Differential diagnosis people!

I’ve been working on configuring my drupal code to support multi-sites including this one.

however, I’ve been having problems with the setup. I must emphasise that I have RTFM and still I cannot find what I am doing wrong. Differential diagnosis.. people – Doctor House would say.

I finding it almost impossible to diagnose. Support forums on the drupal website is not so helpful. lots of jargon and assumption that one must have linux knowledge to fix the problems.

Anyway, will keep plugging on.

Website experimentation

You may be wondering what is all the odd and disjointed components on this website are all about. Certainly it is not intentional the way it currently looks right now. I am experimenting with some techniques on improving the navigation on this website.

One of the techniques is javascript + CSS pulldown menus that you see on the left hand side NavMenu bar. I am taking a few tips from suckerfish and a from css.maxdesign. I’m also visiting the CSS creator forums for discussions and tips. I would like to create a menu which opens up as you hover over selected items. I hope this will improve the usability of the site.

For now, the CSS is all screwed up. So bear with me. I would also suggest that you use Firefox for the best & standards compliant experience.

Things to adopt from other drupal themes

Been swapping themes on this website, and note some good practices that I’d like to adopt for my default site.

  1. vertically aligned search box in the top menu: alternate / lincoln’s revenge does it well
  2. clean layouts like a printed page: chameleon does this well
  3. blockquote techniques – the left bar at the indentation of the quote is good
  4. different type face for headline titles – say using Georgia to distinguish headline from body text
  5. lines to separate content blocks
  6. different block style for “sticky” blocks
  7. distinct menu headers like the type used by gworks
  8. simple clean design like pushbutton (is there a phptemplate version?) – like the large clear fonts and colours… the menu columns are nicely distinguished
  9. the squiggle dividers from Tokyo / Persian is a nice touch
  10. how do I make dropdown menus work?

Web Updates – Drupal patching, CSS layouts

I am planning to do a few things:

  1. installing a taxanomy access control module
    I did some research on the subject by first visiting http://drupal.org/ and went straight to the drupal module downloads. Read a bit on the taxonomy access module and find that this would require me to patch the existing core taxonomy.module – now I am no expert on unix patching and my linux host only provides me a cpanel access… so I cannot do patching without a shell access to the host. Also read that patching also is a bit of a minefield, so scratch that thought. Let’s wait for another solution to come up.
  2. installing a web links module
    The weblinks.module for 4.6 has been reworked and the directory module has been removed. This is done in anticipation of a “links bundle” which is supposedly better built.
  3. re-designing the layouts using CSS
    There are a few links on the www which are very useful references in this regard. But I think I shall post them on a separate page.