Adding Contributed Modules

One of Drupal's great strengths is the ease with which new functionality can be added in the form of contributed modules. The clear and well-defined hook system (http://drupaldocs.org/ api/head/group/hooks) allows modules to interact with all of the Drupal subsystems, including the user, menu, taxonomy, filtering, and node-handling systems. As a result, more than 350 modules have been contributed to the Concurrent Versions System (CVS) repository (http://cvs.drupal.org/viewcvs/contributions/) at http://drupal.org/project/Modules.

The contributions repository is not only large, but it is also very diverse in its offerings. Some of the modules are for specific Drupal versions; some are well maintained, but some are not. Some are easy to install; some require patches to the core Drupal code. Many offer similar or duplicated functionality. This diversity is a great strength of Drupal, but it also means that you need to know which modules are best for any given situation and task.

This chapter will cover the installation, configuration, and use of a number of the best and most popular Drupal modules. The selection covered ranges from making input easier with WYSIWYG editors, to protecting your site from comment spam, to letting site users organize themselves into groups that share interests. These modules, in conjunction with the core modules delivered with Drupal, will provide you with a broad set of tools that you can apply to a diverse array of web sites.

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