This section details concepts such as installation, user management, site structure, theming, apps, and contributions for the OpenPublish on D6 distribution.

Creating Semantically-Rich OpenPublish Themes


What Is this Semantic Business About and Why Should You Care?

The World Wide Web started as a collection of hyper-linked documents. In the early days of the Internet you would go to a website that you knew had the desired information, drill down into the content by following hyperlinks and hopefully find what you were looking for. However, over time the amount of content on the Internet, number of publishers and the diversity of the information consumers snowballed, making explicit consumption of content impractical at best, if not impossible. At some point there were too many…


Customizing Base Theme in a Sub-Theme


The Approach

In the previous chapter we touched upon the layout and structure of the base OpenPublish theme. To fully leverage the base theme for bootstrapping new theme development custom themes should be created as a sub-theme of the theme called openpublish_theme, included in the openpublish distribution. Sub-themes automatically inherit everything from the base theme and then specific aspects can be overriden/further customized.

Some common examples:

Suppressing and Overriding CSS Files

Not all CSS files in the base theme are equally portably to the sub-…


Structure of the OpenPublish Base Theme


Now that we have mentioned, in passing, where some of the theme files are located, it is useful to explain the structure of the openpublish_theme folder in general. You will never be modifying any files in this base theme, directly (since you should always sub-theme it instead) but your sub-theme will most probably have similar structure and you may often find yourself looking in openpublish_theme for reference, so let's see how it is built. On the highest level, following is the structure of the folders in the theme:

Accordingly, following is the structure of the files…


Your First OpenPublish (Sub)Theme


Theme Configuration

We are going to create our first OpenPublish sub-theme called "Ardi". In case you are wondering: Ardi is the name of the first human ancestor ever uncovered by archeologists, so it sounded like an appropriate name for the first theme you will create in OpenPublish.

Let's get started by creating a folder called "ardi" under sites/default/themes or sites/all/themes. Typically, in-house themes and modules are placed…


What Makes a Theme OpenPublish Compatible?


OpenPublish is a Drupal Distribution

Drupal Distributions or Installation Profiles are pre-packaged versions of Drupal that contain Drupal core, which you can download from along with a slew of contributed modules. The Drupal core and modules are usually pre-configured in a certain way to better serve some specific purpose, such as for news publishing purposes in the case of OpenPublish.

Are all Drupal Themes OpenPublish Compatible?

OpenPublish-compatible is any Drupal theme that can be used with OpenPublish and can supports full functional spectrum of the…


Theming OpenPublish


OpenPublish comes with its own simple theme, but it is not intended to serve as an actual design for any web site. You need to create a sub-theme, which will look like base theme initially, and start adjusting it to fit your branding.

Once an implementer has setup, configured, and customized their OpenPublish installation it is ready for a new face. Designers and developers can create custom layouts, views, design elements, and style sheets.

Managing Regions and Blocks with Context


Regions and Blocks in Drupal

A typical Drupal page is built from static HTML, which defines layout's markup, and several regions of dynamic content. A good example of this approach is in The New Republic website:

The screenshot above shows the structure of the article detail page. We can see that article pages have four main regions:

  1. Banner Space
  2. Headlines
  3. Content
  4. Right Sidebar

Most regions (except the content region) do not by themselves define the content shown in the region. Rather they are…


Consuming Incoming Feeds, e.g. Twitter

  • Pick a feed, any feed. Keep in mind that many RSS feeds don't provide full story bodies, so don't expect your node bodies to necessarily be more than a few sentences.
  • From the administration menu of an OpenPublish site, click on Content Management > Create content > Feed
  • Enter a "Title" for the feed. Optionally enter a "Body" but this isn't mandatory.
  • Supply the URL of the RSS feed you've chosen as the "Feed URL"
  • Open the "Processors" field set and select the appropriate "Node type of feed items". Try "Article" as a good first test.
  • Select…

Configuring Outgoing RSS Feeds


Default RSS Feeds

A set of default outgoing RSS feeds are provided with OpenPublish, and they are typically accessible through the various sections of the site by clicking on the orange RSS icon:

These can be found for:

  • Articles, which links to /rss/articles
  • Blogs, which links to /rss/blogs
  • Multimedia, which links to /rss/multimedia
  • Resources, which links to /rss/resources
  • Events, which links to /rss/events

These are feed…


Topic Hubs


What are Topic Hubs?

Harnessing the power of Calais tagging, administrators can create Topic Hubs based on one or more of a site’s most commonly used tags.

Topic Hubs are highly configurable and contain a series of pluggable content views/blocks, like “Most Read” content for this topic, “Most Commented” stories, most active contributors, and links to other related topics. To top it off, integration with Calais Geo allows for plotting all of your content for a Topic Hub content on a map.

Here's an example from

Any prerequisites for creating a…


Content Visibility



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