[development] Consolidating duplicate contrib modules for D7

Jamie Holly hovercrafter at earthlink.net
Tue Dec 1 13:46:01 UTC 2009

That group is very valuable, but it shouldn't be considered a solution 
for this issue. The biggest complaint of Drupal is the "steep learning 
curve" and when you read those complaints you commonly see reference to 
the situation of multiple modules that provide the same basic features. 
Sure if someone is patient and has the time they can download all 
similar modules and see which one is the best for their situation, but 
who really has that time? Also you get the issue of modules that don't 
fully uninstall, leaving behind things like settings and sometimes 
tables, so you end up with artifacts in the database. (Though I got to 
admit, as someone who used to do a lot of work in PHPBB, the process 
with Drupal is a lot less painful. Nothing like spending hours copying 
and pasting in core changes to find out it wasn't exactly what you wanted)

As Shai pointed out, there is a good side to this. Sometimes modules 
start out as essential duplicates of other modules, but as they evolve 
they become something totally different and/or better. We shouldn't 
really discourage that as a community.

I also believe having the doc team keep up with all the modules and 
doing comparisons would be a very rough situation. I can only imagine 
going through and finding all the similar modules, documenting the 
similarities and differences between them, then once done one of those 
modules get updated with some new features and you got to go back and do 
it over.

I honestly don't think there will be a simple fix to this problem. At 
the heart, this issue falls under the umbrella of UX, so any solution 
should come with a lot of debate and ideas. The overall goal should be 
to make it as easy as possible for the Drupal noob to find the perfect 
module for their situation and not have to worry about testing multiple 
modules providing the same functionality.

Jamie Holly

Zoltan Varady wrote:
> You do know about the "Similar Module Review" group, right?
> http://groups.drupal.org/similar-module-review
> They review similar modules.

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