[development] RFC: drupal as a moving target

Robert Douglass rob at robshouse.net
Mon Apr 28 19:30:27 UTC 2008

On Apr 28, 2008, at 9:07 PM, Victor Kane wrote:
> The question being raised is this: Is Drupal being driven to be such  
> a fast
> moving target that real time-to-market costs can only be afforded by  
> large
> shops?
> If the answer were yes, then we are forced to examine whether
> economic/financial/corporate interests are at work pushing it in that
> direction.

I'm not convinced that it is being driven by anything but people's  
interests in making Drupal better. Most companies don't do upgrade  
projects, they do new development projects. Every time they close out  
a new development and launch a site, they yearn for a better Drupal  
that makes their site building job easier. I would argue that it is  
the relative infrequency and relative low demand of upgrade projects  
that allows the upgrade process to remain painful.

As for the implication that anyone *wants* it to be hard to upgrade,  
I'm pretty sure you don't mean that, and would never imply it  
intentionally, but I've seen it expressed clearly and directly on  
other blogs and sites, so people are definitely thinking it. I've  
never known anyone who took glee or cashed in on the situation created  
by upgrades being hard to orchestrate.

> Here is the point: try to step away from the speeding up of  
> development
> mindset for a moment. I want you to understand another problem:
> The immense cost of updating a non-trivial Drupal based site from  
> 5.x to 6
> to 7.

Yes, indeed.

> I think it is great that development speeds ahead. What the original  
> attempts to express here is the upgrading cost, immense and almost
> monopolized by big shops.

Well, anything to do with really complex sites is monopolized by big  
shops. The complex sites I've worked on had hundreds of people  
involved in their making, which pretty well excludes the smaller  
shops. The real big shops (IBM, Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP for example)  
aren't even really involved yet (though they might be in the near  
future), really, so big is of course relative. "Big" in the Drupal  
world still means >5 employees.

> The community needs to gather round this real-world need: it is plenty
> specific and plenty concrete, I can tell you.

I totally agree. I look forward to your findings at the conclusion of  
your study.

More information about the development mailing list