2009-10-29

Windows 7 fail

I downloaded the Release Candidate of Windows 7 earlier this year, and today I decided to give it a try. After booting from the dvd and asking a couple of questions it asks for a cd rom driver(!). What did you say, Microsoft? You are booting from that CD rom drive. You also have a whole DVD to store whatever drivers you need. Every major linux distro I've tried manages include drivers for my cd rom on a CD! Of course, like every other Windows installation it stops more than one time. And of course it doesn't boot into live cd mode before start asking questions, but that is hardly anything new for anybody who has installed Windows more than a couple of times.
Update 2010-06-13: Finally managed to get some trial running on my laptop, and have used Windows 7 for a couple of weeks on my laptop. It behaves a lot better on my three year old laptop than Windows XP ever did, but I don|t know if this is because of Windows 7, or because it doesn|t contain hp drivers.

2009-10-18

Creating Drupal themes from scratch

If you want to create Drupal themes from scratch, i.e. you do not want to modify an existing theme but rather paste your own html and insert placeholders, MODx style, then this post is for you.

MODx has long been my favourite framework because of it's simple and powerful templating system (copy and paste your html, insert placeholders, go), but recently the lack of visible activity has convinced me to look for other alternatives. I bought "Using Drupal" and "Joomla! A User's Guide: Building a Successful Joomla! Powered Website". One of the reasons I never started to use Joomla! was that it always seemed like it would force me to organize content into two levels. After reading a few pages of the book I found out that it was in fact true. So I put the Joomla! book down and started reading "Using Drupal".

Drupal seems a lot more flexible. The thing that has always scared me away from Drupal and back to MODx is templating. Here is an example: http://drupal.org/node/11774 The templating system is very flexible, -and may seem very complicated.

In addition to this, the ultimate beginners theme, Zen, actually complicates things further if you, for instance, would like to move an existing site to Drupal, or if you want to unpack the html from the designer, insert your placeholders and test it. At least that's my conclusion so far.

Here's a simplified version of my current workflow: 
  • Use a standard theme for your admin pages:
    • Adjust settings under http://<yourservername>/admin/settings/admin
  • Download an empty theme. The best I've found so far is foundation
  • Unzip and paste into themes folder.
  • Rename page.tpl.php in the empty theme to something else.
  • Paste your html to a new file called page.tpl.php.
  • Using the old page.tpl.php as reference, insert similar placeholders into the new one.
  • Enable and test.

2009-10-15

I'm new with drupal, and I wish sobody told me this yesterday: To make an absolute link to an image in a theme, without worrying about where the theme is going to be installed, you can do the following:

<img alt="logo" src="<?php echo(base_path().drupal_get_path('theme','your_theme_name'))?>/img/some_image.png" />

If you are using phptemplate, the drupal_get_path-call might be substituted by just $directory, making it even simpler:

<img alt="logo" src="<?php echo(base_path() . $directory )?>/img/some_image.png" />

The second one was found here:  http://drupal.org/node/52520

Netbeans got a nice css preview

Was doing some spare time drupal work in Netbeans 6.8 when I suddenly found out it had working css preview. See screenshot below for details:
Logging into my other (work ) account I found it in Netbeans 6.7 too, which explains why it wasn't mentioned in NetBeans 6.8 -- New and Noteworthy