Drupal 7.15 Updating and What’s New?

I might be getting a lot more involved with Drupal again after a 3 yeah hiatus – pretty happy about this since I’m a pretty big fan. Why Drupal? It turns out that making mobile web sites with Drupal is a snap and mobile is where I’m headed. I played around with Drupal 7 as a beta and when it first came out – now that Drupal is at 7.15 I want to update my local instance, play around with anything new, check out the latest and greatest in themes and modules.

Updating – RTFM in the best course!
I guess its a good thing for users and a bad thing for us bloggers – the manual procedure seems to work so read the “upgrade.txt” file carefully and you should be good to go. Here’s what I did:

  1. Zip everything under your drupal install
  2. Zip everything (in a separate file) under your sites directory. This will back up your settings file too.
  3. Copy the settings file under sites\default to somewhere safe.
  4. Put your site in offline mode
  5. Delete everything in your drupal directory except the site, themes, and modules folder
  6. Copy in the new files and goto drupal\update.php in your web browser – run that. You should be good to go.

Of course should be does not always work. For me it didn’t. I followed the steps, but the update.php script would not recognize that I had an update to apply. Not sure why – I grabbed the development trunk and repeated the process and all worked as expected.

 What’s New in Drupal 7.15?

It is not too easy to tell. I can see one thing is that I’m getting annoyed at the constant “there was a problem checking for updates in the admin screens. Maybe a problem with running on localhost, but I’m not sure. From my last post I had gotten TinyMCE working just fine and this still seems to work ok. Drupal  7.15 is a pretty decent sized bug fix so don’t expect anything huge – wait for the version 8 for all of that I suppose.

Latest in Themes

So what’s happening with themes? I’ve often thought about WordPress vs. Drupal for this blog. I came down on wordpress because it more closely fit my use case and also because the themes fit better, but maybe now is a chance to take a look again. The main trend I see in decent D7 themes is incorporation of responsive capabilities – ugh I used a hype word. “Responsive” means the theme will look at the browser/device screen capabilities and can adjust the layout. Hype – yeah – cool – yeah.

The most interesting theme I saw is Omega – why? Frequency of updates, HTML5, responsive features, and good docs. I checked the docs, installed all of the supporting modules, and then installed the theme. For the most part the docs seem great – I had some trouble finding the “create subtheme” thing so I attached a screenshot of that taken around 7:45 this morning (which might explain why I had trouble…).

With Omega basic things installed – the deal is not to activate them, but instead create the sub-theme. once that is created – this is the thing you mess around with. I got my sub-theme all setup and working right. What you have is a blank canvas to mess around. I need some ideas so I will go to some paper and then Balsamiq to try to get some decent designs for positioning and what I want where on screen and where. For now Drupal 7.15 is a somewhat “boring” release, but I have some things to work on that I’ll detail out in a future post. Drupal on!

Future work will include a few things on:

  1. Themes
  2. Galleries
  3. Using blogging, panels, views, and other data viewers on the main page
  4. Mobile views and customizations.

Its good to be back with an old friend…and that my account on drupal.org still works 🙂



2 Responses

  1. huan says:

    Don’t you ever sleep?

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