Here's the state of things are they currently are:

- Drupal core and contrib devs stopped using Image module as a solution years ago
- stopped using image module earlier this year
- Image module D6 has about 55,000 users (last updated Aug. 2013)
- The current maintainers don't have enough free time to do the major work that an upgrade would involve
- Nobody is reviewing patches, let alone writing them

Therefore, development on image module has completely stalled. Either the 55,000 users are content with remaining on Drupal 6, or they are unhappy but not doing anything about it, or they are waiting in the hope that someone one day till. In the second and third scenarios, they will be disappointed!

It's been suggested we set up a chipin to raise funds to sponsor development.

Here's what I propose:

- I set up a ChipIn linked to my paypal ChipIn has been discontinued.
- I do work in chunks of a day or two, so there's visible progress
- we clarify what is going to be done over at #513096: The Future of Image in Drupal 7.

Any of the 55,000 users care to comment?


asb’s picture

Thanks for this to-the-point summary! Just two remarks:

  • #513096 is already hard to read; it should only be used to make a "battle plan"; then it should be locked and just left to point to the remaining sub-issues;
  • #513096 has just 44 followers at the moment; how do we reach the remaining users? Even if d.o would still have a proper frontpage, an announcement could only reach a fraction of 'image' module's (end) users. What about a alert in the next module release plus a new section at ./admin/settings/image with a note like: "If you don't help now, you won't be able to upgrade your images to Drupal 7"? Pretty aggressive, but I don't know of another channel to evenpotentially reach end users...
sun’s picture

wow, awesome initiative + summary, @joachim!

The main challenge/problem with a chipin like this is going to be the specification of "deliverables". People donating to a fund for resolving a upgrade path typically want to get their upgrade path resolved. So it inherently becomes important to clarify how image module data will be upgraded exactly; i.e., from what to what.

For the main part, I think that's pretty clear.

Where it gets a bit "dusty" and hairy is the additional functionality in the main image module that isn't contained in core's Image module, and of course, the entire functionality of the contrib/add-on sub-modules. That is, because a multitude of upgrade path variants are possible, and we'd essentially have to "preselect" the "recommended" upgrade path for all users for every bit of functionality that existed previously. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, it just needs to be clear upfront.

joachim’s picture

> 513096 has just 44 followers at the moment; how do we reach the remaining users?

I was rather hoping that you'd help with the awareness campaign... :)

> What about a alert in the next module release

If you look at the usage stats, you'll see most people are still on one version back.

joachim’s picture

I'd be happy to work on more than one upgrade path, eg one that leads users towards a system based on Media module.

Might be an idea to create more than one ChipIn in that case, so people know what they are contributing towards.

asb’s picture

>> 513096 has just 44 followers at the moment; how do we reach the remaining users?
> I was rather hoping that you'd help with the awareness campaign... :)

DrupalCon Munich, from August 20th to 24th, comes to mind, in case someone attends (I don't); it's at least a platform to reach some of those guys who sold image module to their clients; needs something like flyers or posters, and people to spread them. A Panel about "The Future of Image Module" also would have been nice, but it's probably too late for that; also would need a speaker. However, there are also some other events. would be a place to reach some technical people as well, but I have no idea how to get a message promoted to the front page, unless you are a core maintainer, or a member of the security team, or the news directly relates to d.o. If d.o doesn't use image.module anymore, it's probably considered less releveant.

As far as I know, there is no official Drupal newsletter. But there is a low-traffic "support" mailing list; also there is the "Drupal Watchdog" magazine; imho, both have a very limited reach.

Last but not least there are blog posts; as soon as there is a well-defined battle plan with something like "milestones" or "deliverables", and a Flattr/Chipin campaign is online, blog posts should at least reach some of the DIY guys. It's especially important to get posts into blogs aggregated at Drupal Planet because this is multiplied through republishing.

Well, the rest... Those who neither read d.o, nor attend DrupalCons, nor read Drupal-related blogs, nor update his/her Drupal site, might not even be aware what modules he/she is using. I'm afraid this might be a huge part of image module's users, but I don't think we can reach them within a reasonable timeframe.

Please feel free to add more (or better) ideas ;)

Edit: There's one theoretical option I forgot to mention; of course 'image.module' could simply cease to exist with D6. The D6 version would "simply" receive mechanisms to migrate Image nodes etc. into CCK/Filefield/Imagefield/Imagecache nodes on D6 and leave the upgrade woes to the migration paths of those modules. Those "mechanisms" would go into a new sub-module which requires a number of module version updates, and those would trigger the attention as well of those using the module "as is" on D6 as of those trying to migrate to CCK via batch scripts. All data migration would happen in D6, and after the data has moved to CCK, 'Image' module's work would be done.

joachim’s picture

> A Panel about "The Future of Image Module" also would have been nice,

I doubt that would ever get selected for a DrupalCon. We have to be realistic: image module is antiquated now.

> might not even be aware what modules he/she is using

Yup, I think that's going to describe a lot of users of this module.

joachim’s picture

Ok, done.

But I can't get it to show on the project page.

@sun: might this be because I don't have the input format rights you do on wysiwyg?

joachim’s picture

I've requested the Full HTML role.

In the meantime, anyone wanting to publicize this (and I can't stress enough that this whole thing will need banner wavers; I don't have time to code AND do PR), the ChipIn page is here:

sun’s picture

Wysiwyg uses a static image that's attached to a d.o issue. The image just links to the actual ChipIn.

joachim’s picture

I've requested the HTML filter permission that's now on for that :)

joachim’s picture

Well it's been over a week and we have a massive 1 dollar.

In case I didn't make it clear enough, I am relying on other people to spread the word on this.

klonos’s picture

Well, despite the fact that the ChipIn campaign is not looking good at all (only $46 at the time of writing), the users of the module went from 70k to 90k! I updated the issue summary.

halftone’s picture

As one of the 90,000 - and I suspect I speak for a significant number of others - I'm sorry to say Drupal's image handling has evolved to be utterly incomprehensible to mere mortals. I was with it from 4.3, then 5 was fine, but 6 was so complex, confusing and disconnected from what went before that I have never managed to recover from it. I wrote about that at in 2011. I've pretty much given up now. Every now and again - like today - I spend another 10 hours and fail to get anywhere. Galleries are still a total muddle of disorder, Lightbox doesn't want to know about the essential text, taxonomy jumps around between terms. D7 is a place I shall never get to because I'm still struggling and failing with migrating 5 to 6.

joachim’s picture

Huh. ChipIn has been discontinued anyway!

At any rate. Drupal's handling of media has got more complex, because it's also got more powerful. Image D5/D6 was fine if you wanted to do exactly what Image did for you, but one size does not fit all.

I agree that the new stuff is a bit of a shock, but I can report that I used Media module for a site build for the first time last month, and it's working pretty nicely.

What we're missing though is out-of-the-box components such as galleries. The sensible thing would be for these to exist as modules that build on top of Media, to either provide things like Views and configuration, or a more task-specific UI.

Of course, things like that will only come about when projects require those things. And often, projects require things that are too specific to be shared back. Furthermore, a single project probably isn't going to shell out budget on developers making a generic gallery system, when one can be whipped up from components by experienced developers. Which I am afraid leaves the non-coding site builders in the dark -- same problem as with teh D6-D7 upgrade.

If someone can find an alternative to ChipIn, I'll be happy to stick that up on the project page, but I am honestly not very hopeful of it ever producing very much. The ChipIn produced something like $50 or so (I'd have to check my paypal account), which really isn't enough to fund any kind of meaningful work.

Perhaps site builders who want the upgrade and D7 functionality should club together more formally, to hire developers to undertake the work. But I get the feeling that most of the 90k sites are small, low-budget affairs. Maybe something like Kickstarter could be explored, but we'd need way more than the dozen or so voices that are here, so again, I don't have high hopes.

joachim’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

- usage changed from 70,000 users to 90,000 ;)
- also made these numbers links pointing to the module's usage stats.

klonos’s picture

...well, since February 2013 when I posted #12 the project's usage dropped to ~55.000 (I updated the issue summary with this current approximate number). I guess old D5/D6 sites that were either upgraded to D7 (and therefore must have found and used some other solution for their needs) or some of them might have gone offline.

I propose that we close this one as a duplicate of #513096: The Future of Image in Drupal 7 and openly suggest (even on the project page) that people should use some other solution for D7 and forth like Media and/or one of the many already available gallery projects.

PS: I also updated the issue summary about the ChipIn shut-down.

klonos’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

...usage update + note on ChipIn shut-down.

joachim’s picture

Title: ChipIn for an upgrade to D7 » Crowd funding for an upgrade to D7
Issue summary: View changes

Is there anything else that's similar that we can use?

halftone’s picture

Several according to this page. PitchInBox sounds pretty much identical.

joachim’s picture

Thanks! I'll get that set up!