I recently got a copy of the new Drupal 6: Ultimate Community Site Guide ebook by Dorien Herremans to review. I am currently working through it and will be putting up a comprehensive review soon, but I wanted to share my initial impressions with you, having read through the first few chapters and skimmed the rest of the book. Let me preface this all by saying that I am really really looking forward to working though this book.
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Building Powerful and Robust Websites with Drupal 6 by David Mercer is what I believe is the ultimate beginner's book for Drupal. While the other books that I've reviewed here focuses on how to build a particular type of website (Drupal 6 Site Builder Solutions for a small business website and Drupal 6 Social Networking for social networking sites), Building Powerful and Robust Websites with Drupal 6 looks at Drupal as a whole for any type of website. This book walks you from the very beginning, introducing you to Drupal, how to set up a development environment and install Drupal, all the way to how to deploy your completed website. Early on in the book the author introduces you to the Drupal.org website and how to use it, which is a very useful section since the Drupal website is the ultimate Drupal resource and you need to be familiar with navigating and finding (and even sharing) information and resources.
I want to preface this review by saying that this is the very first Drupal book I have ever owned, and I'm very excited about it.Drupal last year and quickly fell in love with it. I begun building websites and learning as I went from the numerous Drupal tutorials online and the Drupal website documentation, and by experimenting by myself. Because I learn best by seeing things done and doing them myself, I am constantly in search of resources that teach me how to build something, not just theoretical descriptions. Theoretical descriptions are good and have their place, but the best way to learn how to do something is to DO it. I have created a series of tutorials on building a website with drupal from scratch, that are based on Drupal 5. But it's time to move on to Drupal 6, and as before, the best way to learn is to do. That is why I am so excited about the book Drupal 6 Site Builder Solutions by Mark Noble. The book tackles learning Drupal by walking you through the process of building a fully functional small business website from start to end. There is no fluff in this book. It starts you from the beginning and goes step by step, explaining the theoretical aspects and the whys along with the hows, which I think is the most appealing thing about it. There are no abstract explanations just for the sake of it, everything fits into the scheme of building the website. The author starts out by laying out the needs of the new websites, outlining the differences between a traditional static HTML website and a dynamic CMS based website, and then pointing out the advantages AND disadvantages of using Drupal. He then jumps right into the creation of the Good Eatin' Bistro website. Like I said, no fluff, you start getting your hands dirty and seeing Drupal at work right from the beginning of the book.