usability http://drupal.org/ start page

First a site I like:http://www.debianplanet.org/
It is very clear what is what and easy on the eye.

For some reason I am always confused when I use the drupal.org site.
Some points:

- Font color of links is hard to read, light blue on white or sometimes lightblue on blue.
Not everyone has eagle eyesight. At age 65 you get only 1/3 of the light you see on the age of 20. That is why pilots are not allowed to fly anymore after age 65.

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Poor database usage for user data / profile module

In testing 4.2 today, I was using the user profile module. Then I decided to write my own custom user data module, and stop using the Drupal supplied profile module. That worked fine, but in testing it, I was examing the database. I noticed that all of the old data for the now-unused profile module is still in the "data" column of the "users" table.

So I spent some time thinking about this design, and why it makes it hard to get rid of data stored in a multi-element column like "data" in the "users" table. In a sense, it is serialized data, like that used by PHP sessions and by lots of other applications. The advantage to using this method for storing data is it makes it easy for the programmer to add new data fields because no database change is required. it also makes upgrading or installing patches a little bit easier, for the same reason.

Drupal 4.2.0 release candidate

The code freeze for the Drupal 4.2.0 release has begun. As of now, no new features or functionality is being added. Just bugfixes. Though, in the initial stage of the code freeze, documentation updates, usability improvements and performance improvements are still being accepted.

If you have a Drupal site and you want to help testing, consider upgrading now. Anyone who doesn't have an old site and wants to help out can of course setup a Drupal site from scratch. Drupal has been remarkably stable during the past weeks so everything should be well.

The release candidate is available at:

http://www.drupal.org/drupal/drupal-4.2.0-rc.tgz

Suitability of Drupal as Project Tool

I would appreciate the comments of those experienced with this CMS with respect to its suitability for a project I must implement.

Consider a CMS implementation for a hospital. There would be a general page of news, general forums, etc. But, each area would also have a private area: doctors with their own news and forums, nurses with theirs, etc. Additonally, each of the general and private groups might have their own procedures manuals. It would be up to the administrator of each private group as to whether content would appear in the general group.

Open Education Drupalized

This past weekend, I converted Open Education from PostNuke to Drupal 4.1 using the conversion script posted by david@puntbarra.com.

Open Education's goal is to promote the creation, use and distribution of open content for education, specifically via Creative Commons licensed learning objects. If anyone is interested in participating in any of our workgroups, please register and post an introduction to the specific group.

Easy News Topics - RSS2.0 Module

Someone just referred me to this yesterday. The Easy News Topics RSS 2.0 Module might be potentially useful for connecting Drupal sites. Unlike XFML which requires a separate feed, this is a way of expanding RSS 2.0 to output Drupal terms for each item. But as it's an RSS module, it's ignored by anyone receiving the feed that doesn't support the standard.

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