[development] CVS HEAD, code freeze, zeitgeist
ber at webschuur.com
Sat Aug 19 12:08:33 UTC 2006
Op zaterdag 19 augustus 2006 10:42, schreef Dries Buytaert:
> If a successful project has problems, the maintainer can send an e-
> mail to the mailing list asking for help, ask for help raising funds,
> write about it in a forum topic, give a presentation about it, or
> what not. It all creates visibility, and people will start to care.
I did that for flexinode a couple of times and received NULL.
Is it me, or my behaviour that keeps away people? Probably.
Is it my lack of LOADS of time to review all patches? even more probably.
Is it the fact the module is not popular, that people don't use it? Unlikely.
Look. 4.7.3 changed something minor in the form api. So we have a critical bug
in flexinode which pretty much prevents everyone running flexinode from
upgrading to 4.7.3 (from 4.7.2). It is not this particular case that I want
addressed. It is a problem with contribs in general.
Golden stars are -indeed- not going to magically bring me coding ninjas.
But Golden repository DOES bring us:
* A status. It says "this module is good, solid and tested. As opposed to the
anarchistic cr*p you will find in the contribs". AKA: Quality control 
* A workflow. Drupal is aware that modules with such a status are important
to Drupal as a whole. I dare to bet (for a Duvel) that there are at least
five contribs that are more important for Drupal (very broad) then some core
modules. Drupal ackonowledges this importance. Drupal will not slow down its
improvements, but it will (re)move not-ready stuff from that golden system.
That way we have a way to say: 4.8 is out, but beware, in 4.8 you can no
longer do Foo and Bar, because there is no FooBar in the supported repository
* Drupal IS NOT Core. Drupal is much more. I dare to bet (for a Duvel) that
if we drop the modular approach, and no longer support contributions, drupal
is gone within months. Drupal IS Core + whatever contrib modules you can get
to work. As long as half of these modules promise more then they do, or are
simply cr*p, or plain broken, we (Drupal) have failed. This means Drupal is "a
solid, modular, well written, free CMS that may need really crappy additions
to do what you want it to do".
* Security. Abovementioned flexinode case makes me beleive that all people
who use Drupal 4.7.x and flexinode, have not upgraded to 4.7.3. On larger
scale: Many people will stay on 4.6 because stuff was not ready. If we can
somehow guarantee, as a community that at least a part of the modules, those
marked as such, will be upgraded, people can follow up. This may be a
security issue for Drupal in a bigger sense, after all: If we provide
security updates that people cannot follow we can just as well don't provide
them at all.
You can call it (a module) golden or you call it anything else. Fact is, that
the unordered, uncontrolled pile of code may contain gems. Biut as soon as
you dive into it, you get dirty.
And if the first thing you run into is a broken, dirty thing, you will
probably never get back. (i've had a long talk with someone yesterday who
halfway his project moves back to Joomla, because some of the contribs he
needs are plain broken, utter crap, or work as expected (note that he
mentioned many contribs as being Very Very Good too!!)
If a developer looks at Drupal, does his homework, and finds that he needs
flexinode, but gets errors instead of a working system, we (Drupal) have
lost. Big Time. No clean-lean-nicely architectured core will reverse that.
But if he did his homework, found that flexinode may or may not solve hiss
issue, AND sees that flexinode is NOT marked as special-supported (or golden,
whatever) and /then/ gets to see errors, we have still won. Because we
(Drupal) have said to him: Core is what Drupal is, Golden contribs is what we
advice, the pile of code out there is a scrapyard where you may find just
what you need, but don't count on it. But never count on it.
Example: If we have no e-commerce system marked as golden. We can all safely
say to the outside world: NO, sorry! Drupal has no ecommerce support!
But if it /is/ marked-special-golden we can tell the world that we /do/ have
ecommerce support. Anything else is misleading. And in some contries even
illegal (but more about that later). And also that Drupal cares about
So, if those that already got dirty dozens of times, filter out the gems from
that pile, and order them on a shelve, we can present the world a nice
display on a shelve of good-working, solid, projects. Instead of a
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