Drupal OLD/Glossary

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For the beginners, we are using the terms Node and Page (i.e. Drupal node and Drupal page) interchangeably below. Although there are technical differences between them, it would be easy to understand if you consider each node as a page.

  • Action
Actions are individual tasks that the system can do, such as unpublishing a piece of content or banning a user. Modules, such as the trigger module, can fire these actions when certain system events happen; for example, when a new post is added or when a user logs in. Modules may also provide additional actions.
  • Block
A block can be considered as a widget that can be placed independently of a web page. Each block adds a particular piece of information to the web page that is independent of other blocks or the main page content. e.g. Login block, or Recent comments block.

The same block can be shared and displayed on multiple pages, while the main page content is unique to each page.

  • CCK
A popular contributed Drupal module (standing for Content Construction Kit) that allows you to add configurable content to any Drupal node (Drupal page), without any programming skills required. e.g. Drupal allows you to specify Title, Body etc. basic information for each node. However, if you are building a shopping cart, you would need to add a field Price for each of your products. You can easily accomplish this by adding a field, called Price to your node type (discussed below). This would automatically show when the page is rendered as well as in search results.
  • Drupal
A popular open-source and free Content Management system providing extensive facilities to create, deploy and administer websites for the Internet and Intranets.
  • Input format
A way of entering content into Drupal. You can create any number of Input formats for your Drupal installation. The power of the concept lies in the concept of Input filter. You can specify filters (that is allowed content) for each Input format. This allows you to have different capabilities for different types of users in permitting what they are allowed to input.

e.g. Drupal comes with 2 default input formats, Filtered Html, and Full Html. You would normally allow regular users of your site to use only Filtered Html to enter content, as this format's default configuration filters out any potentially harmful content from the input (like script tags, styles etc). However, for Administrators of your site, who are trusted users, you would allow them to use Full Html format to give them complete flexibility in customizing site content. You can create any number of formats and assign them to users based on their roles.

  • Module
A way to customize the functioning of your Drupal installation, by adding features to it, or even modifying the core Drupal behavior. e.g. Views module adds features to Drupal by allowing you to select content to display in a wide variety of options. Whereas, the Page title module modifies core Drupal behavior as to how Page titles (<title> tag in <head> section) are rendered.
  • Node
The basis of all Drupal content, each node corresponds to a browsable page on your Drupal site.
  • Node type
Categories of nodes, allowing you to specify various things like permissions, filters, styling, CCK fields etc. based on the type of each node.
  • Panel
An add-on module to Drupal allowing you to chnage the layout of any Drupal page through configurable options and without requiring any coding skills.
  • Role
A way of categorizing users on your Drupal site, where each Role can be assigned independent permissions. A Drupal user can belong to multiple roles in which case, his/her permissions are the combination of all roles he/she belongs to.
  • RSS
RSS (most commonly expanded as Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. Drupal supports the ability to publish RSS feeds to Drupal content natively.
  • User
A person, entity or organization who accesses your Drupal sites. Users can be anonymous (browsing your site without your site having any specific information about them), or authenticated (having being assigned a unique name and password, through which they can login to your site and perform additional tasks not allowed to anonymous users).

Authenticated users can further be assigned to roles to automatically delegate permissions to them.

  • Theme
A way of customizing the look-and-feel of your Drupal installation. Switching a theme is as easy as selecting it, and clicking Apply, whereas installing a theme is also easy requiring you to extract the theme files and then enable it through Administration interface.

Drupal itself ships with many themes (with Garland being the default one for 6.x version), and hundreds of additional themes available through the official Drupal site.

  • Trigger
An occurence in your Drupal installation (e.g. creating a new node, a new user registration). Modules can define any number of triggers, and you can then assign Actions to each trigger, allowing you to perform automates tasks.

For example, you can assign the Action "Email administrator" to a trigger "New node creation". Whenever a new node is created, an email would be dispatched to the specified emails.

  • Views
Another popular add-on module for Drupal, allowing you select your Drupal content in a very wide variety of options and then presenting them in the UI again with a wide array of options to configure the rendered UI.

Combining Views with the CCK and Panels module gives you extreme power in creating, customizing and presenting content on your Drupal site, in virtually any way you can think of.

Contributors and Content Editors

Gyan, Nancyvarkey