Drupal Developer

The Case Against Drupal Base Themes

Posted: April 20, 2014

Why do so many of us use base themes? The easy answer is that they can save us time and potentially make us more efficient. Sometimes they can also act as common ground for development teams. But I think a more complete answer is that they act as a useful crutch, particularly when first learning Drupal theming or responsive design.

At some point we all had to build our first Drupal site or our first responsive site - probably under deadline - and we looked to a base theme or framework for help. It allowed us to get the job done on time and within budget, but perhaps without fully understanding everything that was going on under the hood.

Over time we probably learned most of the base theme and developed a deeper understanding of responsive design, but the framework eventually became a comfortable place. We stuck with it, happily soldiering on until one day...

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Florida DrupalCamp '14 Roundup

Posted: March 16, 2014

Last weekend in Orlando was the 2014 edition of Florida DrupalCamp. It was a great event with loads of outstanding presentations and community building. What follows are some materials from the event and well as links and resources to topics that were discussed in some of the best talks.

One slight bummer is that not all of the talks could be recorded as planned due to some technical issues. That said, I still have some excellent stuff to share so that you can get a flavor of what the Drupal community is talking about these days whenever it gathers (hint: Drupal 8, Drupal 8 and also sometimes Drupal 8).

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Omega vs. Zen - Which Base Theme Should You Choose?

Posted: December 30, 2013

If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you’ll know that I’m a fan of the Omega base theme and have used it in many of my projects. As I’ve gotten more familiar with it, I’ve noticed it bears a striking resemblance to the latest release of Zen.

For those of you not familiar with Drupal base themes, Zen has long been the most popular. I thought I’d take a look at the two of these themes and see how they really match up and which one might be the better choice for a given project.

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Drupal for Small Organizations

Posted: December 8, 2013

Lately there has been a lot of talk about Drupal for large enterprises, but what about using Drupal in smaller organizations? When considering any content management system, it’s not really a question of how many employees you have or your annual revenues, but the requirements you have for managing your content.

Having worked on a lot of projects for small companies and non-profits, I’ve found that Drupal is often a great choice, but it can be really tough for non-technical folks to sort out all the pros and cons of the many available CMS platforms.

What follows below is a list of some of the features that set Drupal apart and can be very useful for organizations of all sizes. If you're considering which CMS platform to use for your next project, weighing the value of these features will help you determine if Drupal will be the best fit.

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Getting Started with Omega 4

Posted: September 18, 2013

In a previous post, we took a look at some of the major changes with the Omega 4 base theme. This time around we’re going to get our hands dirty and actually start using this powerful set of tools for Drupal theme development.

Before we get too far along, we need to get clear on a few major points. Omega 4 is a really big change in the way many have been working with Omega theme in the past. It’s now much more akin to the Zen base theme (heck, you can even use Zen grids in your themes without much fuss) and it requires the skills of a front-end dev to use to its full potential.

The beginner-friendly UI layout tools are gone. Setting up a “best practice” development environment may also be a bit of a speed bump. So the first step in using Omega as intended, is to get your workspace set up with the tools you’re going to need.

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Omega 4 Starter Kit

Posted: August 27, 2013

I've been playing around with Omega 4 lately and I've put together a starter kit that I'd like to share (static demo site). As with most things Drupal, there are a lot of different ways to to achieve a particular outcome, and working with Omega theme is no exception.

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A Preview of Omega 4

Posted: August 15, 2013

Recently the Omega 4 base theme, despite its beta status, has been declared ready for production use. Since I’ve always been a big fan of Omega, I thought I’d write up an overview and share a few observations.

First, let me say that I really like the changes. Omega 4 is a significant improvement on Omega 3 and over the course of this post I’ll explain why I think this is the case. That said, there are major changes that some may find challenging.

Omega has been known for providing a powerful set of tools that could be easily used by non-technical site builders. It wasn’t necessary to be a front-end developer in order to get a lot of value from Omega. Things have changed.

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