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:
- Zip everything under your drupal install
- Zip everything (in a separate file) under your sites directory. This will back up your settings file too.
- Copy the settings file under sites\default to somewhere safe.
- Put your site in offline mode
- Delete everything in your drupal directory except the site, themes, and modules folder
- 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:
- Using blogging, panels, views, and other data viewers on the main page
- Mobile views and customizations.
Its good to be back with an old friend…and that my account on drupal.org still works 🙂