Drupal help documentation FAQ: Where can I find Drupal help, specifically free Drupal help and support?
One of the things I'm finding as I dig deeper and deeper into Drupal programming and theme development is that I need good sources of Drupal help/support documentation, as my Drupal problems get harder and harder. For instance, I just created my first Drupal 7 website, and as a part of that process I needed to create a new page template. Well, guess what? The syntax for creating a Drupal page template has changed from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7, and it took quite a while to figure out how to solve this problem.
To save you some of the grief I just went through, I thought I'd share the best sources of free Drupal help I've found. Not surprisingly, as the Drupal documentation has improved over the years, one of the best sources of free Drupal help is the drupal.org website.
Free Drupal help resources
Of course searching Google is one way to find Drupal help, but when that doesn't work immediately, one great URL to know is this main Drupal API URL:
For instance, with the problem I was having, I started at that URL and then followed links to these URLs until I solved my problem:
On this last page I finally found that an old variable I used in Drupal 6 had been renamed theme_hook_suggestions in Drupal 7.
Free Drupal help - Drupal API links
At the time of this writing, the Drupal API documentation is well-organized, but in case that ever changes, and to make my life easier, here are links to many of the Drupal API docs I need to use on a regular basis:
- Drupal hooks
- Drupal menu system
- Drupal theming (including page information)
- Drupal form generation
- Drupal constants
- Docs on Drupal files (this would have gotten me to page.tpl.php a little faster)
- Drupal functions
- Global variables
- Drupal topics (docs organized by topic)
If you're working on any sort of Drupal theming effort, I recommend starting at the following URL, and searching that page for the string ".tpl.php":
Just searching that page for that string will turn up all sorts of Drupal help reference pages, like these:
With those links you'll be able to find all sorts of relevant Drupal variables and preprocess functions.
Free Drupal support - Drupal form examples
When you get into Drupal form programming, the Drupal form examples project can also be another great source of help. Here are several great Form API examples on the Drupal website:
- The Drupal form examples project
- A simple form to email example
- Form API quickstart guide
- Drupal forms_api_reference
- How to use the Drupal 7 Form API
- Ten step-by-step examples to learn the Form API
- Related: Drupal 7 Database API
Drupal IRC support
There are at least two Drupal IRC channels that offer different types of support:
- #drupal-support on irc.freenode.net is a place to ask "How do I do XYZ in Drupal?"
- #drupal on irc.freenode.net is a place for Drupal developers to discuss things like how to improve Drupal.
Drupal training videos
When I first got started with Drupal 6, I made a bowl of popcorn and watched the excellent free "Learn by the Drop" video tutorials:
If you're a total noon to Drupal like I was, I highly recommend starting here.
Free Drupal help on devdaily.com
I've also written a small collection of Drupal tutorials over the last two years. An easy way to scan my Drupal help tutorials is to go to this URL:
You can also use my search form to find Drupal topics I've written about:
Bugs in Drupal modules?
If you think you've found a bug in a Drupal module, you can check the "Issue Queue" for that module, and also report your bug in that issue queue. To get an idea of what an Issue Queue is, here are links to two Drupal issue queues:
As you'll see from those URLs, the Issue Queue URL for a module is the same as the module, but with the string 'issues/' inserted before the module (project) name.
Drupal help - Summary
I'll try to add more sources of Drupal help documentation here as I learn it, but in the meantime, I hope this collection of Drupal help links is helpful.