Review of Drush User’s Guide book

Drush User's Guide coverThe Drush User’s Guide, by Juan Pablo Novillo Requena, is a fairly short technical book, at just over 120 pages. Like meetings, the shorter the better for technical books. It is easy to read, concise and well laid out. If you are new to Drupal, this book is not for you. If you build sites in Drupal but are new to Drupal development (module development), then you will find this really useful. If you are a Drupal developer who writes custom Drupal modules, you will find this book essential reading. I have used Drush for a few years and still picked up a thing or two.

It covers all the usual commands that, if you have used Drush for any length of time, you might already use. But it covers a whole lot more and I am sure there will be new tricks in it for all but the most hard core Drush users.

There is a great walk through of Devel’s Drush commands. For example, you can search for implementations of a single hook and then view the source code of that implementation. Also useful for adding test nodes and users.

I use Features a lot and the Drush User’s Guide includes everything there is know about creating, updating and managing Features through Drush.

I particularly liked the section on site aliases. This will be a real time saver for many people, if you are running multiple Drupal sites or a dev pipeline (dev, stage, live).

What is in the book?

Chapter 1: Installation and basic usage

The usual stuff about installation.

Chapter 2: Executing Drush Commands

The core Drush commands, such as installing Drupal core, modules, creating users and roles, running cron. Some good stuff that might be new to some people like running SQL commands with Drush, backing up, restoring and syncing website files and databases.

Chapter 3: Customising Drush

How to create custom Drush commands, altering existing commands, running PHP scripts (with or without Drupal bootstrap), site aliases.

Chapter 4: Extending Drush

Using Drush commands from modules such as Backup and Migrate, Devel, Features, Views, Module Builder. Also creating a Drupal installation with pre packaged set of modules using Drush Make.

What is missing?

There is no mention of adding your own Drush commands to module you create. There is a great section on adding custom commands but the focus was on adding custom commands that can be used on any Drupal install on your system. But if you are writing your own custom or contrib modules, you will probably want to add Drush commands to that module.

The good and the bad summary

Good

  • Good chapter layout
  • Good pace and easy to read
  • Excellent examples
  • Didn’t bore with site building tutorials (like setting up views)
  • Good reference book and can be read cover to cover

Bad

  • A few (minor) grammatical errors
  • No discussion of how to add Drush commands to a new module

Conclusion

The Drush User’s Guide is a must have for any serious Drupal developer or site builder. If will serve as a handy resource and at the same time is easy book to read cover to cover. It will teach you how to use Drush properly and to use Drush properly, is to save a lot of time.

Disclaimer

I volunteered to review this book and received a free copy from Packt Publishing.

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