Learning Drupal without LAMP experience
Submitted by kentbye on Tue, 2005-05-31 09:52. Drupal | LAMP | Open Source | Website
I have no prior experience in Linux or MySQL or PHP or Drupal or UNIX. I'm learning what I need to know on the fly. Sometimes the forums on Drupal are for an audience who have at least some knowledge of the above. In fact, the combination of Linux, Apache, MySQL and a scripting language like PHP is so prolific that there is actually an acronym called LAMP.
Knowledge of LAMP is what separates the web administrators from everyone else.
Drupal and CivicSpace is still in the early adoption phase so most of the people who are installing it and using it have some knowledge of one of the four pillars of LAMP -- or they're paying someone who does. I'm not in either one of these camps so it can be a bit challenging trying to learn the ropes.
For example, I assumed that I could just install any Drupal module by downloading it from Drupal's module page, unzip it, and then drag and drop it into the modules folder through an FTP program. But Moshe informed me that:
- to install some modules, you have to run a sql script. you can do so by going to your admin page and clicking on 'database' and then 'run script' tab. see each module's readme file for install instructions.
Ahh... Read the Readme.txt file and read the instructions. I just assumed it was drag and drop because it had worked like that for a lot of other functionality.
I read the database module Readme.txt file, and I'm having some weird problems with it -- so I haven't been able to actually run any of these MySQL scripts yet. But this is just one example or the information that you're supposed to know if you're maintaining a Drupal/CivicSpace site.
Jon Lebkoswky said at the Activist Technology gathering after SXSW Interactive 2005 that a lot of people want open source software to do everything they want, be easy to use, and be totally free. In other words, they want the elegance and performance of a Cadillac for the price of a Volvo -- or with totally free transportation in a Utopian society where everyone lends you a car whenever you need one.
So the functionality and capability of open source software is amazing, it's not to the point where everything is drag and drop. You've got to beef up on your LAMP skills for it to be this way.
Another reason why I've been posting so much technical info is for my own personal knowledge management purposes.
It's also been really helpful in documenting some of the obstacles I've been running into and asking a broader technical audience for help without drowning them in really long e-mails.