Drupal Taxonomy

Drupal has an unbelievable collection of features. So much of the time I feel like I’m constantly peeling away different layers of an onion trying to get to an understanding of what it does and how to make it work. It is designed to separate the programming code from the information. The information – things like labels, values for check boxes, radio buttons, or selection lists gets stored in the database while modules provide the programming framework. Drupal is a true database driven system

Taxonomy reinforces this separation of programming features from the information (data) and what it means. If  you’re spending some time learning about Drupal I thought you might find the following video interesting to watch. http://gotdrupal.com/videos/drupal-taxonomy It is a bit long around 50 minutes but it does make some good points about taxonomy and how its used.


Setting Up an IDE for Drupal Development

I founded a group in Kansas City called Make:KC in July 2009 inspired by Make Magazine, their Maker Faires, and the www.makezine.com web site. I started with a MakeKC WordPress blog using WordPress’ free blogging site. Then I registered our www.MakeKC.org domain name and started using Drupal in December 2009. Make:KC is a non-profit organization.

I’ve tried setting up an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) using Eclipse and then NetBeans. Both seem to work well as editors but I was having trouble getting a debugger working that would allow me to step through the PHP commands on our web site. Most of the time these tools have not been needed while using Drupal’s menu style configuration. But I’m wanting to work on developing some modules too.

NetBeans and xdebug

I tried to get debugging working for Drupal sometime last year. At that time I tried Eclipse and NetBeans. I’m spending more time learning to develop in Drupal so I need this to work. It helps to step through commands with a debugger and learn what takes place in Drupal’s code; learning why, how, and when commands are executed.

I’m sure Eclipse is a great IDE to work with but I managed to get debugging working in NetBeans first. I had an older version already on my computer but installed the newer NetBeans 7.0 version today and now I have debugging working on the server side.

I had already downloaded the xdebug program but setting it up to work with the IDE was my problem. I found this web site with some answers I needed: http://2bits.com/articles/setting-up-xdebug-dbgp-for-php-on-debian-ubuntu.html
The section about adding the following instructions to my /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini file seemed to make things work:


; Remote settings

; General

; Trace options

; Profiling

I need to read the article “Introducing xdebug”, it looks like it has some really good information: http://devzone.zend.com/article/2803-Introducing-xdebug

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(c) 2011 Vince Thompson

KC Drupal User Group 2010.02.23

2010.02.23 – Notes from KC Drupal Users Group

Last night marked a restart of the Kansas City Drupal Users Group with about twenty people in attendance. We were treated to pizza and about two hours of Drupal topic discussions. iLLin did a great job of presenting his use of Views, Templates, and Tables. I came away from the meeting with a list of items to research further.

Afterward, I started Googling several topics and passing comments mentioned at the meeting. What follows are links to documents that look useful.

Features Module

Often, the project module descriptions provide pertinent information but lack some information about how a particular module becomes useful. A web site that looks promising for information about the use of Drupal Modules is the abbridged descriptions from Affinity Bridge’s Feature Module Abridged.

Other useful Features resources:

Drupal t() function

Drupal l() Function



  • Leveraging Drupal – Getting your site done right. I got this book from Amazon last week.
  • Practical Subversion – Manage your code with ease using the Subversion version control system. I got this book at MicroCenter earlier this week.


Node Reference

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(c) 2010 Vince Thompson