Book Review: Drupal 6 Site Blueprints

Title: 
Drupal 6 Site Blueprints
Author: 
Timi Ogunjobi
Publisher: 
Packt Publishing / Birmingham
First published: 
August 2009
Pages: 
272
ISBN: 
978-1-847199-04-1
List price: 
€31.49

Drupal is a flexible Content Management System. So flexible, that it could be considered to be the web 2.0 equivalent of a swiss army knife. Swiss army knifes however, as versatile as they might be, can sometimes be a bit confusing to the user. The purpose of the individual tools may occasionally not be clear and the vast numbers of different models available for sale can make it hard to choose the right version for the right job.

In Drupal 6 Site Blueprints, Timi Ogunjobi sets out to provide the reader with 12 hands on examples for how the "swiss army knife" Drupal can be put to a use.

Structure and content

Drupal 6 Site Blueprints is essentially a collection of 12 use cases, each describing a different scenario for using the CMS. All use cases share the same, easy to understand structure of first stating the goal informally, listing the required modules next, describing their use and finally putting it all together. Most use cases are based on already popular websites or concepts and are presented in a cheerful, stereotypical style.

Use case 1
A personal website, including but not consisting of a blog.
Use case 2
A website for an organization, a school, that wants to inform the public about itself, provide means to give feedback and host a download section for obtaining additional info material.
Use case 3
A community portal for backpackers, providing each member with a personal blog.
Use case 4
A website for posting events and parties.
Use case 5
A facebook style community website.
Use case 6
An online magazine, resembling a daily newspaper.
Use case 7
An e-commerce site, including an online catalog and a shopsystem.
Use case 8
A simplified "Craigs list" style directory service.
Use case 9
A photo sharing site, like ImageShack.
Use case 10
A site for booking conference facilities.
Use case 11
A Google maps application.
Use case 12
A news aggregator, automatically polling news from other sites.

Conclusion

"Drupal 6 Blueprints" should not be read with the expectation of being taught how to become a master in site building. Twelve use cases, described in about 272 pages will simply not accomplish this goal. One should also not expect to find the perfect solution for any given task in this book. What "Drupal 6 Blueprints" does instead, is to provide inspiration for how the Content Management System can be used to build websites, copying already popular concepts.

I would recommend this book to people, just starting out with Drupal and needing a couple of hands on examples to get familiar with the CMS or experienced users, looking for some new ideas of how to put sites together.