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Drupal development, project updates, occasional knee / head slappers

Jun 14, 2011

Call for Video Testimonials

At DrupalCamp Colorado this last week, we got an amazing amount of positive feedback from viewers. We would love to capture this feedback to help out those new to the site. If you would be willing to do a short video testimonial, we would be eternally grateful. We've posted the details here on how you can use YouTube to post the testimonial and some inspirational questions to help you get started.

Adding Color Settings to Your Theme

Dovetailing on last week's videos on adding custom theme settings, we're dedicating this week to a walkthrough of using the core Color module to add a new custom color to your theme with a fantastic (or should I say Farbtastic) user interface that includes a color selector and an inline, live preview of your changes.

Integrating the Color module takes several steps, so after demonstrating how the module integrates with a theme, we take a deep dive into each of the files needed to get full integration. After looking at these, we demonstrate from start to finish how to re-create the custom setting we built in our previous videos using the color module. Once you're done, you'll be ready to integrate the Color module interface with any custom theme.

This stuff is pretty fun, enjoy! Below are the new additions:

Jun 7, 2011

For the DrupalCamp, Colorado code sprint, all the videos in the Drupal 7 Core Concepts collection (12+ hours of concise Drupal 7 tutorials) will be available for FREE, all day on June 10th. If you won't be attending the sprint or are still working up the learning curve, no problem, just take what you learn and tackle an issue queue or IRC question. :)

Build a Module.com will also have a booth at DCCO on June 11-12. We will have coupons for 15% off anything at Build a Module.com, and get 20% off if you purchase anything at the booth (DVDs, downloads and subscriptions). We will have a viewing station set up so you can watch any of the videos on Build a Module.com absolutely free. We will have 5 different collections for sale, weighing in at over 40 hours of video, available as DVDs or downloads. Come by to say hello, watch a video, or see if you can defeat a rival at a game of Shock Potato.

I will be doing a session on June 11th at 10:30am at the Camp called How to Build Beautiful Forms in Drupal 7. Attendees will get free access to all of the Form API chapter videos for an entire week to dive even deeper into working with Drupal forms.

May 31, 2011

The right CSS classes can give you exactly what you need to laser-focus the look and feel of certain pages on your site. A lot of those classes are built in already, like a handy class added to the body tag for different content types. But, what happens when you really need a class like that for something else, like highlighting content created in the last two weeks, or various other whimsical criteria? No problem. In this week, we show you how to easily add conditional classes at the body, page and node levels.

We also continue last week's theme of overriding existing output by demonstrating how to find and override theme functions (check out this free video). Finally, we wrap up this week's new videos with a review of the latest chapter in Drupal Theming Essentials.

Next week we get into some fun stuff, starting with an in-depth look on what each of the default theme settings mean, how to completely uninstall a theme, and how to add your own custom setting.

Below is a list of the new videos for this week. Enjoy!

May 24, 2011

This week we give you a set of tools you can use to laser-focus theme changes for any situations. Want to serve up a different page template to anonymous users? Want to add some markup to images for certain content types? When the president of Burundi visits your site in April, do you want to add some festive flourishes?

To tackle critical (and whimsical) theme changes for virtually any situation, we cover using template suggestions and go deep into preprocessing functions, illustrating both with practical examples and conceptual visuals. We also discuss the rules of thumb when it comes to naming each (something that can be tricky for even the veterans among us).

Most of the videos below are subscriber-only, but our example-driven crash course on preprocessing functions is available for free here. Below is the full new set for this week. Enjoy!

May 17, 2011

Have you ever wanted a different page template file for each node content type? Or wanted to theme a one-off node in a unique way?

Well, these week we dedicate our next videos exclusively to template files. Sometimes a mystery, often a little scary, template files are actually gentile beasts with a lot to offer under their somewhat hairy exteriors. After watching these, you'll know once and for all how template file naming works, and will glean a few critical tricks to using custom templates for virtually any situation (I say virtually, because next week we cover all the edge cases :) ).

We spent a bit of time on each of the most commonly overridden template files (nodes, blocks, page, and comments), first looking at their code to figure out just how they fit into the rest of the page. Then, we discuss specific options for overriding each template based on certain conditions we can pass through the template file name. Finally, we create example template files so you can see them in action and give you some tips on finding out if the right template files are being applied.

If any of that sounds frightening, no worries, just check out the FREE node template video to get started.

May 10, 2011

This week, we wrap up our fourth chapter in "Drupal Theming Essentials", we begin by covering how to include CSS and JavaScript files based on virtually any condition. Want to add a new stylesheet when your Aunt Betsy visits your site? Want to highlight articles with the word "awesome" in the title? No problem! We cover three common scenarios, and give you the tools to come up with your own conditions as you need them.

We also begin our 5th chapter, called "Template Files, Theme Function Overrides and Preprocessing Functions" with a video explaining the potential benefits of finding other ways to tackle Drupal theming tasks than using template files or theming functions when you can. Then, we launch right into discussing how to use template files, and figure out core template file suggestions.

Below are the new videos, enjoy!

May 3, 2011

When one begins building a theme, it's only natural to use one CSS file for everything. But that stops being fun after about 1500 lines. At that length, it becomes a serious task to grasp what's happening in the file, and the chances of a team member changing the wrong style inadvertently becomes greater.

This week, we spend a full 4 videos learning from some of the best examples in CSS stylesheet management so that when your stylesheets begin to plague your dreams, you have somewhere to turn.

As we begin to wrap up the series on theme file structure, and move into working with templates and theming function, we're going to spend a couple videos clearing up some of the areas we glossed over in previous videos. This week, we cover how to granularly enable or disabling toggling of thematic elements (not the kind that bumps a movie rating up to an R) with 'features'.

Here's a list of the new additions. Enjoy!

Apr 26, 2011

Building a Drupal theme from scratch isn't for everybody. For most of us, sub-theming is the way to go because it leverages existing code and resources while still giving us the flexibility to extend the theme with styles and overrides. This week, our videos begin by going over just how to override just about anything from a sub-theme and demonstrate overriding a few key elements.

But for some of us, sub-theming isn't the right fit either. We need to lock down our theme so we know what's going on in there, or maybe we need to flip some of the structure around, but we still don't want to start from scratch. For us folk, we can instead start by copying an existing theme and making it our own, and in our next couple of videos we do just that.

We finally wrap up by beginning a two-parter video on CSS file structure and cover the rationale behind how to split up stylesheets for your theme.

Here's a list of the new videos. Enjoy!

Apr 19, 2011

We've been building up to this moment for a while now. For the last several weeks, we've demonstrated how to create a theme from scratch, including working with the .info file, how to add a screenshot and overide the page template file. This week, we throw that all to the side and show you how to build a beautiful theme with a single file, through the clever use of something called "sub-theming".

Before we do away with the theme scaffolding we've been working so hard on, we're going to explain what the famed template.php file is for and how it helps maximize themer sanity. We then look at several template.php files from Drupal core themes to get a feel for what you can do in that logical haven. Finally we demonstrate how to use the template.php as a better place to put some poorly-positioned logic from a previous example.

When we finish up with template.php, we'll thoroughly explain that while what we've been working on for the past couple of weeks is a perfect learning exercise, it's usually much quicker and more efficient to use an existing theme as a starting point for your custom theme. We first discuss the benefits of sub-theming, and then leap right into making our own sub-theme.

Enjoy the new videos!

Apr 12, 2011

If you've been enjoying the theming videos so far (more than 30 and counting), this week is going to be a fun one. We start off by explaining the most essential visual building blocks of a theme - regions - and work through how to add regions to your theme (FREE video) and use them in the Drupal user interface.

Regions are important, but they're not so much fun without styling. Our next step is walking you through adding a simple CSS file to your theme, followed in quick succession with how to add a JavaScript file, in which we explain the rationale behind adding JavaScript to a theme.

Finally, we show you how to extend the default theme settings page options to add your own settings, allowing other users to be able to manipulate aspects of your theme without having to touch theme code. Sweet!

Enjoy!

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