[development] creating forward compatable modules?

Dries Buytaert dries.buytaert at gmail.com
Thu Nov 24 08:42:46 UTC 2005

On 23 Nov 2005, at 22:43, Tao Starbow wrote:
> Good point.  Right now our infrastructure consists of a single dell  
> poweredge (3GHz Xeno, 2GB ram, 70 GB scsi raid), running FreeBSD.   
> We can pretty much dedicate this box to serving Drupal (apache and  
> mysql on the same box). We are using the engineering department's  
> network, so I am not worried about running out of bandwidth.

Looks like that machine should be able to host quite a few Drupal  
sites; I'm thinking 250 sites should be possible, but it obviously  
depends on a number of parameters as mentioned elsewhere in this  
thread.  Fact is that many small sites scale better than one really  
big site; because each site is actually fairly small and reasonably  
static, Drupal's page caching mechanism should be very effective.   
(I'm somewhat puzzled by Ber's numbers and would like to know more  
about why he thinks otherwise.)

Creating "forward compatible modules" does not look like a practical  
option.  It's better to stick with Drupal 4.6 and to upgrade to  
Drupal 4.7 when the time is right.  Upgrading to Drupal 4.7  
(including custom modules) should be relatively straightforward but  
might take a bit of time depending on the amount of custom changes  
and custom modules.  One thing you can do is start off with  
PHPTemplate-based themes rather than XTemplate-based themes;  
PHPTemplate will be the default theme engine in Drupal 4.7.

If you are somewhat adventurous you could start out with Drupal CVS  
HEAD (the forthcoming Drupal 4.7); it shouldn't be too bad if you  
stick with core modules.  A good formula for success is to  
participate in the development of Drupal; you'll quickly learn the  
ins and outs and will be able to weight decisions much more efficiently.

Tao, some of us (including myself) are very interested in improving  
Drupal's multi-site features.  It is inevitable that you'll run into  
some gotchas so I'm hoping you'll participate in the development of  
said feature.  (Eg. Adrian has been working on a patch to lock or  
restrict certain settings.)  So welcome on board, and looking forward  
to your contributions.  ;)

Dries Buytaert  ::  http://www.buytaert.net/

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