My New Book: Using Drupal

My first book, "Using Drupal" will be shipped December 16, 2008. I co-authored the book with several other incredible Lullabots: Angie Byron, Addi Berry, Jeff Eaton, James Walker and Jeff Robbins. I'm very, very excited about the release of this book, not only because it's the first one I've authored, but because of the subject matter covered. There are several other books on Drupal (including the excellent Pro Drupal Development book, also authored by Lullabots John VanDyk and Matt Westgate), but none of them approach Drupal with such comprehensive coverage of actually using the software to build websites. It's also the first book to extensively cover contributed modules in addition to Drupal core.

Despite having worked on the book for well over a year, it's hard to believe it's really here. Today I received a newsletter from O'Reilly containing my biography for the book. The book is already available through O'Reilly's excellent Safari service. I haven't received my physical copies yet, but I guess it's already undeniable that the book really is finished and one more life goal accomplished.

Here's my bio on O' You can pre-order Using Drupal from

Webform 2.x Plans

Webform and I have had a long history together. It was used on my first Drupal site as a contact form, and it's been used ever since. It was the first module I reported a bug, and led me to learn how to roll a patch file. I became the maintainer and ported it to Drupal 4.7 after learning the then new FormsAPI. Not long after, Lullabot contracted me to write some enhancements for the a client, leading me to be hired full-time.

So I owe Webform a lot it seems, but yet it's long been the black mark on my CVS history, barely receiving patches months apart. With Drupal 6 around the corner, the requests for a port will come soon, probably requiring a large number of changes to accommodate for the improved FormsAPI. Because maintaining two drastically different version of the same module doesn't appeal to anyone, I've begun work on Webform 2.x for Drupal 5 to make it possible to support both D5 and D6 versions simultaneously.

So, what's new and different?

  • The components form has been moved from the main edit form to a separate tab.
  • Editing components immediately saves to the node, preventing nasty $_POST value checking and hidden elements passing data back and forth.
  • A new Grid element (also in the 1.x version)
    Grid component example
  • Individual components can be cloned, preventing repeated setup of the same elements

Drupal Drag and Drop

Not too long ago the AHAH patches went into Drupal core. While I'm thrilled with their inclusion, we can push Drupal's interface further with the addition of drag and drop, eliminating the visible weights system. Read more about it in the issue queue.

See the patch for Drupal 6:

MTV UK goes Live!

MTV UK launched their new site August 1st, powered by Drupal. I played a significant role in the development of the site: theming, custom modules, client support, and of course enhancing the webform.module, which started the whole affair. Working with such a large, global company I expected that I would be dealing with humorless suits. Much to my surprise, our company contacts are super-cool. And since their Brits they say cool things like "Cheers" and "Righto". Awesome.

MTV is using the new powers granted by Drupal to determine programming for their new television channel "MTV Flux", where users contribute their own content. Based on website feedback popular content is then played on Flux.


Check out the press release from Lullabot for more information.

MTV UK Development

Opportunities can come from strange places. Over the past 9 months I've been working on the Drupal Content Management System. I was doing this work pro-bono, and as part of my Capstone project for Truman. As it turns out, the work I am produced just so happened to be exactly what Lullabot development needed for their very high-profile client,