[infrastructure] Re: [development] Drupal 4.5 unsupported
blogdiva at culturekitchen.com
blogdiva at culturekitchen.com
Sat May 27 17:23:53 UTC 2006
Ber , Morbus and all,
Would you consider stepping back a moment and thinking as a non-
developer? This is the kind of decision that ought to fall on the
shoulders of a user-relations team and not developers.
I worked at Colgate-Palmolive as the tech and communications writer
for their Consumer Affairs department. Colgate-Palmolive is the
largest manufacturer of toothpaste in the world, among many other
products. They produce everything from dentistry pharmaceuticals to
For four years I wrote the manual on how to handle all sorts of
inquiries, complaints and suggestions coming from consumers. My job,
was to write human-readable instructions and communications guides
for our Consummer Affairs representatives. I was dead against scripts
because they show a lack of training and understanding of the
products and consumers; and at that time my bosses agreed.
Knowledge of all products, past and present, was a part of the
training for our reps. I was instrumental in making that happen in
the least of techie ways given that this was BEFORE the internet was
used by major companies for doing business (1994). I mean, the system
I was using was written in a pre-WYSIWYG DOS system. So you can
imagine how "cutting edge" and scary for non-techie people that must
have been. My job was twofold : I had to help transition consumer-to-
company communications from an analog system of communications to
this new digital system while also transitioning and streamlining the
internal communications all departments affected by consumers (Legal,
Marketing, Sales, R&D).
One of the biggest percentages of communications was on discontinued
products. People would always call or write about products the
company had stopped manufacturing for years. Loyal consumers sensing
the disappearance of the product would stock up on it. CP spent a lot
of time and effort on these particular people. Why? Because if
consumers were bound to look for that product high and low it meant
they were loyal consumers. The challenge for the company was to
transition those consumers to newer products and keep them as word-of-
One of the most frustrating aspects of working with Drupal is the
lack of forethought on word-of-mouth evangelizing and user loyalty
that goes in the development, implementation and the dissemination of
the product --and yes, I am calling Drupal a product because that is
what it is.
Given that you have an open source product it is a mystery to me why
you have decided to disappear from your site the history of the
product's development. This is a huge loss for future developers who
come to the site looking to learn more about the product. If it were
up to me, I'd curate a whole section on the development of Drupal.
I'd keep each release for historical documentation and, if possible,
annotate it with some commentary from not just from developer but
particularly from loyal users of Drupal.
A product's success does not lie just on it's design or development.
A product's success lies on it's word-of-mouth reputation among
users. Word-of-mouth is what makes or breaks products and it's why
most of the shittiest products succeed. Toys like "Pet Rock" to
celebrities like "Paris Hilton" make it all by the grace of their
word-of-mouth god. It's not fair but it's what happens in the real
Back to Ber and Morbuss and most of the developers of Drupal : I
just think that as developers, you're way of thinking works best with
code. I honestly do not know what it is about this group of
developers but you definitely think and work differently than
developers in the Movabletype, TextPattern and WordPress development
groups. For me, as someone who has been 'looking from the outside
in', in all these groups, it's really interesting to see how
differently coders work from one product to another ---and it proves
software development is a very personal and subjective process; even
when done by a group of people.
You have a good product and a growing base of non-developers eager to
use it. Open archival access to your past success needs to be an
important part of how you engage the people who use Drupal. It should
be integral to your documentation, which gets better with each
You still need people who are part of core who deal solely with
community/user/consumer issues and think about these things. You need
more than one person so that developers don't get the opportunity to
gang against him/her (as in the Dilbert effect). Which is why, these
people need to be regarded as part of the core group of developers.
Yes, I do have to agree with the common belief that it's rare to find
developers who understand the nuances of community/consumer affairs.
They are out there, and you do have some right here within your
ranks. But as a development groups go, you have to decide that
dealing with the community is just as important as dealing with the
code. And more importantly, you need decide on a process on how to go
about that, even if it means developers won't be part of that
Which is why I insist : Give away those decisions to people who can
do that person-to-person heavy lifting. It will make Drupal.org an
infinitely better experience.
l i z a sabater
AIM - cultkitdiva
SKYPE - lizasabater
TEL - 646.552.7365
On 27.May.2006, at 11:36, Khalid B wrote:
> On 5/27/06, Morbus Iff <morbus at disobey.com> wrote:
>> > Why do you need to remove this stuff? There are those who like I
>> Leaving it up is, to some, an admission of *support*.
> Also, remember that 4.5 is not patched for the latest exploits,
> so it is
> very dangerous to continue to run with that, regardless if it is
> or not ...
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