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Customizing Drupal (without killing kittens)

Introducing Drupal

Customizing Drupal (without killing kittens)

45 minutes (+15 minutes Q&A)



theming | APIs | customization | kittens | Forms

For any kind of Drupal website, it happens very often that existing modules get you 90% of the way but you still need some customizations to get things looking and working exactly the way you want. Not a brand new module, just some site-specific adaptations that get you to 100% of what you want.

If you know just a little bit about writing PHP code, you are dangerous enough to be able to change a line of code here and there and get what you want in the short term. However, as the old saying goes "every time you hack core (or a module you didn't write) god kills a kitten", and there's good reasons for that. The alternative is to use the various APIs that Drupal makes available to you in order to implement a clean solution with just in a few lines of code.

Don't be scared if you're not a programmer or if you don't know what an API is, no advanced skills are required. What we'll show is a few real-life examples of how to do simple customizations using a methodological approach that can be reused for pretty much anything on a Drupal site.

  • How do I create such customizations?
  • What tools should I use?
  • Where can I hook into existing functionality?
  • How do I find what data is available?
  • What to do when it's not working the way I want?
  • What do do if my customizations are worth sharing with others?

It's questions like these (and many more) that we'll try to answer during this session.