6...

Drupal 6 comes with the ability to override and string using settings.php. All you have to type in is:

$conf['locale_custom_strings_en']['My String'] = 'My New String';

This would, evidently, replace all instances of "My String" to "My New String", in the English language. This is a very handy tool, and was missing a user interface. That's where String Overrides came into play.

String Overrides provides a user interface to easily create replacement strings for existing content. The idea came from, not only my horrible "Edit" experience, but also the Lullabots, mentioning this new functionality in Drupal 6.

Drupal is extremely expandable, flexible and customizable, so there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't abide to Rule #1: Do not hack core.

Update to Drupal 6

I've made a complete migration from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6 with my website. You'll see a lot of changes on here and overall I think it's a fantastic change and will last a lot longer in the end.

The primary motivation for me to do this was that I didn't like how dependent it was on contributed modules. When the beta versions of Drupal 6 came out, I wanted to make the upgrade, but couldn't since I was using a hilarious amount of contributed modules. These contributed modules, of course, had not made the update to 6. Now I'm just using Drupal core, which will make it much easier to update to future versions of Drupal as contributions will always be behind.

The majority of the features in Drupal 6 are in the administration and its API, so you guys won't really see anything new by visiting this site. The things you will notice, however, are new looks for the articles and projects sections, the gallery now aggregates from Flickr, and the links page aggregates from Delicious. As more contributed modules get ported to Drupal 6, more and more things will appear. I'm really liking this release so far.

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