Replacing the Drupal Dashboard

A sleepless night for Earl Miles late last week provided the Drupal community a replacement to his Dashboard module. Earl Miles announced a successor to Dashboard at his site, Angry Donuts. The new module is the Panels module and I expect we'll be seeing it used a lot by Drupal's users, especially newcomers of Drupal and those less inclined to dig into the PHP code.

Dashboard the previous module, allowed Drupal developers an easy way to implement "simple" two-column layouts of content (called nodes in Drupal) that are not sidebars. While you can put blocks about anywhere in Drupal, the core doesn't offer an easy way to put content outside the "main body". While dashboard overcame the "single column" for content obstacle, it required knowledge of PHP to implement.

A first look at mojoPortal

A couple days ago I opened my Thunderbird e-mail client on my Windows XP system and found an e-mail from Joe Audette of the mojoPortal project. "Mojo whata?", I asked. I thought I knew most of the content management projects (CMS) projects around, but this one didn't ring a bell. After reading his e-mail, I understood I likely have not heard much about his project because my focus on CMS has been a little too narrow lately.

In his e-mail, Audette writes, "Hi, just wondering if you only cover CMS's using php technology or if you would consider giving any press to .NET/Mono based projects? Any coverage of my project mojoPortal would be much appreciated."

As I've mentioned in past posts, I have a strong desire to cover more than just PHP Web applications. mojoPortal, named after Audette's dog, is written in C# and runs under ASP.NET on Windows or under mono on Linux or Mac. Already the talk of a CMS using a blend of Microsoft and open source tools was peaking my interest.

They Hate Drupal, They Love Drupal

Does Drupal make the grade? The answer to that question evidently depends on who you ask. Last week, the Tech Republic posted a review by Justin James on the Drupal content management system. Mr. James concluded that "Overall, Drupal does not make the grade". This week the Drupal community is all a buzz over the decision for IBM's developerWorks to use Drupal for designing, developing, and deploying a collaborative Website.

Mitchell Baker: Innovation vs Stability

Mozilla's Mitchell Baker wrote an interesting post about product development. As you develop a product and customer loyalty there is a risk to making too many changes to a product. However, the success of your product likely came about because of innovation. If you kill off introducing new ideas and concepts for your product you are also likely to kill off the reason your product became successful in the first place.

New Drupal 4.7 theme available... Blue_mark

Screenshot of Blue Mark themeSomething old is new again. The Blue_mark theme for Drupal 4.7 is available at CMS Report. The Blue_mark theme uses Drupal 4.7's default theming engine, PHPTemplate. This theme is released under the GPL.

The Blue_mark theme was originally offered by Charles Lowe and available for download at his site, cyberdash.com. The original theme was written for Drupal 4.4's Xtemplate theme engine. I maintained the theme through Drupal 4.6 for a personal site of mine. With the switchover to the PHPTemplate theme engine as the Drupal 4.7 defualt, significant work was needed to keep old Blue_mark alive. The Blue Marine theme was used as a starting point. Minor tweaks were made to Blue Marine's PHP files and significant changes were made in the CSS.