Installed Modules

This page should document the reasons why each contrib module has been installed.

Note that some modules are actually packages, and not all individual modules in the package are enabled.

Site Administration

These modules are used only for site administration and site development - they do not affect the "user" view of the site.  In general, these modules can be removed from the site (e.g., to improve performance if that is an issue) without affecting anyone except the site admin.

  • Administration Menu
    Creates a drop-down menu at top of all pages for quick access to all admin. areas on the site.
  • Devel
    Provides a set of tools for developers - clear cache is especially useful.  Can be removed with no impact.
  • Masquerade
    Allows admin. to "masquerade" as another user - for testing how things work from user's perspective.
  • Notify
    Send an e-mail summary of all the changes to the website. (Although users could be given access to this module, it was installed for the site admin's use only.)
  • PathAuto
    Automates the creation of URL Aliases based on a set of rules.  Users do use this indirectly, as it will automatically generate a URL alias for any content they create - but users don't ever see it at work, and the site would work fine without it - the site admin would have to manually generate URL aliases for new content.
  • Views UI
    Provides admin with a nice GUI for creating and editing views.  Really necessary, but can be turned off when not in use.

Access Control

These modules provide access control functions to restrict who sees and edits what.  Used in conjunction with the built-in access control panel, both to secure the site from anonymous users and to simplify the view of the site for novice users.  These module could be removed if the access control function they provide is no longer required.

  • ACL (Access Control List) 
    API for access control to content - allows other modules to restrict access based on userid, role, etc.
  • Forum Access
    Provides access control for individual Forums.  The built-in access control allows you to restrict read/write/edit/etc. access by role to the Forums <em>in general</em>, but does not provide ability to set access control for individual forums.i restricts write/edit access to authenticated users, but does allow anonymous posts in one thread.
  • NodeAccess
    Provides very fine-grained control over access to nodes (per-user, per-node).  This is used to grant edit access to individual nodes (mostly the site "pages") to a particular user (e.g., they can edit their own page).
  • PublishAccess  (or see maintained module:
    This is a custom module (written by J. Fall) to add access control to the Publishing Options.  Used to allow some users to "Publish to Front Page" for some content types.

Behind the Scenes

These modules are used for automating some of the site building tasks, and creating specific behaviours.  Users do interact with these at some level, but not directly - mostly they act in the background.   Be careful to understand how these modules are used before removing them - the behaviour of the site depends on them, but they tend to act in the background, so its not always obvious they are at work.

  • ImageCache
    Does on-the-fly image manipulation and caching.  Used throughout the site to re-scale images to fit in various locations.
    Important: ImageCache requires Clean URL's, and therefore Apache's mod_rewrite module - if you switch hosts, ensure mod_rewrites is on!!!
  • ImageAPI
    Provides api for image handling - used by image cache module.
  • JQuerey Update
    Provides API for AJAX JStools modules and Lightbox.
  • JStools
    Provided client-side AJAX goodness.  Currently using Collapsiblock, but will also consider others - very cool.
  • Taxonomy Redirect
    Each taxonomy term creates a default "teaser view" page, with the path: taxonomy/term/tid
    This module allows you to re-direct links to the default taxonomy term pages to any other path (such as on generated by a view).
    This module is used in several places.  E.g., Photos uses Taxonomy to create photo galleries (by subject), and taxonomy redirect is used to point ther default taxonomy tid links to the associated photo gallery.  Sweet.
  • Views
    This is the workhorse module used to generate nearly all of the sophisticated summaries.  It allows you to build, format, and display a custom query.  The site could not really function in its present form without it.
  • Views Bonus Pack
    Provides some additional layout / formatting plugins for the Views module.  Primarily used to create "Grid" views, e.g., for photo galleries, etc.
  • Views Slideshow
    Provides the slideshow view on the site's front page.  This module could easily be replaced by a simpler random image view that only updated on page refresh.  It is expensive (bandwith-wise), but it is a pretty trick effect.

Content Types

These modules are installer to allow creation of custom content  types (e.g., CCK).  The site could not function without these modules as CCK is used extensively throughout.

  • Conent
    The base CCK module, includes variety of basic field types and Options Widgets.
    Includes Nodereference, used to create "context sensitive" views, where a page can pull in other related data that contain a refernce to it.  E.g., links photos to their respective "mini-galleries" and news items to their respective pages.
  • Date
    CCK date field.  Includes Date API. Used for the Event type and Calendar.
  • Image
    CCK image field.  Used for most images in several data types.

User Interaction & Functions

These modules are installed primarily to provide extra functionality to the user.