[development] module duplication in Drupal contrib

Shai Gluskin shai at content2zero.com
Thu Mar 20 04:01:00 UTC 2008

I know that when I talk to people about considering developing Drupal sites,
I tell them that there is a bunch of time that you need to spend researching
the best way to get something done. For some programmers "research" means
going to an online reference with lists of function syntax. But with Drupal
you have to add to that: reading issue queues, support requests, forum posts
etc. (and writing to all those as well) to evaluate what the best direction
is for a particular solution.

The benefits of this process are great. You end up meeting great people and
leveraging a huge amount of work created by others. But it does take an
investment of time.

As many have noted, d.o. can add all kinds of tools (the newly launched
"recommended version" feature being just one -- go Derek!!!) to make this
process easier and faster. And that will happen. I particularly like
Florian's suggestion about free-tagging on the module pages.

But being a good Drupal developer requires evaluation and analysis of a lot
of moving parts:

   - feature set,
   - code maturity/quality,
   - development activity,
   - responsiveness of maintainer(s),
   - dependence on other modules

These are the "moving parts." As daunting as it might seem to engage in such
research, it does get easier, even as the number of modules grows. One
begins to "know" modules and families of modules like you know friends (who
is engaged to whom etc. :)

I think part of the "problem" might be folks' expectation that things
"should" be easier. I'm certainly for making things easier, but not at the
expense of making the barrier to entry for module developers higher. I think
it is a low barrier to entry that has contributed to harnessing a huge
amount of energy.  Overall, the quality and quantity of contributed code to
Drupal is impressive.

content2zero <http://content2zero.com>
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