Drupal administration interview 3

Amazon's picture
    "amazon"    How would you describe yourself as a Drupal administrator?
"fireangel" kk
"fireangel" i just saw messages in console, they were blocking my messages
"fireangel" ill register soon
"amazon"    ok
"fireangel" right now im still building my first website with drupal, which is not live yet, but its a huge project so
"fireangel" it`ll be a social networking site for life scientists, with everything they need there
"amazon"    how's your skill level with Drupal?
"amazon"    with administering Drupal
"fireangel" i'd say beginner / intermediate, i played with it and didnt encountered any difficulties up so far, with the core at least
"amazon"    ok, great
"amazon"    How frequently do you administer your Drupal site?
"fireangel" modules are a different story though
"amazon"    go on
"fireangel" well i wouldnt say im admistering it often, as its under development
"fireangel" well when you download modules on drupal.org, it isnt quite clear if the release is stable or not, if it has bugs, or if it even works at all
"fireangel" sometimes code stubs are marked as 4.6 or 4.7, and not cvs as it should be
"amazon"    I see
"fireangel" and there`s no way to determine which modules are popular, good, stable, etc
"fireangel" a ratings / votings on module would be very nice
"amazon"    that's good feedback
"fireangel" or a `drupal.org approved modules` and a `in development modules` directories would be nice to have
"amazon"    let's use a broad definition for Drupal administration
"fireangel" or at the very least, make the `current issues` link more visible
"fireangel" which is ?
"amazon"    anything to do with configuring, building, maintaining, creating your Drupal site
"fireangel" kk
"amazon"    if you you see things differently, please elaborate
"fireangel" no the definition is ok with me
"amazon"    ok
"amazon"    let's come back to how often you administer your Drupal site?
"fireangel" well with your new definition, almost daily
"amazon"    How long do you administer your Drupal site in a single sitting approximately?
"fireangel" if i dont count time spent on drupal.org hunting for good modules, right now maybe 2-3 hours each night
"amazon"    and if you do?
"fireangel" easily 4-5
"amazon"    total or in addition?
"fireangel" hunting good modules would include searching for the module, checking the issue list, installing it, testing it
"fireangel" total
"amazon"    very interesting
"amazon"    it's a single sitting?
"fireangel" often i can spend hours on a module, and in the end, it wasnt even working
"amazon"    I see
"fireangel" yeah its a huge project so its eating all my free time
"amazon"    so you are volunteering?
"fireangel" well its my own project, so yeah in a way
"fireangel" im doing a phd in virology during the day, and at night im building biology.net using drupal
"amazon"    ok, let's learn more about why?
"amazon"    How does Drupal help you accomplish your goals as a Drupal Administrator
"amazon"    How does Drupal help you accomplish your goals as a website Administrator
"fireangel" Drupal got loads of already implemented functionality, blogs, forums, etc, and with the modules, possibilites are truly endless
"fireangel" it saves times when you just have to install a module and voila, it works
"fireangel" you can spend more time on custom features, theming, etc
"fireangel" not having to reinvent the wheel and all
"amazon"    so your goal ultimately is?
"fireangel" was using movable type before that, and i think i could rebuild in 2-3 days with drupal a site that took me 2 years with mt
"fireangel" my goal?
"amazon"    Wow
"amazon"    or specifically how Drupal helps in achiving that goal
"fireangel" well my goal is to build a good functional website, with social networking features, and drupal speeds up the process tons
"fireangel" even with my issue with modules that are unstable, etc
"amazon"    ok, great
"fireangel" i got used to it, i now check issues before downloading, but the issue link should be near the download one
"fireangel" or at least have a notice `this module isnt tested as stable` or whatever
"amazon"    ok, got it
"fireangel" better versioning
"amazon"    ok, I'll pass that along
"amazon"    I know that we have addressed this so far
"fireangel" i think someone is working on a better versionning system, we discussed this on #drupal this afternoon i think
"amazon"    yes
"amazon"    But, why do you use Drupal?
"amazon"    if you feel you have answered this
"amazon"    then feel free to compare to alternate
"amazon"    solutions
"fireangel" well i looked at the others (joomla, php nuke) and drupal looked more professional
"amazon"    can you give some examples or what you mean, more professional?
"fireangel" the website, modules were already implemented for what i needed (well a few one ended up not working but anyway)
"fireangel" let me check something on the joomla website
"amazon"    ok
"fireangel" sorry it was php nuke
"amazon"    got it
"fireangel" ads on the main page, offensive language at some places, basically it felt like it was run by a 14 years old kid
"fireangel" joomla looked good but modules / functionality were lacking
"amazon"    got it
"fireangel" movable type is good for a simple blog, but thats it, its no cms
"fireangel" the open source community around drupal is impressive too
"amazon"    how so?
"fireangel" well the forum is very active, and groups.drupal.com (which i dont know why there isnt a link to it on drupal.org page), #drupal channel here
"fireangel" it feels very active
"fireangel" and people are helpful and very smart
"fireangel" around here
"amazon"    that's good to hear
"amazon"    How does Drupal help the users of your Drupal site?
"amazon"    How does Drupal help the users of your website?
"fireangel" well it provides them with tons of functionality that i couldnt have coded myself even if i wanted to
"fireangel" and nice little features like breadcrumbs, blocks
"fireangel" its customizable too
"fireangel" its easy to build communities around, which is hot right now on the web (or so i heard ;))
"amazon"    you heard right
"amazon"    so those features are useful to your users? Can you explain why that's useful to them?
"fireangel" well it allows them to communicate with each other, keep track of who they like (with buddylist module), etc
"amazon"    ok
"fireangel" some key features are missing, but we cant have everything out of the box :)
"amazon"    what key features?
"amazon"    that would help your users in particular
"fireangel" flickr like tagging, were everyone can tag content
"amazon"    what version of Drupal are you using?
"fireangel" and the system would keep track of who tag what
"fireangel" the latest
"amazon"    ok
"fireangel" 4.7 allow the poster to tag content
"fireangel" but not general users
"amazon"    ah, ok
"fireangel" so i cant have a `my tags` and `other people have tagged this xyz`
"amazon"    I see
"fireangel" and so users cant do `find people that like zyx`
"amazon"    so increasing community participatoins
"fireangel" very useful for communities
"fireangel" yes
"fireangel" helping people find people with the same interests
"amazon"    I see
"amazon"    What are some common Drupal administration tasks that you do?
"fireangel" right now im still at the first stages, so im doing a little theming and a whole lot of module installing / testing
"fireangel" and im reading drupal.org daily, as well as drupal/planet
"amazon"    so learning is a big part of drupal administration?
"fireangel" yes, we could call it a steep learning curve, even for someone who`s used to do php, so for total newbies, it would be very hard i think
"fireangel" but i dont think that group of users is drupal`s focus anyway so thats ok
"amazon"    explain where the steep learning curve is
"fireangel" well as i said, at first you see the modules directory and you say wow, tons of useful modules! then you install one, test it (even if it has often no documentation at all), debug some errors, debug some more, check the issue page, contact the author, find out that its still in dev stages and shouldnt be working, etc
"fireangel" everything else is very easy to do up so far
"amazon"    so the learning curve is understanding how the whole process works
"fireangel" oh and getting used to the vocabulary
"fireangel" taxonomy etc
"fireangel" yeah
"amazon"    What are some infrequent Drupal administration tasks that you do?
"fireangel" a tutorial saying to check issues first before downloading any module, or a `stamp approved` stable version and cvs versions would be helpful
"amazon"    good point, I can see that saving a lot of effort
"fireangel" infrequent? hmmm, actually coding more features in
"fireangel" ill get in that in the next few weeks
"amazon"    any other infrequent tasks?
"fireangel" not really, im a kinda focused kind of guy
"amazon"    ok
"amazon"    When you administer your Drupal site, you find it hard to?
"fireangel" find where stuff is in the administer panel for sure, at least at first
"fireangel" dunno how long i searched for a way to change whats displayed on my frontpage
"amazon"    that's good feedback
"fireangel" its a little obscure setting at the bottom of a form
"amazon"    I see
"amazon"    When you administer your Drupal site, you find it eashy to?
"amazon"    easy to?
"fireangel" add functionality easily with good modules, when modules work, its awesome
"fireangel" its like, install something, and it saved me a week or more of coding
"fireangel" feels really great
"amazon"    cool
"amazon"    What are some other important Drupal administration tasks that we did not cover above?
"fireangel" i havent checked it in details, but im not sure if its easy to administer users, as in ban bad users from the comments, or unpublish comments directly from the comments on a node, that kind of stuff
"fireangel" especially in the forums
"fireangel" thats why i tried to bridge drupal with vBulletin, to have a better forum, but the module wasnt working correctly
"amazon"    yes, managing users is an important part of managing a community
"amazon"    I see
"amazon"    anything else that's important?
"fireangel" we could get better ways to administer users / content from the website directly, not have to go to administer panel, find the user / content, ban it / unpublish
"fireangel" with big websites it can get impossible to do
"amazon"    that's good feedback
"fireangel" little buttons that only admins would see on comments / content
"amazon"    ok, that's a good suggestion
"fireangel" oh and a last thing, `remember me` functionality in the login system
"fireangel" its totally retarded not to have one, and the current 3 weeks cookie is totally insecure for users on public stations
"fireangel" cant rely on users
"fireangel" logging out
"amazon"    ok, so shorter cookies for defaults
"fireangel" well, a session cookie for default, and a 3 weeks `remember me` checkbox
"fireangel" like every website out there
"fireangel" people are used to that
"amazon"    I see
"fireangel" even i got confused by drupal`s `i remember you automatically` login on drupal.org
"fireangel" like, i visited 2 weeks later, and i was still logged, on a public terminal
"amazon"    oh boy!
"fireangel" very secure isnt it? :)
"amazon"    I'll pass that on to the security team
"fireangel" its ok because in the laboratory im the only one that would visit drupal.org, but still it felt, weird