Review: Learning Drupal 6 Module Development

Learning Drupal 6 Module DevelopmentDrupal is one of the most popular content management systems. It is modular, extensible, customizable and powerful. Unlike Joomla!, which uses Object Oriented Programming (OOP) approach, Drupal uses fully procedural approach. Drupal’s code base is minimal and simple to understand. Like Joomla! you can develop modules (equivalent in Joomla! is called extension) to extend Drupal’s functionalities.

Drupal 6 is the latest stable release available now. One thing to remember is that there are lots of differences between Drupal 5 and Drupal 6. Drupal 7 will also be different by architecture. After releasing Drupal 6, the main problem users face is inadequacy of Drupal 6 modules. Most of the Drupal 5 modules don’t work in Drupal 6. Matt Butcher’s latest book on Drupal 6 Module Development would help others to develop more and more Drupal 6 modules.

Now let’s come to the book on Drupal 6 module development. As per the publisher – Packt Publishing – the book is targeted to ‘PHP developers who want to add features to Drupal 6.” This book should enable PHP developers to develop functional Drupal 6 modules.

The book explains well what it supposed to explain. From the very beginning it discusses Drupal’s architecture, steps necessary to develop a Drupal module, and so on. Then it starts with a simple example of developing a module. Then it discusses other details. Any PHP developer with some little knowledge about how Drupal functions can understand this example easily.

Most interesting part of the book, I think, are chapter 4 and 4, where we learn about creating content types and using Ajax and such things. It shows how we use Drupal’s JavaScript libraries, jQuery and so on. Here we also know about Database API and menu systems used by Drupal.

I am happy to learn all these from this book. Hope, others can also learn developing Drupal 6 module by reading and following the instructions in this book. However, one thing I am interested – and hoped I’ll get some hints here – is that I’ll be able to convert my old Drupal 5.x modules to Drupal 6 modules. It would be excellent if the book could show the differences of Drupal 5 and Drupal 6 modules, and showed us how to make a Drupal 5 module to work fine in Drupal 6. I think, Packt Publishing will look into this and incorporate this in future edition of the book – Learning Drupal 6 Module Development [ISBN 1847194443] by Matt Butcher.

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