What's an install profile and why is it important?
An install profile is a way of pre-configuring drupal right out of the box for a specific purpose or community. You can think of it as a template for a new drupal site. After you install drupal, the site will be pre-configured and customized out of the box (i.e. it will install and configure modules for you). The whole idea is to help you get from point A to B much faster. So if you are a band or musician looking to use drupal, you don't have to worry about figuring out how to download, install, and configure each module from scratch. You pick the install profile closest to your needs, and wham! Instant, functional site, with virtually no setup. Of course you will still have to know how to configure and customize Drupal to fit your specific needs if you want to make changes, but it sure will save a ton of time during installation and setup.
This is important for art and music communities - especially those that are non-technical - because it provides rapid deployment of very useful Drupal sites and minimize the headaches associated with installation.
Install profiles for art and music sites
Now that the installer has been committed to core, it's time to start thinking about making various install profiles and what would go into them. Here are some possible ideas for different profiles (please add to this list!):
Artist Portfolio or Band/Musician Site
- those that want a portfolio site to display their work
- those that wish to build or connect with communities to support their work
Podcast & Audioblogger Platform
- to create a personal podcast, radio, or audioblog site
- to create a community podcasting site
Community Art or Music site
- showcase large groups of artists' work without building individual sites for each artist
- create a large database of artists profiles, contact info, and examples of their work
- allow the database of artists to interact with one another and connect the database to other websites
Collaborative Remix Site
- allow artists and musicians to remix each other's work or collaboratively work on projects together
Example and model sites: RemixReading, Freesound, CCMixter
These types of sites facilitate online collaboration and sharing of artwork. Sharing licenses are typically handled with a Creative Commons license.
Additionally, I documented a step-by-step recipe a while ago for creating a media site in Drupal 4.6.
In general, I believe the next steps to take for each profile are:
- decide the purpose, focus, target audience for each profile
- general site configuration settings (permissions, roles)
- useful modules to include (and configurations for each)
- choose a good theme!
- actually create an install profile
This is just my suggested approach. I'm interested to see what others think are good strategies for creating and documenting good profiles. It's an exciting future for Drupal!