Saturday, 10 December 2011

Just in case somebody asks, these are the three ways to install Drupal and reasons they don't work for me. I'm writing this in case I need to brief someone to help.
  1. A one-click install from the control panel of a server.

    (a) Doesn't install the Kickstart version of Drupal Commerce Shopping Cart. This is a bit like a comfort blanket - I think I've learned to do without it - but as the program doesn't work without a lot of tweaking unless you have this installation profile, I'd like to be able to start from the Kickstart version every time I need to.

    (b) Puts too much strain on the server if I need to install extra modules. The program is a bit too big to do this on a middling sized server. So I would have to download it onto my hard disc somehow, do the updates and fixes, and them upload it to the server again. This is in fact what I want to do but starting on the hard disc. It comes to the same thing; I still need to back-up everything to my hard disc, tinker there, and upload again.
  2. Unpack Drupal on my hard disc, follow rather intricate instructions for file transfer to the server, and turning-on a the database to recognise all these files.

    With luck when I upload I get a welcome screen asking questions like "is your database called localhost?" and the thing installs itself. It's a bit of a black art the first few times but I think I've got the hang.

    Unfortunately Drupal 6 could almost work like this but Drupal 7 is just too big, and if I stick to older releases I will be missing-out on a lot of shopping cart modules. When I try to install, the server just says it's out of memory and the helpdesk says this can't be changed.
  3. Unpack a server onto my hard disc - a set of all the programs a server needs - and press the "import" button to import a version of Drupal, which could be Drupal Commerce Kickstart for the first stage of a shopping cart.

    This is the only system that could work and sometimes it does. I have managed once to install Drupal Commerce Kickstart onto a server program called Aquia Drupal Desktop, and from there managed a slightly laborious way of importing the data from its database to the one on my proper server that the world can see.

    Unfortunately my installation doesn't work. It finds error messages in every other thing it does. I guess this is because I should have updated or uploaded a load of files that go with Drupal's database onto the server, and I just deleted them thinking that the ones already there might do. Now I can't repeat the actions which worked in the past for this step three.
Even if I could get the thing installed there would be a bit of work laying-out the site using various layout themes or writing one, and I might be quite accident-prone at that.

A confusion is that installation can work one day and not the next. Why?

If I could re-install a Drupal Commerce Kickstart on the Aquia Drupal installer, make sure I don't delete any related files, and then FTP those files up to the server at the same time I move the database content, that would be an excercise completed. I would know if a mismatch of database and surrounding files is making my test site wonky.

According to Drupal 7 Essential Training - Getting a Drupal site up fast the Kickstarter or Drupal files simply uncompress. I find that they don't and any software like 7zip or Pea Zip or windows XP's own unpacker reports a problem or asks for a password just in case that's the trouble. This stage must have worked for me at least once in the past so why now now?

Update 12/12: the same file dowloads, and when I click on it it opens to reveal a folder called Drupal, which is quite different to a couple of days ago. Clicking on this unzips it with Windows XP's built-in unzipper. Unzipping is strangely slow but it works. Meanwhile the old download file won't unzip and won't delete. I googled the error message and found that some people log-on as administrator to delete such stuff, others like me downlowd a program called Unlocker, which worked. You have to steer past several adverts on Softpedia trying to look like your dowload button so that you download other programs as well, but I managed to skip them this time.

Just as in Tom Geller video on Youtube, I can import the Drupal directory into my Aquia Drupal desktop. I deleted my old one and imported the new, giving it the same file name as the one on my server. And this time I didn't delete all the files in the folder after importing to the desktopy thing.


If anyone is interested in Ubercart video tutorials which are meant to be a quick way to get an ecommerce site online, this is a list of some available:

Transcribed videos: -
[Drupal 7 / Ubercart video tutorial 7 of 10 showed how to use the default catalog module]
[Drupal 7 / Ubercart video tutorial 8 of 10 showed an alternative flexible method of showing a catalog]
[Drupal 7 / Ubercart video tutorial 9 of 10 shows how to use product kits, stock, and order states]
[Drupal 7 / Ubercart video tutorial 10 of 10 shows a simple checkout, reports, and suggests a theme]