[development] Download statistics for core

Scott McLewin drupal at mclewin.com
Fri Jun 2 18:50:17 UTC 2006

Gerhard Killesreiter wrote:
>> This is a GREAT idea. It's worth noting that most other CMS systems,
>> including WordPress, do this in their administration sections. The only
>> trick, I think, is Aggregator.module's dependence on cron. Until a user
>> configures that bit of the system, they won't get any security
>> announcements.
> We could instruct the user to invoke cron.php manually after update. 
> The installer could run cron.php after completing the installation.
> Cheers,
>    Gerhard
The concept of an administration block that shows up when patches are 
available is a good one, especially if a default Drupal install had it 
enabled for the administrator out of the box.

To work through some of the dependence on sites running cron, I propose 
that this same block also show a notice if cron has not been run in over 
two weeks (or some reasonable time frame that is measured in days and 
not hours).  The block would alert the admin to the fact that cron has 
not run since date DD MMM, YYYY and provide a link to click to check for 
security updates.  That link could kick off cron. There is an issue of 
the user than expecting a response quickly (which cron does not 
necessarily provide).  It also assumes that Drupal stores the time/date 
of the last successful cron run.  If it does not, that's an easy patch.

I'd find this useful personally in two ways. 

First, in the context described here it would help catch the cases where 
an admin would miss security updates because the aggregator did not run 
to draw down the RSS feed of the updates. 

Second, I've made the same mistake several times across the Drupal based 
sites I manage.  I've typically forgotten to modify cron-lynx.sh to 
point to my site and not www.example.com, and I forget to make the 
change until I notice that cron-driven content is a week or three out of 
date.  I've since moved cron-lynx.sh out of the Drupal tree - this sort 
of admin warning that cron is not running would have helped me catch 
what is a slightly embarrassing mistake.  Hopefully it's not just me 
making it.  :)


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