Submitted by Stefan Schneider on Fri, 04/16/2010 - 10:11


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Drupal is currently my favorite social web technology for the following reasons:

  • freely available
  • growing community with cool people
  • modules which allow me to express what I want
  • cool looking themes which allow me to have an appealing web presence without having any artistic skills
  • works great with Solaris and Solaris
  • many security updates

It has a few downsides as well:

  • Permanent upgrades: Security upgrades for a public web site are important. All upgrades have been straight forward and robust. It leads however to a weekly module upgrade (in average) when operating a dozen of modules.

Here comes the list of my favorite modules which I can recommend since I'm using them a lot:

Module What it solves Comments
Nodeaccess: Acces rights for nodes Allows to provide access rights for roles at node level. Every creator of node can assign access rights to the individual node. This is what it takes to give a  a community the ability to control access to their own content in the Internet.

+ works for all node based content

+ menus will disappear in parallel when no access is given

+ it nicely leverages roles as the unit to provide access

- It doesn't seem to allow to protect forums but only forum topics

- It doesn't protect non node based content like some photo albums

Pathauto: manages clean URLs I don't want to exhibit the underlying technology of my web site. Pathauto allows to automatically derive URLs from a page title while it is still possible to pick

The entire technology is based on Apache URL rewriting filters. The .htaccess or httpd.conf will need the right directives to make everything work.

Requires module Token

dthml Menu The regular menus in Drupal will force repaints of the entire page whenever a menu is getting expanded. The dhtml Menu module solves this problem No configuration needed. The module just needs to be enabled
FCK WYSIWYG html editor I don't want to be limited to simplified html editing or pure full html editing. FCK is solving the prblem

+ Works well with Safari and Firefox (PEGOEditor doesn't support Safari)

- The popup mode seems to always expand to full screen size. This is an overkill on my 24" screen

Requires separate download of editor itself

Backup and Migrate Allows to pull a MySQL database backup through the browser itself + Useful in "poor" hosting environments where the access to MySQL is cumbersome. This means environments where you can't copy the MySQL files
Views A smart query builder which allows to mine the database. Interesting templates for starters like a glossary, newest content etc.  
Visitor Info Allows to display the location of your readers

+ nice eye catcher 

-- this module became a head ache lately. Its part of the cron job and it's run time exceeds the run time limits in my shared hosting environment (30s). It became bearable only due to the additional installation of the supercron module.

SuperCron Very useful module for everyone which cron job issues. It provides details about the individual task being run in a cron job.

+ a must to analyze problems with individual tasks

+ It allows to kick off cron jobs by specific IP addresses only

+ Allows to reorder tasks in the cron job

Other Resources

  • Drupalcenter.de: A great side with excellent German forums, localized German Drupal download and pointer to all German Drupal user groups
  • Friends and buddies