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Drupal 6 Social Networking

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Drupal 6 Social Networking is one of the lastest publications addressing the use of the popular open source content management framework.

Drupal 6 Social Networking is one of the lastest publications addressing the use of the popular open source content management framework.

I’ve fought it for a long enough time, but I’m finally taming my dislike of Drupal.  I’ll admit - its mostly because I’m now using it for what it is - a framework and not as a content management system.  Now I seem to be growing as a Drupler.  Fast-foward to a few weeks back: I was browsing about Amazon and came across Drupal 6 Social Networking.  After reading the entire book in a few days, I felt it deserved a review.

Drupal 6 Social Networking is written to reach a wide audience - from programmers to content administrators, no matter the level of experience.  It is authored by Michael Peacock of Peacock-Carter, a web developer from Newcastle, UK.

The book is broken down into 10 chapters, ranging from an introduction to drupal and social networks, installing drupal, using the framework to create the functionality desired, and even into web site promotion.

The highlights of this book is that is an easy read and is written for those that are not exactly sure of what certain features relate to in the system.  For example, have you ever wondered what the full use of Taxonomy is in Drupal?  Peacock has a casual writing style that gets directly to the point, accompanying his writing with on-point visual examples to add visual detail to his writing.

If you are new to the Drupal framework, this book will guide you from installation to project setup.  If you are seasoned with the framework, but not exactly sure how to make the best of specific modules to get the performance / functionality you need, this book will enlighten you with which module to use and why to use it.

Overall, this is a worthy purchase that gets directly to what the title states - drupal 6 and social networking.  This mean, you guessed it, Michael directly focuses on how drupal can be used to build a social network and he doesn’t slide off topic in doing so.

For those interested:

5-for-1 Deal from SitePoint - profits going to victims of Australian bushfires

Thursday, February 12th, 2009


SitePoint Special Sale

Just thought I’d pass this awesome offer along to those that read the blog.

SitePoint is offering a deal to get 5 of their books in PDF format for only $29.99.

The beauty of it is that the proceeds are going to be donated to the victims of the Australian bushfires.

I’ve read a few of the books and some are hit or miss.  I definitely recommend:

Check it out, its for a good cause!

jQuery turns 3 with the release of jQuery 1.3

Friday, January 16th, 2009

jQuery
January 14th, 2006 brought to the development world what would soon become one of the most influential javascript frameworks.  jQuery, the write less, do more framework, has since taken on a life of its own and is now used by many web sites today, from Google, to Dell, and even Virginia Tech.

Happy Birthday jQuery!

Quickie - Import Database to MYSQL via SSH/Linux

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Here is a quickie for importing an sql file to mysql on linux….

mysql -u -p dbname < sqlfile

Example

> mysql -u root -p wordpress_db < "/home/webster/backup.sql"
> Enter Password:

And there you have it…

MYSQL Backup Quickie

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Okay, due to timing I will be adding very quick tutorials/notes for myself.  Selfish I know, but it could prove to be of use to starters as well.

If you have your SSH handy + access to working with your database, run the following command to backup your database.

mysqldump -username -password databaseName > nameoffile.sql

So, for example - if you have a root account with the password Password and a database named MyDB and you wanted to call the backup MyDBBackup.sql and save the file into your /home/username directory.

mysqldump -root -p MyDB > /home/username/MyDBBackup.sql

The Move To Wordpress

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Wordpress move is going fantastic!

Abundance of projects

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

I don’t know how I let so many projects sneak up on me. Currently I have been working/have worked on:

  • New Alpha Kappa Psi: Omicron Sigma CMS driven site
  • Results - Galax/XM advertisement web site
  • 3 web reports for ResultsTel Inc
  • Covers for RU Athletic Media Guides
  • New Phi Beta Lambda CMS Web Site
  • Launch of HMediaWeb.com

Each project has their own flavor, ranging from graphic design to dynamic programming and even into static placement. I will post links to all of these in the upcoming weeks.

ASP.NET .. Meet AJAX

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

At work I’ve been working with our developer to create a report for our agents to track some of their call/sales data.

This form is trick because of the amount of information that it will be obtaining. In some ways it is easy, but the flowchart itself provides a lot of forks in the road.

The form will be dynamic, with some of the fields populating from a database table. When agents answer specific items with “Yes”, a window will appear with more options. Vice versa, if they answer “No” then another window will glide in. This will obviously be done with AJAX. I just hope the dataflow is an easy process. In all reality, this will be my biggest AJAX project since I started toying with it earlier this year.

At the moment I have designed 90% of the layout. From here it will be on to the table creation for the database, creating the javascript to work options in the form, and finally on to the ASP.NET controls for interacting with the database.

ASP.NET has been a smooth transition. I feel I am picking it up much faster than originally thought. I respect the technology now, it’s no PHP in my eyes, but it definitely packs a violent punch that delivers results!

*In NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM was that a pun directed at the company I work for… haha*

What? My Program Works?

Monday, May 21st, 2007

I gotta say, the ability to understand programming pays off. After getting fed up with the time I was wasting logging into Ta-Da List I decided to write my own listing program.

I like to look at it as a list management system.

I really didn’t need to be super organized, such as organizing by day, week, etc. I created the list just how I would create my own sticky notes - random, jot some info down with a title and post it. The program works just the same - I have an idea, I click my bookmark, the web application comes up and I’m ready to go. Add a title, a little descriptive information and wah-la! It’s posted. I can even edit the list if I screw something up and I can delete it once the task/list/whatever is completed.

I’m still thinking about releasing it once I complete the interface to meet my tastes. Will it be open source? Most likely!

PHP and MySQL are a great marriage. What are some of the applications some of you guys are building to meet your needs?

The Education of Freelancing and Staying in the Game

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

Originally posted Thursday, November 16th, 2006
Updates applied May 20th, 2007 -

Friends always harass me about who my web development and design instructors are. I give them the names of instructors I have taken. Unfortunately what they don’t realize is the concepts that have made me successful were learned outside the classroom.

I must attribute what I have learned to the fact that I started out designing web sites at an early age and was producing for client at the same speed. I was a daily user before I could grasp how web sites worked inside and out. I read various tutorials online. I learned a lot from the days Angelfire.com was a huge free server and WebMonkey was its tutorial counterpart. Years later I own my server and create ways to produce my web sites.

Learning is something you never finish in this industry. To this day I still learn something from every project that I take in. The amount that I know about this industry is far greater than it was when I graduated high school. Heck, what I’ve learned in the past year (thanks to Chris Pund’s talk about Web 2.0 way back in the day) has really amazed me. I also run into various situations where I learn just how little I know about this industry. This is critical as it really showcases where one needs to improve.

LAMP. Web 2.0. AJAX. The User Experience. Hello Divs. Bye Bye Tables. The world in front of us developers is changing ever so rapidly. How does one keep up with the break-neck pace of it all? Online forums, social bookmarking, and web sites geared toward the profession are a tremendous start in terms of help. It also doesn’t hurt to have a Barnes & Noble near by either. Just think - go there, grab a cup of coffee, hit up the technology section and read some of the latest books out. It’s a cheap and effective way to see what authors are writing about. Think those two previous steps aren’t enough? Develop for clients, but do your research on products similar to what you are developing. Take note of the trends.

As of right now, you may wonder what are the emerging technlogies and trends. From my user experience and work as a developer, here is my input on WHAT you should know if you want to be effective in this field of work:

Bare Essentials:

  • HTML 4.01
  • XHTML
  • CSS

Web-Development:

  • XHTML
  • CSS
  • Javascript
  • PHP
  • ASP, ASP.NET
  • C++
  • AJAX
  • JAVA
  • PERL
  • XML
  • MySQL, SQL, Access
  • LAMP, WAMP

Web-Design

  • Standards Compliance & Design
  • Validation
  • User Interface Trends
  • Complimentary Colors, the rule of 3
  • Simplicity, not Graphic Intense
  • Design for lowest medium possible
  • Section 508

I know personally I have left out a lot. Just from that list though, it is obvious this field of work spans a wide variety of technologies to meet a specific, common purpose. This field of work isn’t going to level off anytime soon. With technology trends and mobility increasing in demand with each day, the thirst to meet those needs will become even more evident.

Thank the Lord for my freelancing abilities - without them I could not up to date, ahead, or let alone in the game itself.