CCK and Views

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The key to Drupal lies in using CCK and Views, two third-party modules which are pretty much indispensable. Although each can be used completely independently of each other, the pair make formidable tag-team partners. Here's the gist in a super-short nutshell:

The CCK module lets you create custom content types (new kinds of nodes) and the Views module gives you creative ways to view them. ("Write" and "Read", respectively, if that helps.)

I marked this article as being of complexity level "Simple" for sorting purposes (I wanted it to show up on the front page), but in absolute terms that's a rotten lie: Views and CCK are a huge part of why most people say that Drupal has a huge learning curve. CCK, the "Content Construction Kit," lets you very easily create new custom content types. Doing so intelligently, meaningfully... in ways that help you craft a useful website... well, that requires a lot of thought. And Views is just plain ugly. Seriously, Views has one of the most painful and counter-intuitive software interfaces this side of the 3D program Blender. Which is to say: ridiculously powerful but incredibly hard-to-use.

So I'm not going to do a CCK / Views tutorial... partly because I hate to re-invent the wheel and partly because it's difficult and gross. Instead I'm going to point you to the best resources I have found thus far. Thusly:

  • THE absolutely definitive book on the matter is Drupal's Building Blocks (amazon, safari)
  • has great videos on both CCK and Views, but they're not free
  • here's the CCK and Views videos from mustardseed
  • CCK and a whole bunch of Views from learnbythedrop