June 2011

Jun 30, 2011

We want to hear what you think about Build a Module.com, and if you send us a video review or post a review on YouTube, we'll give you 30 free days of unencumbered access to our entire video library (if you're already a member, we'll wave fees for a full month), plus enter you in a drawing to win a DVD or download of your choice, or a 6-month subscription.

The process is simple, just turn on your webcam and go. Don't worry about editing it (unless you want to), we'll take care of that on our end. The video doesn't have to be long, anywhere from 1-5 minutes is perfect.

We may post some these videos publicly, which means that other people may be watching these, so feel free to turn up the charisma!

While we'll be taking videos indefinitely (we always want to hear what you think), this offer of a free 30-day membership ends in 2 weeks on July 14th, when we'll announce the winners of the drawing.

Here's what you should cover in your video:

  1. Your name and your line of work (and your company name, if applicable)
  2. How you've used the videos
  3. What you like or appreciate about the videos
  4. Anything else that comes to mind

Probably the easiest way to to record a video is by using YouTube (click for instructions). If you'd rather not post the review to your account publicly, simply post the video as unlisted, When you're done, send us the URL to the video page and we'll take care of the rest.

If you want to use your own webcam capture program, just send the finished video to learn@buildamodule.com. Again, don't worry about editing the video if you're strapped for time or don't know how, just send it to us raw. :-)

Also, let us know what your account username or e-mail is so we can hook you up with your free 30 days. If you don't have an account, sign up for one here.

Looking forward to hearing what you think!


Jun 28, 2011

This week we're releasing the first half of our first ever video collection for site builders (read: no code) at Build a Module.com. The collection, once completely released, will have over 200 videos and span 11 hours, and there's not a wasted minute.

Some of you may be wondering why we're branching out into site building, since our focus has been so developer-oriented up until this point. The truth is that this was part of the plan from the start, but up until a few weeks ago, the site building track of videos was going to be on a whole separate site called Manage a Site.com. So, what happened?

Well, you happened. We've been hearing from viewers like you that there's a need for clean, clear videos that cover Drupal from the ground up. Not all developers who come into Drupal are familiar with the interface, and not all viewers who enjoy the videos are developers. For those of you business owners out there, we've also heard that you need videos to train clients and employees on how to use Drupal from the front end.

Here, have 200 more videos. No charge.

From a usability perspective (most of you know already that usability is a huge focus at Build a Module.com), asking users to create a separate account on a different site with its own subscription didn't seem nearly as nice as saying "hey, here's 200 new videos for you and your kin. There's nothing you need to do except watch and learn." So, we did that instead.

If there are a few groans of anguish from folks who have been down the site building road before and know the terrain too well to get much from the videos, never fear, there will be more development-oriented videos on the way soon. We will continue on our mission to quench your seemingly inexhaustible thirst for knowledge. In the meantime, maybe you can be the person that points a Drupal noob to the Build a Module.com site building videos and earns their eternal loyalty. :-)

Show me the download-enjamins

Wondering where the DVD and downloads are for this awesome new collection? They're on their way. In the next couple weeks we'll be rolling out a sweet little upgrade to Build a Module.com and will release the offline viewing options then.

But, even if you're a stalwart downloader, you can get started by viewing the first couple chapters (and quite a few other samples) streaming on Build a Module.com while we're baking the first batch.

Click here to start watching Build Your First Drupal 7 Web Site.

Jun 21, 2011

This we're opening up the first 9 videos of our How to Work With JavaScript and jQuery chapter for free! Why? Because while we didn't add any new videos this week, we're going to be releasing over 5 hours (94 videos) of our upcoming series called Build Your First Drupal 7 Web Site next week, and we wanted to celebrate. It's kind of exciting stuff, and what better way to leverage the excitement than to grow your skills?

So, if you've been wanting to dig into jQuery but haven't had the time and you're not yet a subscriber, we're giving you a full week to dive in. Here's the list:

Two major use cases for jQuery and JavaScript and what this video covers

A lot of people like this video. It explains the role of JavaScript and jQuery in module building, and some common use cases.

How to include a JavaScript file on every page and intro to the jQuery object

The first part of using JavaScript in Drupal is learning how to include a .js file on a page. In this video, we walk you through that and explain how the jQuery object works.

How to load JavaScript after a page is done loading

This is a fun one. Have you ever wondered how you can optimize your online application by only loading JavaScript on an as-needed basis? Well, this video will show you how.

How to use the dollar sign as an alias for the jQuery object

In previous versions of Drupal, we were given the $ (dollar sign) to use as a jQuery alias, but in Drupal 7, things were designed to be a bit more extendable so if you wanted, you could use a whole other library (or a different version of jQuery) for that sweet little alias. This video explains how to use the behavior you might be used to from Drupal 6.

How to use jQuery selectors

At the core of jQuery is selectors, the way to point to various elements on a page and say 'hey, do something fun!' This video provides an overview of the most essential selectors.

How to manipulate content in the DOM (Document Object Model) with jQuery

Once you can point to stuff with selectors, you can start changing it. This video shows you how to dynamically change the content and structure of the page.

How to use jQuery events to add interactivity

Now that you can point to stuff and change it, you can trigger these changes with jQuery events. Click something and make something else appear! This is where the real fun starts.

How to use effects and work with CSS in jQuery

While events are where the fun starts, it continues with effects. Slide things, fade things, make your Drupal site look like an iPhone app. This video gives you an introduction on how to do just that.

How to use Drupal behaviors to add JavaScript functionality to new content

With the great power of jQuery comes great responsibility, and one of them is making sure you don't keep attaching events to the same elements. Don't know what that means? Watch the video and learn about the problem and how Drupal solves it.

Jun 16, 2011

This last weekend at DrupalCamp Colorado, 2011, I gave a talk about using some of the most interesting aspects of the Form API in Drupal 7. If you've watched the Drupal videos on Build a Module.com, some of this will look familiar.

As far as I can tell, the talk went over well and opened up possibilities for the audience to build dynamic forms with fairly simple workflows and no JavaScript / jQuery code. I talk about how to use the #state attribute to dynamically show or hide sections of a form, how to use the #ajax attribute to add new inputs to a form, and how to use hook_form_alter() to change the default Drupal 7 search box into a Google Suggest-style autocomplete input.

Below is the full 43-minute presentation (click here to go to the original page on chrisshattuck.com). Enjoy!

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 6, 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.