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Coding Drupal 7 2009-02-08

Okay, so there's a few reviews of Drupal 7 turning up online. They give Drupal 7 look of kudos and praise for the most part. But what these reviews don't do is go into the code. I am going to do that here in the next few weeks as I build Drupal.se using Drupal 7.

Now I am not going to write about bugs unless it is absolutely necessary as part of an explanation of the work. Drupal 7 is in alpha so bugs are expected. What I am going to be doing is talking about the internals that will be of concern to a web developer, php programmer or web designer.

First a bit about the environment. I am running Drupal 7 on:

YAWS webserver
PHP 5.3.1
Windows 2003 Server

Some things will change as I go through like the use of Clean Urls will be introduced after I decide on using appmods as versus a single arg_rewrite module for YAWS. I may also go with PostgreSql over MySQL later on.

The information will be in short paragraphs without any long articles. The following is an example.

I found out today that Drupal 7 has much more default templating in the core. Upon seeing an extra link appearing in my theme just above the header I investigated the core to find out why this was happening. This lead me to the system module and all of its files. Errant code was to be found in html.tpl.php. I was surprised to find dozens of extra files in the same directory. It seems these are the glue that hold together the default look of Drupal 7. If you are an old timer with Drupal then you probably are familiar with drupal.css. Drupal.css was the bane to all web designers because it needed to be overriden or removed when creating a new design for a Drupal installation. Well drupal.css now has dozens of companion files that will further complicate the learning curve. Hopefully you may never have the need to touch these files in later versions of Drupal 7 but as of now you need to make yourself familiar with them in case you run into the same problems that I am having.

So get ready for some long nights in reading core code if you want to become a true guru of Drupal 7 or make it do your bidding as a web designer.

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