Two months ago, I posted in this space about moving the Digital Collection pages over to Drupal. The pages have all been moved over now, and they are live (http://digitalcollections.lib.iastate.edu/.) In this post, I’m going to dive deeper into Drupal and explain one of the things I really like about using Drupal: the Page Tree. When you use the Page Tree, page names become very easily identifiable. No more: .html pages. Now pages simply end with: [page name here]. The page tree method allows logical, and easy to understand organization. There are a few items to keep in mind, and I’ll explain those as we proceed.
Say you’re on Carver’s page. That URL is:
All subsequent pages associated with carver will end like this:
I could have gone inside the page and drilled down further. For example, I could have had the links on the resources pages link off of the resources page. (Which would look like: /resources/magazine-and-journal-articles, signifying that it was located off the resources page, but I didn’t do that for this site.)
Here is an example of what a page tree looks like:
Notice on the page tree page, there is a list underneath the Tree icon (Home,) and then each little white triangle turns black when you open it, and shows the pages associated with it below. icons (looks like a folder,) represent actual pages, where the icon (looks like a piece of chain,) represents a link. When the selected page is highlighted (here in blue,) the Page Properties are indicated for that page. Notice that the page tree pages/links are in red. Not all page trees have links this color. After the styles were added, these link turned from default black to red. I’ll have to see what happens with the links on the Special Collection as I start to style them.
I really like the Page Properties; it gives a lot of good, self-explanatory information. Right from this window, you can Change Settings; Make a New page/link (which will become associated with this page;) Edit the page/link; Change Permissions (I strongly recommend NOT doing anything with this, unless directed by the IT department;) View the page/link; Trash the page/link. Let’s click on the Change button.
On Page Properties Change page, you can change the Visibility of the page, Nav Title, and Path. Save or Cancel, when done. Now, I am going to tell you about some things I learned when using the Nav Title/Path boxes. Say you have a title that goes like this: Pascal’s Photos & More. This is what the page tree path will appear as: pascal-s-photos—more. [Ed. Note: it will look like three dashes after photos, not one long dash.] Notice that Drupal takes out the apostrophe and “&” and replaces it with “-“. This is important to remember. It doesn’t mean you can’t have the page title be Pascal’s Photos & More, only that you will need to go into the path and manual change it to pascals-photos-more. You can take out the extra dashes and the path will still work. This is where the Change page of the Page Properties really become useful. The Visibility box is useful as well. Checking it off makes the become “invisible” to the public. You can still “see” the page, when you are logged in, under the Page Tree. And if you have that page linked on other Drupal pages, it will still be linked for use. This comes in handy when you have a lot of pages and you only want some to show when the menu is displayed. Here is an example of an invisible page in the page tree:
The link is grey, and italicized, to indicate invisibility.
OK, let’s click Cancel on the Page Properties page to back up. There is one more feature I will share today in Drupal that is handy in a pinch. (And goodness knows, I’ve been in a pinch once or twice…or, well, never mind.) When logged in to make changes on the Drupal pages, there are few tabs across the top of each page.
View, Edit, Revisions, Permissions, Drafts. Let’s look quickly at Revisions.
What a wonderful feature. A real lifesaver, believe you, me! If you goof-up on a page you can easily go back in time and select the revision you need, whether a minute ago, or last week. This is a nice way to work, and fairly worry free. That makes working with Drupal pretty fool-proof. Which is why so many people are able to use Drupal without much training at all.