I am attempting to return to Drupal after being disillusioned with Drupal 5 and migrating to another CMS. I am starting to feel that I just have terribly bad timing here, coming in so soon after Drupal 7 is released. I don't feel it's right to deploy a site right now on Drupal 6; 7 was released for a reason after all.
So I'm finding it extremely hard to deploy a simple image gallery on D7. I do not want to install someone else's product and hook it into Drupal (for my needs, that would remove the motivation to use Drupal). The Media module was suggested to me in #drupal, but it is broken and has warnings on its page that it contains bugs that can destroy your site database. I tried it in a sandbox just to make sure and it couldn't even show thumbnails of the images I uploaded. The audio and video portions are already classified non-working by the developer.
Instead I created my own "image" Content Type and created a gallery Taxonomy with one term for each gallery I wanted. Using Views, I am able to create a View page that shows the images in a gallery with thumbnails in a grid. Colorbox integrates and works as expected.
Now I need to have a front page for the gallery that, like any other gallery, shows a thumbnail from each Taxonomy Term and the name of the gallery. Views seems to be unable to do this, showing only a simple summary list of links to the Terms, which works as expected but it's not what I need.
Someone in #drupal suggested the Gallery View module, which is for D6 only. After some more conversation, this person pointed me to a patch for Drupal 7. But as I understand it, every time an update occurs on the module, I have to manually uninstall it, install the update, search out the patch again, and patch it again. I am also naturally suspicious of modules whose migration to D7 hasn't even begun. Relying on something that might be abandoned code doesn't make good business sense to me.
They then sent me to a great tutorial on Lullabot that shows how to create an image gallery with Drupal 6, using Views Attach - again, only available for D6.
I get to thinking at times like this that if I hand-coded my own gallery I'd be done by now, and that would be all well and good if I wasn't seeing people build out amazing sites on platforms like Drupal. Which begs my question: How come it's so hard in 2011 to put in a stupid image gallery? Maybe I've been spoiled by sites like Facebook, but the bigger issue is, my clients have been spoiled by sites like Facebook, and they don't understand why I can't just snap my fingers and make an image gallery. I get the desire for core to be lean, but these days, this seems as much of an oversight as if you had to install a module to post articles, and it wasn't ready until months after a core release.
I understand that some people will see this post as flamebait and take out their own issues on me, but it's not - I hope you can understand my frustration, and hopefully my words will be taken the way they're intended - as an outside voice providing some perspective on how we have the power to make these things easy without sacrificing flexibility, and we don't.
To some specific questions:
1. Should I be deploying on Drupal 6 right now?
2. What's going to be more difficult - rolling all my own solutions or upgrading to Drupal 7 when it's (really) ready? (I seem to recall I didn't upgrade to D6 back in the day because it was prohibitively complicated.)
3. My problem with Views may be because I'm trying to make one view that does everything. If I can do it with two views, how do I set them up so that mysite.com/gallery goes to the separate summary view and mysite.com/gallery/1 ... n go to the galleries?
Please excuse the frankness of my post and the frustration in it. "Pleasing, Non-Threatening Internet Forum" is not my first language :-).