[development] Early Drupal 6 review from Chris Messina

Laura Scott laura at pingv.com
Sun Nov 11 03:25:12 UTC 2007

On Nov 10, 2007, at 7:06 PM, Liza Sabater wrote:

> Whenever there is a release we have these discussions. I don't  
> disagree with
> what Drupal is all about. The issue is, most people don't relate to  
> the
> concept of CMS. They relate to the concept of "The Blog" as this  
> new way of
> creating websites. That's all my point.

In my experience, "blog" is still an exotic content type to most of  
our clients. Even if they are familiar with the concept, they find it  
rather individualistic for their purposes. Mind you, these are media  
and B2B kinds of companies and organizations. When I tell them that  
"blog" comes with the meal, though, they often are thrilled.

But they do not consider Drupal to be a "blogging" platform.

> Keeping in mind how people "speak" and "relate" to web development  
> in the
> real world doesn't take anything away from the power of Drupal.

I agree. But we seem to be running into different "real worlds".

> I honestly believe a developers version of Drupal should be  
> distributed.
> This would be your dream Drupal and it hopefully will create the  
> space for
> creating distributions that actually speak to "mere mortals", aka "the
> market".

I agree with this. And I'd say that Drupal core, as-is, is the  
distribution for developers. But as we move forward, hopefully we'll  
find a way to make installation profiles more accessible and  
understandable, so that when people want a Drupal website for a  
particular purpose, they have a menu or recipe to choose from.

In that vein, I agree that David Strauss' suggestion of making a  
freetagging "tags" vocabulary enabled by default would be ideal for a  
"blogging" installation profile, but not advisable by default for  
most other applications. I'd hate to have to disable functionality on  
every new installation just to get on with things.

> It, for once, will give the opportunity to UI and UE people to  
> focus on
> usability instead of just features or tools. Too many times I am  
> told Drupal
> is hard to use. And you know what, it's true. The interface of  
> Drupal is
> really not about the user experience. It's all about the features;  
> which is
> cool for developers but not necessarily awesome for users.

This is something we can look at addressing in the theming layer,  
imho. (And woohoo for the .tpl.php implementation in Drupal 6!!!!)  
While site administration could stand for some UI improvements, it is  
at least reasonably logical in layout. At least I usually know where  
to look to configure some new module.

For the end-user, though, that's theming. Drupal offers the bare  
bones, for the most part.

> Most people don't want to see a menu with 120 choices, they just  
> want to
> know that what they want to do they will be able to do it. Which is  
> why when
> Chris says "just choose an input format", it's about simplifying  
> the user
> experience, it's not about taking away anything from the back end.

Maybe a contributed module would be of use here, to generate user  
roles and access control permissions for a variety of admin/ 
moderation end-user workflows? I for one would love to engage in a  
discussion of that. Perhaps something for g.d.o?


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