Some experience installing and configuring Drupal. Basic understanding of CSS, HTML, SQL.

Dreaded blank page of death


A search for "blank page" of the domain yields about 37,000 results.

This is probably one of the more common and frustrating problems for Drupal admins.

CCK discussion


I think a lot of people, particularly developers, have misconceptions about the CCK module. I too misunderstood its real purpose and functionality when I first came across it. It's most definitely not a substitute for custom modules that create node types. It fills a current shortcoming of Drupal, which is the ability to add properties to nodes. I'm confident that Drupal will eventually abstract its node model to allow for more flexibility and more advanced features like node grouping and relationships. Meanwhile, CCK is doing a decent job at filling in some of the missing pieces.

Sharing Cookies between Sub-domains

If you have two sites using the same domain and would like to share cookies between them, set something like this in your settings.php file for each domain:

ini_set('session.cookie_domain', '');

Be sure you include the leading '.' before the domain name or it won't work.

This allows users to maintain login status between any sites configured for domain-wide cookies.

This can also have negative side effects, so don't do this unless you're familiar with all the cookies involved for the sites you wa

"You are not authorized to access this page" checklist


This is a surprisingly common error for drupal users. Drupal has very powerful access control features, this is good. But it also means it's pretty easy to configure things in such a way that you prevent your users (usually the anonymous ones) from accessing content, this is bad.

I've run across this problem on many occassions, so I've put together a checklist that may help you debug your access problems.

  1. access control - Start here, does your user actually have access granted to him to view the content in question? Browse to your admin/access_control page and confirm that read access is granted for users on modules such as 'node'. If "access content" is not checked for anonymous users in the node access row, anonymous users will not be able to view any nodes! Check all the "access content" type values for all node types. Make sure they are the way you want them.
  2. User 0 - Make sure this user exists in all the appropriate tables. This is probably the most common reason for anonymous users being denied access. See my post, All Important User Zero, for more info.
  3. Make sure the author of the node(s) you are trying to view exists in your users table. There's currently a bug in Drupal in which if the author of a node can't be found in the users table, access will be denied to all for that node. To prevent this from happening, instead of deleting authors who are no longer part of your site, disable their account instead of deleting it.
  4. Make sure you're using the appropriate mysql extension. Check your settings.php file. If you're using "mysqli://" in your $db_url value, try using "mysql://"
I'm sure there was more, but I can't recall it now.

Well, that's it for now. As always, if you have any tips or ideas, please add a comment here.

Sliding Doors


I think simple, clear site navigation is important. I've always liked tabbed navigation. But these days it seems folks want to use a lot of fancy javascript and images only to produce navigation tabs that are full of eye candy, but also not very flexible. This is where "sliding doors" comes in.

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