This glossary describes terminology and acronyms used in the Drupal project and by the Drupal community.

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A visitor to a Drupal website who is not currently logged in. Drupal considers any such visitor as being the anonymous user, with the user ID 0, and belonging to the anonymous user role.


The section, usually near the top of the page, that shows the path you followed to locate the current page. For example, it might show Home >> Undergraduate Studies >>, meaning that you started at the home page, clicked on "Undergraduate Studies" in the menu, then selected something else in the sub-menu. The term breadcrumbs is borrowed from Hansel and Gretel, who left crumbs of bread along their path so they could find their way back out of the forest.


The core Drupal cache stores assembled pages and blocks for website visitors in the cache tables in the database.
Objects that can have hierarchical relationships, such as menu items, taxonomy terms and so on. A "child" menu item, for example, is nested under another menu item, which is referred to as the "parent" menu item.
Content Management System. In the context of a website, a collection of tools designed to allow the creation, modification, organization and removal of information.
code freeze
The date at which no new features can go in the next version of Drupal, unless specific dispensations have been made by the core committers (even then, only when the impact on other systems is minimal). At code freeze, the focus in Drupal core shifts to bug fixing and usability improvements.
The text, images, and other information on a website.

content type
Every node belongs to a single "node type" or "content type", which defines various default settings for nodes of that type, such as whether the node is published automatically. Modules can define their own content types; the Poll module is an example of a module that defines it's own content type.
Contributed modules or themes that are not part of the core Drupal product. Modules are available for separate download, these do not make part of the core of Drupal, although over time they can become part of it. Similar concepts exist in other software and are sometimes called plugins, add-ons or extensions.
The files and modules included with the Drupal download.
core committers
Drupal developers that review proposed changes to the Drupal core and maintain code.
core contributor 
Developers who contribute code patches or documentation for the Drupal core. Contributions are peer reviewed and then evaluated by the core committers.
A command scheduler that executes commands or scripts (e.g. scripts to backup a database) automatically at specified time and date intervals. Drupal uses a 'cron job' to perform periodic tasks that help Drupal to run smoothly and efficiently.
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Drupal Association. An organization dedicated to helping the open-source Drupal project flourish.
DO, D.O. The website of Drupal.
The biannual conference dedicated to gathering Drupal practitioners. It alternates between a North American location and a European location.
The Drupal mascot. It is a neologism formed from joining the words "Drupal" and "icon".


Any defined chunk of data in Drupal. This includes things like nodesuserstaxonomy terms, files, etc.


A tool for stripping out HTML, PHP, JavaScript, and other undesirable elements from content before pages are displayed. It is possible to create custom filters that allow or forbid only those tags you wish.
Elements of data that can be attached to a content type. Fields commonly contain text, image, or terms.

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Graphical User Interface. A program interface that takes advantage of the computer's graphics capabilities to make the program easier to use.


The current development version of Drupal.
A PHP function that is named foo_bar(), where "foo" is the name of the module (whose filename is thus foo.module) and "bar" is the name of the hook. Each hook has a defined set of parameters and a specified result type.
human readable 
Also user-friendly name. The text string used to identify a resource as displayed in the user interface, as opposed to the machine name used for internal purposes of the computer program.

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input format
A tool for defining the processing that happens to user-entered text before it is shown in the browser. The input format may often be available as an option that shows up underneath the body of a node edit form.
A unit of work to accomplish an improvement in a data system. An issue could be a bug, a requested feature, task, missing documentation, and so forth. The Drupal community uses the issue queue to work as a team.


Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. LAMP is an interoperable group of open-source computer programs that form the most common environment to run Drupal on.
legacy code 
A no-longer supported version of Drupal. The term can also mean code inserted into modern software for the purpose of maintaining an older or previously supported feature.
A list of recorded events. A log may contain usage data, performance data, errors, warnings and operational information.

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machine name
Also machine-readable name. The text string used by the computer to identify a resource, as opposed to the human readable name shown in the user interface.
In Drupal, the term refers both to the clickable navigational elements on a page, and to Drupal's internal system for handling requests. When a request is sent to Drupal, the menu system uses the provided URL to determine what functions to call.
Software (usually PHP and CSS) that extends Drupal features and functionality.


Node ID. The unique identifier for each node. It can be found in the path to the node. For example, a node with path, "", has a node ID of "937".
A piece of content in Drupal, typically corresponding to a single page on the site, that has a heading, an optional body, and perhaps additional fields. Every node also belongs to a particular content type, and can additionally be classified using the taxonomy system. Examples of nodes are web pages, news items, events, and images.
node type 
See content type.

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See child.
A small piece of software designed to update or fix problems with a computer program or its supporting data. This includes fixing bugs, replacing graphics and improving the usability or performance.
In Drupal, a tool for controlling access to content creation, modification and site administration at the application level. Administrators assign permissions to roles, then roles are assigned to users.
The state of a node that can be viewed by visitors to the website. To easily hide nodes from the public (i.e. anonymous role), make the node unpublished by unchecking "Published" in the node add/edit form.


A job management technique. Jobs waiting in a line (queue) are usually processed on a first in, first out basis or by priority, if specified.

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Defined areas of a page where content can be placed. Basic regions include: Header, Footer, Content, Right Sidebar. Different themes can define different regions so the options are often different per-site.
Sets of permissions that can be applied to individual users. Users can belong to more than one role. Two roles, authenticated users (those users that sign up for an account) and anonymous users (those either without an account or not logged in), are supplied by default with Drupal installations. Read about WCMS Roles and permissions.
Really Simple Syndication. A family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines or events. An RSS document (which is called a "feed" or "web feed" or "channel") contains either a summary of content ("teaser") from an associated website or the full text. 


A meeting where people gather at a specific time to discuss and work on software development tasks.

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The science of classification. In Drupal, Taxonomy is a powerful core module that gives your sites use of "terms", organizational keywords known in other systems as categories, tags, or metadata. In Drupal, these terms are gathered within "vocabularies."
A short introductory sentence or paragraph about a piece of content that informs readers about the subject of the content. By default, the first paragraph or two of the content is used (there is a setting for how much), usually with a link to the complete node.
A file or collection of files (PHP, INFO, CSS, JPG, GIF, PNG), which together determine the look and feel of a site.


User ID. The unique identifier for each user. It can be found in the path to the user profile, e.g. ""
See published.
uniform resource locator. The address that defines the route to locate an object on an Internet server. Generally, the syntax for a URL contains the scheme, host-name, port, path and filename.
The first user created on installation and granted additional (all) permissions. This user is referred to as the site maintenance account in Drupal 7.
UX - User experience
. An umbrella term referring to the overall experience and satisfaction a user has when using a website. It is important to note that this "includes only what the user perceives and not all that is presented."

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A vocabulary is a collection of terms.


A term used by Drupal to define the priority or order in which a function is processed or a node is displayed. Note: A lower weight value (-10) will float to the top of lists, while heavier (+10) weights will appear lower in lists.
What You See Is What You Get. An acronym used in computing to describe a method in which content is edited and formatted by interacting with an interface that closely resembles the final product.


zebra striping 
Alternating colors behind rows of data. This is often used in tabular data where rows of data alternate background colors between white and a shade of gray.

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