Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Using Drupal to display this blog

I went to DrupalCon last week and had a blast. I decided to try out Drupal by running my web site, transcode.com, with Drupal. So far, mixed news.
It was incredibly easy to install Drupal. But I've just spent about two hours trying to do what I thought was a simple thing: display my blog on the front page of transcode.com. Turns out it is simple; I just got confused by the Drupal terminology and menu system.

I thought the right thing to do was to create a "Page" node, then somehow find a way to include the contents of the "Feed aggregator" module into the page. Makes sense to me: I've got a module ("Page") for displaying content, and I've installed another module that knows how to grab an RSS feed and extract its contents. I thought that telling Feed Aggregator to put its contents inside my Page node would be the way to do it.

I still don't know how to make that happen, but it turns out there is an easier way to accomplish what I need. I got the info from this tutorial page, entitled "Using Drupal as your RSS Feed Aggregator". That's exactly what I want, and the directions were simple and clear.

The trick: go ahead and activate the Feed aggregator module, which gives it a name that Drupal can refer to as a URL. Then for my site information (Drupal->Administer->Site configuration->Site information menu), tell Drupal that this feed aggregator should be my default front page.

It worked! Now, time to move the rest of the original transcode.com site into Drupal, then test it out before I publish it.

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