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I was new to Drupal when I came to the team and work at the programming part of the site with Venkat. And I learnt quite a lot of Drupal during the process.

We decided to use Drupal 7 because Drupal 6 will be stopped support from the community. However the Drupal 7 is quite new and not all modules are incorporated well with the core, in fact, quite a lot of troubles came out when dealing with facebook modules for Drupal.

Regarding quite a lot of social networking function of our site by Drupal, unlike Buddypress for WordPress and JomSocial for Joomla, it seems that we have to build many functions from many modules and develop them in Drupal.

Compared with WordPress , based on the “loop”, Drupal is quite complex with contents organized by “notes” and event function implemented by “hooks”. It took me sometime to understand this idea of hooks, with the name convention which triggers events. For example, if there is some events happening with the user, functions like XXXX_user() will be called from a lot of related modules.

Facebook module is quite important in the site and it helps us to integrate site with facebook platform in order to promote the site. For registration we think and survey that using facebook connect, we can make sure to some extent that the user in our site will have some information in order to guarantee our discussion quality. Also the people who discuss on our site can invite friends from facebook so that our site can be reached out to more people. On the contrary, some actions on our site may also be posted on the facebook wall. These are all done by facebook for drupal module through facebook api, fbml, fbjs.

Facebook for drupal module is quite incomplete with Drupal 7. A lot of troubleshooting was carried out during development like Undefined index, Facebook API exception Error validating access token and etc. Some part of the module hooks are also only integrated with Drupal 6.

Xianglai

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Sketching out a needs analysis for our product coding structure.