Request for Drupal help

Here's a post for the web developer types out there. The rest of you can tune out.

[Update by Super G on 10/24/06 at 9:56 PM EDT] This is not an open thread. Any off topic comments will be deleted.

Recently I've been exploring the possibility of moving The Oil Drum from Scoop to Drupal. I've gotten pretty far with the Drupal configuration, but there's one thing I'm stuck on—implementing DrumBeat. It's a pretty simple concept—automatically post a story at the same time everyday—but it seems to me that I can't implement it without doing a lot of work.

I posted on the Drupal forum, but didn't find what I was looking for. I think that the schedule module might be useful, but it lacks documentation. Anyway I'm not sure I have the PHP chops to write my own module. Are there any Drupal hackers out there that have advice or are willing to help out?

If you haven't seen it, yet, you might find this helpful.

Views Scheduler aims to provide the users of drupal with the ability to automatically manipulate content on a regular basis.

Thanks for the tip. This seems promising. I guess the idea is that I use Views Scheduler to schedule an action to be performed on a view. That makes sense if the action is something like "publish a story" and the view is something like "all of the stories in a certain section". In my case, the action (which is described fully in a PHP snippet) is "post a new DrumBeat thread", so am I right in saying that the view is not really relevant?
I suspect you would be correct in saying the view is not really relevant.

This is about the point where I would typically do some tinkering/experimenting.

Note:  I'm not actually using this module.  As much as I loved using/tinkering with Drupal, I moved back to Wordpress.

No knowledge of Drupal so I'll echo comments from others - go up a level and interact at the http level. You can use curl or wget in a cron job, with appropriate parameters, to "post" a new entry much the same as you were doing it yourself, including authentication. This wouldn't be too difficult to create if Google comes up short for someone having been there first.

I would recommend creating a new user ID for these scripts and posts, so that you don't leave id's and passwords to more privledged users lying around.

Interesting to see that you're considering Drupal. We at Energy Bulletin ( are looking into it as well. Drupal seems to mesh well with the decentralized peakoil network.

Other peakoil websites that use Drupal include
Post Carbon Institute and associated sites.
Richard Heinberg
ASPO - Ireland
Portland Peak Oil (part of it)
City of Portland's Peak Oil Task Force

- Bart

Drupal definitely has some nice properties, but there are aspects of it that frustrate me. We have a unique setup because of the TOD:Local sites, I have found that I need to hack certain things to get the behavior I want.

I've also heard that Joomla is good, but I haven't played around with it at all.

Recently out for Wordpress:

Looks like it could fill the multiple sites feature.  Don't know about the rest of your requirements.

Agreed, I'm the drupal guy for Portland Peak Oil and the Taskforce and I would love to see energy bulletin migrate to drupal.  

In addition it would be interesting to document the focus of the various peak oil sites and find a way to structure content syndication between the sites.

It's a pretty simple concept--automatically post a story at the same time everyday--but it seems to me that I can't implement it without doing a lot of work.

1st method - command line PHP.   Interact directly with the database.

2nd method which will work no matter what you use:

Flat text file (or series of them) per day of drum beat  (simple php page to make)
I use java, but you could use read in the flat text file(s) and generate a POST command via the SWING classes.
Run said java (or whatever) code as a batch job.

I'd use a perl script to post via the drupal site. It would be easier to talk to database directly, but maybe harder to maintain in the future over version and schema changes. I like things to break in small easy-to-track-down ways. Posting via a script keeps the black boxes separate.

I'm really curious about the pros and cons you use to decide. I'm fairly happy with drupal on one low volume site.

If you're stuck, I'll write you a script, but not till weekend. It would come in useful here as we are thinking of using something like Drumbeat ourselves. That would, however, be perl on linux. YMMV

cfm in Gray, ME

What you are looking for is the SCHEDULER module (different from the SCHEDULE one you mention), which you can find at It is quite straight forward to install and activate. Once set up, you will have an additional option for all the node types (story / page / book page / etc) when you edit them, called 'scheduling options' which allows you to set a date/time when the node has to be published and/or unpublished. You can even select the relevant timezone for the time you select. It works well, is integrated into Drupal and does not require any manual tuning of the system with scripts, etc. Takes care of 99% of the situations when you need to schedule the publication of nodes.
I looked into scheduler.module, but the problem is that it doesn't seem to be able to schedule repeating events. It's adequate for scheduling a single event, but not an event that occurs, say, every day. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
I don't know anything about Drupal, so this might be completely off, but if you can effectively schedule a single event, could you not include as part of that event the scheduling for the next?
I'd suggest taking a look a the actions & workflow modules.
I'm sure I can figure it out. You are on a unix system with SSH access right?

Let me know if you want me to take a look.

Matt (mbaker at kohesion dot net)