Sunday, 29 July 2012

WordPress learning from the code in

My knowledge of WordPress is increasing quickly with little bits of time here and there, and I think I have finally found some functionality that will require me to develop a proper plugin, there doesn't seem to be a plugin that gives the same functionality of node references in Drupal (although that appears to be giving way to more generic entity references). Basically I want to add another post type and make a reference to it from normal posts. I have to trawl through the plugins some more but so far nothing does exactly what I want.

Monday, 16 July 2012

WordPress from the ground up


I have been putting some time aside to learning WordPress recently, in the the past I have had to do little bits and pieces on WordPress sites or a fiddle with something that doesn't quite work on a site built by someone else on top of a specialized theme that has been purchased. I wanted to learn how WordPress works from the bottom up.
I also want to get a feel for how much customization is possible and the feasibility of using WordPress as a development framework. I have a personal project in mind that theoretically I could build in Drupal, however Drupal is a bit weighty for what I want and a WordPress based project should be much easier for people to set up and install.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Themeing Drupal 7: Depends on the team

Another steep learning Curve.

A quick comment, following some discussion with other Drupal developers and interested parties last week at the last Bristol & The West, UK Drupal group meetup. It quickly became clear that my search for simplicity in themeing Drupal is ultimately doomed. I know too many ways to do things, there are too many valid approaches.

The consensus appears to be that the skill-set and availability of members in the team will make a huge difference. Having a front-end developer that does not know Drupal inevitably moves a lot of the load back to the back-end developer (or at least introduces a heavy training/knowledge sharing penalty).

Although I can imagine a happier world where the developer is mostly concerned with making sure that the data is there and managing the display tab and view modes in content types, there are lots of times where this is simply not practical.

I shouldn't need a helper module to give me clues about where various bits of the page are being themed. I may have to trace theme functions in the code or trawl through a disparate set of template files that individually give no clue to their heirachy or conceptual inheritance.

Quite a few people seem to be looking forward to Twig in Drupal 8 another post on that soon I think.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Themeing Drupal 7: Checking fields


A very general thought, will add more specifics when I have done a bit more investigation.
Considering the template end of themeing (so ignoring theme functions for this thought experiment) and restricting to a node template or field templates. Assuming you have have a set of various different fields (some with multiple values perhaps) and you wish to customise the display of the content somewhat perhaps wrapping some of the fields in html to make a carousel or for something else. Is there ever a case where you need write complex PHP in the template/s?

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Drupal as framework pt2 where is my front controller?


Continuing thoughts on Drupal7 (and to be fair probably just an exercise in tidying up my brain and not much use to others) as a web development framework, I highlighted one of the major difficulties in part 1 in that you need to know a lot about Drupal before you can use it as a framework.
This post is a quick pointer if you come from a pure framework background and are trying to understand how Drupal 7 works.