Allowing non-techs to do cool things (was: [drupal-devel] Let's accept more interim solutions)

Gerhard Killesreiter killesreiter at
Tue Apr 26 02:30:39 UTC 2005

On Mon, 25 Apr 2005, Chris Messina wrote:

> It seems to me that a primary barrier to this goal is the intrinsic
> hackability of Drupal. Whereas a number of other systems (okay, I'm
> thinking of WordPress) expose a lot of "surface area" to relatively
> unskilled hackers to do cool and interesting things, Drupal's
> hackability is buried beneath a layer of complexity that makes it hard
> for folks like me who are interested in, but not capable of, making
> cool and exciting things happen.

I am inclined to say that this is a Good Thing(tm). You can make cool
and exciting themes isn't that enough?

> I don't have a clear idea of how to fix this, but I'm suggesting
> that we think about ways of pulling Drupal's cooler features up to
> the surface where making hacks are more accessible...

All the hooks are exposed to the outside and can be perused by modules.
I don't see how you'd pull them more to the outside.

> one way to do this *might* be to offer module and theme editors in
> the admin section... making it possible to work on and improve
> modules without having to interact with a server... while many in
> the Drupal community might not be directly interested in this
> feature,

Count me in. A lot of in-the-foot-shooting would be ensured.
Programming isn't just for anybody.

Do you have any idea how popular the theme_editor module is that you
ship with CS?

> I think it would do a great deal for bubbling up the ability to hack
> on do cool things with Drupal.

I think what you are after is some kind of macro language. Mathias had
once created a metatags module. It had a sort of library of predefined
functions accessible through tags that users could put into any node
without being worried about breaking something.
It was never very popular with developers (why bother of you can write
php pages?) but might be just the thing you need.


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