[drupal-devel] Stability of DB schema in 4.6 RC?

Scott Courtney scott at 4th.com
Tue Mar 1 15:01:50 UTC 2005

Good morning, all.

I'm in a quandary, and am looking for some advice from my fellow coders.

My local "sandbox" of Drupal is at version 4.5.2, and needs to stay there for
now because I'm actively working on two modules for the open Drupal community
plus one module for my employer (nothing secret, but it's so company-specific
that it's useless to the Open Source community, else I'd release it GPL).

So, I haven't even touched the CVS HEAD version or played with anything at 4.6
level yet. The plan is to finish my modules at 4.5.x, then update them for 4.6,
because I really want to offer them for *both* versions in production.

Here's the question:

I need to quickly (as in, "this week") deploy three *non-production* Drupal
sub-sites under a common virtual host, or under three separate virtual hosts.
The sites can be a little unstable for now, because end users won't see them
for several weeks. But I do need to get them online for the content creation
team to start building nodes and taxonomy.

Since the sites can wait to go production, it occurs to me that it might be
smarter to go ahead and put the CVS HEAD version of Drupal on there, since:

1. It would keep me from having to upgrade the DB tables later,
2. It gives me a convenient sandbox to start making my modules 4.6 compatible
   without breaking my existing development sandbox,
3. It lets me train the content creators (some of whom are not previously
   Drupal-experienced) *once*, in only the upcoming 4.6 user interface,
4. If I recall from this list, there are new features in 4.6 for the specific
   support of multiple logical sites with a single Drupal install -- which
   would greatly simplify my life.

Now, being a developer, I fully realize that the 4.6 *code* isn't stable yet,
may give errors or utterly crash, etc. I'm okay with that. But my question is,
how stable is the *database schema* for core Drupal at this time? Are we likely
to see any further table layout changes at this point, or is it *reasonably*
safe to assume, "When 4.6 production comes out, I can nuke the CVS code and
replace it with the released code, but won't have to modify the database?"

Comments welcome, and thanks.


Scott Courtney         | "I don't mind Microsoft making money. I mind them
scott at 4th.com          | having a bad operating system."    -- Linus Torvalds
http://4th.com/        | ("The Rebel Code," NY Times, 21 February 1999)
                       | PGP Public Key at http://4th.com/keys/scott.pubkey

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