[drupal-devel] A collection of usability problems

Todd Grimason todd at slack.net
Fri Sep 23 21:37:20 UTC 2005

* Dries Buytaert [2005-09-23 17:24]:
> >>>better != good.
> >>
> >>Eum, so better = bad?
> >
> >I think Ber might have meant only catching pages with the simple  
> >admin/*
> >regexp. That indeed would be confusing since not all admin  
> >functions are
> >caught by that and it would appear random to a user. It pretty clearly
> >needs to be an all or nothing decision I would think.
> So what doe you mean with an 'all or nothing decision'?  What exactly  
> does that mean in terms of what pages to theme differently?
> If I give you 2 months to think about this problem, will you be able  
> to come up with a perfect solution?  No, you won't.  There is no  
> perfect solution.  Due to Drupal's highly dynamic nature, the  
> distinction between user-mode and admin-mode will remain blurry,  
> regardless of the regex you throw at this.  That, and it is often a  
> matter of preference.

Well of course you're right, there's no perfect solution that will
please everyone. I don't use many of the features so I'm probably less
aware of things that wouldn't clearly seem like 'admin' features.

At one level it's somewhat of an HTML problem, as the biggest issue 
I've seen with the integrated admin is page designs that don't play well
with all the form field machinery used in editing. So looking at it from
this angle it's more of a design issue than functional/code one.

Another view is that you can't have an optimal editing/admin UI when
you're sharing the page with the optimal layout/design for viewing the
site. As you rightfully point out, this is an almost infinite spectrum
though due to the hazy line between the two in lots of Drupal's 

Perhaps that haziness more or less forces the decision to the way it is
now (integrated). I've not seen how Civicspace does it so can't comment
on that, maybe I'll set it up and take a look. But again, it's not like
no other systems out there have a separate 'backend'; in fact that's
more common in my experience and Drupal's the exception. Have you not
found that?

I do think this is one drawback of the swiss army knife approach;
clearly it's a workable one for enough people though (including myself
by and large).


toddgrimason*todd[ at ]slack.net

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