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Book Review: Drupal 7 Module Development

Well, it’s been a while my Drupal friends, almost 18 months… dusting off this old Drupal 6 blog and time to start posting again.

And what better way to get started again than by talking about Drupal 7, by far the best release of Drupal. And with almost 7 years being involved with the Drupal project, I’m speaking from experience :)

The biggest issue with Drupal is understanding all the wonderful complexity going on under the hood. And then being able to apply that to create cool modules, great themes, and ultimately awesome websites.

But even with understanding the APIs, having concrete examples of how to use them along with best practices can make a significant difference in being able to leverage those APIs correctly.

And that is where’s Packt’s latest book, Drupal 7 Module Development comes into play. Written by some of the top talent in the Drupal community, the authors have a incredibly indepth understanding of the code, not to mention being responsible for many of the great improvements in Drupal 7.

The book’s approach is to build working modules that cover core concepts from a practical perspective. I very much like this approach and wish something like this existed many years ago when I was banging my head into the wee hours of the night :)

My favorite chapters are 6, 7 and 9. Chapter 6 is a must read. Anyone working on Drupal 7 needs to understand the concept of entities. They are incredibly powerful but abstract. The concrete example of building types of artwork helps clarify this concept from a practical perspective. Chapter 7 talks about extending entities with fields, making them much more powerful. Chapter 9 is a great read for anyone looking at handling complex permissions within a site. Think Facebook-esque permissions. Concrete examples for both access and grants are given, shedding light into this often mysterious realm (pun intended) of Drupal.

Overall, the book is a great read – whether new to Drupal or just wanting to better understand how to write better Drupal 7 modules. I fall into the latter camp since I have not been too active with the latest Drupal 7 release so this book has been a pleasure getting me up to speed :)

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Jamie Larson