WordPress is an open source weblogging platform. It’s the platform I use to manage this blog and the platform - with some modifications - that Global Voices runs on. It has a reputation for being very user friendly, but for having some underlying architectural problems that make it hard to scale. Drupal is an open source multi-purpose content management system designed for the support of complex websites with multiple authors. It has a reputation for being ludicriously flexible, ungodly powerful and far too complex for mere mortals to use.

From Ethan Zukerman's blog.

So, what's in a reputation? Is Drupal far too complex? What can we do to steal some of Wordpress's "user friendly" reputation? If you've used both, share your thoughts.

[sepeck: This thread is locked.]

Comments

robertDouglass’s picture

It [Drupal] is an all encompassing content management system. For that reason, it is extremely complex. You can do blogs, forums, plain sites, books, or articles with Drupal. I’ve noticed that the techie sites use it. It’s very cumbersome to customize and theme. Can you tell I don’t really care for it? It’s great if you are creating a mammoth site that requires a spectrum of functionality. Prepare to spend many hours understanding their lingo.

from TMTB Affiliate Marketing

- Robert Douglass

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my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

smallfluffykat’s picture

I'm always slighly amazed when people say the lingo is hard to pick up. I found taxanomy really intuitive and picked it up straight away. It's just like a filing system - like 'My Documents' is split into different folders like 'My music' and 'My Videos' and 'My Pictures' which are further split up into sub-folders. People categorise their 'My Documents' folder (or whatever it's called in your chosen OS) every day yet seem to find taxonomy really difficult for some reason.

::puzzled::

robertDouglass’s picture

And when it gets reduced to "categories" people don't tend to even suspect the true power behind the taxonomy system.

- Robert Douglass

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my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

smallfluffykat’s picture

True - but since some of the basic functonality is the same as what other blog users would call categories it seems easier when first starting out to think of them that way and then once you have a grip on the way you interract with Drupal you can make it more complicated. Maybe I'm being overly stereotypical here but if you are a typical wordpress user looking for just a blog maybe you don't really need to understand the advanced taxonomy usage at the beginning. My site is not really complex enough to warrant using Drupal but I like to learn new things and to be honest - advance taxonomy functions are nice but I don't really need them to post my blog or images in a readable way.

Maybe we should have a section in the handbook with something like 'I want a quick and dirty blog ASAP - how do I get that?' section. Or extending the idea, a matrix with modules down one axis and site types along the other and tick marks giving some guidance on typical setups.

Bèr Kessels’s picture

Never ever forget that fact!! Drupal can be used for blogging, yes, but it is by far not a blogging tool. So comparing it with such a tool as MT is like comparing a fax machine with a computer.
Using a fax is easy, since it has only one purpose and can thus be optimised to do that single tak very well. A computer can do anything, -virtually- including sending faxes. But that makes a computer hard to develop in a userfriendly way.

so do not say 'just rename yourkeyboard to "dialpad" so that those that know how to fax feel at home on a computer'. Dont say "categories are known by bloggers, just rename taxonomy to categories".

---
if you dont like the choices being made for you, you should start making your own.
---
[Bèr Kessels | Drupal services www.webschuur.com]

smallfluffykat’s picture

that we need to rename taxonomy to categories - the two are completely different things. I'm just saying that it would possibly help to have a 'drupal for dummies' section or something giving pointers about what a generic site should / could have in it. I'm saying that if it helps people to think of taxonomy as categories in the beginning that's great - once they can understand the difference (and I'm not sure I do either) they will have the 'wow' moment of 'It never ocurred to me it could do this!' Drupal I think puts people off right at the beginning because at times it seems too difficult to understand - even to people who know php or have experience with dealing with webserver issues. In that respect Drupal is probably not the best tool for most people for blogging because I suspect most people who blog just want a quick system to write their thoughts down. They don't want to struggle with trying to get a complex system to function. Of the ones that persevere I believe quite a few are happy with what they have and wouldn't consider using other stuff.

Maybe the ones that persevere like me are masochisitic? I don't mind beating my head against a brick wall for too long as long as I learn something interesting at the end. If all I was interested in was blogging - I would have gone with Wordpress and frankly my life isn't interesting enough for that.

killes@www.drop.org’s picture

We always welcome additions to our handbook.
--
Drupal services
My Drupal services

coupet’s picture

Agree!

Apache is bandwidth limited, PHP is CPU limited, and MySQL is memory limited.

roresteen’s picture

I've been looking for something like Drupal after getting my feet wet with WordPress. WordPress is great but even a novice like me understands its limitations.

Here's my wish: you Drupal Gods are like musician’s who can actually read and write music. Us dummies are the ones with good ideas for web sites or web apps, but can only "hum the tune". It would be nice to have a guide that hand holds in layman speak how to get the components of a Drupal based site up without spending 1,000 man hours learning everything. Not that I wouldn't personally mind studying Drupal and web API's - quite the contrary - I just have to go to work and take care of a family which consumes most of my time.

I would love to have a book that would help someone develop apps & sites using Drupal. I think it's important to have the basic concepts up and running then bring in a specialist to add functionality and design to cap off a project.

- Rob Oresteen

sepeck’s picture

http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/ibm/osource/implement.html

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

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

makopolok’s picture

fluffy go have your blog it will be fun :)

m

dsamuel’s picture

If all you want is a blog, and that is all you ever want your site to be, Drupal may not be your best choice. WordPress is easier to install, and is optimized for blogging. I am using WordPress on several of my sites, and find it very easy to get up and running.

The problem with a blogging-only option like WordPress is that it is hard to expand beyond a blogging tool.

I think Drupal might be a better choice as a blogging tool, if you are willing to put in the extra effort required to install it and set it up, and if you expect to expand beyond just blogging.

I have set up WordPress on several of my sites, including my travel information site. I now want to go beyond just blogging on that site. I am faced with either forcing WordPress to be something more than a blog (probably possible with the appropriate plugins) or converting to Drupal (lots of work required to transfer posts and comments, and make sure incoming links are routed to the new URLs).

On the other hand, I have started a website about allergies, using Drupal. I have not yet done much development on it, and most of the content is in blog format because it is easy to get started. However, when I get to really developing the site (which I will be doing very soon), it will be easy because I started out with Drupal.

In short, it pays to think ahead, but if the effort of setting up Drupal is holding you back (lets say you are not familiar with Drupal and just want to get started quickly), then installing something easy like WordPress is a pretty good option. Better still, if you know you want to move beyond blogging, just install Drupal, start with the built-in blogging tool, and worry about the details of getting it set up the way you want later.

------------------------
Partly Technical
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webjourneyman’s picture

There is no way around it that Drupal is not friendly to those who are just starting out in webdevelopement. For anyone who is not a developer there is ONE (1) category out of 20 in the forums were a confused newbie can ask questions and it is called "Post installation." A category that is so wide that it is in effect useless.

ravinggenius’s picture

That is a wonderful idea! Having a list of modules used to create a particular style of site would be most convenient.

jeb’s picture

The confusion with Taxonomy stems from the fact that Drupal uses several different terms to refer to taxonomy.

The module is called "taxonomy.module"
In the Admin screen UI calls it "Categories"
The admin url is "admin/taxonomy"
The database tables are called "terms_*"

And you wonder why people are confused??

peterx’s picture

I found that to use Drupal taxonomy for what I wanted, I had to add on a lot of modules and I could not find a combination that did 100% of what I needed. There was no roadmap to the right modules. When I downloaded 4.6.0, some of the useful modules were still hidden in 4.5.0. I did not find them when looking in the 4.6.0 modules list.

Even with all the taxonomy modules downloaded, I had to add lots of code in my theme. I could not choose the right taxonomy modules until I understood Drupal's taxonomy processing and I could not understand Drupal's taxonomy processing until I had the right taxonomy modules installed.

It was easier to take two menu modules and add a couple of lines of code to my theme.

Hosting Geek’s picture

I am sortof like a newbie here and I didn't know what the heck taxanomy was till I read that part of the handbook on it... at first thought it was a taxing system o.0 took me 1 week of browsing this site till I got to the page in the handbook about it... if you really want to become big STOP with the weird names....

Zach Harkey’s picture

Taxonomy is not some weird made up name.

There are better ways to deal with a word you aren't familiar with than to command people to "STOP" using them just because it takes you a week(!?) to find out what a word means. Drupal is a professional CMS building toolset. If the word taxonomy really took you a week to learn you're in the wrong place.

In all seriousness, you might have better luck with a more consumer oriented solution.

-zach
------------------------
harkey design

: z

eaton’s picture

The problem is not that people are confused by the WORD taxonomy. They're confused by the functionality.

Taxonomy is not 'keywords.' Taxonomy is not 'categories.' Taxonomy is not 'site structure.' It's a system for setting up all of those things, and any other classification system one finds necessary. Because experienced drupal users USE taxonomy for all of these tasks, we tend to answer, 'Oh, that's taxonomy' when someone asks about traditional blog management stuff. When they dig in, they find something bigger and more baffling than what they were expecting -- rightly so.

Perhaps what we need are modules that use the taxonomy API to expose simpler concepts that people are used to. A 'blog categories' module, for example, that provides a streamlined UI for editing a single taxonomy tree and moving posts between the different categories in bulk, would leverage taxonomy's flexibility nicely.

I'm not saying that Drupal's core needs this -- simply that a 'drupal for bloggers' style distro would almost certainly want to expose that kind of functionality.

robertDouglass’s picture

First you go and tell us what Drupal is (it's a CMSCK), now you've made it clear where the communication breakdown with the whole taxo business happens. You're right - you put your finger right on it. Good work - you should write more documentation - you're very good at it.

- Robert Douglass

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my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

Zach Harkey’s picture

I think the problem is that Drupal is not for bloggers, nor should it be. Bloggers should use WordPress or Movable Type. The sooner Drupal breaks with the blogger-as-target-audience mindset, and embraces its role as a professional (I believe you said it best, Eaton) "CMS construction kit", the better.

I think one of the biggest things hurting Drupal at this point, is that for some reason we feel like to survive we have to appeal directly to the average blogger type. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by narrowing our focus to professional web developers, complete with an unmistakable declaration of purpose on the home page (i.e. we need to lop off some limbs).

Then, if joe blogger figures out how to make it work, great, but they won't have any grounds for lamenting that "Drupal is too hard.." or "Drupal should be more like Wordpress..." because they are the ones trying to fit the square peg in a round hole.

As is the case in almost every market sector, the product that tries to appeal to all audiences ends up losing out across the board to specialized products that appeal to niche audiences. Adobe Photoshop is "The professional standard in digital imaging." The second they try to become accessible to the handicam crowd they will fall apart. The fact that Photoshop is a bitch to learn only boosts its reputation to its real audience.

God knows the world does not need another user-friendly blogging tool. What it needs is a Professional CMS Construction Kit.

-zach
------------------------
harkey design

: z

eaton’s picture

On one hand, I think you're right. I don't think that drupal will ever appeal to someone who has, say, a livejournal or a typepad account and posts their entries and has a blogroll and likes it that way. Even someone setting up their own 'custom' blog would certainly do well to look at something like MovableType or Wordpress.

The group that's really wanting/looking for something more, though, is people whose sites or "blogs" go beyong the capabilities of those dedicated packages. What if I want a blog, a set of static pages about my family and I, a downloads area with wallpaper I've created, a photo album from my vacation, and an organized link archive of all my favorite sites? Only one of those tasks -- maintaining and updating a set of daily entries -- is really 'blogging.' All the other tasks bleed into the hairy realm of CMS. Many blog packages offer plugin modules that support these capabilities, but I've worked with them -- it's square peg, round hole all the way.

An out of box drupal install Drupal, as it stands, appeals to NO specific market save people who enjoy configuring web apps. Its blogging tools are good, but sub-par compared to dedicated systems. Its forum software is far less advanced than systems like PHPBB, as we've all heard in many threads :) Its gallery support is OK, but underwhelming compared to stuff like Gallery2. But more and more, we are finding individuals and designers/developers who turn to drupal as the foundation for their complex, specialized sites.

I don't believe that the solution is to 'make Drupal act like Wordpress/MT/Blogging software of choice.' Rather, it's to be clear when we talk that starting wit Drupal core gives you amazingly powerful building blocks, not a completed house. Custom distros using the new Install system may be a huge benefit in that regard, because they may be able to bridge the gap between end users and the 'core.'

This issue applies not just to blogging, but to forum-centric community sites, media archives, calendar-driven groupware, and so on. None of those applications are well served by an out-of-box Drupal install, but Drupal makes putting together a powerful site in any of those categories FAR easier than many other tools.

I think we may be saying the same thing in different ways -- or I may just be beating a dead horse.

cel4145’s picture

I don't believe that the solution is to 'make Drupal act like Wordpress/MT/Blogging software of choice.' Rather, it's to be clear when we talk that starting wit Drupal core gives you amazingly powerful building blocks, not a completed house. Custom distros using the new Install system may be a huge benefit in that regard, because they may be able to bridge the gap between end users and the 'core.'

+1

You should be writing marketing documentation :)

In emphasizing this, we make it clear that Durpal is not meant to emulate WP, MT, etc. 'Course this doesn't meant that there is not room for usability improvement.

shoq’s picture

Eaton, you seem to articulate precisely the issues I had had with Drupal since i first probed it a few years ago, and still do. Even developers like ease of use, fast configuration, and bootstrap configurations for popular applications. IT's great to have a set of building blocks, but it's nice to have some houses to just remodel too. Even now, after a month of learning drupal, I am still struggling to do many things that are already modules in Joomla., Wordpress and many other systems.

A collection of "out of the box" configurations, prebuilt with the requisite modules already applied, would do wonders to help anyone, novice or not, to grab ahold of the product and start using it.

I think it's a mistake to assume that "a blogger" is some novice who just wants to blog. Developers blog too, but they don't want to spend a week setting up a nice looking, full featured blog with Drupal, when Wordpress can be up and running in 30 minutes. On the other hand, if they COULD do that, they would have a full-featured demonstration suite for many Drupal features, modules, templates and code to study, tweak or override. This would bootstrap their learning-curve dramatically.

Related to this, is a question I have about open source in general. I have never understood the resistance to commercializing open source in ways that don't squash the open source concept. Why aren't module (and configurations) authors encouraged to ust sell support and access to documentation? Hell, I would be interested in configuring off-the-shelf configurations using open source code, and supporting it, if there was some way to be compensated for all the work to do it. So someone can install my configurations for free. Fine. But when they want to soup it up, or get fast support, many would be willing to pay, I think. I know I would. What might result is a far more robust and vibrant suite of drupal applications around to inspire others, and generally spread the word about Drupal. Perhaps I am being naive here. I'm not that well versed in the politics of Open source, and could just be all wet here, but it SEEEMS like some hybrid of both models could be encouraged for the benefit of all.

In the meantime,I think Drupal,org could really use an open "Tips and tricks" blog where very common kinds of solutions can be posted by the community (with some rigid rules about what can be posted, and in what form). Someone like eaton could save a newbie weeks of time with just a few simple pointers on how to get started with typical application A, B, or C.

There are answers to most needs around this site, but they are very hard to find and browse when needed.

I'm still a new kid here, but I love Drupal, and want to be constructive. That's my 3 cents, thus far :)

lekei’s picture

GPL allows you to package a module and sell it, even other peoples modules, with or without support.

Of course you can't prevent the people who buy your distribution from giving it to others, but they probably wouldn't have paid you if they thought you were not offering something of value. Providing source isn't an issue since it's PHP.

What you ARE forbidden from doing with Drupal, is from buying a library for, as an example graphics (ie. a common php and/or Javascript library), and including it in a client's project. You do not have the right to turn that code over to GPL and the Drupal licence forbids you from delivering it to the client with any restrictions (other than the restriction that they cannot place restrictions (other than the restriction not to place restrictions)) so you are forbidden from using it.

Keybern’s picture

I think it's a mistake to assume that "a blogger" is some novice who just wants to blog. Developers blog too, but they don't want to spend a week setting up a nice looking, full featured blog with Drupal, when Wordpress can be up and running in 30 minutes. On the other hand, if they COULD do that, they would have a full-featured demonstration suite for many Drupal features, modules, templates and code to study, tweak or override. This would bootstrap their learning-curve dramatically.

I fully agree with that!
I'm one of those people who can imagine more or less the great possibilities of Drupal. But I get the feeling that newbies are not given sufficient time to find out those advantages themselfs. No, all they get to hear is that "Drupal serves for more than just blogging". Ridiculous.

I guess you all should be glad with projects like this: http://james.seng.cc/wiki/wiki.cgi?Drupal_For_Bloggers

robertDouglass’s picture

Drupal can be both.

- Robert Douglass

-----
Rate the value of this post: http://rate.affero.net/robertDouglass/
I recommend CivicSpace: www.civicspacelabs.org
My sites: www.hornroller.com, www.robshouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

sepeck’s picture

Drupal's target audience is to provide tools to build sites. Out of the box, you can build a pretty good site with what is provided.

Now, various individuals are working on improving aspects of this that appeal to them. This lets people in specific areas add on and build out to their interests content. So, blogger centric folks can add modules for this, and what modules are not suitable for core, then the api's for module to leverage. CMS focused people can focus on that.

The focus for doing stuff, is provided by the people actually 'doing' stuff by working on what appeals to them. So, the target audience is provided by people who are involved.

-sp
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

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

debocracy’s picture

I have been designing and managing websites for five years now, so am not an average blogger. But I need something that is acceptable to Technorati and other blog traffic sites that is not embarrassingly dull and featureless. Therefore, I am investigating Drupal after spending several months trying to make Mambo work as a blog...not happening. I have worked with about 20 CMS and Blog programs and I want something easy to modify and add functionality to. Nucleus, for example, just gives you raw php code and makes you prepare your own .php docs. Pulease! There has to be something in the middle.

So I ask you to keep working on Drupal for those of us needing more than the average blogger!

~~~~~~~~

Repeating a lie over and over does not make it the truth.

robertDouglass’s picture

In fact, one of the coolest things we saw in Amsterdam was an effort to make theming so easy that it can be done from the web interface (perfect for bloggers who don't have *any* tech skills). It's clear that a lot of our audience blogs with Drupal (I do), and that this group needs love and attention.

- Robert Douglass

-----
My sites: HornRoller.com, RobsHouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

railer’s picture

I'm setting up a site for a client that has a true blog in it. I'm using Joomla with the JD-Wordpress component.
Best,
Railer

robertDouglass’s picture

I didn't know all those tools existed. Fantastic reply.

- Robert Douglass

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Rate the value of this post: http://rate.affero.net/robertDouglass/
I recommend CivicSpace: www.civicspacelabs.org
My sites: www.hornroller.com, www.robshouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

lekei’s picture

The easiest way to use Drupal is to IGNORE TAXONOMY.

It makes no sense because the terminology is inconsistent. You can use the menu administration and achieve the results you expect.

I have had people phone me after reading my posts on my confusion with taxonomy to see if I had managed to figure it out, because they were afraid that if they posted here they would be threatened and abused by the language geeks who re-purpose a word like taxonomy for a new, more generic application, then insult anyone who doesn't get it.

I finally found the Bryght tutorials that showed me that you don't need to use the obtuse taxonomy system in order to get a web site built with Drupal.

Pointing someone to a dictionary that says that Taxonomy is a "study of the science of classification" serves no useful purpose.

All it does is reinforces the perception that Drupal is more about the method than a goal. Many people turn to Drupal because they want to build one or more web site.

What people really want to know is how to build a web site and add content so the reader can find it.

This is exacerbated by the fact that the way taxonomy is handled appears to have changed from 4.4 to 4.5 to 4.6 (and about to again with 4.7) and there is no way to find information pertaining only to your version.

The advice on the taxonomy system: If you get it, use it. If not, then keep quiet and work around it. If you mention that you don't "get it" you will be ridiculed. One day, it will click, and you can be one of the people who says "the answer is so obvious that I won't waste my time".

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I have discovered a truly remarkable proof which this margin is too small to contain. -- Pierre de Fermat

styro’s picture

If you want better help here, you could start by changing your attitude. For someone with all your vast web experience, you'd think you would have a better clue about not pissing off those that try to help you on a voluntary forum.

Newbies don't get 'ridiculed' or 'insulted' just because they don't get it. If they are willing to actually listen, don't act like whiny babies that behave like they are owed something, and don't belittle the effort of others - they will find people are willing to put the time into helping them.

When I saw one of your recent rants about how complicated it was and how nobody was really helping you - I thought I'd give it a go. But looking through your earlier to posts to see what the problems were all I really saw was a lot of whining about how crap Drupal was, how crap the versioning was, ignoring any suggestions or explanations you did get, and an unwillingness to actually put in any customisation effort yourself despite rigidly demanding something that wasn't in the core system. No wonder you didn't get helped much.

If Drupal really is as bad as you bitch about, why do you still use it? There are plenty of other CMSs out there that would probably better suit your cookie cutter brochure sites.

--
Anton

Zach Harkey’s picture

Pointing someone to a dictionary that says that Taxonomy is a "study of the science of classification" serves no useful purpose.

I disagree. By his own admission, the guy spent a whole week with no idea what the word 'taxonomy' meant — 'thinking it was a taxing system'. Then he demanded we "STOP" using weird names.

His problem had nothing to do with the taxonomy system being difficult to use (which it is), but with his inability to encounter an unfamiliar word.

The point of my (admittedly smart ass) reply was to remind folks that drupal isn't an information vacuum. If a word is unfamiliar, don't just assume it has been invented out of thin air and then start crying... LOOK IT UP. It takes 3 seconds to look up a term.

You can't learn how to use something until you know what it is. And learning what taxonomy is, is a simple matter of looking it up.

However, when it comes to actually using Drupal's taxonomy system, I happen to agree with you.

The easiest way to use Drupal is to IGNORE TAXONOMY.

This is excellent advice, especially for newbies. I've been messing with taxonomies for about 9 months now, and I still haven't figured out a consistent, sensical, scalable, way to use them that doesn't feel like reaching around my ass to scratch my elbow.

-zach
------------------------
harkey design

: z

lekei’s picture

I am afraid that I got off on a bad foot with Drupal and to some extent with the community and it started because I too was totally stumped on the Taxonomy issue.

Recognizing that it was very confusing (and a bit contradictory, because with progressive versions of Drupal more was integrated into core and there is no way to exclude search results based on version), I posted what I thought was an obviously humorous comment to start a thread to clear up the very painful Taxonomy confusion.

Well, I got dumped on big time for my ignorance and sent to dictionaries and wikipedia definitions of the word. No useful information on how that relates to Drupal.

I struggled for weeks (reading all the documentation I could find until the wee hours of the morning) trying to figure it out. When I would think that I had, someone would say "oh but it's much more complicated than that".

I never could figure it out, but then I learned that it is moot. You can use the menu or links. When I see the word I should just walk away, Otherwise it get me so agitated that I go off and rant on something else.

Then I have to apologize. Which reminds me. I'm sorry.

vph’s picture

Taxonomy is not some weird made up name.

There are better ways to deal with a word you aren't familiar with than to command people to "STOP" using them just because it takes you a week(!?) to find out what a word means. Drupal is a professional CMS building toolset. If the word taxonomy really took you a week to learn you're in the wrong place.

This however must be taken with a grain of salt. Just because you say it's a taxonomy supporting synonymy doesn't mean it is.

Muslim guy’s picture

1. Its userprofiles are extensible. That means you can build a membership, or portal which is members-oriented.

2. CATEGORIZATION of content is innovative - yes it takes time to get it, but Drupal categorization (which is the TAXONOMY module) is very useful (as many can attest to this)

3. Search engine friendly - if you want your site to gain 1st SERP for your content, then Drupal is the choice.

4. With Drupal 4.7.0 above, the CONTACT form is included and it works.

5. Saves you huge amount of time and money.

6. Got an idea for a myspace or youtube kindof portal? Try Drupal. Dont have to be a geek programmer.

5. Druplicon is cool :)

liminalspace’s picture

Taxonomy is not a weird name, nor made up word, nor just a 'techy-geek' term, it comes direct to Drupal via the humble English dictionary. A taxonomy is simply a scientific classification system. From what I have seen and experienced, the use of the term within Drupal is very logical, sensible and straight forward indeed.

Some people have even been known even use the word in everyday conversation... Would you prefer a name change to the word "nomenclature" instead? ;-)

ilsa~

tax·on·o·my n

1. the science of classifying plants, animals, and microorganisms into increasingly broader categories based on shared features.
2. the practice or principles of classification
3. the study of the rules and practice of classifying living organisms

cat·e·go·ry n
a group or set of things, people, or actions that are classified together because of common characteristics

- Encarta® World English Dictionary

Leszek’s picture

I'm puzzled too. Because I cannot figure it out.
I don't have problems understanding taxonomy purpose. But I get tadly confused when it cames to using Drupal taxonomy. For example I have created a two level menu. Then I created a content which I categorized and then I went back to my menu to link the content. I this point I get lost.....When I add content to the menu then I get the page displayed with the title of taxonomy and menu title. Doesn't make sense.

Leszek

KimaJako’s picture

I switched to drupal after trying out wordpress for a while, so to me drupal seems painfully easy.

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www.PersiaData.com

tmtb’s picture

Hi, I'm the blogger that made the second statement in the post. Just for some background. I am a database programmer in my day job and I have done Java programming in the past. I run an e-commerce business and use osCommerce for that (I would not recommend that for a novice either).

Drupal, in my opinion, is an extremely robust application. As I said, if I were a Fortune 500 company and I had the staff to navigate it's modules, path aliases, taxonomy, vocabulary, and host of other lingo that is used it would be great. However, as an independent attempting to crank out several sites in several months, it is not the tool of choice.

For example, I, installed the software for my dad's site. He wanted to do all the things that Drupal offers: have a forum, a blog, write a book. We thought it would be the perfect solution for him, except he is not a techie. He didn't even know how to enter an entry. That's what I mean by lingo.

For Joe consumer, the current vocabulary that is needed even after you have a theme that you like, to put in your content is way to difficult to understand.

Even for a programmer, theming the system is not easy either. Just changing the layout to a 3-column instead of 2-column is a nightmare. Also with the addition of the special Drupal theming engine, things got more complicated, not easier.

I think the choice depends on your target market. If you want to target mid to large size companies that have the staff to make the application more user friendly for the end-user, and the expertise to navigate the backend, then it's great. If not, it's an uphill battle.

Wordpress allows me the speed and ease of MT with some of the functionality of Drupal. That's why it's my CMS of choice.

I especially like that they have easy to install and use plugins that are well documented by other seeming half-coders. This extends the functionality without being cumbersome.

I am happy to provide more feedback and give Drupal another shot if needed.

Respectfully,
Nikki

PS. Even posting in the stream of discussion is difficult.

micha_1977’s picture

im a programmer myself, from COBOL to Java (J2EE) and i like the drupal themeing system very much

it lets you do what you want, see the frontpage of my site Langmi.de or my themebrowser

thats just fun work, but it was real easy

-micha
work in progress with Drupal 4.6: langmi.de

sepeck’s picture

um

Even for a programmer, theming the system is not easy either. Just changing the layout to a 3-column instead of 2-column is a nightmare. Also with the addition of the special Drupal theming engine, things got more complicated, not easier.

you go into blocks and switch them from left to right. If you have a left and a right column block (and the theme supports it) then you have a three column theme.

-sp
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mount

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

Bèr Kessels’s picture

And I crank out about two drupal sites a month.
So your statement is not true. Its perfectly fine platform for a sibgle consultant; Most of the develoepr at drupal are consultant who work on their own.

---
if you dont like the choices being made for you, you should start making your own.
---
[Bèr Kessels | Drupal services www.webschuur.com]

robertDouglass’s picture

Ber is not alone; many single consultants or small teams produce lots of great sites, and quickly. Like with anything, you've got to know some things, but once you do, it goes so quickly. If a Drupal consultant and a graphic designer (who can do CSS well) get together, they could do 4-5 decent sized sites a month.

- Robert Douglass

-----
Rate the value of this post: http://rate.affero.net/robertDouglass/
I recommend CivicSpace: www.civicspacelabs.org
My sites: www.hornroller.com, www.robshouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

laura s’s picture

Drupal isn't perfect, but it beats the alternatives, in my book. I've tried WP and Mambo, and felt that they were great -- if you wanted to do what they wanted you to do. But otherwise they're very rigid. I found them a challenge to master, when it came to customizing and skinning.

Drupal just strikes me as more intuitive, in part because the admin is open, not closed. And the contributed modules are very stable.

I would not commit a large community, business or campaign site to any other CMS unless they had a decent IT staff on hand.

PS. Even posting in the stream of discussion is difficult.

This part I don't understand.

Laura
===
pingVisionscattered sunshine

_____ ____ ___ __ _ _
Laura Scott :: design » blog » tweet

Zach Harkey’s picture

Not only do I agree with Ber and robertDouglass but I would go a step further and say there is no way I could crank out the volume I need without Drupal. Actually I can't think of another tool that comes close to allowing a single developer to be such a flexible, one man production facility.

But that is not to say it is easy to *learn. Personally, I found learning to successfully theme and deploy Drupal sites one of the most difficult learning curves I can think of. Really.

It's easy enough to get a basic Drupal installation up and running. It's even easy to add modules, activate themes, etc. But somewhere along the way the curve really gets really steep. For all of its power and flexibility, it can take an incredibly long time to figure out how to achieve what seems like basic web design convention.

But if you stick with it, and spend 12 hours a day for a couple years (kidding... or am I?) you can get over the hump, at which point it becomes very easy for 1 person to build robust custom CMSs in a fraction of the time that it would have taken a whole team of designers and developers just 4 years ago.

Wordpress is a sweet blog application, but trying to use it as a full blown CMS for professional websites reminds me of the time I tried to use a drill to saw a piece of plywood.

-zach
------------------------
harkey design

: z

eaton’s picture

...A CMS construction kit. It took me a while to realize this, but I think it's a huge point that's often overlooked. It provudes a very robust framework, APIs, and plugability points for someone who wants to roll a slick, optimized web CMS for their own needs.

If you stick with an out-of-box drupal install, you can certainly do some interesting stuff. Adding additional modules gives you more nifty features. Adding a third-party theme or PHP Template? That's cool, too. But all of those pieces are building blocks. Turning the whole package into a tool customized for your own applications (whether it's a personal portfolio site, a webcomic, a radio station, an online community, or a media archive) requires planning your application, putting together the right pieces, rolling your own to fill the gaps, and putting it all together with some custom UI design.

That takes work -- a fair bit. But the results are yours, far better suited to the specific needs of your project, and they come far faster than a roll-your-own solution.

Drupal is a framework for people building dynamic sites -- with the new install system, I'm hoping that we'll see a new growth of 'prefab packages' that put some of these turnkey solutions in the hands of more end-users.

robertDouglass’s picture

You said it! You finally said what Drupal IS. I've been working on this for a long time. It's not a CMS, it's not a webapp framework, it's not a blog tool, it's not anything that already has a label. You hit the jackpot.

Drupal is a CMS construction kit

congrats!

- Robert Douglass

-----
Rate the value of this post: http://rate.affero.net/robertDouglass/
I recommend CivicSpace: www.civicspacelabs.org
My sites: www.hornroller.com, www.robshouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

Jaza’s picture

Now all we need is a CCK...

Jeremy Epstein - GreenAsh

Jeremy Epstein - GreenAsh

kbahey’s picture

I always looked at Drupal as a CMF (Content Management Framework), that has a basic CMS implemented out of the box.

It is infinitely extensible, flexible and powerful.

The beauty of Drupal is not the base modules (which are nice, but do not do everything), but rather the underlying API that enables the many contrib modules that are in the repository today.

The base is also robust and clean. The often too strict standards of the core team pays of handsomely here: no dead code, no workarounds, no shortcuts, no ugly hacks.

Anything can be plugged in:

You want wiki like syntax? Find or write a filter to do it.
You want a WYSIWYG editor? There are 3 to choose from.
Want fancy modules to X, Y or Z? There are plenty or write your own.

The API is powerful, flexible and open. Anything can be done with it.

--
Drupal development and customization: 2bits.com
Personal: Baheyeldin.com

--
Drupal performance tuning and optimization, hosting, development, and consulting: 2bits.com, Inc. and Twitter at: @2bits
Personal blog: Ba

Leszek’s picture

If it is so easy and flexible to develop modules then why there are just a few useful modules? Shouldn't be there planty of modules...?

robertDouglass’s picture

It is easy and flexible to download modules; have you seen the modules download page for the current release?

http://drupal.org/project/Modules

There are a couple hundred modules on there. Most of them work pretty well and all of them were useful to someone at one point. Some of them are downright outstanding.

- Robert Douglass

-----
Rate the value of this post: http://rate.affero.net/robertDouglass/
I recommend CivicSpace: www.civicspacelabs.org
My sites: www.hornroller.com, www.robshouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

Leszek’s picture

No I have not seen it.
It looks not bad.

Thanks

Leszek’s picture

If it is so easy and flexible to develop modules then why there are just a few useful modules? Shouldn't be there planty of modules...?

infigaro’s picture

It's easy enough to get a basic Drupal installation up and running. It's even easy to add modules, activate themes, etc. But somewhere along the way the curve really gets really steep. For all of its power and flexibility, it can take an incredibly long time to figure out how to achieve what seems like basic web design convention.
But if you stick with it, and spend 12 hours a day for a couple years (kidding... or am I?) you can get over the hump, at which point it becomes very easy for 1 person to build robust custom CMSs in a fraction of the time that it would have taken a whole team of designers and developers just 4 years ago.

Zach, I totally agree with what you said. I stick with drupal after playing around with mambo,wordpress etc..
Drupal is easy to start with and with some effort, we can unlease the power of drupal
I am putting like fews hours per weekday on drupal(& its coding) and I see the improvement of my understanding in the drupal system. Its really flexible once I(we) can understand the flow of the drupal, I would be able to create a feature rich website yet easy to use to enduser and simple to maintain for webmaster.

infigaro

anner’s picture

I have worked at a webhost and have studied the open source options. I have had clients that have chosen MT, wordpress, typo3, etc. and I have had to support them all. When I moved jobs and was asked to find a CMS for our site, I looked hard. We decided to test plone, mambo, MDpro and drupal. It was no contest. Drupal is easy to understand, configure and customize. It is amazing powerful, while maintaining a straight-forward approach. It has an amazing community of individuals behind it. I don't understand the people here who have said that the forums or documentation are unclear. They obviously don't use many open source tools or they would know what unclear was all about. I commend the drupal community for maintaining such an organized repository of modules, themes, and support.

That said, I can see how people might find Drupal complex. It is not a blogging tool like MT or wordpress. It is a CMS. As such, it has certain vocabulary and structure. Anyone who is looking for a blogging tool and finds Drupal complex, ok, I can see that. Anyone who is looking for a CMS and finds Drupal complex or cumbersome, you must be crazy. I have tested & tried more than 15 CMS tools all the way through the install and use stage for my companies & clients. I find the simplicity of Drupal, compared to many of the others, refreshing.

Just my 2 cents

marketanomaly’s picture

I have just setup my first test Drupal site and I am considering moving from WordPress. I think the problem lies at the theme level. With WordPress it is pretty clear what each part of the theme does. It is not hard to figure out that if I change X then I get Y output. Drupal themes on the other hand call a number of function, auto create files in directories outside the theme folder, and a bunch of other stuff that confuses people who are not professional programmers.

This is a big problem, because most webdevelopers are not professional programmers. They are graphic designers or just people with something to say and the will to persevere through technical hurdles. I'd say the majority of people creating websites fall into the later camp. Given this fact, Drupal should really try to make the theme level a lot easier for US, the majority of internet publishers.

For example, in order to change the size of the slogan font in Garland, I had to add the following code to page.tpl.php

$site_html = implode('<span style="font-size:60%; font-weight:normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;', $site_fields) .'</span>';

WTF! This should just require a quick change to the style sheet. Significant design changes should be possible with custom stylesheets, but currently it feels like I have to write code to change anything about the layout and design.

Prometheus6’s picture

Wordpress is easy to set up and easy to style. This comes down to an effective setup script and a known initial theme.

I think the advantage of the set-up script is obvious. As for the theme, you've probably seen this:

http://www.sixapart.com/movabletype/default_styles

Obviously the only difference is the style sheet, no big deal. But if your default theme made it easy to get this much variance with just a style sheet change and let everyone know where the stylesheet is, you'd go a long way toward eliminating the "hard to customize" complaint. Some people want to theme their site...EVERYONE wants to style it.

Make the admin theme seperate from the site theme.

Make it dead simple to stick a graphic in a post. Just that, not talking major image manipulation, just take this graphic from my hard drive and put it whete the cursor is.

robertDouglass’s picture

So you think one major improvement would be to include more styles (themes that are nothing but a stylesheet) in the default distro? That'd be a great idea. Imagine if bluemarine had that many style options in the default distro --- people would be far more inspired to do style only themes. Agree?

- Robert Douglass

-----
Rate the value of this post: http://rate.affero.net/robertDouglass/
I recommend CivicSpace: www.civicspacelabs.org
My sites: www.hornroller.com, www.robshouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

Prometheus6’s picture

Agreed...because a LOT can be done. Changing the body background, width and alignment of the main content div, size and color of the header, really basic stuff, is all the customization most people need, and they can still get crazy with CSS if they want...or use other themes, whatever.

I'm pretty sure there's already a theme that would work. Refactoring the existing CSS to put those classes at the top of the stylesheet may be all that's needed, but a theme specifically designed to be easily modifiable this way would be nice.

I withhold a small rant about the admin theme because I know it's an ongoing discussion other than to say I think it's pretty important. And yes, a really self-congratulatory install script helps.

robertDouglass’s picture

Those are two of the top reasons I recommend CivicSpace to EVERYONE.

- Robert Douglass

-----
Rate the value of this post: http://rate.affero.net/robertDouglass/
I recommend CivicSpace: www.civicspacelabs.org
My sites: www.hornroller.com, www.robshouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

Bèr Kessels’s picture

What you describe that you need so desparately is called argeebee :)

---
if you dont like the choices being made for you, you should start making your own.
---
[Bèr Kessels | Drupal services www.webschuur.com]

Prometheus6’s picture

You know, that does look like it would work.

micha_1977’s picture

WP theme and its styles converted to drupal

its not hard to get drupal look like a wordpress installation, but its a real task to get only some of the drupal core functions to wordpress

drupal has an big advantage, its flexibility, it masters ALL you want to, but its a disadvantage too.... with this much flexibility you just cant design the "one rules them all" style/theme (which looks good too...in every situation)

back to the topic, make up a project and get your theme started ;-)

-micha
work in progress with Drupal 4.6: langmi.de

killes@www.drop.org’s picture

Wordpress and Drupal are just two different products. As I see it, Wordpress is a one-man blog whereas Drupal is a more flexible software that can be used for a lot of stuff. Obviously, it has to be more complex to set up and to theme. Nothing I'll get grey hair about.
--
Drupal services
My Drupal services

Prometheus6’s picture

True (though Wordpress is a multi-user single blog). I think Robert is considering eating Wordpress' lunch. I think all that would take is a distribution put together for that purpose. Call it Drupal Jr.

sepeck’s picture

I'd rather see a detailed configuration setup guide then yet another distribution. This would 'show' people the 'how' of configuring a drupal site.

Although the next post will be 'install profiles' during setup. :)

-sp
---------
Drupal Best Practices Guide - My stuff Black Mountain

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

robertDouglass’s picture

I'm more playing devil's advocate and trying to identify easy wins. The css only themes and the stuff going on at http://www.langmi.de are definitely good signs. Personally, I think Drupal *could* be as easy and user friendly as WP, and anything they have to learn from is valuable.

- Robert Douglass

-----
Rate the value of this post: http://rate.affero.net/robertDouglass/
I recommend CivicSpace: www.civicspacelabs.org
My sites: www.hornroller.com, www.robshouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

mike3k’s picture

I use WordPress for my personal blog since I don't need all of Drupal's features. If you want only a single blog, WP is probably more appropriate. For my other sites, which have discussion forums, news submission, multiple user blogs, etc. I use Drupal.

--
Mike Cohen, http://www.mcdevzone.com/

dpangier’s picture

The admin interface is where Wordpress shines compared with Drupal, not the look and feel of the resultant site, or even the ease of installation (although Wordpress is fantasticly easy here too).

  1. The admin interface is in a fixed format, regardless of the theming system. You could consider it to be the administrator theme if you want. This avoids issues such as you get with fixed width themes, but also gives a clean and consistant feel to managing what could be a very different (or artistic) web site.
  2. It starts with a user friendly dash board showing a summary of whats going on, with quick links to the associated parts of the interface.
  3. The same dashboard shows RSS feeds from the Wordpress development news, giving a feel of being in touch with the developers whenever you visit your site.
  4. It comes preconfigured for blogs, which it mostly suits. It isn't a CMS although some plugins push it in that direction. So anti-spam measures, pingbacks, trackbacks, pinging pingomatic, comment notification, image uploading, simple rich text editing, rss and atom feeds, comment moderation settings and link management are all standard, pre-installed and well layed out in the options menus
  5. Things like Taxonomy are a bit tricky for some, compared with a simpler concept like "categories".
  6. Most things are simpler, as a consequence also less flexible, such as "url aliases".

On the other hand, things that Drupal eats without noticing, require a good understanding of how Wordpress is put together. "Blocks" are coded directly in the theme files, things like excluding or including blocks on certain pages can be coded, but again by hand in the theme files, etc.

My view is that the admin interface needs cleaning up, and removing from the website theme. Some of the contrib modules could do with being pulled into the core, and made more consistant in the options that are available. The menu structure of the admin interface could then be made more "task orientated" rather than "module orientated", so that options that interact are together rather than distributed. For example, having to go to admin>>content>>configure>>content types>>configure is madness. To me, I have selected "configure" three times!

Nice and available themes is a possible bonus on top of all this, but wouldn't really help until the admin interface is clean and intuitive for everyday tasks.

robertDouglass’s picture

Again, this is why I love the CivicSpace theme. It has a great looking admin section and I personally think that we should adopt it as our standard default theme.

The good thing about 4.7 is that there have been some improvements in the admin area; the example you mentioned is better now:
administer->settings->content types->configure (for specific type)

Additionally, some modules have been ingested into core, like menus-on-the-fly.

- Robert Douglass

-----
Rate the value of this post: http://rate.affero.net/robertDouglass/
I recommend CivicSpace: www.civicspacelabs.org
My sites: www.hornroller.com, www.robshouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

straider’s picture

I apologize for some "content noise" in this comment, but it also helps to demonstrate a point later on.

=== Introduction ===

I've been using both platforms, among others, mostly in Intranet space. I use WordPress for Blog SiteProfiles and Drupal for Portal SiteProfiles. They both:

  • Are **OpenSource**.
  • Are **PHP Based**.
  • Require **MySQL**. In fact Drupal is more portable, since it also runs with PostgreSQL, although I've not tested this yet.
  • Have **Big Community**, with excellent support.
  • Pluggable **Add-Ons**. Requires no coding tasks to integrate a module/hack/contribution in the default plataform.
  • **Cache** the pages.
  • Have **Friendly URL**. In fact, Drupal is very good at this (path alias), with WordPress being a bit more complex than it should.

=== WordPress ===

In this section, I detail what are the main advantages for me while using WordPress as a Blog Engine:

  1. **Focus on ContentTasks** - the administration interface, besides "living" outside the "front-side", requires usually no more than 2-clicks for any operation. Examples are: Write Post (click: Write -> Post), Write Page (click: Write -> Page), Change Theme (click: Presentation).
  2. **Quick and Easy Install**. Although any tech-savvy person can install a platform through configuration files, and usually techies prefer to tweak the platform settings through configuration files (rather than browser-database dependant operation) the installation process of WordPress is simple and quick. So much that really makes a point against other systems without such an Installer Process and even compares fine with Installers like Mambo or Zen-Cart, which are probably the best out there.
  3. **Blog Ready** - requires less than 5min for a fully operational Blog Site.
  4. **Easily Themeable** - the platform allows for quick and easy changes to the styles and themes, without requiring any Template Engine besides its own code.

=== Drupal ===

In this section, I detail what are the main advantages for me while using Drupal as a Portal Engine:

  1. **ContentRevision** - this is a must in "professional" portals, with several content editors and many pages. Sometimes, people edit and later on realize that the content was better before. How to revert without content revision mechanism?
  2. **Light** - for such a powerful and flexible portal platform, why is Drupal so "code-light"? Takes more or less the same space as WordPress and way less than Mambo, XOOPS, phpWebSite, LIMB and Xaraya.
  3. **Categorization** - for people used to link a page to several categories, view list of pages in a category, and so on, then Drupal is a bless. Although complex or hard to master, after some trials with it, the advantages and flexbility makes it all worth while.

=== ToDo ===

In this section, I describe what I think is missing in both platforms:

  • **Easy Linking** - WikiMarkup makes this specially easy, since each page is called by the name and not the id. The markup usually looks like [[page_name pagetitle]].
  • **LowContentNoise** - again, WikiMarkup is very friendly in this, since instead of alot of tags and "content noise" the markup takes little "space" among the content. Sometimes, as in tables or sections, it even helps differentiate the content for the editor. This is such a common task, I still don't understand why so many platforms choose to have either Filtered HTML or even Full HTML without any editing "assistance". Sure, WordPress for instance has Quicktags on the Editor and Drupal has a module (CVS version) for it. Sure, they both have add-ons for Textile and Markdown. But these add-ons aren't set as default, which is why so many people fallback to WYSIWYG TextArea editors, such as TinyMCE. But again, these are add-ons, not the default.
  • **Image Integration**. None have a mechanism that integrates an image into a page, which is quick and pratical. They both require a 2-step process and even then there's not much control on how to "pin" the image. But which platform excells at this?

=== ContentNoise ===

In HTML:

<ul>
  <li>Item 1, in <strong>bold</strong>.</li>
  <li>Item 2, in <em>italic</em>.</li>
  <li>Item 3, as <a href="/BogusLink" title="BogusTitle">BogusTitle</a> to a link.</li>
</ul>

In WikiMarkup:

  * Item 1, in **bold**.
  * Item 2, in //italic//.
  * Item 3, as a [[BogusLink | BogusTitle]]  to a link.
  * Item 4, in __underline__.

After being rendered:

  • Item 1, in bold.
  • Item 2, in italic.
  • Item 3, as link.

Which one makes it easy to edit existing content? I assume nearly everyone will pick the WikiMarkup. Or Textile or Markdown. So why still use HTML or WYSIWYG?

sepeck’s picture

== worpress
2. work on an installer is being done, though I still think Drupal has the simplest install system anywhere.
3. I also think Drupal is blog ready within 5 minute. I certainly can install it and turn on the module in that time frame. Setting up the web site alias takes me longer to then installing Drupal. Of course, this also depends on what you mean by 'blog ready' and the features you believe it includes. :)

=== drupal
nods

=== to do
** easy linking: If you like wiki syntax then I supose it is needed. I am wondering if you can achieve the desired effect with a combination of pathauto and interwiki. I believe pathauto with auto alias your posts per the title and you can add a wiki syntax style filter with interwiki that should accomadate this. (I have not used the wiki module). I made some interwiki filters for my site that link to maps.google.com so I just use [maps:elk grove, ca] and it takes care of the rest.
http://www.blkmtn.org/index.php?q=node/206 (snapshot while playing with the filter. the syntax is slightly wrong)
http://www.blkmtn.org/index.php?q=node/213

As to everyone liking wiki syntax more? Think again. The folks I deal with do not want to learn yet another syntax and are content with html formatting. They really prefer to edit in Word and copy and paste. I tried the HTMLArea for a while, but ultimatly I have found it easier to provide them the cheat sheet to the built in help on html.

-sp
---------
Drupal Best Practices Guide - My stuff Black Mountain

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

straider’s picture

sepeck,

I don't say that "everyone" prefers WikiMarkup. There are probably plenty of people that prefer HTML, others prefer WYSIWYG and others, like me, prefer WikiMarkup.

I just tried to point out something that should come by default with Drupal core. For example, WordPress comes already with Textile and Markdown, but not enabled. And provides a QuickTag Editor Bar for the content editing TextArea.

My point is a "suggestion-point": add Textile/Markdown/WikiMarkup modules to Drupal's core (not enabled, as option only, just like Full HTML Input Format or PHP Input Format) and also include a QuickTag bar to the default content editing TextArea. Let the users decide what they prefer.

And if they prefer WYSIWYG, then allow them an easy path to include it, enable it and configure it. I don't see any point in having TinyMCE integrated in core, because some would prefer FCKeditor, others will prefer HTMLArea (or forks of it) while others will prefer SPAW while others yet prefer TinyMCE. There are plenty of choices here, and unless Drupal follows WordPress there's no point in integrating a WYSIWYG TextArea editor. Bare in mind though that WordPress aims to have a simple and practical WYSIWYG TextArea Editor in the next major release, and this will probably make it easier to include images into content (since it's a core integration).

sepeck’s picture

and was pointing out the reverse. Drupal core downloads right now at 448kb. TinyMCE is 1.4Mb. On this basis alone we are tripling the download size of Drupal for a third party product that increases the download overhead on our project and does not work the same across many browsers. 2/3's of our bandwidth would be consumed by people downloading software that less than half would use. (I am making up the numbers by the way to make an allegorical point). I have two co-workers who run several sites, none of their sites use an editor, nor do mine.

Currently we have a variety of input formats 'battling' it out, each getting better. I like that, as I will not be using them, I will not be having to download them.

More to the point, TinyMCE is a fine project, it however is not Drupal core. I think adding it to Drupal core would make Drupal vastly more complicated to maintain. Currenlty we have core and upgrade paths for it. Imagine adding a third part product and then having to wait for it to bug fix when it is in core? The recent issues with the 3rd party xmlrpc libraries are of concern enough. We are not TinyMCE experts.

Drupal has a goal to make images easier to deal with and have been progressing along that goal as well (TinyMCE and img_assist work fairly well as contrib modules currently :).

Drupal does not follow WordPress, nor do I think WordPress follows Drupal so to speak though many will continue the comparisons to suit their needs.

In any case, you are certainly welcome to advocate for your desired inclusions. I was merely trying to point out that the current setup benefits us with vastly more flexibility than integrating a specific editor into core.

-sp
---------
Drupal Best Practices Guide - My stuff Black Mountain

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

Zach Harkey’s picture

Well said, sepeck.

-zach
------------------------
harkey design

: z

Shane Birley’s picture

My clients tend to hate HTMLArea (and, yes, I can't stand it). I have been testing and demoing TinyMCE with a few clients to see if they find it easier to use. I have had nothing but good comments about TinyMCE - so, I would give it a try if HTMLArea is giving people issues.

-
Shane Birley
Vicious Bunny Creative
http://www.vbcreative.com

---
Shane Birley
Left Right Minds
http://www.leftrightminds.com

straider’s picture

I may be wrong, but the XML-RPC and Bookmarklet features of WordPress make (for me at least) this platform Blog-Ready and I don't know of any feature like this in Drupal. And it comes with default installation, no need to add or enable anything.

The Bookmarklet is specially great, since I don't need to get back to the BlogSite, login to have access to the Admin Interface and click on Write -> Write Post in order to be ready to post. After the bookmarklet is opened (with either PressIt - JavaScript Button- or JustBlogIt! - Firefox Extension) the platform is ready to accept my new post. That's something I use quite often, and that I forgot to mention to before, as a plus for WordPress.

But that's because I consider WordPress a BlogEngine, "per se", while Drupal is a fully featured, powerful and flexible PortalEngine.

sepeck’s picture

I use w.bloggar on my Drupal site occassionally and my co-worker told me he uses the Firefox JustBlogIt plug in.

Not knowing what the bookmarklet feature is I couldn't comment.

-sp
---------
Drupal Best Practices Guide - My stuff Black Mountain

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

knobelspies’s picture

About six months ago i read a comment on the forum (can´t find the exact quote unfortunately) from somebody who had both very positive as also frustrating experiences with Drupal, and to me this comment nailed the problem. It vaguely goes like: "the strange thing with Drupal is, that it seems to make really complicated tasks very easy to solve but at the same time it makes really easy tasks way more complicated than necessary".

We are using Drupal and Wordpress for some internal test-sites and are evaluating to migrate our complete online presence from a flash-based to a Drupal-based site in the near future. We are also considering Drupal as a long-term development-platform for some client- and community-projects, which would eventually enable us to contribute some of that work back to the general Drupal development. However, after six months of experience with Drupal and some feedback from other people we work with, I have to agree with the above statement. We had some very fundamental discussions about the different systems, about what appealed to us or what we would like to have changed conceptually or designwise. So this is the right time for me to share my thoughts in this discussion.

What appealed to us looking at Drupal, was the way, the core concept is built around the idea of nodes and taxonomies, which opened up endless possibilities to model content, structure and behavior of a site.
On the other hand we experienced some serious usability and presentation issues, using the admin structure of Drupal, especially while comparing that to other platforms like Wordpress.

If you look at the main audiences for both products, it is obvious, that the success of Wordpress is mainly based on the fact, that it can be a simple yet well designed entry point to the world of blogging, while Drupal has definitely more appeals to the advanced developer community or feature demanding user. But there are obviously just way more people looking for an easily accessable platform, that helps them to simplify their basic needs and tasks, than there are people that are willing or able to dive into a powerful but complex framework like Drupal right from the start. There´s basically nothing wrong with that except that I´m sure Drupal could steal way more of Wordpress´s "user friendly" reputation, if it manages to evolve to that point, that easy tasks could also be administrated easily.

So IMHO one direction for Drupal to gain ground in comparison to Wordpress (or Movable Type, Mambo and others) will be to reduce complexity without losing its flexibility. There are quite some promising signs towards that with the upcoming release of Drupal 4.7 and the much appreciated efforts at civicspacelabs.org, but to me the main problem to gain usability is still unsolved:

the more complex the given options in a framework like Drupal get, the clearer the structure has to be for administration of the framework, because otherwise one easily gets lost with all the options, features, relationships and dependencies it has.

As a simple example to describe what i mean just think of another familiarly complex platform - like Adobe Photoshop. Now imagine all menu items to work on your images would be sorted alphabetically as it basically happens to be with Drupal by default. It would drive you nuts because there´s no logic behind the position of the menu item beside the starting letter - and it would get worse if you would have gotten familiar with one language version and then had to switch to another language because you would have to lookup the position of each function from scratch again. And it doesn´t stop there. Looking at the module section of Drupal.org, every available module for the actual Drupal-versions is also listed in alphabetical order. Not easy to digest, no obvious information about category, popularity or quality of the respective module. If you are looking for something particular, you have to do quite some testing and research or ask one of the experts. Both can be pretty time consuming for anyone who is not deeply familiar with the ongoing module development. I think the approach at http://www.wp-plugins.net/ or http://codex.wordpress.org/Plugins is at least a bit more helpful in the regards of categorization.

This describes my problems with the administration concept of Drupal. It´s not just about the missing separation of admin and public theme as already solved with CivicSpace´s distribution, it´s more about the missing fundamental structure or clustering logic of functions. This is one point where Wordpress really shines - the structure of its Admin-Section is quite easy to understand even for newbies. Now, why is it that while everybody joining the Drupal movement is delighted about the unbloated, well formed and structured code, as many are also complaining about the lack of usability and structure on the administration side? I guess it has a lot to do with the "problem of currency", which is perfectly described by Rashmi Sinha in the on-the-spot article "open source usability: the birth of a movement" http://www.rashmisinha.com/archives/05_04/open-source.html.

How could this dilemma be solved? I think, the recent progress of reorganising the Drupal.org handbook pages was a pretty good start to show how to collaboratively optimize the given structure of needs and contents in a defined context. With that success in mind it shouldn´t be impossible to target the admin-structure of Drupal as the next step. The card-sorting survey provides a perfect distributable tool as an entry point for that. Next steps?

- "Indian Summer of Design" or "Spring of Usability" anyone? At least community plumbing is not just about code and cash.
- Why not start a student collaboration project with an information/multimedia design class to work on usability and interface issues? There are several universities, which come to my mind, that could be interesting partners.
- the upcoming implementation of CCK is definitely the right timeframe to get the described issues targeted!
- I would happily pay a membership fee to a forthcoming Drupal foundation, if it could help to make the Drupal.org site more transparent and usable (module section!)

I´m pretty convinced, that Drupal has the most promising architecture of all open-source (and some commercial) CMS´s and I´m even more confident, that Drupal will play a mayor role in the evolution of the Web 2.0 paradigma. If it will get it´s acts together by strengthening its usability and streamlining its structural concept, it certainly will be unstoppable!

Bèr Kessels’s picture

Yes, and no;

Admin themes aer there for lazy themeers, but they really do not help a lot. I userd to be ni the cam that wanted an admin theme, but my users and clients have proven me wrong.

Yes, all of them go like: "why is there no administration place" when they first encouter Drupal as administrator but after a few weeks they love it! I recently changed to admin themes fro a lot of clients. They begged me to get the integrated thing back. Its just much freindlier provided the themer took time to develop for the admin area too (the ported themes are absolutely horrible n this!)

---
if you dont like the choices being made for you, you should start making your own.
---
[Bèr Kessels | Drupal services www.webschuur.com]

fkdsfodsf’s picture

Since I am still pretty new to Drupal, I know exactly what the problem is IMHO.

Install Script WITH "Site Mode" Options.

Obviously drupal needs an install script. But if drupal wants to get really popular it needs to be more user friendly than that.

Since Drupal can DO-IT-ALL then why not have the install script do more than just install a base drupal install. Why not have it config the drupal installation to what the user wants to do.

For example:

The last page of the install script asks the user:

"Do you want drupal to customize your installation for a specific purpose?"

Below, there are a list of options:

1. Run Drupal as a personal Blog
2. Run Drupal as a multi-user Blog
3. Run Drupal as a static content site
4. Run Drupal as a community site
5. Don't do anything.

If the user wanted Drupal to be his personal blog, he would choose option one, which would cause drupal to turn off the books module, the forum module, the queue module, change the template, etc.. etc.. basically completely config the installation FOR a BLOG!

With this option whether someone wanted to make a blog or a photoblog or a forum site or a community portal or a news portal or a article site, ALL OF IT could be 90% done automatically with drupal.

That would be user friendly.

drofnar’s picture

Great point, and made me wonder if it would make sense to have a unified installer for the whole Drupal ecoology. Ie Civicspace, DrupalEd Drupal Blog, and all the others that will eventually come along with their own tweaked distribution. So the options would point to the specific installer for each distro. This would allow all the different variants to collaborate on a standard core install system and just plugin their specific parts for their option. Now theres not so many so isnt a big deal, but if there were many, it may become quite handy. Would also encourage others to build new variations for specific needs, which enhances the options for new users.

Just a thought, triggered by your post..

sepeck’s picture

for some people. Drupal as it was a few versions ago did not make it easy. Drupal is capable of some very complex things. This makes such an install system not all that easy. It's the equivelent of rolling a distribution, which is very hard. That said, there has been a tremendous amount of work done to make such systems more possible. A lot of core code work. Also ongoing work on a basic installer. We will see if it is done in time for 4.7

-sp
---------
Drupal Best Practices Guide - My stuff Black Mountain

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

straider’s picture

Besides (if possible) providing a "Smart" Installer that allows the user to pick which SiteProfile is the target of a specific deployment, I also suggest that a Handbook with best-pratices and quick-guide should be added to the platform.

Just like the "empty-node" content is shown to the user after a successful installation, and just like CivicSpace and Bryght have start doing it, if the user picks Corporate SiteProfile the handbook (which will require "localization" - translations) will guide in the process of creating a SiteMenu, how some modules should be configured, how to add a page (node) for services, another for products, another for contact_us, and so on.

So far, opinions about Drupal are mostly about how great and flexible it is but also how "techie" it is. Drupal must start moving towards "commoditization": by allowing nearly any type of user to deploy it, configure it and use it, for several well known SiteProfiles.

adrian’s picture

http://drupal.org/install-system-overview

All the components are written in various forms, we just need to integrate it all. It's far from a simple problem, if you think of the complexities involved in maintaining a drupal installation.

We are talking about something on the level of writing apt-get for drupal. Which we have already mostly done, but there's no way this is going to get in before 4.7.

--
The future is so Bryght, I have to wear shades.

debwire’s picture

I've used both. Examples:

http://www.debwire.com/blog (WordPress)
http://www.interracialweb.com (Drupal)
http://www.floridaphotoblogs.com (Drupal, but looking for alternatives)

WordPress is by far simpler to install and work with. Themes seem to be one of the biggest challenges for Drupal. I can't figure out the theme system in Drupal and gave up trying at this point. Pros and cons for what I am looking for and have observed:

1. WordPress is great for a single author weblog. Its plug-in options are excellent and selection of themes enormous. Themes are easy to tweak, too.

2. WordPress (so far) isn't good for a multi-blog site. Drupal is, but in my experience, the default and available themes are bland and terms like "node," "taxonomy," etc. make it difficult for my novice members to grasp. I believe Drupal is intimidating for novice members and I'm certainly no expert at tweaking its appearance to make it appear more simple.

3. Neither incorporates images without much headache. Last I checked, I couldn't effectively limit upload space per user for my Florida Photoblogs site, so I've kept in beta status. I am waiting for either Drupal or WordPress to come up with a combined set of features for a community-based photoblog site. The one that gets there first with the best implementation will probably be what I use.

4. Both apps are superior to most others I've found and used on the Web like Mambo or any variation of Nuke.

5. WordPress forums are very active and supportive. Have found Drupal forums to be condescending.

6. WordPress is an excellent application. Period. Drupal is too, but for more technical folk. Drupal has the reputation of being for only those who are extremely technically savvy while WordPress, for its ease of use, is attractive to a much wider audience. WordPress doesn't assume everyone using it has a PHD in computer science.

Just a few thoughts...because someone asked (so don't beat me over the head for my honesty). I could certainly post more but won't at this time. Hope this helps anybody evaluating either.

sepeck’s picture

We don't beat people over the head for opinions.
3. Several competing methods are seeing what will survive, inline module and uploads or image and img_assist. The second is easy, but really needs to have tinyMCE for the GUI poster.

5. Drupal forums are generally very helpful. Sometimes perhaps a bit more curt then some may be accustomed to. It really also depends on who answers and what the questions are. The joys of a vounteer unpaid group of people scattered throughout the world.

6. Drupal does not assume a PHD needed. I certainly don't have one nor did I need it when I installed it. :) It does tend to expect a person to be more of a power user, but the system is capable of a bit more complexity so it really needs some planning to really take advantage of it. We welcome people who are willing to help out on mockups and usability proposals and such. Amazon is currently coordinating this sort of stuff.

-sp
---------
Drupal Best Practices Guide - My stuff Black Mountain

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

Toe’s picture

5. Frankly, I agree 100% with debwire; that's probably my single biggest turnoff with Drupal. The attitude that certain developers, site maintainers, etc. have toward their own users is appalling. Bad code can be patched, but bad atitudes can't.

sepeck’s picture

you can't punish unpaid volunteers who have contributed code and time and help to people. Quite frankly, some people are far to quick to take offense and take helpful answers in the worst posible light.

On many many occassions, I have seen people take a response that had no offensive component and cry wolf about their feelings when there was no intent to offend in the first place. They then play the victim and cry to the world.

What you see as a 'bad attitude' others see as abrupt or brusque. We have an international community that has people from all over the world participating with various customs and cultures and definitions of curtesy translating to the English language. Some of whom have taken their time to answer questions and then got hammered for it.

All I can say is that you will need to learn to ignore that which annoys you and take the rest as it comes. People who say such things do not realize how hurtful is can be to those who have tried to help, only to be slapped down by the person asking.

-sp
---------
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

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

Toe’s picture

This isn't the only forum I've ever been a part of for software put out by unpaid volunteers. Nor is it the only one I've been on with a lot of people who aren't native English speakers. But it IS the only one that's left me with a bad taste in my mouth, and where I've seen comments like that "Since when do developers care about users?" bit from a while back...

sepeck’s picture

to bad. You can ignore this person, or you can use a different projects software..

It is a fact of life that people do things for many reasons. If some developers do not care about users, why should that bother or concern you? Their interest and contributions are still being used by you. If it really bothered you, you would use a different software project. It doesn't though does it? You're still using this project while complaining about about the people who contribute to it. It seems your pragmatism outweighs your values.

Oh, and you are taking that quote from it's author out of context, nicely done. I suspect he still doesn't care what your opinion is.

In the meantime, the rest of us who have tried to help people are warmed by the broad strokes of the brush you use to tar all of us. We appreciate the time and effort you have taken to accomplish this.

-sp
---------
Drupal Best Practices Guide - My stuff Black Mountain

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

Toe’s picture

If some developers do not care about users, why should that bother or concern you?

You miss the point. There's more to this than just what *I* think. Remember that I'm not the one who brought up the point in this thread. When people who are supposed to be leaders have poor atitudes, It reflects poorly on the community as a whole.

I write this because I genuinely want things to be BETTER. I don't try to improve software (Drupal in this case) by running off and using something else, as you suggest. I try to improve it by reporting problems with it. Consider this a bug report filed on the Drupal community itself.

Would you mind helping to patch it?

robertDouglass’s picture

... and I'll patch him upside the head with a virtual cluebat. Ok? New policy instituted.

You find me a user who underappreciates developers and I'll patch them too. Who's first in line?

- Robert Douglass

-----
Rate the value of this post: http://rate.affero.net/robertDouglass/
I recommend CivicSpace: www.civicspacelabs.org
My sites: www.hornroller.com, www.robshouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

sepeck’s picture

It involved users demanding that Drupal developers port access to phpBB for free. Again.

The quote is completely and utterly out of context. In this case, once again, we have a someone demanding that someone whom he doesn't know and isn't paying, conform to his expectation and give him free support in the manner of his or her own choosing.

Toe,

I do understand what you are saying, please understand what I am saying. The developer is not broken. The developer in question provides tons and tons of support and tons of code at no cost to you. You have taken a quote during a discussion and out of context and hung onto it with a serious determination that is incredible.

/me looks at thread, yes, actually you did bring it up. http://drupal.org/node/29364#comment-51310 and added specific fuel to the fire. I answered the original posters question #5 with an explanation. You choose to air grievences and a what seems to be a grudge.

How do I help you fix something I don't believe is broken? Do I fly to a foriegn country and do something to this person?

You want to make it better? Do what I do, answer support questions fast and accuratly. Free the developers up to code more. It's how I started out as my payback to the community.

People are diverse. People are different. People are complex and not uniform. Drupal is one of the most diverse across the spectrum communities I have ever come across. You will encounter the entire range of people here. Just like in any community, if you don't get along with one of them, don't interact with them.

-sp
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

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

Toe’s picture

Not the post I was refering to, but in a way, close enough. For the record, I agree that trying to 'integrate' with something like phpBB is a bad idea. But at times like that, personally I think it would be better to say nothing than to say something that's obviously going to piss people off. Take a few seconds to THINK about what you're going to post. A few angry words could have easilly been avoided in that thread, and IMHO we'd be better off that way.

robertDouglass’s picture

Can you find this quote for me? I missed it when it was happening and would like to review:

Since when do developers care about users

Thanks.

- Robert Douglass

-----
Rate the value of this post: http://rate.affero.net/robertDouglass/
I recommend CivicSpace: www.civicspacelabs.org
My sites: www.hornroller.com, www.robshouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

Toe’s picture

As sepeck noted, there is a bit of context missing from that quote. And unfortunately, the quote itself has been deleted, so it's dificult to reproduce the context accurately. The remnants of the discussion is here.

Still, out of context or not, it is reflective of the vibe I sometimes get from some people around here...

Jaza’s picture

I was the person that noticed the deletion of that quote (and its related comments), and I was also the one that re-posted the remnants of those comments as best I could (not having anything to go by except for my memory, and a lasting bad taste in my mouth).

I re-posted that quote because like you, Toe, I too was disgusted with it, and I too was concerned with what it reflected about the attitude of the Drupal developer community. I also found it disturbing that the drupal.org admins (a.k.a. the Drupal developers) chose to delete all trace of it. Although the reason cited was a practical one, I've never been able to crush my suspicion that perhaps there was more to it than that.

Sepeck, most of the time I agree with your regular comments to Drupal users, that they should have more appreciation of developers who volunteer their free time. As a lesser Drupal developer myself, I too have experienced the lack of thanks that users sometimes display. But despite all this, for developers to make comments such as that one is totally unacceptable. If I were you, I wouldn't bother sticking my neck out to defend such comments.

Developers have a level of responsibility to be civil and courteous to the wider user community. Although we're all volunteers, it wouldn't hurt on occasion to pretend that our users were paying customers, and to imagine how long they'd keep employing us if we said things to them that border on flamebait. I'm not saying that we have to do everything that every annoying demanding user tells us to do; but we should always make our answers dignified, and never rude.

Jeremy Epstein - GreenAsh

Jeremy Epstein - GreenAsh

sepeck’s picture

Jeremy,

I know, I thought your reaction to it was rude and in bad taste at the time and continue to think so now. I merely didn't say so in the forums. I won't even give my opinion on this continuance.

You're suspiciouns as to motive are unwarranted. That thread was an attack on an individual and completely unrelated to the annoucement at the time. It had to go. Dries told you to start a new thread in the appropriate forum if you chose. You should go back to some of the earliest posts on the site if you want some really fun reading from a wide variety of people.

I am not sticking my neck out to defend anything except someones right to an opinion, whether, you or I agree with it. However, the conversation was old, and you both are doggedly hanging onto it and continue to bring it up. Long after the original conversation was over. You hint that you disagree with some of my comments. That's all right, I have disagreed with some of yours. Oddly enough, it doesn't bother me that we don't always agree, we don't have to.

Having contributed to drupal development, you know that that input is accepted by anyone. Regardless of who they are and their opinion. You have an opinion of how someone should act. That's fine for you. Others are here scratching their own itch. They are not programing for others, they are programming for themselves.... If they are honest, you seem bent on making them pay and driving them away because they do not fit your image of how they should act.

Nothing he has said in regards to his opinion was flamebait. You're reading into it that which I did not. You seem really seems to hold someone else's opinion and they're freedom to express that opinion in complete disregard. He has not gone out of his way to continue to post on the subject, but here's this thread bringing it all up again and attacking him out of context.

Please, let it go. Accept that there are individuals in this life and this community that will act in a way different from you.

My comments to user demands are from the viewpoint of trying to help them understand the project. Understand how to help. Understand the limitations of a volunteer community and it's resources. If you can't make friends and be nice, cross the street and walk on the other side. There is more then enough room in the development pool for everyone to play nice.

My dad runs a non-profit and has a saying, "The great thing about a volunteer organization is you get all kinds and they usually find some common ground, even if they don't always get along." Why not let your common ground be good, clean code?

-sp
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

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

Dries’s picture

Agreed. Developers should never be rude (and neither should users) but sooner or later, people are going to be rude, regardless of what you and I think of that. If that happens, let it go.

The thread you referred to was deleted because it was off-topic, just like this thread. It does not add to the subject being discussed. I'm tempted to delete this thread as well because it does not help people looking for information about 'Drupal versus Wordpress'. I already removed the forum topic from the main page for that reason. Let's move this discussion to its own forum topic.

Toe’s picture

Let's move this discussion to its own forum topic.

See, this is why ability to split topics is near the top of the list I'm working on. =P

eldarin’s picture

.. but it's for a completely different forum system. I don't like the comment system, and made it all nodes - but with better caching of crucial parts. Need to benchmark it all to see if it performs up to par with what I want, and get the quirks out.

It's quite nice though, with moderation possible on all levels (site, forums, threads, nodes, tags, whatever you tag - even URLs regexped). Private forums, private taglists (even hierarchical - i.e taxonomies) and even possible private ACLs - i.e even "private moderation delegating control" (all of this is not working perfectly yet, but no big obstructions ahead). Improving caching and small memory footprint is important though.

I guess my ambitions about forum self-moderation through ranking and self-censoring, along with collapsible/dynamic sub-parts makes it a rather large project still. The splitting flexibility was easy.

Well, nodes is what it's all about in my book.

killes@www.drop.org’s picture

I don't recall that specific quote but it looks like something I could have written as it reflects my opinion quite accurately. If somebody develops free software he usually has his own itch to scratch and is happy if it works out. If the code is usefull to somebody else, too, all the better. If he gets some usefull bug reports, yay!

But that's it. I still wrote the code for my own use and do usually not care to attend to other people's wishes (at least not for free).

I fail to see how such an opinion would be unjust or even rude. I let you use my code under a very nice licence after all.

--
Drupal services
My Drupal services

eaton’s picture

That's a very important distinction that exists in OSS but not commercial software. There is certainly a huge 'user-centric' portion of Drupal. The core is always designed with the needs of end users and developers in mind, and the majority of the features are there because they benefit the community as a whole, not just one or two folks who glomped on a feature.

There's a second category of software, though, that you refer to -- the 'itch-scratching' code. Usually this comes in the form of modules or patches or themes or what not. I've written a couple of modules like that for my blog and my other personal sites -- if others use them and like them, that's great, but I'm not going to pour work into enhancing them for other people if *I* am happy with them at the moment. Others are free to jump in and contribute patches, or base a new module on my work.

"This is the Drupal Core" versus "This is a module for end-users" versus "This is some code I'm using, if you like it, use it" is an important continuum. I think the conversation that's being discussed touched on the third category, and some misunderstand it as touching on the first category.

Toe’s picture

Good way of putting it. Even if you're only speaking for yourself, be careful to remember that your words can easilly be taken as the voice of the greater community, especially if you're in a prominent role in the community.

Boris Mann’s picture

What for you as a North American may seem curt or abrupt is perfectly civil language in that contributor's native language.

I know this is especially true for European languages. I can comment because I happen to be bilingual in English and German. I can "hear" what the person is trying to say in their native language, but it comes across as too blunt in English. A person's naturally blunt tendencies may of course exacerbate this cultural/linguistic barrier :P

So, try not to take things as a personal attack. We are all trying to make Drupal "suck less".

eldarin’s picture

If one speak various languages pretty well one soon start to notice these nuances - and get a forgiving attitude about possible offensive bad wording.

Coming from a computer science background myself, I also know that many programmers have their "quirks" and feel passionately about technical topics. Some also feel disgruntled about the Internet's developement, and see the new "invaders" as polluting the old academic "pureness"; those who enjoyed alt.tasteless.jokes, comp.lang.*, putting on their asbestos suits and raving on in large USENET flamewars.

I guess we now see some of the features missing from Drupal forums, the ability to move posts/comments into new threads and keep threads more on topic.

styro’s picture

The attitude that certain developers, site maintainers, etc. have toward their own users is appalling. Bad code can be patched, but bad atitudes can't.

I find that a bit hard to swallow (note I'm just a Drupal user, not a developer or site maintainer etc). Of all the open source projects I've followed Drupal seems one of the best in terms of open friendly community.

Not pointing any fingers, but one thing I have noticed though is that a higher than normal (but still small) proportion of Drupals potential user base does seem overly whiny, demanding and ungrateful with high expectations of handholding. I sometimes marvel at the patience of some developers when trying to (voluntarily I might add) help these people.

Do other projects get newbies whining in their forums about stuff that Drupal can do but that project can't? If so, maybe that is just the nature of the game with PHP CMS/blog projects. If not, maybe that's a sign of how good Drupal really is.

These users have no appreciation of the way open source works and how much value they are being given for nothing (including the support). There is usually a tradeoff between flexibility and simplicity. If they don't like it, they should go and find something else.

OK enough ranting - as a longer term view I'd be happy to see the Drupal ecosystem continue to develop along the lines of the Debian one with a core development project surrounded by niche distros that cater to less sophisticated users. I wish Civicspace (and others) all the best.

robertDouglass’s picture

For a while I thought I was hallucinating. Since lots of the developers here know each other personallly, and I don't know a sigle one yet whom I don't think is a really great, kind and enthusiastic person (ok, well, mostly ;-), I start to wonder where all the griping comes from.

Anyway, this is WAY off topic.

PS. When you qoute things, use <blockquote>...</blockquote>. It makes it easier to know that you're qouting someone (and less likely that you get flamed for the quote).

- Robert Douglass

-----
Rate the value of this post: http://rate.affero.net/robertDouglass/
I recommend CivicSpace: www.civicspacelabs.org
My sites: www.hornroller.com, www.robshouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

Bèr Kessels’s picture

Taht you react so frustrated? Did you get a rude answer in the forums? I still like the forums, yet the biggest trouble is that people do not search, just ask. I am one of those that does these questions away with "already answered, search first".

Yes, the attitude may be different then other forums, but surely YUO are the one to change it. Not by reacting irritated but by joining th forums and by giving support in that friendly way you have in mind!

---
if you dont like the choices being made for you, you should start making your own.
---
[Bèr Kessels | Drupal services www.webschuur.com]

ac’s picture

That really went off track there.

IMHO after a few years of using most CMS's out there (and only about 12 hours using drupal) I have to say drupal is fantastic. It still lacks in a few minor areas (image insertion, certain persmission based tasks) but the code is so clean and well documented that this problem can be solved easily in time. Drupal has been well thoughout and planned from the start. Everything is well organised and logical.

Credit must go to the developers for doing a open source CMS right. I have been using mambo for a while and whilst it is also a great product it fails in so many areas. It is much more hackish in the sense that the code is poorly documented, there is no 'well orgainised' bug tracking and the components often require core hacks. This leads to a mess of code that is hard (sometimes impossible) to patch.

The drupal core (at least from what i have seen) seems to stand alone from any module and so patching is easy and clean. This alone makes drupal standout as a superior product to most CMS's. The taxonomy capabilites are *fantastic* and a godsend to anyone who cares about SEO. So far I have nothing bad to say about drupal and many great things to report.

PS As far as i can tell drupal is one of the most customizable CMS's. Using PHPtemplate and flexiblock you can output anything anywhere, and the indivdual block tags allow for complete CSS control. I dont see how it could be any easier.

varunvnair’s picture

I personally am very happy with Drupal. It is a powerful and flexible CMS and I am in general able to do what I want to do. I chose Drupal over WordPress for my blog.

Basically both are have different uses, capabilities and class of users (users=admins+users). A Drupal user will find WordPress quite limited and less flexible whereas WordPress users may find Drupal a bit difficult and unwieldy.

I agree that Drupal is quite powerful but I also believe that Drupal can become more user friendly. This discussion itself has a number of nice suggestions (automatic installer, different styles for a theme, diff install profiles etc.). Some of them are already in the pipeline. I am sure by the time Drupal hits 2.0 it will have all these features in (possibly before 2.0)

Drupal community is also 1 of the best I have ever seen. Most of my questions are answered promptly, bug reports taken care of as soon as possible and feature requests considered.

Each 1 of use can give back to Drupal in a number of ways. That way we can make Drupal a much better CMS and also help users facing problems. We can develop modules, submit patches, file bug reports or feature requests and help out in the forums.

My Drupal-powered Blog: ThoughtfulChaos - Varun's Blog

varunvnair’s picture

Hmmm... seems like I am using a very old version of Drupal :-)

I meant 5.0, NOT 2.0.

My Drupal-powered Blog: ThoughtfulChaos

erima’s picture

Wikimarkup would be easier to type, but what happens down the road? Eventually it could be a strange looking document if wikimarkup isn't recognized; HTML doesn't seem to want to go anywhere.

What if there was a module that converted wikimarkup to html when the page was viewed or when it was saved? It would seem the best of both worlds.

Steven’s picture

Drupal has a flexible filter system that supports text in various formats. It is pretty straightforward to write a Drupal module for wikimarkup.

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

eldarin’s picture

Looking at a about-Drupal-discussion from 2002 sums up some of the same things mentioned here. Quite amusing; here it is Which area of Drupal needs the most improvement? (1 year later) [/node/250].

Hehe, and pgsql still seems a little sore topic ... judging by the millionth revision of killes' node-revision-table patch ( node revisions in their own table ).

robertb9527’s picture

but I love drupal!

------
Welcome to my blog:
http://www.b9527.net

Marc Bijl’s picture

First things first: I am a newbie and not a programmer at all :-\

Not too long ago I started thinking about creating a website using either Wordpress or Drupal. After reading some reviews, I decided to give Drupal a go - convinced it was the best choice for me.

Now I am not so sure anymore...

Developing my site, I found out that I wanted to theme pages differently. Different images, different menus, different location for blocks, and so on. Not uncommon when building a website, is it?

Well, I've tried for hours, and hours and hours; nothing seemed to work. There are some solutions (let's say: workarounds), but they're based on coding - thus technical skills. It drives me crazy! Why does such basic functionality need such hard thinking?!?

I just looked at the Wordpress site. Wooohaaa! Can't believe my eyes! Assigning different pages to different templates seems to be standard functionality!

Think I should give Wordpress a go. Or can somebody convince me there's an easy way to do this in Drupal? Please remember: I am a newbie and not a programmer at all...

Marc

peterx’s picture

I have a possible solution that is in the form of a new unpublished module. The module looks at the URL, checks a list of URLs, and returns formatting information.

The list or URLs is in the database and has administration pages to update the table. You can enter a URL, such as news/london, and a background colour, such as black or #334455. It could be expanded to handle other format data.

I use the background colour in HTML, styles, and to select an image. It could return a class or a CSS file name. What do you want to change on each page?

The module applies the changes based on an "area". If you are visiting page news/london/weather/spring then the module looks for a style specific to news/london/weather/spring. If not found, it looks for news/london/weather. It repeats until it finds something or the default for /. You can be as specific or general as you like. Is this a possible fit?

Marc Bijl’s picture

# peterx

Hi Peter!

That sounds pretty promising!

What I want to change on each page? Well, to give you an idea, first an image of the basic design (as an Oz you might like it :-D ).

Here it comes. As you can see, I have three levels / blocks of navigation:

  1. Main navigation
    top of page - css division mainnavigation -> mainmenu
  2. Subnavigation
    next to image - css division subnavigation -> submenu
  3. Extra navigation
    next to text - css division content -> sidebar

I already defined the main navigation as "primary links", and some subnavigation via the "menus".

The main navigation is the same, at all pages. However, both the subnavigation and the extra navigation are different on each page - depending on the item of the main navigation. So, shown sub- and extra menus for "webdesign" are different compared to those of "contact".

As you can see, the subnavigation and extra navigation are seperated as well; they can not be shown in one same css division called "sidebar". The menus defined for the subnavigation must be shown next to the image (in css division "submenu"), while the menus defined for the extra navigation must be shown next to the text (in css division "sidebar").

And last: each type of page must have its own picture. So, one picture for the pages under mainmenu "webdesign", one picture for the pages under mainmenu-item "contact", and so on. These pictures are NOT part of the blog posts, articles or pages in Drupal, because they're defined in another division(!).

Hope this made some things clear...

Would be great if your module can help! What do you think? And when will it be ready for use? Looking forward!

CU,
Marc

_______________
*** UPDATE ***

Peter,

As you can see through the exchange of messages between Ber Kessels and me, I managed to get the sections module to work. Have you tried that module as well? If yes, did it not fit your needs? Can you tell me the advantages of the module you mentioned above the sections module?

peterx’s picture

If you use themes and want to change themes form page to page, the sections module sounds like the best choice.

I want to use the one theme, which is a HML, PHP & CSS theme based on a previous non Drupal site. Within the one theme I want to change background colours and a few other small things. My module was built to do the minimum changes and add stuff as I want.

I already have CSS loaded in three levels, browser specific, my version, and then the Drupal default. I am going to make my module load another level. For URL /aaa/bbb/ccc translated to area bbb, your CSS wil end up as:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/a_firefox_1.css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/bbb.css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/a.css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/a_style.css" />

The first CSS will apply adjustments for specific browsers. The second one will apply formatting for your area. The third will apply CSS for your site and the last will supply CSS from the Drupal default.

If you want a special icon or other image you could use images with names like icon_bbb.png and get the bbb from my module. I might make the bbb part available using something like .

Before I walk down to the beach for a surf, which theme engine are you planning to use?

Marc Bijl’s picture

Hi Peter,

For my site, I am already using the PHP Template engine.

You can see my results so far at www.newoceans.nl. Indeed, it's kinda "under construction" :-\

As I seem to be able to make the site pretty much the same as my design (using PHP templates), and because I like to have some major differences between the pages, I think I will try the sections module. I played a bit around with it, and it does a fantastic job!

Nevertheless, I really like to keep informed about your module!

May we better stop discussing here, because we're way off topic. We can stay in contact about your module anyway! Have a nice surf!

sepeck’s picture

might be the sections module which is also still under development
http://drupal.org/project/sections
I have not used it so do not not what level of effort you would need to expend.

When deciding which direction you are going, all you really need to do is, will the solution I pick be able to grow with what I envision for the site next year. With Drupal, you can start with a blog and grow. I can advise you on what Wordpress can do not having used it.

Two years of Drupal and still not a programmer.

-sp
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mount

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

Bèr Kessels’s picture

yes, you describe sections.
eh mere fact that it is "still under development" should not withhold you from using it. I keep my modules under development untill I am 99% satisfied, which, as you can imagine, will happen ... never!... :). Serious, I wiill only release it as stable after I have had enough feedbackthat it is found stable.
---
if you dont like the choices being made for you, you should start making your own.
---
[Bèr Kessels | Drupal services www.webschuur.com]

robertDouglass’s picture

- Robert Douglass

-----
Rate the value of this post: http://rate.affero.net/robertDouglass/
I recommend CivicSpace: www.civicspacelabs.org
My sites: www.hornroller.com, www.robshouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

Marc Bijl’s picture

#speck & robertDouglass

Hi Steven and Robert!

Thanks for your suggestions about the sections module. After hours of trying to code myself a way through the problem, and some more hours of research in the forum, I have found this module as well. I thought it would be the ultimate solution for assigning different styles to different pages!

However, it had to be installed first, and therefore a table "sections" needed to be created in the database. The installationfile says to do it like this:

mysql -u username -ppassword drupal < sections.mysql

As not being a programmer, I really did not know what this was about! How and where should I execute this? The only way to reach my database, is via the website of my hosting company. So I tried it that way, and wanted to create the sections table using the webpages (wizards) of my hostingcompany. It gave me an error: it's not possible to create a table without fields. Pfff... What fields? Don't know anything about fields!

So, as a newbie, it can be really frustrating to spend hours, and hours, while achieving nothing at all. Therefore it was even a greater surprise to find out that Wordpress has some standard functionality for assigning different styles to different pages.

But okay, if someone can tell me how to create the table, I will give it another try :-D

Marc

Bèr Kessels’s picture

Sorry, I has been told above: installation system is on the way. But iuntill it is there, you MUST have some basic knowledge.
If you lack such knowledge, you can do three things:
* google for answers, buy books and learn!! you are never too old to learn.
* hire a developer. often an hour @ €40 is enough for a simple site.
* Go use a tool better suited for your skills. If MT fits better with you as a person, use that tool.

---
if you dont like the choices being made for you, you should start making your own.
---
[Bèr Kessels | Drupal services www.webschuur.com]

Marc Bijl’s picture

Hi Ber,

I fully agree the things you suggested - especially the first and the last. So please don't misunderstand: except "just asking in the forum", I look for other tools too, just as I will google till I die :-D

Anyway, here's the good news:
I just managed to create the table. I found the sections part at "/admin/settings/sections", so let's go for it!

Hope it will fit!
Thnx, Marc

_______________
*** UPDATE ***

Wow, this seems to be pretty cool! Played a bit around and I think this will solve my problem! Good work Ber, many thanks!

Marc

eldarin’s picture

New Oceans,
from the paragraph:

Individual Pages can be set to use a specific, custom Page Template that you create within your Theme. This new Page Template will then override the default page.php Page Template included with your Theme. See What Template is used to Display a Particular Page?, below, to find out exactly which Template will be used. But read what follows first, so you understand the answer :)

Then further down:

<?php
/*
Template Name: Archives with Content
*/
?>

<?php get_header(); ?>

<div id="content" class="widecolumn">

 <?php if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()) : the_post();?>
 <div class="post">
  <h2 id="post-<?php the_ID(); ?>"><?php the_title();?></h2>
  <div class="entrytext">
   <?php the_content('<p class="serif">Read the rest of this page »</p>'); ?>
  </div>
 </div>
 <?php endwhile; endif; ?>
 <?php edit_post_link('Edit this entry.', '<p>', '</p>'); ?>

</div>
<div id="main">

<?php include (TEMPLATEPATH . '/searchform.php'); ?>

<h2>Archives by Month:</h2>
  <ul>
    <?php wp_get_archives('type=monthly'); ?>
  </ul>

<h2>Archives by Subject:</h2>
  <ul>
     <?php wp_list_cats(); ?>
  </ul>

</div>
<?php get_footer(); ?>

I guess your outta luck for the non-programming WordPress page-template.
There are solutions to individually templating pages, but I think that the current PHP-template is similarly dependent on programming parts. Although somewhat easily changed programming tidbits - it still requires Drupal innards wisdom. I guess the same goes for the Smarty engine (used with Grey-box ?).

The "easiest" solution would seem to be something like Xtemplate which includes no programming whatsoever in the template-files themselves, only data-labels and block-descriptions.

There would still be some "fiddling" required to efficiently choose between template-files. Only with a proper "URL-handler" would you be able to setup individual "page-configurations". They could be dependent on a lot of variables; like userid, URL, tags/taxonomy, date etc.

It seems like peterx' solution seems a good fit too.

Marc Bijl’s picture

Hi Eldar,

As you can see (please read my comment #peterx), I agree his module seems to fit. Anyway, I just managed to get the sections module running and it does a great job! So I'm going to try that one.

I suggest to finish the discussion I started, because it's going way off topic. It gave me some good advice though :-D

Thnx for your reply!

Marc

eldarin’s picture

Well, I think that within the WordPress-Drupal comparison - even a sub-topic on per-page-templating might fit.

For this particular problem, I think we can safely say that Drupal is at least as user-/designer-friendly as WordPress, and with contributed modules - perhaps even more so.
:-)

aboyd’s picture

Looks like Marc's problem has been solved by the sections module. I just wanted to mention an alternative method I used, which serves the same purpose (I think): the Taxonomy Themes module.

I created a "Section" category, added a handful of terms, and then picked which theme goes with each term. It works. I did patch a line or two to make the module apply themes to more than just the nodes themselves (so my themes also apply to overview pages which list all the entries), but even without that it seems to be a decent option.

-Tony

Marc Bijl’s picture

Hi Tony,

Good one! I've seen that module too, and since I haven't created too much content yet, it's still worth a go. Thanks!

Marc

aboyd’s picture

Just in case you're still considering the possibility of using this method, you may want to review this:

http://drupal.org/node/30135

That shows the line you need to add to the taxonomy_theme.module file, to enable it to display the proper theme for each section's index/overview page.

chadcf’s picture

I switched to drupal after trying out Typo3 for a while, so to me drupal seems painfully easy. After trying to comprehend how Typo3 works, and how to extend it, drupal seems quite logical and easy to grasp. It makes sense to me, I've never found it complex. Sure it has it's quirks, and some of the ways it does things don't make much sense to me (the node access system for example), but I've stuck with it because I've found it one of the easier systems to work with, and definately one of the easiest systems to develop for.

bs’s picture

Hello friends,
I am new to drupal world. But I feel very puzzled that drupal uses only functions and no classes. When every one out there talking about object oriented thinking and MVC frame work why drupal choose this path?

noid’s picture

Perhaps this could help:

Drupal programming from an object-oriented perspective

http://drupal.org/node/19964

bs’s picture

Thank you for enlightening me. But I still believe that it would be better to create core drupal classes and let the developers override the functions which they need to. I think in that way we can upgrade drupal very easily.

Heine’s picture

Nice if you believe but can you elaborate on that? Esp. why programming with classes would make for easier upgrades?

--
Tips for posting to the forums

sisterstephie’s picture

I've read through this thread because I'm trying to find out if drupal is *right* for me. I thought I'd just ask some people experienced with using the platform what they think.

I want to start a web site that is managed by myself and a friend of mine who has no_experience_whatsoever with html.

The web site will have a collaborative blog, a section of downloadable pdf resources, a links page, and possibly some other resource sections.

What I want is a cms that makes it easy for someone who doesn't know html to publish to the web site and add content in the various sections, including the blog, links page, and document resources page. I need a user-friendly interface that allows people to add links, upload site documents, and update text about those items.

We also want "categories" for our blog.!

I want to use a CMS because I think it will allow the site to be updated quicker. She won’t have to rely on me to update the site, she will be able to do it herself through a user-friendly platform.

Does Drupal provide this? I realize setting it up and customizing it might not be easy, but is it possible to use drupal to achieve the goal I want with a CMS—being to allow someone who doesn’t know html to add content to the site?

robertDouglass’s picture

You are right to seek a CMS, and Wordpress and Drupal are probably the two best options for your goals. If you go with Drupal, get the TinyMCE module installed (so you don't have to write HTML in your posts) and the weblinks module for your links page. Turn on the upload module (already comes with Drupal) for uploading PDFs that others can download. If you really want to make it easy, get a Bryght account (Bryght.com). They sell you a full-featured website that can do everything you've dreamed of and you never worry about installing or upgrading anything.

- Robert Douglass

-----
My sites: HornRoller.com, RobsHouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

sisterstephie’s picture

Thanks for the Bryght.com reference. I think I'll try drupal through Bryght.com to see how I like it. That may be the route for me... we'll see. I operate on a go daddy server and read somewhere that drupal is hard to install through go daddy.

Oh and on the subject of taxonomies. I'm learning about them right now in a unit about classification systems in my Cataloging class!

headcold’s picture

I promised my friend that I would give Drupal a chance. He loves it, but he also loves Linux. I've been installing modules and themes and just recently got the aggregator to work. I still don't know what taxonomy means. Something to do with categories. Nodes? I guess they are the blocks where you content shows up.

Can someone recommend where to start learning the types of things that are helpful in working with Drupal? I've started reviewing Visual Basic and Java script tutorials, but I'm probably very far from being able to actually do anything constructive.

Dad raised a fighter. And I'm not giving up yet.

-adam

yelvington’s picture

The terms used by Drupal are defined in the built-in admin/help section, including a full page on admin/taxonomy. But I am puzzled that that this question comes up so frequently. Drupal does have some terms, such as node, that have a special meaning within Drupal. But taxonomy is not a Drupal invention.

A basic education ought to include a liberal arts core, and that core should include enough history of science to cover Linnaeus, which would be at least an opportunity to trip over the concept of taxonomy.

I would understand confusion over ontology, a term Drupal mercifully avoids, but then, the Internet is a great tool for looking things up.

peterx’s picture

Ontology is described by Wikipedia as "rigorous conceptual schema" and sounds like the plot out of Dangerous Liaisons rewritten for a athletic fertile woman in the military.

I had trouble finding out how taxonomy is used to build the site I want. I dropped taxonomy and used the menu system. After much research I started using some taxonomy again. I need so many add on modules to do stuff that it has taken six months to find the ones I need and write the ones that are not available.

There are several modules that say "this module needs taxonomy" but do not say how taxonomy has to be set up for the module. That is equivalent to NASA saying "We purchased some land in Florida for a launch pad and designed the flag to stand on the surface of the moon. We are just missing a few bits in the middle".

petermoulding.com/web_architect

talkingwires’s picture

Wow, this discussion has just come full circle.

I'm a new user with a fresh Drupal installation, trying decide if I really want to commit to learning the ins-and-outs of another CMS. I've been reading Drupal documentation and discussions for about a week now, and knobelspies's comments seem pretty close to the mark to me. Drupal is very flexible, and certainly has a lot of promise. But does most of it's potential lay in the future? Is it worth the up-front investment to develop site for personal use? I'm still unsure, but this discussion, with the exception of the post above, has been quite helpful.

zota’s picture

I know I'm coming to this thread a half-year late, but I felt compelled to respond to this "taxonomy" issue...

I do have a solid liberal arts education, including a masters degree in critical studies. I'm familiar with Linnaeus, the history of science, and I even still remember a bit of the Dewey Decimal System. I've also been developing websites for ten years, and yes, I know definition of "taxonomy." With that out of the way, let me state this clearly:

When someone says that the way Drupal uses taxonomy is confusing, it could just maybe be because the way Drupal uses the term taxonomy IS confusing.

After using WordPress for years to make a wide range of sites, I'm coming back to Drupal, because it looks like the best tool for a new online community project. But I'm going to take the advice I saw in this thread and completely ignore everything regarding taxonomy, focusing instead on another obtuse latinate word: praxis.

zota’s picture

I know I'm coming to this thread a half-year late, but I felt compelled to respond to this "taxonomy" issue...

I do have a solid liberal arts education, including a masters degree in critical studies. I'm familiar with Linnaeus, the history of science, and I even still remember a bit of the Dewey Decimal System. I've also been developing websites for ten years, and yes, I know definition of "taxonomy." With that out of the way, let me state this clearly:

When someone says that the way Drupal uses taxonomy is confusing, it could just maybe be because the way Drupal uses the term taxonomy IS confusing.

After using WordPress for years to make a wide range of sites, I'm coming back to Drupal, because it looks like the best tool for a new online community project. But I'm going to take the advice I saw in this thread and completely ignore everything regarding taxonomy, focusing instead on another obtuse latinate word: praxis.

robertDouglass’s picture

Drupal has lots of different types of content types: blogs, forums, photos and audio recordings to name a few. They are all different types, yet they all have certain characteristics in common. To address this "common" ground, there is a common content type from which they are all derived. There has to be a general term for content because at some level, all content types get handled the same way. They can all have comments, they can all have categories (taxonomy terms), and they can all have uploaded files attached to them. Node equals the general form of content. Taxonomy is a way to classify things. Categories are just a watered-down version of the classification idea. Taxonomy is a much richer, more powerful idea than plain categories.

- Robert Douglass

-----
My sites: HornRoller.com, RobsHouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

sepeck’s picture

a handbook page to supplement the help files
http://drupal.org/node/21951

-sp
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

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

traiecto’s picture

I'm a non-tech (although work well with XHTML/CSS) PM/Info arquitect in the middle of a redesign that will use Drupal, have a team of programmers who will take care of the technical part, and at home I'm working my own WordPress blog.
I have managed to install Drupal in my laptop (WAMP setup), wasn't easy but after gathering bits and pieces of information from all over the drupal site, got it right.
Managed to learn enough about Drupal to understand that it's "taxonomy system" is nothing short of a heaven-sent for this site (and in general, for someone who earns a living planning and organizing content)

At home, when I had hoped to use Drupal for my own site, moved onto WordPress, sacrificing the site I really wanted, with different types nodes, etc) because WP is just-oh-so-easy to install, customise, roll-out.

And here is where I raise the usability/user experience issue.
Wordpress got it by the hand. Not only it validates out of the box, the experience for a non-tech user is great. It was actually FUN getting it to work. It wobbles when it comes to the categories (too simple but it works anyway for basic stuff), it doesn't have half the functionality offers, but within its reduced scope, it is solid, and so very easy to use, to install, to understand.

Drupal, on the other hand, is a great, great tool, I appreciate the enormous effort from a lot of very bright and willing people and i'll be damned before turning my back on it (not just because of the functionality, but because of the spirit behind i), but I have to confess it has frustrated me endlessly..

I have read and re-read the manual ad nauseam, I have done searches with the (uhm..) built-in search system, have done searchs with Google just on the site, have spent days reading threads... only to end up with a myriad of comments and "best ways/tips/tricks" instead of an intuitive, easy-to-understand lineal instructions that begin with the very basics, then go deeper into detail.

For instance, to get to understand taxonomies (which is for me one of the most important features of Drupal) went first to the taxonomy module help in the Handbook and DRupal's site, but since I didn't "get it", went back to re-read it all from the beginning in a lineal way, in the hope to find out basic, "big-picture" information I had missed by jumping straight to taxonomy.
But this wasn't the case. I got through the configuration of RSS feeds, phpsnippets, etc.. Jumped back and forth to "see also this", but to no avail.
I just got more confused by trying to understand the different between the "navigation block", the "menumodule", the Using taxonomies for navigation, and still don't know how else or where else I can use the taxononies I have so lovingly manage to create (because that I did, because it's explained clearly)
It's been days now.., I know I'll get it right eventually but my client is not paying for this "downtime", and I've got a project to run, an information architecture to finalise and adapt to Drupal and a programmer who is not getting paid to "teach me". So my user-experience with Drupal has not been the best (although still believe it IS the tool I need, like I said before)

So, I wouldn't compared WP with Drupal because they are similar but DIFFERENT in what they can ultimately (help) accomplish.
But I cannot pass on and compare them at a user-experience / usability point of view - not the user experience of the "end-product when online" but to the people who come to it as a solution to a problem.

I hope that my comments are not interpreted as "another-ungrateful-newbie-wanting-more-and-more" type of comment...
And how I wish enough about Drupal to contribute in any way to help other "newbies/non-technical" to install it "in-5-minutes", to see the "big picture" before getting down to using php snipetts or worring about CRON jobs...
And, of course, I am contemplating the possibility that I missed the whole point, and there IS an "easier way", and I just didn't get.

robertDouglass’s picture

I think you've identified the biggest problems that Drupal faces. 4.7 will make progress on lots of the issues you mentioned, but won't fix all of them. I'd be interested in hearing how others describe the taxonomy system. Maybe I'll start a new thread for that.

- Robert Douglass

-----
My sites: HornRoller.com, RobsHouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

killes@www.drop.org’s picture

Maybe you should have mentioned your book? ;)
--
Drupal services
My Drupal services

eaton’s picture

Your comments are very insightful. WordPress IS a much more polished experience, much easier for a non-hacker to get configured and administer.

As you noted, this comes at the expense of a lot of Drupal's flexibility. One of the difficulties I've found is that streamlining a UI almost always involves limiting choices and presenting only what's necessary and helpful at the moment. Do you have any thoughts on how that might happen with Drupal? Would it make sense for folks to try building custom administration interfaces for specific end-user applications like blogging or what not?

Perhaps a new clas of modules could emerge -- streamlined UI for administration tasks. The existign controlpanel module does a bit of that already.

--
Jeff Eaton | Click Here To Find Out Why Drupal "Sucks"

traiecto’s picture

Eaton - November 15, 2005 - 19:55
As you noted, this comes at the expense of a lot of Drupal's flexibility. One of the difficulties I've found is that streamlining a UI almost always involves limiting choices and presenting only what's necessary and helpful at the moment. Do you have any thoughts on how that might happen with Drupal? (...) Perhaps a new clas of modules could emerge (...) Would it make sense for folks to try building custom administration interfaces for specific end-user applications like blogging or what not?

Perhaps, but that would be going back to the debate "what is Drupal". Dries Buytaert already defined it in the Drupal Conference: "Drupal is two things: for users, it's content management system (...) to organise content online (..) then, for developers, it's a content management framework"

An installation module, custom interfaces, etc. have advantages but also disadvantages: right now, Drupal is not easy to install, and not easy to implement (if you don't know how to). If you give users an installer, they'll think it's easier and then become completely stuck in the customisation part. That doesn't sound as much of a solution to me.... (but this is on the cards, no? If it saves time, and doesn't cripple Drupal, I'm all for it)

But anyway.... In my past life, when I used to work in/for "big corporate", whenever the company was faced with a problem.. the proposed solution was to throw even more technology at it. My line of thoughts runs along the lines of looking at what Drupal has right now, and staying clear of throwing more technology at a technological problem. I like to always remember that technology is there to server the user, and not the other way around

Drupal "technology" can be improved - as everything in life-, but that's not my concern either right now.
What can (could) be improved is how the user gets to it.
My comparison with WP mentioned the manual

I see Drupal's site as a huge knowledge repository, a tad too messy to be user-friendly. The manual grows organically, with many contributors but editorial policies and reviews that prevent the wrong information getting there.
It is not so much about the content, but how it's presented.. How it is written, in which order is presented.
I see an wealth of knowledge spread thin and oh-so-hard to find, and that alone makes the Drupal beginner-user-experience so hard.

Going back to Dries' words, perhaps a first step would be defining the audiencies of Drupal:
1. The developers "tech people"
2. The information architects / project managers / content consultants / designers
3. People who want their own small website and do it all themselves.
4. Etc?
5. People who use Drupal and will never see or hear about the backend

Drupal's website offers a handbook for 1) and 5)

If we know clearly who the users are, then we could translate that to the documentation.

Could this be done? It would not be easy, would take a coordinated team of people and would take lots of time, but it can be done.
There is a wealth of knowledge scattered all over the Drupal site, knowledge that addresses all the user-groups, but it is terribly hard to access.
There are infinite number of posts in the forum that have comments as "Hey, that should be in the manual, what a clear explanation, NOW I understand it...." (...) or along the lines of "sorry, I may sound stupid but I don't get it".

No Drupal user should ever feel stupid, or feel the need to apologise for posting a question that may be too simple or with an obvious answer, or spend hours and hours redoing the work (even if it's a search for information) that many others have done.

When this is the case, then what may be happening is that the "how-to-manual" is not working as well as it should..

So, an idea could be to reorganise the content, the manual (perhaps even split it into two or three, depending on the audiences.. or making the "high level stuff, non technical stuff section much bigger) and include the step-by-step instructions for non-techies, the "does Drupal serve my business needs questions", etc..
For the future, I would definitely start thinking of additional technology and give the forum users functionalitylike:

  • the ability to indicate that their post is a step-by-step instructions, complementary or additional to what's in the manual
  • A way to indicate what the audience level is (a new vocabulary?)
  • A way to indicate the topic of the comment posted

All of this could be useful for various things:
1. The people in charge of the manual have quick feedback and access to this content
2. Possible implementation of a "browse by category"
3. Separating the content by audience level/type
(thus making full use of Drupal's powerful taxonomy system)

(now, for instance, these comments are buried inside a "WP vs Drupal" thread. I wonder who would get to this... when in fact, the topic is "user experience / manual / etc"

....

eaton’s picture

I'd never thought about that, but I think I can see your point. There's very little help on issues like effective construction of a taxonomy. The assumption is that either you're a PHP savvy developer with a site plan in hand, trying to write a module for Feature X, or you're an end-user, posting comments and downloading files.

I shall ponder this!

--
Jeff Eaton | Click Here To Find Out Why Drupal "Sucks"

sepeck’s picture

Please sign up for the Drupal docs mail list to get more visibility on this. Additional insight and helping hands are welcome. Several recent things have been added and are getting readied now, so jump in.

Here are the teams
http://drupal.org/node/23743

Charlie Lowe is the overall coordinator lead.

-sp
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

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

lekei’s picture

One of the problems with the documentation is that it is seriously lacking in examples.

I have spend a lot of time downloading and trying modules because there are so few examples of what they do. Some of the descriptions are even quite terse.

The concept of how taxonomy works in Drupal is complex. It is nearly unintelligible if you come in with preconceptions, like trying to figure out how to even use it without hard-coding indexes that you need to examine the database to find, and assume would change if you re-installed the site).

The fact that other CMS systems have blocks that you position on a page and get filled with data, yet Drupal, on the surface, seems hard-wired to a 3-column system is a huge conceptual leap.

It has taken 6 months of pain to learn Drupal enough to make a decent site with it.

Real working examples would have helped.

sepeck’s picture

And the typical answer is, now that you have done this, please submit handbook pages of the examples you wished existed when you started to benefit those that come after.

-sp
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

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

lekei’s picture

I have lost so much project time trying to grok Drupal that I don't have time to play with 4.7 just for giggles.

I understand that my drupal automated installer (and perhaps the automated settings.php) will be moot in 4.7.

With 4.7 being rumored to be so radically different than 4.6 (a minor version?) I see no real point adding documentation to the installation struggles in 4.6. Maybe this second round of major functionality differences will prompt the ability to limit documentation and searches by version like modules and themes have, or at the very least by date.

Those who have done enough work with Drupal will probably be stuck with 4.6 (I for one will likely not hive time to switch for a long time). The people struggling with the Drupal learning wall will be using 4.7.

robertDouglass’s picture

For a lot of people, the rich number of stable modules will be a good reason to not switch to 4.7. Furthermore, some parts of Drupal, like the taxonomy system, have changed little or none between 4.6 and 4.7. I'd say that your efforts to document your learning would be well worth it and a great resource.

Start by writing a post "The 3 things I found hardest about Drupal" where you explain the problems you had and the solutions you came to.

- Robert Douglass

-----
My sites: HornRoller.com, RobsHouse.net

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

lekei’s picture

I still don't have a handle on taxonomy myself. I try not to think about it too much.

I just got the nerve to activate it on a site for the first time two days ago.

sepeck’s picture

Most of the handbook pages I have written have required few if any edits. Updating a page to include new information is easier for anyone to do if someone has already done the hard part of creating it originally.

Also, we are adding Drupal version information to the handbook taxonomy so really, any work you added woul dbe of value.

Is 4.7 different? Yes. Will it be worth it to update your sites to leverage those improvements. Probably. Are you likely to bother yourself? As far as I can tell from your comments, no. I supose I should learn php at some point.

-sp
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

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

Jose Reyero’s picture

Hi traiecto, interesting thoughts

Perhaps, but that would be going back to the debate "what is Drupal". Dries Buytaert already defined it in the Drupal Conference: "Drupal is two things: for users, it's content management system (...) to organise content online (..) then, for developers, it's a content management framework"

This "what is Drupal" is kind of an abstract question. The important thing, when it comes to reality, is how it is packaged and distributed.
IMHO, the solution would be to create specific distributions for different kinds of users, somehow hiding from them all the flexibility and options that "real Drupal" has.

staying clear of throwing more technology at a technological problem

Well, while technology is not always the solution, we need that technology to build 'human interfaces' on top of it. But the thing is technology should be hidden from end-users so, how can we have both, an user friendly system, and a powerful framework to build upon? My solution is again 'distributions'.
It should be the people maintaning that distributions, who could make some assumptions about which options would the user need and which ones not, thus hidding complexity from the users. But again, we need some technology to build upon, like an installer, or some tool to create step-by-step configuration assistants, which we currently miss.
Btw, give a try to CivicSpace. That's closer to my idea of what the end user should see.

There is a wealth of knowledge scattered all over the Drupal site, knowledge that addresses all the user-groups, but it is terribly hard to access.

I think the Drupal site does a nice work trying to organize that huge amount of information. The problem is you throw a search for whatever, like 'forum' and you end up with a hundred results, from how to code it till the 'how do I ' kind of questions.

It is always a trade off between the amount of information and how easy is to find it. The thing is we have reached some *critical point* where *a single site cannot serve such a diversity of users*.
So we should be thinking about having some separate sites, and the very minimum should be one for development, and one for end users.

Of course we could add some more levels of organization to the current site, like a whole new bunch of categories, like 'beginners', 'developers', 'site admins', etc. But that means also *more complexity* that new users will have trouble dealing with.

It doesn't matter how well you organize the information. Well, it matters and you can do it better or worse, but when you simply have *too much information* that you want to keep available, either the result will be a big mess or the organization system will be complex.

tadaa’s picture

assumption: Drupal is meant for the large mainstream stand-alone blogsites.

needs (not ranked or rated): sense, simplicity, speed, just enough customize, support and built with GREAT DESIGN.

reputation:
Drupal is the Swiss army knife, but big public needs the motorized can opener.

add:
Make shells (and only for mainstream stand-alone blogging), simply: newbie level, moderate, advance. If users are educated enough they can click a level higher.

Code is poetry, but Damn, Design too! It's like faces, you like to deny that first impression don't count... heheh

Just to boost Drupals newbies -> educated users leverage :-)

-- to illustrate.. innovate --

Zach Harkey’s picture

big public needs the motorized can opener

That is solid gold. I'm putting it on my wall.

-zach
------------------------
harkey design

: z

dshah’s picture

I have been using different cms for a while including mambo, joomla, wordpress, blogger (not really a cms). I tried drupal recently and its BEST among all these.

Algorithms # Puzzles # Riddles

Veggievan’s picture

I have a vested stake in making drupal moblogging work since we have two web sites under development using drupal. We have blogs on both. (ex: veggievan.org). Flickr.com is now allowing folks with camera phones and wordpress blogs to upload pictures directly to their blogs from their cell phones *without logging on to the net, selecting photos, resizing etc*. It's a very cool way to instantaneously get the pics up.

Anyone who can guarantee they can make this work, want a programming gig to make flickr upload photos directly to my drupal blogs? (I am not a programmer but I'm willing to pay for the code!).

JT

walterbyrd’s picture

I have used both, and have the upmost respect for both projects.

Wordpress is very easy to install and use. It is the easiest of kind, from my experience. Wordpress also has first rate instructions, and a very active, and helpful, community. The wordpress 5 minute installation is no joke - even for a newbie.

But, at some point, it's sort of like comparing a toaster to an F-16. Sure, the toaster is a lot easier to use, but the toaster doesn't quite have the functionallity either.

A few lessons that drupal could possibly learn from wordpress: with wordpress you don't have to manually load the tables into the mysql database, that is done from the installation interface. Also, although drupal documentation is good, and improving, wordpress documentation walks you right through the install so thoroughly that any child could do it. In fact, in my understanding, many children have installed wordpress.

snakey’s picture

Whew...
I've read all of the posts regarding Drupals uniqueness, I'm not daunted in the least. I do however have concerns over Drupal taking an elitist direction when inneroperability should be the goal.

My other issue, is that very few of the CMS offer anything remotely directed at the online artist or magazine publisher. Everything seems to reflect the, pardon the terminology, "techno-nerd communities." I am a writer, artist and photographer. My needs for a CMS differ from someone who is trying to set up an intranet or a community message board. I've looked into Props, and Campsite. I even remotely considered Wordpress, but they seem lacking in many features, not to mention I got numerous errors after installation. JOOMLA/MAMBO and XOOPS were too problematic, with what I foresee as security flaws which scare me.
Is Drupal for me? I guess I will find out. Hopefully I won't get dissatisfied and encounter obstacles as I did with the CMS 's just mentioned.

By the way, I have downloaded both 4.6 and 4.7 which in your honest opinions is better for the courageous neophyte?
Patrice
I'm learning as I go

sepeck’s picture

unless you are a developer, always always use the latest production release. In this case, 4.6.5

As to being an artist: http://drupalart.org/

As to being elitist... very confused. Drupal's developer communities direction has been fairly consistent for a long time now. If 'someone' wants to work on interoperability, that's fine. You are welcome to work on interoperability.

-sp
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

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

ergophobe’s picture

Patrice,

Everything seems to reflect the, pardon the terminology, "techno-nerd communities." I am a writer, artist and photographer. My needs for a CMS differ from someone who is trying to set up an intranet or a community message board.

Actually, that's why I chose Drupal. I looked at so many CMS and Drupal was the one that would let me build the site I wanted. The site in my link still sort of looks like crap, but I have some major improvements in my "sandbox" version that gets it away from the "blog" look it has now and should have some major improvements to the live front page in a week or so.

There are some other sites running Drupal that are more refined than mine that focus on photography or writing - probably hundreds, but I know these two from Andre who comes around here a lot

http://www.aguntherphotography.com/
http://www.opentravelinfo.com

I have a simple test now. If a CMS has avatars by default, it's not for me. Drupal passes that test of course, which to me is one sign that a CMS is about real communication.

I also have a blog using Wordpress just to try it. As soon as I have time, it will be switched to Drupal. I'm a real neophyte at both Drupal and Wordpress, but I've found

- Wordpress is easier to make minor customizations to (change colors and make theme adjustments right from the admin interface).
- Drupal is easier to get your head around if you want to really make it do what you want, not just blog and look like every other site running CMS X (like I said, mine currently does look like every drupal site, but it's evolving as I find time and gain knowledge).

- Wordpress forums are helpful, but somehow just very hard for me to use.

- I don't have the knowledge yet to make substantial contributions here, yet the Drupal community has been extremely generous helping me sort things out.

I still haven't tried Drupal 4.7 yet, but I think Drupal in general would be a great choice for you. I think the weakness of Drupal compared with other CMS is that the default forum style is not to my liking. If you're not focussed on forums, go for it.

Yosemite Explorer - hiking and climbing in Yosemite (drupal)

Yosemite Explorer - hiking and climbing in Yosemite (drupal)

killes@www.drop.org’s picture

I just love this quote:

I have a simple test now. If a CMS has avatars by default, it's not for me.

You have no idea how much I resented the idea to introduce avatars to Drupal at all.
--
Drupal services
My Drupal services

ergophobe’s picture

My only regret with your comment is that I did not realize that drupal did avatars at all until your post. I think it's safe to say that the day a drupal default install ships with avatars is the day I will know it's all been lost and it's time to start writing the script to port to something else.

Yosemite Explorer - hiking and climbing in Yosemite (drupal)

Yosemite Explorer - hiking and climbing in Yosemite (drupal)

killes@www.drop.org’s picture

We call them user pictures...
The feature can be usefull in certain situations, I'd only like to have a check that the picture uploaded is actually a picture of the user and not somethign else. :p
--
Drupal services
My Drupal services

WisTex’s picture

I have to disagree, partially.

I think avatars have their place... for use next to forum posts. I will not use a forum software that does not include avatars. It just looks completely behind the times. All modern forums have avatars. It's expected.

As far as the rest of Drupal (or any other CMS software), I think avatars look unprofessional when used outside of the forums... except maybe in blog comments, which could be considered an alternate to forum posts. But still, I probably would not activate avatars for blog posts on any site I create.

So I think avatars should be activated by default in the forums, but not on the rest of Drupal (i.e. the blog, pages, articles/stories, blog comments, etc.).

Although I did see one website that used the avatar feature to include pictures of the authors next to their articles, and that usage of avatars actually made the site look very professional.

So it should be an option, but not the default... except in the forums where it should be default, but with the option to turn off.

euchrid9’s picture

I used Wordpress for about a year, but I ended up with four blogs running at once, on one site - so I looked around, and though Drupal would be best.

Yesterday, I nearly tore the whole Drupal install out and was ready to go use Blogger or some other god-awful thing where I couldn't play around with the look of the site (my tinkering and need for control were giving me headaches).

Today, I love the amount of things I can do with Drupal.

I spent about 20 hours scanning the Drupal forums and searching Google for various ways of changing particular parts of the themes of my site, and I was constanly frustrated. The answers, when they came, made little sense (I am no techie, yet nor am I a 'newbie'), and I was becoming very irritated by the lack of easily understandable documention - either in the handbook or the forums - for when you want to do something just slightly different to the standard 'out of the box' type install.

However, I would say, as with so many things, you have to spend time getting to know about what you're using. If you're a Wordpress user, you're used to a certain terminology - that becomes confusing when you start using Drupal, especially with regard to nodes and categories.

Wordpress calls it a 'plugin' - Drupal calls it a 'module'; Wordpress calls it a category - Drupal calls it a category as well - but also calls it the vocabuary, terms and taxonomy. For me, this was the worst part. It makes sense to me now, but I couldn't explain it to anyone else.

I think Drupal needs to have a some kind of testing area for prospective users so that they can play around with a basic mock install to see how it all works - but also, show how much it can do. Many Drupal features (such as the massive extendibility of the modules) don't become apparent until you start to use them. At one point, I started installing module after module, just to see what they did - as some of the explanations were so alien for an outsider that they made no sense at all (especially with regard to the taxonomy set of modules).

I have found that the Drupal forums tend to be filled with the utterly confused and the completely experienced; these two groups will always find it hard to understand one another. I think Drupal would benefit from having a 'middle ground', so that when a person is searching the forums, they are not bombarded with highly complicated developer advice and really basic 'newbie' questions, neither of which are helpful. (Just search for 'theme node' to see what I'm talking about).

I have seen some forums here where someone complains about not understanding Drupal and finding the forums unhelpful only to be badgered by people for having the audacity to complain! (The usual argument is "Hey, what do you want for free?"). I think these kind of responses need to be deleted, or new and frustrated users need a particular area to go to to get help.

Certainly, the search facility here needs improving, and it is not always easy, when you arrive on a page from a search, to know whether you have ended up in the right area or not - some other theming of developer areas (or 'expert user' areas) may be helpful.

Anyway, Wordpress is great for running a basic site and blog, and its easy to find help in the site, the wiki, and the forums. Its plugins are easy to find, understand and use (not that easy, but easy enough), and it's all quite jolly and simple.

But Drupal can run a HUGE amount of content, and is much more versatile. Clearly, it is not going to be used by 'bedroom bloggers'; it is for people who are serious about their website, and it works for business, communities, everything. It is never going to be all that easy to use, but it could be made easier to understand.

[Also, see my comments at http://drupal.org/node/10900#comment-80124]

I am sticking with Drupal, and I strongly believe that it is the best CMS I have looked at. But I can see how people can be put off, once they start try to adjust it and customise it. For me, that is where it can be improved.

Hope this helps, and thanks for a great product and (when you have time to find it) great help from the community!

[euchrid]
www.euchrid.co.uk

robertDouglass’s picture

Hi Euchrid,

since you're a very good writer, please consider helping out with the documentation effort when you get a chance. Either start a forum topic "How I did whatever", or add or modify a page in the Handbook. It is these contributions that can help make Drupal realize its full potential.

Good luck Drupalling!

- Robert Douglass

-----
My Drupal book: Building Online Communities with Drupal, phpBB and WordPress

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

euchrid9’s picture

Thanks for the kind words, Robert - glad I could be of some help! I have added a page to the handbook here: http://drupal.org/node/43178, with a link back to this page.

And your book looks great!

[euchrid]
www.euchrid.co.uk

shoq’s picture

You have explained really well, the same frustration I think MANY non-developers have with most open source projects. This idea that because it's free, everyone should just accept the idea that being frustrated, overwhelmed, or heckled for not understanding something just goes with the territory. Your idea of a "middle ground" is absolutely on target. I have often felt that most software sites need two completely different forums (or filters of posts) that completely segment the novice tutorial Q&As from the details that just overwhelm the newbie, or non-developer. All too often, they get intermingled and the result is chaos. It's not unique to the Drupal community, of course, but I do think it is a serious obstacle to Drupal becoming far more popular. I am an experienced site designer with some programming skills, and a lot of knowledge of many CMS systems, and Drupal just drives me nuts. It teases me with great POSSIBLE features, and then drives me batty trying to figure out how to implement them.

Your other idea about a demo seems as obvious as it is crucial. Drupal - and most open source products -- really needs ONE DEMO SITE with subversion control where TESTED, popular modules can be demostrated. Each module author is responsible for ensuring their demo runs, and doesn't break the community demo. If they do break it, the demo user can always press some reset button to get the last stable revision runnning. 3rd party modules are often the reason people choose a CMS, and provide models for other developers to learn from. Now users (and prospective users) could SEE all the great features and variants, and grasping this wonderful CMS would be a whole lot more intutive. Better awareness of, and real-world demonstrations of them would be a major development for the Drupal community.

Again, great post. Thanks

kgp22’s picture

I think both Drupal and Wordpress are "SIMPLEX" Simple and Complex at the same time. My blog runs thru Wordpress. I was able to install it in a few seconds. True enough, it has a quick and easy installation process BUT it has become SLIGHTLY difficult for me to modify Wordpress the way I want it to. So far, I was able to display "n" entries from several categories. I could style posts from categories differently and that's what I absolutely love about Wordpress.

I HAVE NO COMPLAINTS regarding Drupal's installation method since I think it should already be easy for webmasters to import sql via the phpmyadmin. Too many steps? I don't think so.
DRUPAL is not too complex. Like every other CMS, we have to read and re-read instructions. Believe me, this site, DRUPAL.org has become very helpful for me in understanding the CMS, and more importantly, I have read the capabilities of DRUPAL as posted by the programmers. AND I'M JUST TOTALLY ASTOUNDED.

ruturajv’s picture

Well, I need not explain more, Wordpress is a bloggin software (Believe me, best in the industry for its usability) and Drupal is a leader in another sector (CMS )

There are some who just want a blog to be a website, for them, I recommed Wordpress and for rest Drupal

Find me @ http://www.ruturaj.net/

BryanSD’s picture

I'm a user of both Drupal and Wordpress. While I like Wordpress for blogging (and its themes), I've been thinking about moving my blogs to Drupal. Considering that all Wordpress does is blogging, I haven't been impressed with performance. Wordpress pages for the user (especially in 2.0) seem to load a lot slower than Drupal.

I think some of the performance issues with Wordpress has to do with it's lack of centrally managing plug-ins (modules) and no real quality assurance. In other words, Wordpress really needs to a better job in keeping third-party modules "in-house" as well as better version control. When I upgraded from Wordpress 1.5 to 2.0, I was amazed to how many different sites I needed to go to get updated plug-ins for the new version. With Drupal...those modules are found in one place...drupal.org. That makes life a lot simpler for an upgrade.

-Bryan

Drupal Sites Coming Soon:
CMSReport
Drupal Blog (on WordPress) at:
Like that Idea

Muslim guy’s picture

This is from my experience two days ago.

I serviced 3 websites owned by the Federation of the Deaf who needed a CMS that can handle videos and webforms and articles.

So I packed all the modules and drupal-472- and off to the office.

What happened was that despite being conscious of the time constrain, I spent 70% of the time at the client's place to upload the files, extract them, created databases, and configure the Drupal system (for 5 websites).

I was impressed that the President of the Deaf figured out how to create the Vocabulary for `Event' - named it `Diary' and created two terms `Local and National'. *This was done while I was busy minding the installations and configurations of the other 4 sites. And he succesfully created 2 new events which are critical because the events are coming soon at the end of this month.

What's the lesson from here? Client must not be bothered or should not be hampered down by very technical thing like installing MANUALLY Drupal - and they should not lose sight of the capabilities brought by Drupal-powered websites. Let them learn the categorization of content, and userprofiles and articles & images management - a kind of self-help tool.

I'd say that Fantastico installation of Drupal 4.7.0 is a bane to Drupal because it will crash and give a bad impression .

I propose also here that Drupal.org (or local Drupallers) should really talk to the webhosts (ISPs) to check their Fantastico scripts and upgrade default installation of Drupal to 4.7.2

kbahey’s picture

The changes for the installer has been committed, which means it will be in the next release.

Details here http://drupal.org/node/73537
--
Drupal development and customization: 2bits.com
Personal: Baheyeldin.com

--
Drupal performance tuning and optimization, hosting, development, and consulting: 2bits.com, Inc. and Twitter at: @2bits
Personal blog: Ba

sepeck’s picture

One of the important things to remember is that we keep talking short hand. The 'Installer' is actually much more then 'just' an install system. It is to help install modules, updates and profiles.

For those coming lately, creating 'just an installer' could have been done long ago, creating an engine that could be more took a lot longer to design and engineer.

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

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

Muslim guy’s picture

I am very sure web builders like me (not a programmer nor PHP literate) will flock to get the Drupal installer like a hot pizza :)

Wait a minute...this installer is not for Fantastico and ISPs will not have them right?

Cause then little Drupallers will lose jobs cause anybody would just click on and get the system :P well maybe we just have to work harder and pro active in promoting DRUPAL as a brand name

Yup, DRUPAL as a brand name - just mention drupal and show the cute logo, no need to mention CMS (what is CMS? I was asked by a Xoops webmaster, hmmmm)

*How big is the installer and what is the format (drupal-4.7.2-tar.gz can be extracted using Winrar on a PC)

Rob Log’s picture

I was drawn to this topic because I have just revisited WP to find a feature (module) which has yet to be refined in Drupal. Unfortunately I do not write code and as a result I am dependent on others, to whom I am very greatful. Bearing this in mind I am conscious of being critical of either systems. I would best describe my level of experience as: advanced user/professional shopper. As an advanced user, I have installed most CMSs and tweaked a few things here and there, as a professional shopper, I can usually find something which meets my requirements with one system or another, if I cant; I put the project up for bids on scriptlance. I am using drupal currently with the hope of building a community portal, I like the custom feel I can achieve and the many modules available, however from a end users perspective; it relies heavily on the setup and modules installed by admin to make it "user friendly".
Taxonomy (the term) seemed a bit scary to me at first, but after ignoring it for awhile and gradually working it into the site, I now believe it is one feature which makes drupal stand out from the crowd and enriches the end users experience of the site (if implemented properly).
From an end users' perspective (visitors, site members) simplicity is their main concern and from an admin perspective that is the challenge. As an administrator of a community cms it would be a lot easier to use a nuke site, or one of its' many offshoots. People want BIG BUTTONS and simple instructions. I have had people join my site and never contribute anything because, when asked they said "it was too complicated" and "cant I just email the photos to you?". For example: adding an image where they want without knowing html. I know there are wysiwyg mods and mods that do just about any other thing, but for an inexperienced, or impatient admin it can be quite a challenge to get the site up, running and looking the way you, or site users want.
I think drupal fits somewhere in a niche between admin and coder, it is hard to compare with WP, as one poster wrote: "drupal can do what WP can, but WP would need to be extended a fair bit to do what drupal does".
To be quite honest, playing around with WP was a breath of fresh air after using drupal for so long, but that was only because it had the "plugins" I needed (links and podcast).
Horses for courses I reckon, I will continue to use Drupal for content management and you can take your pick for blogging. A module for plugging in WP would be nice!
I like the analogy somebody used to describe Drupal, comparing it to a "Swiss army knife", it has most of the tools you need, but if you have a lot of cutting to do you are better off using a pair of scissors. It can also be a bit daunting with the whole kit open.

rickvug’s picture

FYI - Podcasting can be done via upload attachments, which means it is part of the core install. However, the fact that you didn't know this shows how Drupal needs to focus on usability. Same goes with the links (bookmarks) - I positive that there is a module out there for this.

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Rick Vugteveen |rickvug.com @rickvug on Twitter

kennysto’s picture

would just echo what a few other people have mentioned. I first came across drupal one or two years ago. I just wanted to be able to categorise, format and publish content without manually editing html pages. The whole taxonomy thing seemed to be pushed really hard at the time and quite frankly i couldnt find my way past it and i gave up. Other tools such as wordpress and pmachine gave instant gratification and I found I could actually build something!
I recently drifted back to Drupal, curious to see what was going on and installed it. I watched a couple of the excellent 'how to' videos and ignored the whole taxonomy thing. I used the menu module to create a menu structure without having to crawl through 20 variations of taxonomy based menu modules and can you believe it I had the begginings of a site! Well pleased :-)

halftone’s picture

It has taken me a year of on/off Drupalling in my non-tech bumbling way to really understand what taxonomy is all about. Yes, I understand the word and the idea perfectly, that is explained in the documentation. But my reaction was 'so what?', surely that is just a form of categorisation?

Until last week, when I suddenly realised what could be done with it that cannot be done with simple, linear lists of categories. That via taxonomy content could inhabit many different categorisations at the same time, and that allows users to slice content to suit their priorities rather than according to those of the webmaster. I had understood that already in the abstract, but not what it meant until I realised its relevance to me. Of course nobody could explain that, how could they know what possible need I'd have for it?

This is all the more surprising because it perfectly addresses a problem I have been grappling with for several years regarding online folios of photos : how to present what the viewer wants to see rather than lumped into some rigid and arbitrary collections, yet with more structure than keyword searching can provide. I even tried to DIY such a scheme a couple of years ago as a sort of matrix of categories using Arborior's Simplex system.Taxonomy looks to address this perfectly. Amazing! Why did nobody tell me? Well, they tried.. it was I who was unable to supply the meaning.

Because, really, you don't get instructions with a workshop full of machine tools either. What you can do with them is too open ended, it's not flat-pack furniture. Taxonomy is a toolset that was waiting for me to understand enough of what I wanted to do before I could recognise the usefulness, and then it clicked. Now I have a load of other questions to ask, but I'm past that logjam.

I think that's a recurrent essence of Drupal. It's not easy at all, not for me, compared to (say) a system like Mambo/Joomla. I found Joomla very easy to set up but within a month was being driven crazy by the structural rigidity, which confines the sort of site that results. Great if you want what it provides, which is very much flat-pack websites, but if not, eventually a dead end. Drupal is a lot cleverer than that, and a lot cleverer than I am, but increasingly looks worth the effort of learning. I'd rather it was that way round than again spend less time and effort mastering a nice easy system that then had to be dumped because of its limitations and inflexibility.

It's probably unfashionable to say it, but the user has to contribute some committment too, and if it's hard to grasp initially that's not necessarily a bad thing, they may simply not be ready for it. They'll come back later if and when they are.

Regards
Tony Sleep

buzzy’s picture

This is a great discussion. It's very helpful for getting a sense of the distinguishing elements of both Drupal and Wordpress, as well as some other software.

As far as the initial question - what's in a reputation? The answer is, a great deal. As this discussion shows, there is a lot you can suss out about the users and sites/needs out there. Further, there is a lot that could be learned about where to take Drupal. It would be foolish to dismiss the feedback and reputation discussion as irrelevant - as not the right sort of user, or site, newbie comments, etc. There is a great deal of useful feedback in there.

A few other comments inspired by this discussion:

- In a way this discussion typifies how people end up needing to find info for this type of project ... it's not always going to be in the manual, you have to read through the discussions and selectively absorb info. Though that's very time consuming, and doesn't work well for everyone (especially when they lack enough familiarity to be selective) - but it is somewhat unavoidable, especially as there are always new topics to explore.

- I'm not sure it's expressed explicity (here), but I gather that one of the core priorities for Drupal developers is to have clean, well performing code. (That's one of the things I didn't like about mambo ... looks good, code bad. Plus the sense that there would never be a really stable release, probably partly a result of the coding.) And that to some degree other things (admin usability, site design) have a lower priority.

Which makes sense, if you are building a site that will get a lot of use - the performance of the final site is far more important than how you got there, in that case. But of course that's not true for every site - sometimes the use of the final site doesn't justify having to jump too many hurdles. So that's one of the reasons why there are different applications for different users and different sites. That is, not everything worth doing is worth doing "right"!

- The one disturbing note here is that some people seem to think that it's sometimes OK to be rude in the forums. Maybe it's just a perception, or a cultural gap. But it's foolish to think that the site layout, manuals, forum categories, search features, etc. are all so clear and effective that everyone can always find the info needed, or figure out where to post a question, etc. How to approach this has already been figured out in successful communities - either ignore the post, or give a useful answer (where to look, where to post, etc.). As many have indirectly noted, one of the key success factors for an open source project like this is a healthy community around it - some care needs to be given to encouraging and maintaining that community.

- Most people with lots of experience with one system (another CMS/blog) will have a lot of dissonance when introduced to another system (Drupal). In effect, they find they have to un-learn some of the ideas they have learned. It's inevitably difficult, but one does have to stick with it to get beyond that one system or approach.

uniqueasitis’s picture

Ture, this really is an interesting discussion. I am a person with average computing skills. I know how to modify html, css, and I can write simple PHP code. I was in search for a CMS and used Word Press initially and have to say that for anyone who just wants to point and click to get their blog going, Word Press is the way to go.

Drupal on the other hand requires patience. However, considering the quick responses I got to my questions, I think anyone who is willing to invest time should use Drupal. You may not be able to get a blog going as fast as WordPress but over time you will learn a lot from the extremely helpful online community enabling you to not only create blogs but other types of websites as well. Let's face it most people considering blogging are doing so because of the ability to generate revenue. Learn Drupal and you'll learn how to build other websites which enable greater revenue generation than simple blogs. Moreover, you have much more control over your website using Drupal.

Personally I think the only thing keeping Drupal from overtaking WordPress as a blogging tool is the lack of themes. WordPress has absolutely stunning themes. Otherwise I have found using Drupal, through its modular approach very easy. It only gets difficult when you want to edit every nifty detail of your theme. Otherwise you create a post or story just like in WordPress.

Hence, I reiterate, spend a little of time learning Drupal and it will be a worthwhile investment. And of course the online community is fantastic. I haven't heard such praises regarding the WordPress community. So if you get stuck in WordPress, it might be costly in terms of time.

Muslim guy’s picture

When people say `Google' its the search engine.

PHP-Nuke had that kind of `brand' thingy going - people like `I want to Nuke my website' (I want to install PHP-Nuke). But it was victim of hackers and using it was such a headache because of low security.

Drupal - the name should be `household name' or the `brand' - with positive reputation albeit not-so-obvious-or-straightforward usage for newbies.

We as the earlier users should make it look easy (because it is easy to master Drupal actually :) , say positive things about it, and dont ever badmouth Drupal, or have some grumbling like `Drupal forum sucks because it is different from SMF Forum, PHP-BB, etc'

Acert93’s picture

About the forums.

Drupal is an outstanding, no make that amazing product that the Drupal community should be absolutely proud of. I feel like the battery commercial guy on the radio where every question about a battery type is, "Yep, we have it". That sums up my experience using Drupal. I have enjoyed Drupal so much that every site I own has transitioned to Drupal. Drupal is secure, well built, search engine friendly, modular and scalable, and extremely customizable (which is important to me as a designer). The basics are VERY approachable. While I agree there is a small learning curve to some of the more powerful features accessibility, this is quickly overcome with a little effort or explaination. Drupal is meeting not only my immediate needs but allows significant headroom for growth.

Except the forums.

It isn't the look that is the problem (this can be overcome with the Flatforums theme). The problem is both features and workflow. Drupal forums is lacking many "standard" features users and administrators expect (and need to be a competitive, efficient community) and the workflow for contacting, moderating, and running a forum isn't as smooth as it should be.

One could argue that the featureset problem can be resolved through user contributions. While nice in theory, the reality is that having a dozen contributions means a dozen separate modules to track, upgrade, and bug fix. And you always cross your fingers hoping a module doesn't get unsupported or has some significant show stopping bug. NOT a good way to build a thriving, longterm, stable community.

In the past I had tested Drupal, and about a year ago when theming flexibility grew in 4.6 I jumped aboard with the knowledge 4.7 would totally open up design. And in that time I haven't seen much growth/solutions to the forum issue. Drupal is an awesome CMS. IMO by far the best open source solution and it is flexible enough to meet the needs of a huge variety of sites (basic brochure site, corporate, blog, small ecommerce, portal, media, etc). It is also an excellent community tool, but the forums prevent it from absoluting taking this market over. While there have been some efforts to integrate basic features like username/login with vBulliten and FUD (and PHPBB, which seems to be an on/off again deal), overall the support and future looks hazy.

I absolutely love Drupal, but I think constructive criticism in the community is important. Likewise, when asked about community features, and specifically forums, I find it a necessity to disclose the differences, and imo some shortcomings, Drupal has compared to full fledged forum sites. I have had people react many ways to this (some go a different direction, some go with Drupal + dedicate forum, and some use the Drupal forums). But in all cases they were happy to know what they were getting into.

Some may call it grumbling, others may call it constructive criticism and being up front about perceived shortcomings of Drupal Forums (and a lot of users have this perception, even if it is not universal).

Vyoma’s picture

... that, Drupal's core forum has some shortcomings. I can live with that, because I have just started to build a community.

The one thing that bothers me is that the present forum treats all the posts except the first one as a comment. While in some cases it may be true, I have been in participation at many forums and I would not categorize many of the replies given in threads there as just comments. I believe that each of these posts in a forum thread deserves a 'node'. It is a piece of content, is it not?

I did try working with UIEforum - but lately, to be frank I do not have time. It has started off with having the posts in a thread stored in seperate tables. But I really hope that as it matures, all the posts are stored in the 'node' tables, and are not seperated out. It would then again be along the similar lines of the present Drupal forum core module.

It needs work, and I agree, if I need it I need to work on it. So, I am not pointing fingers at anyone really.

GiorgosK’s picture

but curious since I want to use the drupal forums

what is really the problem with comments not being nodes ?
compared to the major forum cms's ?

by the way the core developers are in talks about making everything a node
http://drupal.org/node/61148

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world experts tag cloud

sepeck’s picture

Someone has proposed to make comments nodes. However, that proposal is old, not much progress has been made on it towards convincing the core commiters to accept patches for it. Also, this is subtle but Drupal has Core contributors rather then core developers. Anyone can submit a suggestion but suggestions need work flow, performance, code, and logic to get in. And the neat thing is, this can and has come from very new people at times.

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

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

GiorgosK’s picture

I was thinking about it just yesterday when I was making that comment,

shouldn't the documentation have also date stamps visible to the visitors, to avoid misunderstandings like this ?
Should I create an issue about this ?

Thanks for clearing this up.

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world experts tag cloud

farrell’s picture

I'm fairly new to Drupal, using it to build my first Drupal site now. I must say, I think it's terrific. All of you have done a wonderful job with the core and the contributed modules.

I've been using Wordpress for awhile now. I have a blog and two podcast sites built on Wordpress. It's very good also and getting better every day.

I also have an HTML-based site for my company. When I update it I will switch it to Drupal. That way I can easily add new functionality and update content far easier.

So what's my point?

We're all a little spoiled having two great products to choose from, Wordpress and Drupal. Like many others on this thread, I think each has its own strengths -- and some weaknesses.

  • Is Wordpress easier for simple blogging? Sure is.
  • Does Drupal offer powerful community features that blows Wordpress away? Sure does.

Let's enjoy them both.

luxmicro’s picture

Out of the 2 , Drupal by far is an "intelligent cms".. WP is limited highly in this area. Drupal is amazing simply! We love working with it more than one of our Wordpress sites.

Geotechy’s picture

I tried Joomla first because of its excellent user interface for beginners in the area of CMS. Gradually, I lost charm on Joomla because of Drupal's scalability and configurability. The other thing with Drupal is that it can handle multiple domains so easily that you can not do the same in other CMS. Well, I was using WordPress for my blog websites or the sites that has only one purpose.

WordPress is easily managable. Just install, and start using it. As the number of files are relatively very few, and thus your webhosting company does not complain that you have too many files in their domain control panel. This is what can happen if you are running your website at http://www.1and1.com/ . If you try to install a few separte copies of Joomla along with Gallery2, you are in complete mess when you try to manage your domains using 1and1.com's domain managers. It just hangs up. The solution was to erase all these extra copies, and finally, end up with either Drupal or with WordPress. Being WordPress so small in size, you can hack the program easily, and its size does not grow exponentially every month as it has matured in this perspective. WordPress is really good for single purpose domains: e.g. blog, advertisement, job announcements (e.g. http://www.GeoEng.org/) .... The http://www.1and1.com/ offers WordPress's blogging capability as a part of the package: built in. I wish that Drupal works towards such possibility: talk with GoDaddy.com or 1and1.com and integrate Drupal as a part of their webhosting packages, so that the webhosting companies automatically offer Drupal installation, and Drupal will certainly widen its scope.

Think about integrating Drupal as a part of the Webhosting Packages at GoDaddy.com or 1and1.com, just the way WordPress does at 1and1.com .... Thank you for making Drupal 5.0's installation very easy, as I recommended during the release of its previous beta version
(i.e. http://drupal.org/node/92485#comment-168497 )

Good Luck to next version. Hopefully, it will mature like WordPress: not so frequent new releases.

Dr. G. Pokharel
WebMaster
http://www.geotechnical.org/
Drupal for handheld mobile equipments: An Example: http://www.egs.mobi/

Antikx’s picture

I've used both WP and Drupal now, and my personal opinion that kinda sums it up is:
Wordpress is to Windows as Drupal is to Linux.
It's a broad statement but I think there is a fair amount of truth to it if you are familiar with all four. :)

David Latapie’s picture

A wizard (running at install time) that auto-installs the blog tools and desactivate the others. This is a bottom-up approach: people have a blog and, once they’re growing comfortable with it, they start extending, like a contact, an about page… This is how I did it with my Dotclear blog and I’m confident this is the same for many a blogger.

And for now, getting a Drupal blog is much more of a top-bottom approach, IMHO. I do not believe Drupal should be For Those Who Know. The whole blogging phenomenon started with people who don’t know, but had something to say (or not) and, once they got their hand on the simple software, they wanted to expand it (photo gallery comes to mind) — and became part of Those Who Know.

Geotechy’s picture

When I was trying to edit my website http://www.GeoEng.org/ , I suddenly discovered (for me) that WordPress allows you to edit php files right inside the administrator's panel. I think this is a great option that WordPress offers to administrators. It actually gives you opportunity to explore the software itself, instead of digging the documentations on the software. You can slowlys drill what you can do, what you should not do, and what you can not do inside these php codes. What else can be better than this. You can learn to hack the software one by one, e.g. when you are in FORUM module, you can ask the editor to edit it, and explore. Otherwise, who will dare to find a particular php file out of thousands of files while trying to change something on FORUM. This should be cloned in Drupal's next major version: This can bring Paradigm Shift on its administrator friendly-ness perspective. If you offer this ability, I am sure Drupal will go far ahead of Joomla. Good Luck to Drupal Team.

I was very excited to see how you adopted our requests for WordPress style of automated installation. I am sure that you will try your best to offer this added feature in next Drupal version 6.0. It should not be a big deal. I would suggest to keep the old file under new extension using date and time, so that we can easily go back, just the way MS Windows offer us. Bill Gates recently confessed that it is not a bad idea copying good things. We are human beings. I will say, "Go! Clone it!".

Dr. G. Pokharel
WebRishy @ http://www.geotechnical.org/
"We have been working on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering".

sepeck’s picture

Just need someone to update an old module that no one has maintained
http://drupal.org/project/theme_editor

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

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

irishk’s picture

Wow. I spent about 15 minutes on page one of this long post and couldn't believe what I was seeing. What a bunch of arrogant pricks here. People are genuinely trying to provide feedback and trying to point out what's wrong with Drupal, and all the true believers here just ignore or mock them, basically calling them dumb. It's like Linux revisited.

Hope WordPress leaves you with no users but a bunch of anti-social technical know-it-alls. You belong with each other. Now run along and go tout your technical skills.

nwsunni’s picture

Hi there --

I had a similar impression. There is a defensive or arrogant tone displayed by some posters in response to honest people asking honest questions or making observations that are not mean-spirited.

But my thinking is that I won't let those expressed attitudes get in the way of what my goal is: to determine how drupal can make me more money, e.g., will it get me to market faster, will it retain or improve my already excellent search engine placements, will it save me time that can be used to create revenue.

I was online before Gore created the internet. Life online was simple then and for many years since. Html, perl, css, ftp, textedit, a touch of mysql, dreamweaver. In those worlds, I am quite comfortable.

But my primary career is as an entrepreneur and a PR/Marcom counselor. I also am a adjunct faculty member at two universities. From this mountain top, what I see is that drupal.org has several positioning problems, which, as a result, cause the very frustration expressed by those that come across as arrogant or defensive.

Their publics range from the new-to-web-creation folks to experienced professional developers. You put all those folks in one bed and ask them to talk to each other -- and you have the tower of babel.

Add to the conundrum that the site is developed by techies rather than in cooperation with people with liberal arts skills -- wordsmithing, readability testing, public profiling -- and life becomes even more complicated. That raises tensions, which is what I see happening.

I truly believe that people are doing the best they can and that they want to do their best.

But perhaps Drupal has grown sufficiently that now is the time to entertain the benefit of integrating the skills of professional communicators into both the site's development and the script development.

One thought that comes to mind when I read of the prickliness that occurs with "word choices" is the Wall Street Journal ...and the fog index (or any readability index for that matter). WSJ caters to a sophisticated audience that is upscale and well-educated. However, their copy has a FOG index of 7, meaning the word choices are understandable at 7th grade educational level / U.S. It's much harder to use simple word choices but the benefit, as the WSJ and others know, is that readership skyrockets because people find the reading "comfortable." That does not mean complex subjects are not tackled.

In Drupal's situation, defining publics, language choices, integration of other disciplines into the development processes would help reduce time spent on support and lower the anger/frustration level.

It could also translate into positive reputation building, which is certainly deserved by the hard-working, sharp people here.

Just my three cents. Back to enjoying my head aching from my study of Drupal and looking between the tone of some to what points they have to offer..

(Postscript / Can't resist: My first step at this site would be to have site navigation broken down into Never-Done-Drupal'ers, Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced -- right at the home page. Just that tweak would put people moving down the right paths.)

Cynthia (Sunni) Freyer
~~~ patience please: hand coder going drupal ~~

sepeck’s picture

The last comment falls specifically into a very nasty flame rant name calling.

This thread is locked.

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

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