Operational Excellence with Technology

Drupal 7 Media

Drupal 7 Media book coverThe web started as a very dull place, just text with hyperlinks, until Mosaic was released in 1992 adding images to web pages.  Next came audio and video, although the lack of standards slowed their widespread adoption.

Now the web is a multimedia experience incorporating images, audio and video on virtually every site.  Second to Wordpress, the content management framework Drupal is the most common platform used to build high end websites.  Adding images to Drupal pages has always been straightforward, audio and video have seen a variety of approaches as Drupal has evolved.  With Drupal 7, the Media module seems to be the consensus approach to images, audio and video.  Sadly the documentation for the Media module on is thin.

Drupal 7 Media addresses the need for thorough documentation for using images, audio and video in Drupal 7 (and Drupal 8 when it is released).  The first two chapters are a basic review of Drupal components that is not media specific.  Chapter three covers images and WYSIWYG, although the author doesn’t cover some of the more advanced WYSIWYG configuration most site builders may want to incorporate in their sites.  Chapter four covers HTML5 and Drupal, setting the stage for using the Media module to include video in chapter five.  Chapter six covers audio in more detail than I have seen anywhere.  Chapter seven, on microdata, data visualization and responsive web design is a bit out of place with the rest of the book.  Chapter eight covers some additional image handling that probably would be better placed after chapter three.  The last chapter is a obligatory nod to Drupal 8, which will be released at some point in the next year.
The book is mostly for site builders, although starting in chapter six there are PHP code examples that are useful, although pretty basic.  The author makes numerous references to CCK (Content Construction Kit) in a Drupal 7 book which is confusing given the CCK was incorporated into Drupal core in version 7 as fields and the CCK module for Drupal 7 is a compatibility conversion module and rarely used in most Drupal 7 sites.

By far the most disappointing aspect of the book is the horrible editing.  There are frequent punctuation errors, with misplaced commas completely changing the meaning of sentences.  There are many spelling or typographical errors.

Despite the editing, the book is useful for Drupal site builders.  Even experienced Drupal developers will find the book useful.  It is available from Packt Publishing