[development] Freezing the Drupal API

Trae McCombs traemccombs at gmail.com
Tue May 16 06:20:55 UTC 2006

Sorry to weigh in here, but I wanted to give a non-coders point of view...

One of the biggest challenges I personally face when upgrading my sites is
the daunting task of trying to sort through, "ok... I delete all of the
"core drupal files" and then untar the old ones, and then run the upgrade...
wait, what are the core files again?"

It might not seem like a hard process for people that does this all the
time, but for someone like me, it is a lot of work to do a drupal upgrade.

What I think would make Drupal THE killer CMS app is quite simply if we were
to have a button somewhere in the admin section(Prompts the user only every
24hrs), displayed prominently that says:

[ 3 new updates - Upgrade your Drupal! ]

let me digress for a second...

I use Ubuntu Linux.  I use it because it's super duper easy.  It's easier
than Windows and OS X IMHO.  I've used Linux for 10 years now.  I can't
code.  Anyway, I use Ubuntu because of it being easy.

Mostly each morning I'll see a button on my Gnome panel that let's me know
some action is needed in order to make sure my system is up-to-date.  I
click it, it does it's magic, and poof, my system is happy.  I don't have to
touch config files, and am not even prompted to interact with the process.

I don't see why we can have the same sort of system with Drupal.

When I clicked on the "Upgraded your Drupal!" button, or link, it would go
through and say:  Please enter your UID1 username and password. [provided
said user was in right role for upgrade notification]

Performing upgrades... (grabs and does stuff in the background: makes a diff
of files or whatever to use as a restore method if something goes wrong,
backups db etc..)

Presents the user with:
Upgrade complete!

Something that's super simple, easy and "Trae Proof"[tm] :)

That is what we need.

Sure, if you want to be uber-chx-geeky and hack everything with a hexedit
tool or whatever, go for it! *grin*  But for those of use who are end-users
who just want to manage content and only fight with the editorial process,
we need simple.

Thanks, sorry for the long email.
On 5/16/06, Dries Buytaert <dries.buytaert at gmail.com> wrote:
> Richard,
> On 15 May 2006, at 22:57, Richard Archer wrote:
> > Recent discussions on the Consultants list has raised the issue of
> > the cost of doing business using Drupal, notably the high cost of
> > upgrading existing installations due to the ever-changing nature
> > of Drupal's API.
> >
> > I wonder if there would be any interest in forming a group to
> > tackle this by identifying where the current API has potential
> > for improvement and perhaps even writing some code!
> re-thinking some of Drupal's APIs is a good thing.  If that makes
> them more consistent, and less likely to change in future, that is
> great.
> I happily accept patches that clean up the APIs.  However, I can't
> promise that they won't change because we won't officially freeze
> them.  In practice, however, APIs might end up being frozen because
> there is no longer a need to change them.  APIs evolve and mature
> too.  The pager API, to name just one example, hasn't changed in 1-2
> years.
> If you think you can help them mature in a clean and consistent
> manner, that is great.  But, the focus should be to clean up APIs,
> not to freeze them.  In pratice, a good API might eventually freeze
> itself.
> --
> Dries Buytaert  ::  http://www.buytaert.net/

    Trae McCombs || http://occy.net/
  Founder - Themes.org // Linux.com
  CivicSpaceLabs - http://civicspacelabs.com/
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