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Customizing Drupal Menus

As the interface for your website, the menu gets plenty of action. You might want to tune it up a bit, adding something to make it special. Drupal has an extensive API for interacting with the menu items you create.

On our website, we wanted subtext for each primary menu item – as you see above. Drupal usually displays the link titles only. There is a description field for each menu item, and we thought that would be a great place to enter the subtext we enter. I set out to generate my own menu and place it in a block on my page. menu_navigation_links() looked like a promising function from the menu API.

I enabled the devel module and put the execute PHP block at the top of the page. I got to work creating the PHP that would do the trick. Dealing with arrays can be tricky if you don’t do it often. Using the PHP function print_r() , you can view the contents of your menu array. Like so:

< ?php
$menuitems = menu_navigation_links('primary-links', $level = 0);
print_r($menuitems);
?>

Once you have the PHP worked out, make sure the PHP filter module is enabled for the site under admin/build/modules. Create a block at admin/build/block. Insert PHP code and change the input type to PHP.

< ?php
//Get the menu structure and place in a variable. An array is returned.
$menuitems = menu_navigation_links('primary-links', $level = 0);

//Loop through the menu items, setting two classes for the design and outputting what we want
foreach ($menuitems as $key=>$value)
{
echo '
';
echo ''.$menuitems[$key]['title'].'';
echo ' 
';
echo $menuitems[$key]['attributes']['title'];
echo ' 
';
echo '
';
}

?>

More information on the Drupal menu API for all versions:

http://api.drupal.org/api/group/menu/6

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Setting up Ubercart and Drupal 5 with PayPal

Ubercart is a popular module for Drupal eCommerce. I setup a system recently. It works well out of the box. The majority of the work you will put in will be payments and shipping quotes. I’ll dig into how to get going here.

  1. Preparation: Sign up for (or have your customer sign up for) google analytics, UPS merchant and/or USPS merchant accounts so you can calculate shipping, otherwise you can just do a flat rate(base rate + per item rate).

    Here are links to info on signing up:
    http://www.usps.com/webtools/
    http://www.ups.com/e_comm_access/toolintro?loc=en_US

    Get access to SSH into your hosting provider if you don’t already. Optionally, ask your hosting provider to enable cron and wget for you. Cron will let you schedule a PHP page to be run at your desired times. wget will let you download files directly to your server and then unzip them. Sometimes you can schedule cron from your hosting control panel.

    Go to your hosting control panel and create a mySQL database and a user for that database. You can usually do this in your ‘control panel’ in your hosting software.

    The user must have these permissions:

    • SELECT
    • INSERT
    • UPDATE
    • DELETE
    • CREATE
    • DROP
    • INDEX
    • ALTER
    • CREATE TEMPORARY TABLES
    • LOCK TABLES

    Write down your user name, password and database name. Be wary that some hosting services will prepend your user and database with different characters – perhaps your username. Also your host name for your database may not be localhost, which is the default for drupal in the ‘advanced’ part of the setup page. I know that GoDaddy will give you a numbered server to connect to. This info is presented to you at the end of the web control panels I have used that have a mySQL database creation wizard.

  2. Sign up for a paypal developer account – https://developer.paypal.com/ – if you are going to use paypal (which I will be explaining here). This will let you create test transactions. Create a test seller account and a test buyer account. Don’t forget to put money in the buyer account. Take note of the email addresses and passwords, you’ll need them later. An important note: copying the email address from the paypal page may result in a space in the address be sure to take that out. That caused some grief for me.
  3. Download the ubercart deluxe package (http://install.ubercart.org/files/install.ubercart.org/uberinstaller/ube… ) which includes all the core Drupal modules and Ubercart add-on modules.

    If you have wget installed in your ssh shell you can run these commands(otherwise use ftp):

    // these are comments
    // change directory to your home directory
     cd ~
    
    // make a new directory called drupal
    mkdir drupal
    
    // change to that directory
    cd drupal
    
    // download ubercart to that directory
    wget <a href="http://install.ubercart.org/files/install.ubercart.org/uberinstaller/ubercart_deluxe.tar.gz">http:
    //install.ubercart.org/files/install.ubercart.org/uberinstaller/ubercart_deluxe.tar.gz</a>
    // unzip the file
    tar xzf ubercart_deluxe.tar.gz
    
     // view your unzipped file
    ls -la
             
     // copy deluxe contents to your public html directory
    cp -r ./ubercart_deluxe/* ~/public_html/
    
    // If you're new to the command line...
    // . (dot) stands for your current directory. ~ represents your home directory. 
  4. Navigate to your home domain and install drupal. Get your database name and logon credentials and follow the instructions below. Getting started with Drupal 5 from: http://drupal.org/handbooks. The Drupal community is strong, use it!
  5. Go to Admin › Site Building › Modules. Expand ‘Ubercart – fulfillment’ and ‘Ubercart – payment’. You should enable one or more of: flat-rate, UPS or USPS shipping. In payment, enable Paypal if you want to use that. Be sure to save those options.
  6. Go to Home › Administer › Store administration › Configuration › Shipping Quote Settings › Quote Methods › General Settings and enable your preferred shipping methods. There will be links to configure the fulfillment modules you activated in the previous step. As mentioned before, both UPS and USPS require registration for UPS ‘WebTools’ and USPS XML services. You can also enable error display for admins in the ‘edit’ tab.

    Both can be configured in ubercart to direct to a testing server. USPS requires that you contact them to gain access to their production site. Their test site did not work for me – I have yet to get the production working, but haven’t tried, UPS has been the priority.

  7. Go to Home › Administer › Store administration › Configuration › Payment Settings › Payment Methods › PayPal Website Payments Standard settings. Check the ‘enable’ box for PayPal payments standard. Enter the email address for your PayPal test business account. PayPal server should be set to ‘sandbox’ for testing. Change this back before going live and be sure to change the email address to your actual PayPal email.
  8. Create products and test out your shipping!
  9. Ask for help here or at http://www.ubercart.org if you need it.
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Adding audio to your Drupal 5 site

Putting audio on your site seems like it should be easy. It is, once you know what to do.

  1. Download the audio module from drupal.org. At the moment, if you want to have multiple files in one player you need to get the 5.x-2.x-dev download – http://ftp.drupal.org/files/projects/audio-5.x-2.x-dev.tar.gz. If not, you can get the 5.x release of your choice.

    http://drupal.org/project/audio

  2. Unzip the file and copy the new folder to your sites/all/modules folder on your webserver
  3. Download the getid3 library from sourceforge and put in sites/all/modules/audio/getid3
  4. Enable the module in your Drupal Admin
  5. Configure the audio import directory
  6. Configure the id3 directory
  7. Upload some properly tagged mp3s to the audio import directory – do a few that have album name in common.
  8. Import the audio files
  9. Create a new view with type of audio:xspf and a filter on audio:album if desired. Select the Page or Block and Menu options based on your preference.
  10. Create a new view with type of full nodes. Select and complete the Page or Block and Menu sections. Filter on an audio related criteria and Sort as you like.
  11. You will now have two pages: one with a player containing the songs belonging to the album filter you created, and one with a list of single entries with their own players. You could change the latter to only return one node, change the sorting to descending by node:created date and place in a block – then you’d have the most recent audio entry for your site, placed in a block perhaps.
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