Drupal 7 RC1

Perhaps the most eagerly awaited lately by the users of Drupal is the Drupal 7 RC1. If Drupal 7 has reached RC version, then:
  • The API is frozen.
  • All markup is frozen.
  • The UI is frozen.
  • The theme system is frozen.
  • All strings are frozen.
  • Drupal 7.0's release is imminent.
I really waited for Drupal 7 RC1, because with the release of RC version, so I do not need to change some of my themes system every new version released since the theme system is frozen.

And finally the Drupal 7 RC1 released!. You can download it here.

Slideshow for your Drupal site

There are many ways that we can do to attract attention of the reader or visitor, one of which is to create an attractive appearance on our website. Of course, the content of our website is the most important thing, attractive appearance but is not balanced with useful content for our readers is also a vain thing.

One of the things you can do to enhance the appearance of your website is to add a slideshow, can include articles, images or videos. In Drupal website, you do not need to add it manually using jQuery plugins like Cycle because there is a module that provides this slideshow feature, you just download and install it.

There are many modules are available at Drupal.org that you can use, you simply select and customize to your needs. Here are some module that is intended to create a slideshow:
  • Slideshow.
    The Slideshow module transforms images attached to an article into a JavaScript enabled slideshow. Any article can have a slideshow. This slideshow can be placed above, below or within the content of the page.
  • Views Slideshow.
    Views Slideshow can be used to create a slideshow of any content that can appear in a Views. The possibilities are really endless, as the more ways you can think of to categorize and add to views, the more you can rotate.
  • Ajax Slideshow.
    This Ajax Slideshow can show a series of content items as slides using transition effect. And Allow the user to navigate across slides using tabs and/or navigational buttons.
Slideshow is a feature that could be considered severe, a lot of resources to be taken when we use this feature, you must use it wisely. If you want to create an image slideshow, first compress the image you want to use for faster loading.

Choose a custom Drupal theme with caution

The needs for Drupal developers and Drupal theme makers seem to continue to increase from year to year. This is in line with the growing popularity of Drupal among site owners and companies.

As we already know in advance if free themes for Drupal is still very limited, whereas demand for the Drupal themes are very much. In fact, many vendors popping up and give an offer to create a custom themes for Drupal.

The price of custom themes for Drupal is very varied, from the price of 150 dollars to 3000 dollars or even more expensive. Here I will try to give an illustration how approximately the price of this custom theme when viewed from the quality of the resulting themes.

Price 150 - 450 USD

This is low end custom Drupal theme. You can find custom themes at a price between 100 to 450 USD, but do not expect at this price will match completely with your website.

Price 800 - 1400 USD

This is a mid range custom Drupal theme. At this scale you are hiring a bonafide theme makers, and we can be sure that the themes generated will be fully able to meet your needs.

Price more than 2000 USD

At a price of 2000 USD or more, you will get a theme that is truly unique, big price usually indicates a lot of theme work to be done, such as for sites with many sections that need unique designs. It is highly recommended if you want to make your Drupal theme as well as the brand of your business. If it was for the development of your company then big cost is not a matter.

The point is that the more you pay for a given design, the greater the attention to detail, not only in the look of the theme, but in the quality of the code.

Select a custom Drupal themes carefully, thoroughly well before hiring a theme maker. At least check first what he contributed to Drupal.

Drupal starter themes

To facilitate the development of a theme, sometimes we need a starter theme for accelerating the development process, especially if we have a limited time. With a starter theme, the development will be much easier because of existing frameworks.

There are several starter themes that are available at Drupal.org and all are worthy to try. Here are those themes:

Zen

Zen starter theme is a very widely used, and has great online documentation so it is very helpful if we want to study it more deeply. It very flexible, standards-compliant and semantically correct XHTML theme.

Zen is very simple and clean, and the HTML source order has content placed before sidebars or the navbar for increased accessibility and SEO. Zen also has a lot to get the award, which is clear evidence of efficacy from this starter theme.

Framework

Framework is developed by Andre Griffin, very user friendly starting point to help facilitate theme development.

Framework has general placement and formatting to basic Drupal elements, and supports one, two, and three-column layouts. The CSS file is highly organized, very clean and simplified code.

Genesis

Genesis is easy to theme and extremely flexible, giving themer endless theming possibilities. Genesis makes building a standards compliant accessible theme lot easier than starting from scratch.

Genesis has no complex logic in templates, included conditional styles module, and the content source ordered for SEO.

Know the popularity of modules and themes before using it

Prior to select the module or theme, there is much to consider. One who deserves to consider is the amount of usage of the module or theme we want to use, more and more users the more visible the quality of the modules or themes we wish to use, but you have to remember, many users it has not been definitely better than those that have fewer users.

In Drupal, there is a module in its development objective is to examine the module or theme installed on a website, this module name is the Update Status module. But the Update Status module does not know the status of any module or theme that was not installed via a tarball produced by Drupal.org.

The module is already included in the core of Drupal 6.x, and for earlier versions of Drupal, you must install it manually. The results shown give an idea of how popular the different projects are and may help you choose modules and themes for your own site.

To assess the popularity of a module or theme by simply watching from the amount reported by this module is not 100% valid, because new data obtained can be reported to the Drupal.org if the website has turned on or installing the Update Status module, but this is enough to give an idea of what is used on others sites.

You can find out, how popular modules and themes you're using by visiting Usage statistics for all projects page at Drupal.org.

Stop spam on Drupal based site

Overcoming spam in Drupal website is a work that is sometimes quite time-consuming. Spam also increases caused by the search engines like Google with its PageRank, which makes website owners do variety of ways to get a high PageRank, one of them is by doing a Spam comment on the comment form provided on an article, or creating a spam forum post.

There are many Drupal modules available to stop the Spammers, for example are Captcha or Mollom. Both module blocks robot spam submissions by requiring users to answer a challenge question before posting a comment, or registering etc.

Then how about a backlinks we do not want? to solve this problem you can try NoFollow List module, the module allow you to add a rel="nofollow" tag to all links that come out of your website throughout your article. To do so, simply put your site on the WhiteList in the module settings.

But there is one weakness of NoFollow list module, this module can not add a rel="nofollow" tag into comments in your article. Fortunately it can be overcome by doing the following trick:
  • Go to Administer > Input formats.
  • Click "configure" under Filtered HTML.
  • Click "configure" again under Filtered HTML tab.
  • Check the "Spam link deterrent" and "Save configuration".
Now all links that comes out of your website will have a rel="nofollow" tag.

CiviCRM

This description comes from CiviCRM project page at Drupal.org:

CiviCRM is the first open source and freely downloadable constituent relationship management solution. CiviCRM is web-based, open source, internationalized, and designed specifically to meet the needs of advocacy, non-profit and non-governmental groups.

CiviCRM has a powerful contact, fundraising and eCRM system that allows you to record and manage information about your various constituents including volunteers, activists, donors, employees, clients, vendors, and more.

This powerful module can track and execute donations, transactions, conversations, events or any type of correspondence with each constituent and store it all in one, easily accessible and manageable source.

Currently CiviCRM supports Drupal and Joomla.

You should consider using CiviCRM if you need:

  • You and your organization can be in full control of your own data and communications
  • Store information about individuals, organizations and households and your interactions with them
  • Store data in many localized formats and translated into a number of languages - including French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Portuguese and more
  • Affordable and cost effective software
Visit CiviCRM homepage

Ongoing Drupal projects

At this time till December there are three projects that I handled. Currently I'm working on a project by utilizing the Domain Access module, and for the next project is to create a website using Drupal, as well as create a custom theme for these two websites.

After about a week of rest and taking the time to update some of my projects on Drupal.org, now I have to work again.

Take a screenshot from a web pages

Take a screenshot from a web pages or your own website is something usual, generally that is by pressing the Print Screen button on your keyboard keys and then paste it into image editor like Photoshop.

By using the Print Screen button on your keyboard is enough, but if you want more then you must look for software that is able to meet your needs. Suppose you want to take pictures for the entire page, specify the image format and others.

For the needs as I already explained above, I use Pearl Crescent Page Saver. Pearl Crescent Page Saver is an extension for Mozilla Firefox that lets you capture images of web pages, including Flash content.

System requirements:

Firefox 3.5 and 3.6 on Windows XP, Mac OS X, and Linux x86. Page Saver work on all platforms where Firefox is installed.

Download Pearl Crescent Page Saver

Save your server by enabling page cache on Drupal website

In Drupal, there is a very useful feature to reduce the load on the server every time there are anonymous visitors coming, the feature is page cache. Every time someone comes to your website, then Drupal perform executions to the database to obtain necessary data to generate the html file which is read by a web browser.

Drupal builds a new web page for every visitors, so if two visitors visiting the same page, Drupal builds it twice. But with the page cache feature turned on, Drupal will save the web page when first visitors come, and give the saved pages to other visitors. Stored cache expires depending on how long you set the Minimum cache lifetime options.

It will be very useful on a large site with many modules installed or with lots of content on a page. And this will speed up your website because hundreds of queries to database are replaced with one single query.

You can setup the page cache feature at Administer > Site Configuration > Performance.

Freeware IRC Clients

IRC is the perfect solution for interpersonal communication via the Internet, especially communication in groups to discuss something, and the place is usually called Channel.

There are many IRC clients you can use, from commercial to free IRC clients. Here I will give you some solution if you want to use a free IRC clients. After searching using Google, I found several free IRC client and I list the two of it:


ClicksAndWhistles

ClicksAndWhistles is a free IRC client that supports multiple "identities", floating or MDI windows, multi-server connection, unicode (utf-8), text and paragraph formatting, customizable colour schemes/themes, background .PNG images and outline/shadow fonts, favorite channels and customizable message strings.

ClicksAndWhistles features

  • Support for multiple "identities"
  • Support for multiple server connections
  • Channel favourite list
  • Floating (desktop) and MDI windows
  • Themes, PNG image backgrounds and outline fonts
  • Pop-up and sound event notifications
  • Unicode (UTF-8) support
  • Text formatting support (including coloured and bold/italic/underline fonts)
  • Channel and user logging
  • File transfers (DCC SEND)
  • Customizable message text
Developer / Homepage: Leigh Johnston.
Download ClicksAndWhistles.

Nettalk

Nettalk is a powerful and easy to use freeware IRC-client for Windows. The smart user interface is based on Windows standards, so it is a lot easyer to get used to it.

Key features of Nettalk

  • Comfortable administration of many IRC connections
  • Automatic command completion
  • Automatic syntax insertion
  • Automatic pitch completion
  • Text coding
  • Right write correction
  • On screen insertion of the messages e.g. with plays
  • Insertion of the messages if one in Windows works
  • Automatic storage of the connections and area
  • DCC Chat and DCC file transfer (resumption and routing support)
  • University code over UTF-8 for Channels, Nicks and text
  • Sockproxy support
  • Adjustable acoustic notification (also over PC Speaker)
  • Configurable short command and menu stronghold CUTS
  • Individually adjustment possibilities for colors, background picture
Developer / Homepage: Nicolas Kruse.
Download Nettalk.

Drupal 7 beta 3 released!

After zero critical bugs, the Drupal 7 beta 3 released. This is a buzz for almost Drupal users. With zero critical bugs, the final release of Drupal 7 is almost in there.

Read all changes since Drupal 7 beta 2 here.

Simpler 6.x-2.1 and Drupal 7 version of Simpler theme released!

Today I'm releasing Simpler 6.x-2.1 and Simpler 7.x-1.0-beta1. I'm chasing the D7 version of this theme so the time release gap between Simpler 6.x-2.0 and Simpler 6.x-2.1 is very short.

Drupal 7 development almost entering the RC (Release Candidate) version since all Drupal 7 critical bugs already resolved.

Drupal 7 version of Danland now available!

Yesterday I'm releasing Danland 7.x-1-0 beta 1. This release is for testing purposes.

If you find a bug please creating an issue at Danland issues queue. With your participation so when Drupal 7 has entered the final release, Danland also has been very stable and ready to rock!

4.5 Stars for XPS Annotator

As a developer is a satisfaction when their work get the recognition. A few days ago, one of my software the XPS Annotator, get a 4.5 stars rating at CNET Download.com.

Recognition from one of the most respectable download site on the net clearly demonstrates that XPS Annotator are high-quality and trustworthy. :)

CNET editors' review:
Windows has a built-in XPS Viewer that opens automatically when you click an XPS file, but it's pretty basic. XPS Annotator is a free, full-featured, standalone XPS file viewer, document annotator, XPS-to-image converter, properties adder and editor, and digital document signing tool.

This free tool does much more than the native Windows utility, but it's just as easy to use. XPS Annotator is recommended to anyone who handles XPS documents.
You can read the full review from CNET editors here.

Simpler 6.x-2.0 released!

After taking the time to develop the theme, I could finally released the latest version of Simpler. And now this theme has nice views, away from an earlier appearance, even simple but its rock! :)

I changed a lot of parts on this latest version, is really a very drastic changes. Read this page for more information regarding the latest version of Simpler.

New resources and codes for Simpler

Today, I change all resources and codes of Simpler. In future versions, this theme will be more bright, clean and of course I keep it simple.

I replace all previous images with new images, change all codes for more flexible and easy for me to maintain it. The base color are red, white, and black.

Currently I am still developing it in my spare time, wait until everything is finished. You can see the changes I did on this page.