Just in time for the official release of Drupal 7.0, Packt has released a book concentrating on (what you may not know yet) about Drupal 7.
This article is more of a book-review -- an introspection of how the book might valuable to you (or us). Read on for my per-role chapter highlights.
What about the book?
Duane Moraes of Packt Publishing sent a copy of "Drupal 7 First Look" for a personal review. Glancing at the cover I considered the title as self-explanatory, but I got surprised to see the range of topics listed at the table of contents.
There's room for everything:
- Chapter 1: What's New In Drupal 7?
- Chapter 2: Installation and Upgrades
- Chapter 3: Site Building with Drupal 7
- Chapter 4: Drupal 7 Administration
- Chapter 5: Drupal 7 for Themers
- Chapter 6: Drupal 7 Database Changes
- Chapter 7: Drupal 7 for Developers
I usually snub "first-look" titles because of a potential boring read -- but this is an exception. The author (Mark Noble) made good mileage with each chapter for each tasks/specialization (theming, administration, development ...). Since it's more of an overview guide, I forgive the outdated screenshots and references to Drupal.org's original-but-old design. Other than that, I'm very glad the author was able to cover the essentials.
Highlights for everyone:
For beginners (newbies)
Jump immediately to CHAPTER TWO.
There are quick-guides on how to setup, install and configure Drupal 7 on your local machine. It also has a detailed explanation of what changed in previous Drupal versions.
If you want to save more time: skip local installation, and use WebEnabled's Drupal 7 instance instead. This will give you a faster jump-start (trust me!).
For themers (designers & theme-developers)
CHAPTER FIVE is the section you would want to rip off from the book and use as a reference.
Essential changes in Drupal 7 theming were mentioned:
- new templates & updated theming convention;
- new methods overriding and intercepting techniques;
- hook_alter for theme bonanza;
- more theme-api changes that would make you worry on how to port your Drupal 6 site theme. *sigh*
Theme developers & maintainers might find this chapter valuable. No mention of up-and-coming recommended base-themes for D7 though (like Fusion, AT, Tundra, Omega, among others).
Sub-themers can give this a quick read to know what's hot from what's not in the new-way-of-doing-things department.
Maybe soon we'll be able to use the phrase "that's sooo Drupal six-ish" (for non-ported sites of course).
For administrators (web admins)
Drupal site-administrators will definitely love this book.
CHAPTERS 3 & 4 illustrates the most common tasks in D7 web-administration. A healthy set of tips are also included in the book: like which contributed modules are recommended for better site-management. Special mention goes to backup_migrate module on Chapter 2. The author does share the best solutions for admin-related issues or problems.
Chapter 4 > 'Installing and updating themes and modules' (pages 104, 105, 106) would definitely cheer you up.
There you go admins! This book could be a refreshing vitamin to you.
For Content Editors (writers / publishers)
Despite the book's "First Look" title, I feel that it could've been better if it included a chapter for users interested in D7's content-editing features.
If don't consider yourself Drupal-savvy, you may feel that this book lack a section focusing on the content workflow improvements. You could be a blogger interested in evaluating how the blogging system changed and how it differs from WordPress 3.x. Or, you could be absolutely new to Drupal who simply wants to learn more about the D7's publishing features. If any of these is your case, you'll still be able to gain more idea on the editing & administration side of things.
How did I rate this book?
I give it 9/10 -- because: personally there are so many things to learn about D7 that I haven't discovered yet. I'm confident that this book will serve as a good guide in future site-upgrades and project-transitions.
For early adopters?
Early adopters and evangelists alike will definitely find this book compelling. Whether you're an owner of a Drupal-shop or some guy dedicated in promoting Drupal to others, this book will help you comprehend the new stuff.
If you also read the book, please let me know if we share same sentiments. Happy reading!