2008/07/26

Learning Drupal & Meeting Drupalers

Spent a couple hours yesterday (25 July 2008) working with Andy M on the verrry early steps of learning Drupal and starting to build a website using Drupal. Also took another step towards meeting more Drupalers and identifying people to help build a Drupal community for northeast Wisconsin.

Andy has our development site up for learning the basics of website building with Drupal. We know some of the basic functional components we want in the website; we just don't know how to build those with Drupal. Andy got Drupal 6.x installed on his host server, so we're working with modules that are available for 6.x. Although there's a larger base of stable 5.x Drupal modules than 6.x, Blake H recommended 6.x as the best path for us to use in developing our site.

Blake also recommended that we use the CCK, Panels and Views modules for our early site development work. CCK and Views seemed to install ok, but so far we can't seem to convince Panels to install.

Whilst working with Andy on the site today, I checked the Appleton Library website to see if they had any Drupal resources I could pick up to use this weekend. There was one item that seemed to be available, so I put a hold on it. After I left Andy's, I stopped at the library before heading home. The 'book checkout' guy immediately inside the main library doors wasn't busy when I walked in, so I asked him if the item I put on hold was already pulled or if I should just get it from the shelf. It turned out that item had been purchased but not yet received, so I couldn't get it for this weekend.

However...in talking to the checkout guy, Brian K, it turns out that he knows Drupal and has done a couple Drupal websites. He sounded interested in getting together with some other people who use Drupal or who want to be involved in building a Drupal community. Brian also mentioned that a new version of the Appleton Library website is being built with Drupal. It was a bit weird but truly appreciated to have a 'small world' serendipitous meeting with another person who's interested in Drupal.

So, yesterday I learned a couple things about Drupal, the most apparent of which was how much I don't know about how to build a website with Drupal. The second thing I learned was there are other Drupal users (and other people with a distinct interest in Drupal, as evidenced by the Drupal items all being checked out) in the Appleton / northeast Wisconsin area.

There are two challenges ahead for me with Drupal, CMS and website building. The first is to learn enough so I can start to ask useful questions about the topics and find effective answers. The second is to figure out the best ways to connect with northeast Wisconsin Drupal users and help build the Drupal community in this area.

*****

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