Front End Drupal

August 9, 2011

Front End Drupal: Designing, Theming, Scripting by Emma Hogbin and Konstantin Kafer is one of my favorite books on Drupal. It's written specifically for Drupal 6, but most of the concepts apply to Drupal 7 as well.

For Drupal theming, this is the go-to book. You'll learn how to create or modify any theme, how to override Drupal's core theming functions, and how to create amazing sites with JQuery. The JQuery section is especially helpful, with examples that spell out clearly how to use JQuery in your theme.

Developing Locally on a Mac

May 23, 2010

It's taken a while (see an earlier post), but I've finally found my perfect setup for developing locally on my Mac.

MAMP & VirtualHostX

MAMP is essential for developing locally on Mac. But with URLs like http://localhost/mysite, testing in a browser was a pain. Not anymore. A nifty little app called VirtualHostX makes setting up virtual hosts like http://mysite a snap. Goes with MAMP like peanut butter and jelly. (NOTE: VHX works with MAMP 1.8.4, but I couldn't get it working with MAMP 1.9.)

CSS for Layout

May 16, 2010

From the presentation I gave this weekend at the Phoenix Desert Code Camp. You can also view and download the notes at

Why Use CSS?

Cascading style sheets (CSS) allow us to separate content from presentation.

  1. Saves time and money. It's easier to change one style sheet than, say, 20 font tags on every page of a 200 page web site.
  2. File sizes are smaller and load faster, saving more time, money and your users from frustration.
  3. Machines love it because...

Using MAMP & VMWare Fusion on a Mac to Test in IE

February 7, 2010

I'm a diehard Mac and Firefox user, and if I were Queen of the Universe, everyone else would be, too. My royal aspirations aside, I realize that I have to take into consideration The Browser That Can't Be Named when developing a site. On average, about 58% of all people are still using some version of TBTCBN. At my place of employment, I'm sorry to say, that number is even higher—up to 68% of ASU's web visitors are poor, misguided souls. Because I develop locally on a Mac with MAMP, I don't test in TBTCBN as much or as often in the process as I should. Until now.

A Simplified New Year

January 2, 2010

Happy New Year! In celebration of 2010 and my resolution to keep this blog up-to-date again, I decided to redo the place. I wanted a fresh new look to go with my fresh new posts. It's another Drupal Zen subtheme, and I'm calling it "Spare" because, well, it is.

I love the clean, classic look of minimalist design, and it's a perfect fit for another of my (intended) 2010 rallying cries--"Content is king!" With minimalism, there's no hiding behind a snazzy graphic. You've either got it or you don't. And if I don't, I'd certainly like to know about it.

Blogging, Again...Sort Of

December 28, 2009

It's almost 2010, and in the spirit of New Year's resolutions, I've decided to try this blogging thing again. Yes, it's been a long time. I've been absent from the blogosphere for almost two years. With Twitter, Facebook and the hundreds of other social networking sites out there, blogs lost some of their lustre for me. Why spend time writing a post when you can just Twitter the info in 160 characters or less to your friends? But I've missed the longer format of the blog post. Here, I can write more leisurely and at greater length about what I'm thinking or doing. Maybe I'm just long-winded, but tweets and FB updates don't give me enough room to expand on an idea and really express myself—like reading the teaser on the back cover and never the book.