Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Drupal 5 themes: The Book that delivered more than my expectations

Packtpub released its new book Drupal 5 Themes by Ric Shreves as new new year gift to drupal lovers  download the sample copy

When skimmed through the pages I concluded that this is book once again that proves Drupal theming is a complex one that can't be freed from a php programmer.

Today I spent few hours on this book that changed my first impression.

Ric starts like a coach approaches a fresh batch of athletes turns them fit and confident for the race at the page 223. he covers the most of the style related questions arises in theme developers mind. Ric Shows his experience as drupal developer and good designer too. (Designer in the sense having expertise in xhtml and css) he explains many things from a Dreamwevaer designers point of view, Dreamveaver is the most commonly used WYSIWYG editor.

In the early pages he inspires the reader reader to read the book fully showing few sexy themes. The page elements are portrayed afterwards in simple and systematic manner. then comes the blocks and in introduction to the theme intercepts and overrides. the chapter one gives an over view of drupal terminology and the anatomy of defaults Themes of drupal 5.

Chapter 2 is more about installing and configuring new themes. Also gives an overview on page specific theming.

The author surprised me in the chapter 3 in the way he used to explain the theme engine, I have never gone through any documentation before which is more simple than this.

I loved chapter 4, style sheets and themable factions and in chapter 5 he breaks the complexity of drupal style sheet implementation explaining" it is not necessary for you to be fluent of the way the style sheets complied....to intercept and override define your styles in style.css." which takes the precedence of defaulted styles. Block, Node and Comment are covered in a rather convincing manner.

Chapter 6 impressed me very much, he takes the reader though journey of converting an existing theme to new one finally turns a newbie into a drupal theme designer.

Chapter seven is creating a theme from the scratch. a very good reference chapter.

Charter 8 deals with the forms and finally you have the full list of drupal style sheets.

Setting up localhost severs and FireFox web developer plug in may be useful newbies.

As reviewer I received only a paper back copy a PDF version is also available for download.

what is not...?

Available theme snippettes from dupal community ought have been included. though the auther offered to include the instructions for the Drupal 6 in his web site, it is not included. Implementation of javascript effects like collapsible block, suck fish style drop down menu, css witch are not covered. Drupal theme settings and color module integration are not explained.

In conclusion he could keep the promise he gives to the reader in the preface that it explains the basic principles and practical solutions to the common problems and very good reference guide. The stable version of Druapl 6 is expected in a few weeks time, I am sure that drupal designers expects a theming book on D6. Presently there is no mu complete documentations available for drupal 6 and difference between the both versions are only a few. Till drupal 6 establishes and good documentations are available. this book will serve as the ultimate book of drupal theme developers.

Drupa 5 themes can be downloaded here


Chris Charlton said...

I get mine tomorrow.

drupal said...

nice post dude...
keep it up.


drupal said...

good review dude.
keep it up..