Drupal solutions: Apache2Triad, no import tab in PHPMyAdmin, and template engines

I’m working on several Drupal sites right now, and last Thursday I had a breakthrough with a couple of them.  Since it took me a while to find the info I needed for a couple of different problems, I’m going to talk about my problems and solutions here – so they’ll hopefully show up for others in future web-searches.


I’m working on a site that is served on a PC machine.  A colleague is running his Drupal site on a PC using a tool called Apache2Triad (instead of the Microsoft IIS), and so I asked the network folks who I was working with to set up the PC server and then I’d take over.  Well, Apache2Triad is a damn comprehensive tool, and I was a little concerned about how to make sure Drupal worked properly on this system.  I was on the right track, but it sure helped to have this handy installation guide online.  It pretty much worked step by step – until I got to the part about importing the Drupal MySQL file into the database.

No import tab in PHPMyAdmin

The instructions say to use PHPMyAdmin’s import tab to import the base Drupal database file.  Except the version of PHPMyAdmin I was using didn’t have an import tab.  I dug around online for a while, but it took a while to find this piece of information:  use the SQL tab instead.  You don’t have to create a query – just select “browse” and locate your Drupal MySQL file (it’ll have to be local), you can leave the radio button on “auto-detect”.  This will also work with database backups and exports.

Migrating a Drupal site

I was migrating a site from from a hosted service to a in-house server.  The hosted service provided a tar (compressed) file of only our custom files:  that being the custom theme files (incl logo images, etc); the uploaded files (attachements – pdfs, docs, images) and a Drupal database export.  In other words, none of the base Drupal files themselves, nor even any of the modules we had added.  In order to give my clients a tar (compressed) file that had everything – including the Drupal files and all the additional modules – I had to rebuild the site myself, then tar/ zip it all up.

Most of that went OK.  I had a bit of a problem using the basic Drupal install and uploading my own database file – I was on Drupal 4.6 (a legacy site) and had a hard time loging in with an existing (and working) user ID because it would try to redirect me to a user page that didn’t exist (but does if you install the basic, clean and empty Drupal database).  I fixed it by emptying (“truncating”) the cache and sessions tables in the database (using PHPMyAdmin).

Theme engines – theme editor and PHPTemplate

But my custom theme would not show up.  I had the theme editor installed; and I had the custom theme in my /files directory.  No such luck.  It didn’t take long for me to find out that I needed to copy the theme_editor_engine.engine file from the theme_editor directory to /themes/engines/theme_editor (a directory you’ll have to create yourself).

So now the theme shows up on my themes list, and I can see a list of custom files and images in theme editor – but when I select it nothing changes.  In fact, it’s basically a white screen with all my text on it.  I finally realized I had forgotten to add another engine – my theme was a PHPTemplate-based theme, and the PHPTemplate engine does not come with the base Drupal 4.6 install.  I had to download that theme engine from Drupal, dump it into themes/engines/phptemplate – and presto!  It started working.

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