Buch: Drupal Explained What do you need to learn from this Drupal book? Drupal Explained Drupal 7 Explained requires absolutely no experience with Drupal, content management, website construction, programming, scripting, or even HTML.

Using Workflows to teach CMSs

... with CMSs, things are more abstract and there's not always direct relationship between what you do and what you see. With Drupal there are many steps involved. So to not get lost in the process inside each CMS, we started creating workflows. We found that people were often confused and asked questions like this: "I want to create a blog, so I start with Views, right?"
 "I want to re-design my homepage so I began with Panels. That's what Panels is for."
 "I've added 30 fields, but I haven't created any content types yet. What am I doing wrong?" With so many steps in the process, people were getting lost inside Drupal. A workflow was needed.

Here's our Drupal Workflow

Unfortunately, our Drupal workflow didn't create a memorable acronym ..., unless you can find a way to pronounce PIC FTBV LMU:
  • Planning
  • Installation
  • Content Types
  • Fields
  • Themes
  • Blocks
  • Views
  • Layout Modules
  • Users
deutsch: PIIF TB VDM B
  • Planen
  • Installieren
  • Inhaltstypen
  • Felder und Module
  • Themes (Layout/Design)
  • Blöcke
  • Views (Datenbankabfrage)
  • Design Module
  • Benutzer
workflow2.jpg Why do we do things in this order? Because each step follows logically on from the next:
  • You definitely shouldn't start to build a site before doing any planning
  • You can’t add fields before you’ve created a content type
  • You can’t add content until you have the content types and fields
  • You can't see what your theme will look like until you have content
  • You can't place blocks accurately until you have a theme
  • You can create views if you haven’t added any content
  • You can't use layout modules if you haven’t any fields, content or views available
  • You can't apply user permissions fully until all of your modules are installed
  • Erst planen, dann Seite aufbauen
  • Erst Inhaltstypen erstellen, dann Felder hinzufügen
  • Erst Inhaltstypen und Felder, dann Inhalt hinzufügen
  • Erst Inhalt, dann Aussehen
  • Erst das Design (theme), dann Blöcke verschieben
  • Erst Inhalte schaffen, dann views erstellen
  • Erst Felder, Inhalt und Views, dann Design module
  • Erst alle Module installieren, dann Nutzerrechte vergeben
It's important to realize that this workflow isn't comprehensive and it's not designed to be. What we do with this workflow is provide an overall framework to help people Drupal and help them out when they're feeling lost. This is the workflow that we use in every chapter of Drupal 7 Explained.

What about all the power and complexity of Drupal?

When we teach beginners, we make a very deliberate decision to not teach all of the power and complexity of Drupal. We ignore nearly all settings and configuration options. We avoid important modules such as Rules and Token. We concentrate on the big picture, on the process, on the workflow. If people learn to understand and enjoy Drupal, they'll learn more about it's power and complexity when they're ready. We teach Drupal according to a firm set of rules. When our students understand what's in Drupal 7 Explained, then they're ready to break those rules. The Dalai Lama has a great quote that sums this up: Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
There's a clearer distinction to be drawn between checklist and workflows ... checklists are definitely simpler and provide less understanding. For what it's worth, we've got a few more smaller Drupal processes. A workflow is a general path toward a goal, while a checklist is a step-by-step breakdown of the journey. (recipe) Step-by-step checklists are great for reproducing the same result from exactly the same conditions every time. Checklists can be problematic for software like Drupal however, because the software is constantly being changed and updated.  For example, for installing modules and themes we use FITS:
  • Find
  • Install
  • Turn on
  • Set up
For Views, we tell people to focus on just 5 elements, DFFFS:
  • Display
  • Format
  • Fields
  • Filter
  • Sort
What's covered in this Drupal book?
  • Planning a site that will be easy to build and manage
  • Installing Drupal and setting it up to work reliably and securely
  • Quickly finding the Drupal tools and features you’re looking for
  • Mastering an easy 3-step workflow for creating new content
  • Delivering more interesting content with fields and new content types
  • Creating intuitive site structures and user navigation
  • Adding powerful site features with just a few clicks
  • Completely redesigning your site in minutes with Themes
  • Adding site search, registration, and more
  • Presenting content in tables, lists, grids, or photo galleries
  • Creating advanced layouts and 2- or 3-column designs
  • Controlling what users on your site can see and do
  • Preparing your site for launch