[development] Forms API newbie guide?

Shawn sgrover at open2space.com
Mon Jun 19 02:39:08 UTC 2006

I'm an experienced developer and enjoy well documented APIs.  Drupal's 
is a good resource - for those who understand WHY things are the way 
they are.  The approach to building a module or a form requires a 
certain mindset.  This mindset is not documented, and this is the part 
that Fouad is referring to I think.

For instance, in my case, I don't really want a new node type.  But I 
want some of the features a new node buys (like a known fixed path when 
working with the module).  Of course you do this with the menu methods. 
  But how would that be obvious to someone who has not done enough work 
to figure this out by trial and error?  The detail is hinted at in a few 
places, but it is subtle enough to be overlooked easily.  (of course now 
I'm doing a merge of node_hooks, page_hooks, menu_hooks, and form_hooks).

Don't get me wrong - what documentation does exist is great, and thanks 
are given to all the contributors.  What is lacking (unless I haven't 
found it yet) is what I consider the "hand holding" type of documents to 
get from zero knowledge about Drupal code to creating the average types 
of modules.  An average module would have database tables and forms to 
create/update data, as well as pure content management type routines. 
The current Module Developers Guide is a great start.  But misses some 
of the details that make everything "click" for a new Drupal coder.

I don't mean to be whining, but judging from the responses I received to 
my original message, there does seem to be room for improvement (isn't 
there always? :)  ) and I'm hoping that discussing it might help.

Thanks for listening... :)


Fouad Riaz Bajwa wrote:
> Reference to Shawn's query,
> There is no roadmap designed to facilitate developers design 
> 1. Themes
> 2. Modules
> These are the two main components of the Drupal Framework that have huge
> loads of documentations available but no simple steps or tutorials that
> makes Drupal design for short-period development deadlines troublesome. I
> got a job task for 5 days for quite some income that could have helped me
> out a lot but I lost it because the user design was complex and there was no
> simple means or if not simple, for that matter, a straight forward method to
> design a theme based on personal design requirements. Second for the module,
> there should be a straight forward set of "module templates" or "module
> framework skeletons" that one can pick up and design their requirements. 
> Let me give you an example of the most most most common custom Modules
> (forms style) that almost every developer has to design:
> 1. Master Detail Forms, Insertion Forms, Deletion Forms, Modification Forms
> 2. Calculator Forms etc.
> The developers of Drupal are not considering that Drupal is not only for CMS
> and Web Application developers, it is for a much wider community that needs
> a lot of functionality support.
> Regards
> -----------------------
> Fouad Riaz Bajwa

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