Archived poll results:

  • Documentation (81 votes)
  • Features and Modules (55 votes)
  • Speed (24 votes)
  • Themes (45 votes)
  • Other (please comment) (15 votes)
  • What Improvements? (18 votes)

Comments

moshe weitzman’s picture

We need more people (myself included) to talk about Drupal more on other sites, lists etc. I'm getting a bit worn out seeing Moveable Type and PostNuke mentioned everywhere (those are great apps too).

joe lombardo’s picture

I agree. In fact, I've finally bought an ad at k5. My goals were multi-part, one, congratulate the team on good work, two, promote drupal, three donate money to k5. At this point the ad has generated 63 click throughs.

Quick thoughts - (a short vacation starts in 5 min!)

We could start an ad campaign and buy ads on other blogging sites such as daypop.

We could start a press campaign and appeal to bloggers directly. Send them our press release, invite them to interview Dries or Kjartan, offer functional walkthroughs.

Other thoughts?


Joe Lombardo | joe@familytimes.com | My Blog |

Joe Lombardo | Drupal Services: Community-Publishing.net | FamilyTimes Online Journals
Anonymous’s picture

Freedom is best
I don't know how to put it any clearer. I'm currently on the lookout for an alternative to MT because I cannot trust software I can never own. Our current content management systems have all, eventually, migrated from their founding software, and that is a good thing; some of our patches went back into the original, some did not, but the point is, everyone was happy. With MT, if they change the rules (the way MetaDot did) we're screwed. I don't want to go through that again.
MT is only free-beer, it is not free speech, and Drupal, so far as I can tell, does almost everything MT can do, and does it in the spirit of free software.
Getting the word out is difficult; I have only used drupal, so I'm not yet up to speed with the code to gage how hard it's going to be to get caught up, but I would hope that by getting known to the same people who follow Lawrence Lessig debates, you could win some influential friends. The first thing Drupal needs is influential friends Only local images are allowed.
Some other things that would help:

  • A home-base site easier to follow than the drupal.org threaded discussions; maybe this is just a case of finding someone with the talent to put a facelift on the site, but MT has an award-winning designer that makes the site look like it means business, and their CSS is nothing short of amazing in its simplicity to excellent effect.
  • A hosting site where people can get in on Drupal-based blogging with zero knowledge of how to set it up. If we can find a sponsor, I have "virtual shared servers" available to me for about $80US/month, a whole lot cheaper than co-loc servers, and they are well connected and Linux-based.
  • Implement all of the RPC methods, not just blogger; in the very near future, many tools, including MSOffice and OpenOffice, will have the ability to connect, but it's not yet clear who's standard will be the standard.
  • TrackBack and Pings on a per-blog basis ... people blog to get a sense of how they fit in a community and these two features, while under utilized now, will soon become hot commodities. Best to be there before the tsunmi happens.

There are others too, but that's just something to get the discussion rolling; it's a lull economy right now, so now's the time to get idle programmers and designers working for freedom by contributing to completing Drupal. Drupal has one very unfortunate disadvantage in being PHP based (because PHP takes extra work to install, many webhosts won't) so that's a hurdle to be overcome -- maybe a FAQ page that talks about the new Zend Accellerator and recommends webhosts who are PHP-friendly (like Superb.net)
One last thought: Blogging is mostly geeks and journalists today, but by the end of next week Only local images are allowed. it could be your grandmother too. To make that happen, we have to drop stuff like the "allowed HTML" below this edit window: We don't want to get in the way of the power user, but the novice needs to find an interface that is non-threatening. I propose a toggle button to allow posting in WikiText: This one change alone, which no other blog software has yet considered, could turn the tide for the 90% non-geek audience to consider Drupal-based blogs over the others.
So ... comments?

Anonymous’s picture

I should add that MT is not exactly Free-Beer: The free license forbids use by journalists (because they are paid to write and the blog supports their occupation) or by anyone who "makes more than $1000/month" (their words, not mine). Anyone in any commercial (or government) environment must pay the $150, and it's not clear if that is a one-time fee or if it's $150 for every upgrade; it's still way too much especially when the future of the software is uncertain (they could change their minds at any time because they retain all copyright to it. (maybe you should do the Right Thing

kika’s picture

Great writeup! Just some comments

- Trackback is already implemented in node-level. It can be found here.

- Blogger API sever is done, but Blogger client is under development - allowing posting to other Blogger-compliant sites.
Other RPC methods? Wasabii has been under discussion, but no implementations. Same goes to MetaWeblog.

- Ping per-blog basis? This means each blog can notify weblogs.com indiependently? Good idea.

- WikiText. Also under discussion, framework is there (drupal filter system). No implementations yet.

- Drupal.org layout and standard themes. Yes, this hurts bad. Drupal do have artistic talent in community, but mostly these guys are badly out of time (day-jobs etc). Not that we don't see it - we have to watch it every day, damit Only local images are allowed.

- Regarding "Allowable HTML" - this is just a tip of the iceberg. Drupal has strong "geek" roots and usability and user-friendliness is a major issue. Lot of work must be done to improve this.

Anonymous’s picture

Sorry for posting anonymously; I have to keep my political alignments under wraps for just a bit -- I want to see a GPL blog-engine succeed, but I want to be careful not to jump to conclusions Only local images are allowed.

Thanks for those clarifications; it does certainly look promising. One other critical issue that needs to be considered before anyone starts putting out press releases: We need the means to convert people's data. Since MT is a target audience, we need a migration path to turn MT data into Drupal data. Blogger is ok, but as you note in the docs, the spec is too weak to describe either MT or Drupal posts.

On the subject of design: Check out this story on the new Wired re-design --- IMHO, the frontpage of Drupal should deal exclusively with "why you should be using Drupal" issues like this one. As geeks, the whole notion of standards-based design should have ultimate appeal Only local images are allowed.

Drupal has strong "geek" roots and usability and user-friendliness is a major issue.

this is a very disconcerting statement, mostly because it is apparently true. What's most disconcerting is that it is not true: A true engineer sees human factors as the core of the challenge, not as the annoying afterthought. As a proof of concept we're allowed to require chickenwire and gum (and elbow grease) to make it work but let's wake up to facts: Blogs are no longer "proof of concept" things, they are fast becoming mainstream, and unless the engineers on Drupal take up the "let's put a man on the moon" challenge, the project is doomed to fizzle when the current crop of 'geeks' grows old enough to have other things to do in life.

I don't mean to be mean, just bluntly critical: I myself once upon a time rolled my own technology and was so proud of it, but slowly (and reluctantly) realized I was deluding myself; it's not better if only I can use it, it's narcissism. yeah it was totally under my control, but what's the use if it's of no use to anyone but me? That question must be core to whether Drupal wants to succeed MT as the GPL-triumph, or if it's better to place the bets on someone else....

Is there a Drupal job-jar? A place where you can list the features which have been decided as desireable and include recommended priorities, show the people subscribed to each and the progress? I know opensource cannot force anyone to work on something dull, but if there was a list that says where we want to be and how far we are from it, maybe that would inspire people to keep a focus, kind of like those charity fundraising thermometer signs showing the donations to date vs the campaign target. I don't know, it's just an idea.

kika’s picture

I don't consider myself as a geek, I'm a professional graphic designer, but you know, communities like Drupal gather together freely, there's no resumes, so people involved are very different. There are programmers, computer artists, information architects etc etc. Everyone has a bit different view (on usability).
Those who make noise (even better, update documentation or send patches Only local images are allowed. will be heard. Simple as that.

> Is there a Drupal job-jar?

We have a feature/bug tracker, project.module

http://www.drupal.org/module.php?mod=project&pid=1

Let us know what needs improvement there.

jibbajabba@iaslash.org’s picture

Kika's points are right on. This is a community driven tool. Modifications to modules have come through communnity discussion, agreement, and a few great programmers pounding out the code. I first started sitting in on the discussion before v.4 came out and was so impressed by how the discussion led to concrete solutions. I was mainly interested in Taxonomy and Search development.

So if you are interested in helping this tool evolve, I would say, please do so and help make this thing better in any way you can. I'm an information architect -- not a technical person -- and I think people in this community have really listened to my questions and suggestions and we've helped each other mold them into some serious improvements to Drupal. If we add more experienced voices to these discussions of Drupal then it can only get better.

Anonymous’s picture

is there an IRC channel for drupal on openprojects or somewhere?

There is one issue I just found that is core and critical, and is not something one can just do on one's own because it will affect every Drupal site out there: BasicTheme freely mixes layout and markup with structure, making it impossible to seperate the two; there's precious few browsers out there that don't do stylesheets, and based on the news out of Wired today, CSS is the only viable way to do the themes in Drupal, but to do so means ripping BasicTheme apart.

Since I need it if I'm going to use this thing, I'm going to take a shot at it and try to maintain backward compatibility. The second thing I need is to be able to give different blogs their own basic stylesheet and page template, but before I can even think of that, Drupal has to have a clear division between content, the model and the views.

Anonymous’s picture

On second thought, it should be possible to subclass BasicTheme to create a new CSSTheme that has no layout detail in it....

cczona’s picture

Anonymous said: IMHO, the frontpage of Drupal should deal exclusively with "why you should be using Drupal" issues like this one.

jibbajabba@iaslash.org said: The home page The Drupal is so community oriented that user blogs get promoted to the home page. In some sense that is a good thing. But to people coming to the site for the first time, the home page is very techy feeling because of the blog entries surfaced on it and I think that might scare people a bit.

Hmm. What if there were in effect two "home pages" for Drupal.org?

  1. For those not logged in, the home page would be that "why you should be using Drupal" page. Feature list, screenshots, demo sites, user testimonials, etc. The emphasis is on marketing-oriented phrasing, and very simple and inviting design.
  2. Once someone registers, assume they've been convinced of Drupal's benefits. So replace that "marketing" home page with the standard news-oriented one (containing a link to the marketing-oriented node in case they want to access that again too).
moshe weitzman’s picture

I like this approach a lot. It meets the needs of two very different audiences

Dries’s picture

Can we discuss some of this on the drupal-user@drupal.org mailing list (and translate some of this to code and/or writing)? :-)

cczona’s picture

Sure. I'll subscribe and start a new thread for it.

jibbajabba@iaslash.org’s picture

Compared to MT
I think you've made some excellent observations and suggestions here. I've been using MT extensively for a few sites and have been so impressed and flabbergasted at how hugely popular it has become. I think the reasons MT has gotten are those you pointed out -- influential people (esp. in the San Francisco variety webloggers), a superb site controlled by the developers and a clean professional look, ridiculously easy installation. Social network building features like trackback help immensely as well.

The Drupal.org site does not promote the right image for Drupal in my opinion. I think one place where MT gets this right is by only surfacing the essential information on their front page -- the information that helps users to:

  • find out what MT is
  • get people started using MT
  • showcase examples of MT in action

I don't know that Drupal is the right tool for most bloggers -- the features are really best suited to community blogging -- so I don't think Drupal can compete with MT. MT is just too easy to install and use and has far too many installed users already. However, I think Drupal does need to show a better face to the world and promote itself and its powerful features better -- there really are excellent features available in Drupal that MT does not have, like news aggregation, public user registration and user blogging. I also think we have to start focusing on making the current version of Drupal easier to install and administer.

The home page
The Drupal is so community oriented that user blogs get promoted to the home page. In some sense that is a good thing. But to people coming to the site for the first time, the home page is very techy feeling because of the blog entries surfaced on it and I think that might scare people a bit. I agree that a top notch designer needs to be recruited to work on the identity of Drupal. The Drop logo looks too much like that alien image and feels too non-serious. And someone has to take a serious look at the documentation and suggest how to get it to be easier to digest. Any technical writers out there?

Target serious CMS needs
In the past I have discussed the possibility of changing the story structure to support the Dublin Core Metadata element set because I think that a lot of organizations would love to have a CMS that has a rich metadata structure. I actually put together a framework for this at one point and asked if anyone could help towards this, but this got put on the backburner I think. Drupal's taxonomy module is so ripe for exploitation by small organizations needing a real CMS that doesn't cost much and isn't hard to implement.

Social networking
Yaywastaken referrers are already huge with bloggers and trackback is getting to be popular. Give users a way to enable these features in the base installation of Drupal.

Ease of use
Make it easier to use Drupal. Someone needs to take a better look at how MT designed their admin interface. It is so excellent and has been usability tested. I can tell you that the admin face of Drupal would turn non-technical people away in a second if they saw it.

I'm sorry for ranting on. I love using Drupal and want to see it get the props it deserves. I'm sure most of the Drupal development team is more interested in developing than in talking about how to make it more likeable to the uninitiated, but I think people are missing how much better Drupal is than some of their options out there.

Anonymous’s picture

There's another reason why the serious contenders would be turned away from Drupal: it fails to meet the basic MVC pattern, and that traps it into always requiring PHP skills to make even minute changes to the presentation. We already know that geeks are not very good at presentation Only local images are allowed. so we should not be placing any of that burden in the developer hands.

Every serious site has content writers, layout artists and coders, and the price goes up with each stage. With Drupal, because the "theme" is a class that emits sections of page scattered throughout the other code, it's difficult for a designer to determine the look/usability of those components; they must enlist a PHP coder, and that means they can't experiment.

This goes right to the very core of Drupal (IMHO a fatal mistake) -- the core loop should be $context->render() and not $theme->header(). See the difference? The first is a model that gets viewed, the second is an expression of layout. An excellent example of the MVC model for websites is the Apache Jakarta 'Turbine' project where even minute page sub-components are template-driven, and each is rendered within the context hashtable of settings and values.

MT is entirely template driven: end-users can define the main page, archive pages (month/category) and individual page templates where they can freely place components, plugin outputs or any other little snip of javascript they've culled from the net; they don't even know the base system is Perl. Completely seperate from that, those with design skills have a site-wide and a per-user CSS stylesheet they can tweak or swap; their templates only say what goes into a page and in what general order, it's the CSS that determines exact placements, fonts, colours, backgrounds and outlines.

Switching Drupal to MVC is a core architectural change. Themes should be entirely end-user space stuff; PHP could be used, but not required. Components, like blogs, stories or whatever, are defined by modules that simply add tags to the context space that renders the master template for that type of page; in MT, a plugin adds to a hashtable giving the tag symbol and a function to be called, with all the attributes of that tag passed in as the function parameters. That's completely inside-out to how Drupal works, but without that change, Drupal cannot (by its design) spread to use very far beyond those few people who know PHP.

There's a lot of very excellent and innovative design ideas in Drupal. It's frustrating because no other products have those ideas (shared logins, blog+story+vocab...) but in the present package, it has a very limited audience. At the very least, a change to MVC would constitute a fork (which I might do anyway) or a version 5.0, but without it, from my experience with large commercial sites, Drupal is doomed to obsolescence because any site using it will either fail and vanish, or grow to the point where the weight of its operations will demand MVC, and that will cause them to abandon it. Without MVC, it looks like a no-win for Drupal.

Anonymous’s picture

Some links about theme system discussion (its is not MVC yet, just some ideas):
http://mail.zind.net/pipermail/drupal-devel/2002-August/010165.html
http://mail.zind.net/pipermail/drupal-devel/2002-August/010179.html

I agree on you points, but please, don't go for a fork, better help Drupal toward's 5.0 release Only local images are allowed.

Kika

killes@www.drop.org’s picture

kika’s picture

http://ootips.org/mvc-pattern.html

Google is your friend Only local images are allowed.

Anonymous’s picture

- Blogs in home page
Agreed - they don't deserve such a prominent place, a list of links in column is more than enough. Main news shoud be announcement-type, promoted (and usually writed) by admins.

- Drupal logo
Now, this hurts! :-/ We have been through Drupal logo discussion about a year ago, a work mostly done by Steven Wittens (unconed). My sketches were rejected as "too serious" or "corporate looking" (damn, I have lost them somewhere, gotta dig my HD). Anyways, no hard feelings about that, choosing a "hackerish" an "drupal-has-to-be-fun" logo was a community decision at that time.

Now, year later I think most parties have agreed that Drupal is far beyond geeky hobby-project and *could* be a noteworthy contender in low-end CMS arena. The code is serious, but the presentation packacke is not. It's time to a new image. An this time, it has to be serious.

I think all the comments added here in the tread can be summarized as: Drupal has to grow up

Now, let's get past the words.

- Anybody up to a serious usability testing?
Jibbajabba, what about these Drupal admin usability test's we talked about in the list? Only local images are allowed.

- Anybody good in marketing-speak, rewriting a "About Drupal" portion of this site? Drupal 4 press release might be a good start.

- Drupal new theme. Let's gather all the people in the community who has that artistic touch. Jibbajabba, mind to spear some time to help (maybe some old IA skins as leftovers ? Only local images are allowed. Steven? Myself? Any professionals with a secret passion to Drupal?

Kika -- Kristjan Jansen

jibbajabba@iaslash.org’s picture

Kika,

I would definitely be up to giving a little time to Drupal.

RE: Usability.
Usability testing is actually not something I do in my work, just something I participate in. It's also not something I enjoy because of the time involved. If pushed, however, I can set up a usability testing plan and try to get some people to test for us.

Something I would like to do, however, that might take less time and resources is a heuristic analysis/evaluation -- generally a report using a handful of key points that the site is evaluated against to evaluate the usability of interaction and interface elements.

RE: Themes.
I'm finishing a pro-bono project that I did site development on -- PHP, XHTML and CSS -- and could leverage the XHTML/CSS layout I did for that site. I'm using it on iaslash now. It's very minimal in design. I could elicit comments about what we want to see in the design and do some design comps for our review.

RE: Logo
I'd like to see what the more serious logos look like. I don't think the current logo needs to be discarded. Maybe it can just be made a little more serious. The text is what bothers me most. I love, however, the little black drop icon. A lot could be done with that. I could try some ideas as well if people want to pursue that at all.

Let me know what you think of the above. I agree that Drupal could grow up, although it doesn't have to. I think the fear, as someone has pointed out is becoming obsolete or not used.

jibbajabba@iaslash.org’s picture

Does everyone think that Drupal has to grow up? One of the things about community efforts without well defined leadership is that I'm never sure if the loudest voices reflect the opinions of the community.

There are a few big questions for me before deciding about all of this -- usability of the admin interface, usability of theme creation, content, IA and usability of the Drupal home page.

Who do you want to target as the audience for Drupal.

Who are the secondary audiences you think might benefit from Drupal who might not be primary targets?

I think these questions should drive the design/functionality criteria for a) the application and b) the web site describing the application to prospective users (admins). You can describes personas -- user archetypes -- to help you decide along the way if the work you are doing continues to be relevant to these users. I just think if people want to Drupal to get more serious, there should be some agreement first, and then these questions might be considered to start if/when there is some agreement that this is the right direction. Then I think a plan needs to be defined to get moving.

Dries’s picture

But shouldn't we improve/optimize usability regardless what audience we want to target? Even with a well-defined target audience, we can't get away with poor usability. That's the situation we're in ... Only local images are allowed.

I agree that we should try to put in words what Drupal's target audience is, and that we should expand our mission statement to that extend. Anyone who wants to organize such discussion in a separate thread, and willing to summarize the results in one or two lines that we can add to our mission statement? (Joe did something similar to compile the mission statement. Still around Joe?)

Either way, I think we target both small (personal websites like rc6.org and natrak.net) and big sites (community websites like KernelTrap and Debian Planet). We'll want to make a distinction between site owners/administrators and site users/visitors. To date, the vast majority of Drupal administrators tend to value configurability, flexibility, fine-grained control and extensibility (through modularity). That is not to say they should be tech-wizzards or experts. As for users and visitors; simplicity is key.

So far my preliminary thoughts.

jibbajabba@iaslash.org’s picture

Thanks, Dries. I think it's a great idea to revisit the mission. Joe?

Your thinking is helping answer my question actually. I can use these to come up with tasks for a usability testing plan and to drive my heuristic evaluation -- which I will do very soon. I think usability is on 2 ends: 1) Front-end, the public facing site 2) back end, the administrative view concerned with a) installation, b) configuration, c) administration and maintenance. This neeeds to be taken onto the list I think or moved into a separate area off this thread, but I'll start discussion here and then move this to a new thread:

ADMINISTRATORS
What I hear you saying is that administrators tend to want the flexibility and control of Drupal, but that they don't need to be programmers expert with Drupal's code (sounds like me!) to benefit from Drupal's modularity, to extend the functionalities of their site. At a minimum, these people need some familiarity with PHP and MySQL. Experts may benefit to a greater extent by being able to customize functionalities by way of modules. So that's 2 personas:

1) administrators with some PHP/MySQL abilities/familiarity
2) expert administrators with PHP/MySQL fluency

Then there are back-end users/moderators of Drupal who might be given access to the administrative functions, but who should not need any experience with Drupal, PHP, MySQL in order to perform administrative functions. This is persona 3.

3) moderators with no requisite technical experience in Drupal, PHP, MySQL

USERS
Finally there are the users. I think we can probably determine 2 user personas if we're going to test the usability of Drupal interface on the front end.

1) Novice users with web experience, but no experience customizing and submitting content to community weblog sites
2) Expert users familiar with Drupal or Slash-like sites and customization features

teamonkey’s picture

We really need some pgsql administrators and users too!

[teamonkey]

[teamonkey]

Dries’s picture

Bribe some of your friends into it? Only local images are allowed.

Dries’s picture

I think usability is on 2 ends: 1) Front-end, the public facing site 2) back end, the administrative view concerned with a) installation, b) configuration, c) administration and maintenance.

Exactly. That was the point I was trying to make by setting apart administrators and normal visitors. In essence, we have two audiences. Below, I'll talk about administrators only.

What I hear you saying is that administrators tend to want the flexibility and control of Drupal, but that they don't need to be programmers expert with Drupal's code (sounds like me!) to benefit from Drupal's modularity, to extend the functionalities of their site.

Well, yes, I would *think* Drupal administrators tend to value the fact they can control nearly every aspect of their website (flexibility and configurability) as well as the fact they can extend their website as they go (extensibility). Of course, I might be completely off.

However, I do not think they should be familiar with either PHP or MySQL. Of course, when installing Drupal from scratch one has to be able to create an empty database guided by the installation instructions. Also, some features, such as Drupal's PHP blocks can only be used by those with some knowledge of PHP. That aside, PHP knowledge is certainly no requirement.

Drupal should be the tool of choice for both the power user that wants to maximize its site's performance or that is after a modest CMS and the average website hobbyist that isn't afraid to call things by their name. That is, technical jargon such as taxonomy should not necessarily be a problem when explained in friendly terms.

In other words; we should not only accommodate website junkies or programmers; basic knowledge about websites and some willingness to learn should be enough to get people started with Drupal. Terminology such as "themes", "forums", "comments", "content syndication", and "user permissions" should not make them panic or scream for help. Anyone who has spent some time on slashdot.org or kuro5hin.org, or who has spent some time reading and participating on a weblog or community website, should be able to install, configure and use Drupal.

As such, Drupal's UI should be intuitive and consistent. Administration overhead should be minimal. People should not get confused or frustrated by the interface. We should make it as simple as possible, but not simpler ...

Also note that I'm not interested in gaining a larger user base. I'm interested in making Drupal easier to use and understand.

All of the above reflects my *personal* view, of course. I think it is in line with your proposal so I'd love nothing more than to see it develop.

Dries’s picture

Well, yes, I would *think* Drupal administrators tend to value the fact they can control nearly every aspect of their website (flexibility and configurability) as well as the fact they can extend their website as they go (extensibility). Of course, I might be completely off.

I've just setup a new poll to figure out what people like most.

[Update (2 days later): looks like I was completely off. At the time of this writing, there has been 30 votes with only one vote for "excessive configuration options". The majority seems to value Drupal's modularity though.]

Anonymous’s picture

howdy--i just installed & started using drupal about 2 days ago, as an open source alternative to MT. i'm really digging it...

---
One of the things about community efforts without well defined leadership is that I'm never sure if the loudest voices reflect the opinions of the community.
---

i'm kinda speaking as an "outsider". i agree with all the above points..when i got to the site, it definitely has an "OSS" look about it...i.e. "we're coders dangit not designers". i think drupal deserves better, 'cos it has the ability to kick MT's butt (in a friendly competition sense : ). i think that the use of drupal isn't necessarily the same as MT though, in that there's more to it, although it could be positioned properly as an alternative to MT. (that's how i found it anyway, from a post on urlgreyhot.com)

anyway that's my 2 cents, i'm not usually a "loud voice", and i generally don't think about this kind of thing but since you brought it up i'm like "yeah true, the site could look a little more 'classy'".

j.

Anonymous’s picture

As for the homepage, would it help to (a) close all user blogs - or at least to disable community-driven promotion, and as such (b) to move all discussion to the forums? The main page would only feature carefully choosen stories.

(That is how things were setup in first place but a few people objected against this.)

jibbajabba@iaslash.org’s picture

I think this makes sense, but I'm not sure why it was important on drupal.org to surface the user blogs to the front page. I think the front page should show an overview of what's important for new users to find.

heather’s picture

I am one of those script-level designer types who couldn't code their way out of a paper-bag, and i am using MT to build a site for a not-for-profit of a bunch of (lovely) luddites. ( here if yr curious ) We find MT very easy on the back-end, I must say.

Drupal could be improved by having the option of a high-level admin who has more control over the display of content, and creation of templates (as in MT)... I am glad there is a Smarty Templates Theme, but I am struggling with trying to remove unnecc. tables from the code (adapting to a CSS layout), and it's a bit tricky.

You mention about 'allowed HTML tags' ... why not offer 'select and add tags' like a javascript button with (B) or (I) or (U) which prompts or places tags in the text would be very cool. (as in MT Entry Edit screen)

But there are ways that Drupal is better, in terms of the open-management of content. Parts of the 'community' aspect should be played up with the User Profiles being searchable, and indexable... it could make a great community space. (MT does not have this at all, but it is growing with MT Author tags, as people realize they need group blogging capabilities)

I'd really like to get my head around Drupal, I do think it is very close to what I need. I am sorry that I am not skilled enough to implement or add to the software. Maybe I feel you have to be a bit of a guru to manipulate it?

- Learn best practices in Acquia's Drupal training http://training.acquia.com/
- Tips on Giving effective feedback in the forums

cczona’s picture

A hosting site where people can get in on Drupal-based blogging with zero knowledge of how to set it up. If we can find a sponsor, I have "virtual shared servers" available to me for about $80US/month, a whole lot cheaper than co-loc servers, and they are well connected and Linux-based.

Yes. MT, LiveJournal, and Blogger have shown that hosting not only helps users and builds public awareness of the software, but that there may be business value in hosting a Drupal blogging community. What kind of capacity is available to you with that shared hosting package? Because it's possible to get dedicated hosting for similar cost ($89/mo.). (Disclaimer: except for having done a class "consulting" project for the company last year, I am not affiliated with them.)

There are also specialist companies emerging with specializations in hosting blogs (ex. logjamming) or setting them up. That position as "expert" advisors to end users makes them another group of "influential friends". Those folks need to be educated about Drupal's existance, its feature set and how that compares with the usual suspects (esp. Blogger and MT), installation procedures (especially in a shared hosting environment), etc. Much of this info is already available, but there's room for further improvement, for instance by designating a page to gather all that info conveniently together, by preparing slides that help business users "sell" their supervisors on Drupal, etc.

Has anyone from the project team been presenting at conferences? I notice that Rasmus and co. are very pro-active about evangelising for PHP by presenting regularly at conferences and user groups around the world. Obviously conferences are no small expense, but perhaps the suggestions in this thread have made the case that it's time to start developing a funding base (assuming it doesn't exist already...) to help propel Drupal's marketing and development to the next level.

Anonymous’s picture

...but PostgreSQL support (with transactions and foreign key constraints) would be really nice.

moshe weitzman’s picture

the postgres port may have some bugs in it due to lack of maintainence. but it was working well not that long ago, so i expect the bugs to be easy to fix.

please post on the devel list those problems which you encounter and we'll update the code accordingly.

other databases supported by PEAR should work as well.

Anonymous’s picture

Might I recommend just a few simple comparison sheets kept relatively up to date comparing Drupal with others. My real problem in selecting a system to use (MoveableType, Drupal, GreyMatter, etc.) is simply knowing which one suits my needs best.

joe lombardo’s picture

Maybe we could make a collaborative book page for this. That way others can add features and help keep it up to date. Project members of the other apps might even choose to update it Only local images are allowed.

Since you are shopping now and will be most familiar with the current features of the competition, would you mind making the first pass at such a page?

If you are not sure how to do it I can help.

UPDATE: I've created the page. It needs data! Please contribute Only local images are allowed.

- Joe


Joe Lombardo | joe@familytimes.com | My Blog |

Joe Lombardo | Drupal Services: Community-Publishing.net | FamilyTimes Online Journals
Anonymous’s picture

I'm new to Drupal, but from your page it looks like the only two "competitors" are Movable Type and Scoop. But what about Postnuke and the tons of other web systems?

Here's a list I think of off the top of my head...

PostNuke (& PhpNuke)
Slash
Blogger
GreyMatter
PhpSlice

btw, in case anyone cares, I first learned of Drupal from DebianPlanet.org which recently switched from PhpNuke (still not sure why they didn't just go to PostNuke). You'll probably get other people coming from there. Hopefully someone will make a Debian package out of Drupal and I will be able to "apt-get install" it.

Anonymous’s picture

remco@rc6.org’s picture

There's an excellent blog comparison site at urldir.com.

I've already emailed the guy with the request to add Drupal to the site, so expect that to be done RSN (tm).

UltraPhase’s picture

They've added Drupal. Compares well.

polaar@www.drop.org’s picture

- Blogger api and ip banning are marked as not supported: I thought Drupal did support these? (I guess blogger api would also mean post via desktop etc?)

- Archiving: according to the list, Drupal only supports daily archiving (no weekly, montly, individual entry, per category or per author archiving). I guess because Drupal uses a database (as opposed to some other tools) n/a would be more appropriate, but it kind of gives the wrong impression. Maybe this is because the "Archives" search only allows you to enter a specific day? (anyway, if you have to choose one, I think individual entry archiving would be the most correct one?)

- Alternating post colors: I guess this could be done with a theme?

- what exactly are remote templates?

Anonymous’s picture

In a nutshell, what is drupal? And what are examples of its implementation?

joe lombardo’s picture

I think of it as a community publishing system. However it can be deployed as simply a weblog tool, or a content management system. The modular design of the application makes it hard to pin down.

To see sample sites, click the link at the top of this page labeled "drupal sites", or look at www.drop.org.


Joe Lombardo | joe@familytimes.com | My Blog |

Joe Lombardo | Drupal Services: Community-Publishing.net | FamilyTimes Online Journals
Anonymous’s picture

1. Stories don't display on the front page until you're logged in. This has happened for my personal blog and a friend's drupal install where he's trying to use it at his work as a communication tool for the development team. I'm really hoping I'm just missing something here....

2. I haven't found a way to upgrade from v3. Again, hoping that I just have missed the crucial piece of documentation because this would be a huge problem for anyone with lots of content in v3.

But I do love it! And soon I'm hoping to put my coding where my mouth is, and pitch in (esp w/ documentation and admin UI).

polaar@www.drop.org’s picture

I think that to solve your first problem, you have to change the user permissions in the admin section and allow anonymous users to access content. If I remember correctly, they don't have the rights by default with a new install.

(Does this count as you just missing something?)

gene’s picture

thanks, i knew i had to be overlooking something... in this case it was not realizing that the sub-menu in User Management had the link I was looking for.

now if i can only find a script to get all my users and content into v4...

Kjartan’s picture

Change example.com to your site.

--
Kjartan

--
Kjartan
http://natrak.net/

gene’s picture

a mailing list member (you?) pointed this out to me when I asked earlier. My 'lil blog, CSOF.net is now version 4, hooray! (Now if I could just get added to the Drupal Sites page...)

The only issue I had with the update script was that username/logins didn't work. My users had to use the "New Password" link to generate a new password, then it worked fine.

Well, at least a few users had to do this. I didn't confirm that everyone had to. Once I figured out the bug and workaround I posted it on my front page.

Steven’s picture

The reason the password 'bug' happens is because we changed the method of encoding passwords in V4. In V3 we used the MySQL password() function, now we use MD5 which is more general and supported through PHP rather than the database itself.

--
If you have a problem, please search before posting a question.

gene@csof.net’s picture

I don't seem to be on the sites page anymore... I don't think I had any kiddy porn posted... what's the dealy-o?

Kobus’s picture

I voted "other" and needed to comment, so here goes:

I feel the thing I need most is response to queries. I have posted a few since I started following Drupal last year or the year before, and sometimes my question is halfway answered, or a work-around that is not really satisfactory was provided. And that at times a week after I posted it. I have also reported two bugs, and I noticed they are not listed in the bugs, and nobody commented on them, so I don't know what the status was on this, or whether it was only a problem on our site.

I know this is non-paid support, and I appreciate the effort, and I am not being nasty or anything, nor being negative, I am merely making the suggestion that we should try to answer requests no matter how small and try to do it fast. We were sitting with the same thing in ProjectX, and I thought we'd solve quite a few problems that way, and we did Only local images are allowed.

Thanks for all your hard work, you folks all contributed to a system that is very easy to install, even on a Windows platform. That takes some doing!

Congratulations! Only local images are allowed.

Kobus
www.projectx.mx.dk
(FolkLore)

-- Kobus Myburgh

http://www.impero.co.za

Anonymous’s picture

Is it safe to say that Drupal taxonomies are what the XML community would call the nodes of "Topic Maps"? ... if so, then here's something to ponder: All that is missing is the means to define relationships between taxonomy entries, and the means to import and export standard topic-map XML docs to describe them ....

tbecker’s picture

I was thinking along the same lines, though it looks to me that RDF, RDF-Schema or the new OWL format from the W3C might be better formats for import/export. I'm not sure which of these three would be most appropriate to use, but XTM doesn't seem to have much of a future.

Being able to just import an already-defined taxonomy and start using it would be a Good Thing, I think.

Dries’s picture

In short:

  • We need better separation between code and markup/layout: this is being worked on in Drupal CVS. Everything is in place; all it takes is one or two people to finish the remaining work. That is, to make more modules take advantage of this new mechanism. Ideally, this would be done once and for all by theme designers with some PHP background as they go along designing or updating Drupal themes. You don't have to be a PHP guru and you can easily feed this to the developers using small incremental patches.
  • We need to improve usability: for that to work, we need usability reviews, screenshots with notes/remarks, actual patches, scetches, and so on. There has been a lot of complaining about Drupal's usability. Fact is that everyone can help - not just programmers - but that so far only very few people managed to guide or assist the developers all the way to the end. Don't tell them this feature is impossible to administer but tell them it would be better if the UI would look like this, and if this happened when you click that. Be concrete and structured; try to talk their language. Anyone can help but should be willing to communicate back and forward with the developers. Only like that we can massage Drupal into a user friendlier tool.
  • We need better marketing material (feature lists, screenshot section) and a better image to the outside world. On drupal.org to start with. For this we need theme designers and people that are fluent in English, technical writing and marketing talk. Just make it, e-mail it and chances are we'd love nothing more than to put it online instantly.

Even shorter:

  • You all know what is wrong. You said it yourself, I read it in your comments. Now just help to get the work done. Communicate with the developers on the mailing list and bash them to dead till they have incorporated what you said.

-- Dries

Dries’s picture

kbennett@drupaled.org’s picture

I just spent the morning trying to get drupal to work on lycos.co.uk free webspace but no dice.
Postnuke works fine with only one smarty error in the forum

So it looks like although I like what I see of drupal I'll have to use postnuke.

If drupal can be used with a major free webspace provider like lycos you'd have a major battle won.

As the situation is the only people able to use drupal are those with paid hosting packages. These are one of three groups:
1) The serious/dedicated blooger
2) The organization with limited funds not able to afford other solutions and are willing to "take a chance".
3) Techie types

You either need to focus on the macro view and study the phpbb marketing strategy or go with mass appeal through making it possible to use on a free server like lycos. Then maybe you could get some comercial funding from lycos or their competitors to have drupal as an option for every free user. Imagine THAT.

sepeck’s picture

Please start a NEW thread and not resurrect one from 3 years ago. In the new thread inlcude DETAILS of WHY it did not work for you. Otherwise no one will be able to provide you will relevant advice.

-sp
---------
Test site...always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide

-Steven Peck
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide

kbennett@drupaled.org’s picture

1) If I had started a new thread some jerkoff would have posted something equally unhelpful like "this has been discussed before in another thread" - so get off my case.

2) No one was offering a free webspace with PHP and a MySQL database 3 years ago.
Now they're starting to. This trend will continue.

You want drupal to be a household name? Try to work something out with lycos.co.uk The discrepancies between drupal and that service has already been discussed in another thread I believe. Use the search function.

3) If this topic is dead then lock it.