Wake up community - Wordpress.org should scare you!

tsvenson's picture

Drupal is quickly becoming a product where less and less custom coding will be required for new sites. With modules such as Views, Panels and Webform combined with advanced, and user friendly, themes, sites will be possible to build without knowing anything about coding in PHP etc. Drupal Gardens and Buzzr are great examples of this. Distributions is also making site building much easier to get started without coding.

Hosting companies are making Drupal very easy to install with just a few clicks. I'm not talking about the traditional one-click installs of old versions. Now these companies understand that providing good Drupal support gives them en edge on the market.

I think that we do realise that this is going to attract the same kind of users that today download and install WordPress. A lot of these new users will have very limited coding skills. In fact, most them couldn't care less about it. The only thing they are interested in is to get a software they quickly can build a site with.

Unfortunately most of these new users will run away from Drupal!

This is why:

WordPress.org Scares me

We compare Drupal with Wordpress, but have anyone really compared the community websites properly?

Spending only a few minutes on wordpress.org was a very scary wakeup call for me about how far behind we are.

What immediately struck me was that everything there is about using WordPress, not developing it. When I search for modules, themes etc the information presented is about stable releases, how to install them and so on. The closest you get to coding is a link, in the sidebar, to the developer log. That's it, nothing that can create confusion for new users!

The site also checks what languages I have configured my browser for and kindly tells me that:

WordPress is also available in Svenska and Español.

On the forum page it tells me that they also have dedicated Spanish forums.

I was extremely impressed about how well structured the site is and that they have realised that new users come to learn how to use it, not develop for it.

Drupal 7 is a fantastic upgrade and so much more intuitive and user friendly. But if we cant back it up with an equally good user experience on d.o, then we will gain only a small fraction of the potential number of new users possible.

Try d.o as a new user with no knowledge

As an exercise I suggest everyone try to get a WYSIWYG editor working on a fresh Drupal 7, including enabling it for the article content type and make the first post. Use the built in "Install new module or theme" feature in Drupal 7.

Here is the catch - Pretend as if you know nothing about coding and you don't want to learn. You also have Drupal amnesia. Push all your Drupal knowledge aside as if you never learnt it. Then open drupal.org and look at the information and imagine what a new user would do in the same situation.

Don't cheat, force yourself to really think as a novice!

I did this yesterday and it wasn't funny at all when I realised how bad state it actually is in.

The Drupal slogan is:

Come for the software, stay for the community

Even our slogan says that it is the software new users comes for and that the community is something they will learn to love and stay for.

But how many are giving up long before they find that love?

Unless you have good experience, preferable as a web developer, d.o is going to fail in providing you with what you need. It will only "confirm" that Drupal is difficult to get started with.

I think it is time to realise that we have a lot to improve...

From one extreme to another

To summarise this I can say that comparing d.o and w.o is like comparing one extreme with another:

  • Wordpress.org - 100% focus on using WordPress. Every hint about what it is built in is carefully removed to not confuse or scare away new users.
  • Drupal.org - >90% focus on coding. As a new user, even with some skills, it is extremely difficult to find information. Everything seems mashed together and it is more or less assumed that you already know what your looking for.

The problem is that both compete on the same market, and Drupal is losing badly!

In my option, w.o has gone too far. They have made it very difficult to find any kind if developer information and code examples. They have even hidden login/account creation from most pages. I completely understand their reasons behind this and why it is successful.

I don't want the same on d.o, but we need to understand that we need to better separate the available information based on user needs. New users want to learn how to build their sites. Later on many of them will discover all other wonderful aspects of the community.

A simple thing such as the everything listed on http://drupal.org/download must be officially released versions would be a great start.

Our strength is the fantastic developer community and the infrastructure it has created. It is a great foundation to build on.

Ask yourself - As a new user wanting to build a site, what you would have selected after spending 30-60 minutes each on w.o and d.o?

I am sure that this text would not have been written if all wanted was a site building tool a few years ago!

Can we do something about this? Of course we can!

Comments

back to wordpress?

joni's picture

How can I go back to Wordpress after my web developers built me up on Drupal? I've had multiple websites over 12 years and have never had such an awful experience. It is relentlessly complicated, not intuitive, unstable, awful for managing anything that's content-rich, ridiculously limited in fonts and other basics, and insane for trying to manage media. Clearly PC thinking that needs a little Apple influence. Drupal has been an awful drain for me - really upsetting to have invested in developing my business presence on this platform. I don't need a community, I need software I can manage without being a PC programmer.

Conversion distress..Drupal vs WordPress

ProactiveResearch's picture

Hi Joni. I hear that. The conversion process from WordPress to Drupal is similar to the comparison of nuking a ready-made pie vs baking from scratch. Most anyone can do it and at beginner levels but the language isn't always clear and preparing the ingredients can be confusing (e.g. sifting, temperature, what goes where and with what..some stuff is prepared separately and added together, and try baking a pie in someone else's kitchen-ACK! Foreign surroundings-etc..)

On the upside, converting your website(s) from Drupal back to WordPress is not a big problem. I know someone who would do it for you affordably or there are plenty of developers who can do it in a minute period of time with very little inconvenience to you and inexpensively. Don't freak out..you're not doomed and your distress is reasonable. If you want a phone call or if you think I can help, contact me. - kimberly@proactiveresearch.org

Hi Joni, really sorry to hear

SeanBannister's picture

Hi Joni, really sorry to hear this. Unfortunately Drupal isn't like Wordpress in the sense of it being a product in a box it's like lego and needs to be configured in a specific way to create the correct product for a client. All of the functionality you see in Wordpress out of the box can certainly be achieved in Drupal but because there's more than one way to skin a cat Drupal often leaves these things out and lets the developer choose what's the right choice. Unfortunately the success of a Drupal site is often very much dependant on the developer, many Drupal development companies have their own Drupal distribution with many of the usability improvements pre-installed but this isn't always the case.

Before switching to Wordpress maybe I could recommend consulting with a Drupal company on this list http://drupal.org/drupal-services and just finding out what it would take to turn on some of those usability features on. I'm almost certain it'll be much cheaper than converting to Wordpress and I'd really love to see you enjoying a Drupal installation that meets your needs.

My $20 dollars (rather than two cents)

drupalcritic's picture

I hate (?) to admit this, but I think you are 100% right and I am surprised to see a member with the cojones to finally say what everyone else is thinking.

After X years in the Drupal community the frustration level is reaching intolerable levels. And I have somewhat of an intermediate level of coding skills, so I can imagine people with no knowledge of coding will simply will not want to deal with it. Hell, I even have colleagues in Europe who are advanced programmers who simply refuse to even look at Drupal after a few jobs. I will not mention names so as not to infect the web with bad vibes, but I know of specific big name agencies in Spain and in The Netherlands that have banned Drupal altogether. Two of these agencies has a long list of Cleo awards and -paraphrasing here- their opinion is "No way, no how, not ever. We will not touch Drupal with a ten foot pole.".

My issues with Drupal as of right now are these:

  • Slow development.: I know this is open source, nobody is getting paid. Fair enough. But the speed at which the modules get developed is so slow you could cross the Kalahari desert on foot faster. You can walk away from an essential module, come back two months later and it still in dev status with a list of issues so long that it discourages any further use. Anyone trying to develop a business or a product base on Drupal is risking loosing the race because you cannot simply move fast enough. It is truly a bad choice, not just for entry level users but for companies. Unless, of course, you got the cash....in which case....Why use Drupal at all? Just hire some programmers in Vietnam like the folks at whooznxt dot net and forget Drupal. Spend 1/3 the cash, get an awesome looking custom CMS and forget it.

  • Not very open to criticism of any kind: You simply cannot say anything bad about Drupal least you are ready to face the wrath of the faithful. And I suspect that often translates into ignoring you in the issue queues or getting tagged as trouble maker. Ridicule is often subtle but clear. That is the reason why for this post I opened a separate account using TOR and a hushmail account so as to disguise my true identity. That is the extent to which one has to go to openly criticize Drupal. And that is sad, pathetic really. Makes users paranoid and afraid, and developers often come across as bullies with some serious attitude problems. Coders Gone Wild.

  • A sense that it is all just one massive con job: Many of the top developers in Drupal are also working in their own commercial ventures or for Drupal-based companies. And there has been this nagging feeling from many of the Drupal users that the development of modules is kept purposely slow or neglected to keep anyone from competing in the same field. To me this became suspect during some of the cons I attended and the chatter in IRC. You look at Acquia or Drupal Gardens or many of these Drupal "staffing agencies" and you just know they do not want you to compete with them. They want you to use THEIR services. The open source thingy comes across as front for their operations. Maybe too much, but that is the general feeling the market is getting.

  • A convoluted mess: I understand that Drupal is far more advanced than Wordpress, but it is getting to a point when one has to wonder how something like, for example, media management -which has been a core component of Wordpress for years - in Drupal seems to be vaporware that never to come to fruition...just goes on and on and on and on. After all Wordpress is also open source, but somehow plug-ins and standards seem so much simpler. In Drupal almost everything is two to three modules deep and you know that regardless of what you are doing you will hit a wall ...every ...single ....time. Guaranteed and without doubt. Take for example the Media Module (http://drupal.org/project/media). Wonderful effort...painfully complicated to the point of making it useless: Just trying to wrap your head around how file styles, presets, streams, effects, media types and how it all ties in with views and fields and what-have-you makes one's head want to explode. You need an structural map just to keep tabs on how it all flows together...In Wordpress? Core. You do not even think about it. It is simply there. Ready to go. This was promised in Drupal 7. Or at least insinuated.

  • Pomposity: Just this week I saw a perfect example of this: A module used by everybody. A new version gets put out and suddenly is "Hey too bad if the work you have been building for the last two months in now pointless. This is the way it is and there is no other option. And sorry if we suddenly decided to drop this lump on you, but you either take it or leave it. When? Whenever. Fixes? As we see fit. Now...be quite." One reply after another in the same tone. This is the reason why real companies keep programmers locked in a cage somewhere in the basement. You just cannot allow them to interact with the public. And in the case of Drupal this is a serious, serious problem that is becoming detrimental to its public image.

  • The "If you don't like it, contribute" excuse : An old time favorite. The cop-out of champions. In Wordpress you almost NEVER get such responses., but in Drupal is the standard-issued response to any form of suggestion or request. Never mind that often the dev's are really the only ones that even know how things work....This is precisely the thing that your post addresses. You tell that to a non-programming person and they will tell you to stick it where the sun don't shine. Hence why Wordpress is beating Drupal. With a baseball bat and without effort.

I am regretting having invested so much time in Drupal and I am seriously considering abandoning it altogether and moving on to something else like Wordpress, even a commercial solution of some sort. I often feel like I have wasted X years of my life searching for "The Promise land of CMS" that will simply never happen. Moses got drunk and lost the map. And I am not the only one. What is even worst: It is starting to build real resentment among the intermediate crowd, and that almost always produces infamy, something with a half-life a little bit longer than fame.

At the rate things are developing Drupal is going to end up being forgotten and tagged as "uselessware" that could become a cautionary tale in the annals of web development history. And all the stubbornness and cockiness in the world will not save it. Drupal developers have to realize THEY do not dictate the markets. Users do. Consumers do. End-user companies do.

My advice to the Drupal community is this: F#ck with all this at your own peril.

This is the reason why real

bojanz's picture

This is the reason why real companies keep programmers locked in a cage somewhere in the basement. You just cannot allow them to interact with the public. And in the case of Drupal this is a serious, serious problem that is becoming detrimental to its public image.

Goodbye. I wish you luck in all future post-Drupal endeavours.

I'm just going to go point by

EclipseGc's picture

I'm just going to go point by point here...

Slow development:

So much of your topic here is complete an utter bull crap that it boggles the mind. Yes, let's get a custom CMS that a handful of contractors in Vietnam know. This sounds like an excellent way to ensure that if anything ever goes wrong we can find reliable support. Fact is it IS open source, and what customers don't fund we take the time to build on our free time. That's the time I steal from my wife and 2 kids. And if that's too slow for you then yeah, maybe you should roll up your sleeves and learn to code (that's how we all got here... coding isn't magic of some sort).

Not very open to criticism of any kind:

No one is open to criticism from individuals who have no karma with them. I give criticism on drupal related things every single day, but I have the experience, and more importantly, others KNOW I have the experience. This is how criticism and advice work. You ask people who you KNOW can help. Everyone else is probably just a talking head trying to distract you with something they think is important. (It may be, but the importance of their argument does not demand your attention... what's the saying? "It's not what you know, but who."... this goes both ways.)

A sense that it is all just one massive con job:

Everyone wants residual income. Saas provides this, it also takes a long time to develop, and if those doing the development don't run right out and give it all away, I can't see how you can cry about it. As for competition, welcome to the world of capitalism... That's how it works.

A convoluted mess:

OK, I'll give you some space on this one, especially in reference to media (in general, not the module). Media IS difficult to do... that's sort of a fact of life on the net. Are you going to transcode the videos? html5? or flash? ogg? mp3? jpg or gif? etc etc etc. The fact that wordpress has a working media system of some sort is laudable, but also understand that wordpress is essentially developed by a VERY small core of individuals who dictate, and Drupal is allowed to grow in such a way that developers fix the things that matter to them most. Drupal is more of a framework than a CMS, you are upset by this, I submit to you that's because you're NOT a developer. Drupal's a developers tool, and while we all agree there should be an out-of-the-box solution for drupal doing... well something. That's a tangential topic to actually developing sites in drupal.

Pomposity:

I'll assume you're talking about Views here... in which case, it's been well known for anyone who cared to know that views was getting a new UI in D7 for a good long while now.

The "If you don't like it, contribute" excuse:

Yeah, go back to my first point. This is totally legitimate, and just because you don't think so, doesn't make it so. As I said I steal time from my wife and children to make the things I contribute, and if that's not good enough for you, then maybe you should contribute too. (That can be done in the form of a check that pays for my time...)

Eclipse

No Excuse's

MGParisi's picture

There is no reason to be hostile towards anyone, in any situation. It takes a small amount of patience and a slight change in words to be polite. The DRUPAL Karma system is fundamentally flawed. I have spent hundreds of hours doing work on Drupal, but I doubt you have even heard of Me (or maybe remember Me).

The Drupal Karma system is a measurement of popularity and how visual you are. It has nothing to do with the amount of work, or the quality of work that you do. I always hated the Karma idea, and think this fundamentally flawed and hurts the community. In fact it maybe part of the reason why Drupal's community is so sharp at times.

I should ad that it is also the responsibility of the audience to be accepting, tolerant, and patient. Especially when faced with hostility. No one gets off the hook and everyone is responsible.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

Dear Michael

EclipseGc's picture

If you think I don't know who you are, then let me first start by apologizing for never engaging you in IRC. You used to be around a lot quite a few months ago, vanished and are now back. While I may not be particularly familiar with any code or work you have done in the community, your name is familiar to me, and if I know your name, people farm more involved than I am know your name. That being said, you have some sort of karma. This is an inevitable fact of life on the internet when working in a fairly close knit community. How then can "karma", a totally unofficial system whereby "doers" are recognized for their "doing" (how else would people recognize you?), be flawed in any way? You do, you get recognized. Your name is in commit messages, people ask your opinion on things your worked on, you gain community respect... no one can join a community and instantly have their respect. Come from yahoo, google, msft, or joe's crab shack, you're going to have to earn whatever respect you get. I don't see how that is "flawed".

As for my "hostility", I think you mis-perceive. As I pointed out in my other reply, I never attacked the poster, I attacked some of his points, but I think I was justified in doing so, and I frankly think I came nowhere close to over-reacting. So let's stop acting like I dismissed something worth considering. This was just a troll, trolling on an issue that had nothing to do with what he trolled over. We don't let people hijack threads in the issue queue, we shouldn't tolerate it here either.

That's Not Fair

Aminka Ozmun's picture

How's the original poster a troll??

This is exactly why Drupal is so off-putting: all the developer stuff involved, then all the developer put-downs.

Please, Drupal People, PUT UP A BIG RED FLASHING SIGN ON THE HOMEPAGE: NOT FOR NEWBIES. Better yet, how about "NEWBIES BE GONE!"

But I did take something away from your first post, EclipseGc...that Drupal is a developer framework, and not a CMS as such. It's a framework for a CMS.

I honestly thank you from the bottom of my laywoman's heart for that clarification.

DRUPAL SHOULD STOP THE FALSE ADVERTISING. (Yes, I realize that that's all-caps.)

It is a developer's tool. It is FOR developers.

The original poster is not a "troll." He articulated exactly my sentiments. Here's my own all-too-common story:

I'd looked into Drupal three years ago when Version 6 had been just released as stable and never got much support. I even looked into Drupal again three months ago to see if things have improved -- nope; just the usual off-putting "Command Line Interface" attitude.

I'm now using WordPress and am absolutely loving it. And you know something? I barely had to post a question on any forum about using it.

Fine, diff'rent folks/diff'rent strokes.

Please just stop passing Drupal off as anything BUT a developer's tool ONLY. Something for people who develop sites for a living. Not for the small business owner looking to get into e-commerce; not for the aspiring author looking to publish her own eBooks ("hallo, mum!"); not for the college club president looking to put up an online network for fellow students.

Not unless they wanted to become software developers.

.

Michelle's picture

"Please just stop passing Drupal off as anything BUT a developer's tool ONLY."

Well, that wouldn't be very nice to the tens of thousands of non developers who are already using it and all the potential users who could be using it that would be put off by calling it a developer's tool, now would it? Just because you weren't able to figure it out doesn't mean you have to be a developer to use it. So why don't you just go on back to your Wordpress and let us get on with the work of improving Drupal?

Michelle

Typical Developer Response

pcher1bw's picture

The reply by Eclipse reminds me of an email response I saw from one of the people I worked with 25 years ago when I was developing specialized compilers on Sun OS 1.1 and VAX VMS. That message started out "To ANY would be compiler writers ...", and was flaming the other developers in the group. It is a totally negative response. This rant can only provoke the original poster, it really doesn't address their problems, and it can only lead to hurt feelings, not better understanding of the issues.

As a developer or a software engineer, we need to be able to see things from other peoples view points, if we don't, then we can't possibly write software that will meet the requirements. Software or web applications need to be written with end users and clients in mind. We developers are experts, and won't make the same mistakes that an end user does, therefore we need to view things from other peoples perspective before we frame a reply or write the code.

I have been involved in software development for 27 years. I was a software engineer for 15 years, in software project management for 10 years, and have been freelancing for over 1 year. As a software engineer I designed, implemented and tested compilers, linker loaders, device drivers and API's for embedded programs in C and C++ on SunOS and Solaris. I started on drupal 6 months ago for a client project. I have to agree with most of the bad comments here, even with the experience I have it is very difficult to come up to speed on Drupal. It takes me about 3 weeks to come up to speed on a new language (VBA, C#, Javascript, DOM, PHP, Perl), it took me 1 week to come up to speed on Joomla last May, it's been 6 months since I started drupal and I'm first getting up to speed. The old Drupal.org was not intuitive, the new one is better, but we still need to improve our end user documentation.

Paul Chernick

Paul Chernick
CEO
Chernick Consulting
(310) 569-2517

Really?

EclipseGc's picture

Paul,

First let me clarify that I completely agree with you about documentation. I'm not a coder by trade, it's just something I've picked up over the years, and to be honest, it took me about 18 months to come up to speed on drupal (back in the 4.6-4.7 era... and the learning cliff is much steeper these days, so you have my sincerest hopes that you get to the point where you truly feel comfortable with Drupal... it's a good place to be). But with that being said...

I really think I wasn't particularly harsh on "drupalcritic" who btw was a completely new acct made specifically for the purposes of venting about a completely off-topic issue. He didn't hit any of the real points the OP made and essentially attempted to hijack the thread (in fact, since we're still discussing it, I submit to you he succeeded in hijacking the thread). The point is, I did attempt to be as balanced as possible, but I never attacked him directly (I did attack some of his points) but bear in mind, he called us a bunch of "Slow, close-minded, con-artists who have built a tangled mess of a product and think we're the best thing since sliced bread, and won't listen to anyone who won't contribute to our mess"... which is fundamentally offensive. Given the perception of his incredibly off-the-mark criticisms, I think I handled it pretty well.

Just saying.

What should be said.

Dragorth's picture

You were negative, which is exactly what this thread is about. I am the new user to Drupal, I have non-existent coding skills, but my personal skills are excellent. This thread is about the public, i.e. customer or end-user, perception being negative due to the community. Your post, unfortionatly, proves the point.
There is no reason that ANY user should have to put up with such negativity, in a company you would have been fired. The reason is the negativity encourages users to go elsewhere, WHICH SHOULD BE COUNTER TO YOUR GOALS! Period. In order to stay relevant in this fast paced environment, you must answer positively, even when it irks you to do so. This is how you get the users that will bring in others and build your community for you. Work smarter, not harder. I am a very quick study, and have worked out how to use drupal, and the modules that I need, but I should not be your target audience. I don't normally read or reply to forums, so I don't build your community. The people that express frustration will be your holy evangelist if you treat them with respect, but they will take you down if you are negative.
It takes three positive thoughts to counterbalance one negative thought, so how are you going to get the chance to give a good impression on the user that you just turned away? There is a reason we in the US hold the freedom of speech so high.
P.S. Your Karma system amounts to nothing more than street cred, which means you have formed a gang. By relation, you have the issues that a gang has, yet not the benefits. Instead, research how organizations work on PR, and go from there.

Documentation

arianek's picture

Might I add that the documentation is in the shape it is (which in my biased opinion, is quite good all things considered!) because so few people help with it. We had 45 people come to the Docs sprint in Chicago which was a fantastic turnout in relative terms for a docs sprint. But from a conference of 3000 people, it's obvious that there is a huge division between how much effort goes into coding and how many people use Drupal vs. how much effort is put towards docs.

I am so grateful that with the extra marketing and mentoring Jennifer Hodgdon and I have been doing over the last 6 months since getting our "official" positions as Docs co-leads, that we have actually had a slow but steady increase in people helping out to improve them. People interested in writing docs themselves, and developers who are helping with reviewing/writing core docs and docs for their own contrib projects have been stepping up their games.

The docs don't write themselves, "somebody" is never going to get around to fixing them (it's up to each of us to take responsibility). The number of people working actively on docs is so low I can count on my two hands - it's not enough to support a project of this size, at least not yet. So from a personal standpoint I take complaints about their quality as nothing more than a way to remove the responsibility of helping improve them from your own shoulders. I think this applies to any aspect of the project that people aren't happy about. If you have the capability to help and instead of helping you complain, then you are just part of the problem.

You are using this amazing code for free, so it's not a big imposition to suggest you spend even 1% of the time you spend doing client/project work on helping with docs, patch reviews, etc.

I challenge anyone who's criticizing here to choose just one thing they think sucks about Drupal and actually help to make it better!

[Edit: totally not directed at EclipseGC though it might look at it from the way the comment threaded!]

Doc team doing a great job

tsvenson's picture

@arianek I hope you don't get any impression about that I am having a go at you or anyone else in the doc team. I think you guys are doing a great job, and as you know I have also promised to help out more as soon as I get some time for it.

What I think would make things easier though is if the team also got a few sub teams that focuses on smaller sections of the site. For example, one team focuses only on user documentation, while another on developer docs. The needs of a user and a developer is very different and thus they need different information and it needs skill sets to provide content of high quality.

I also think it is important that we raise the awareness of why better documentation is needed. I have a few times pointed out that when non developers, like myself, offer to help the impression we get is that documentation is the only thing we can help with. To be harsh, sometimes I even get the impression that "I'm a busy developer, I don't have time for petty things such as documentation so if you want to help, then go away and do that!". At least that is how it has felt for me sometimes.

I think that we need to better understand why it is like that and what we can do about it. Easier to navigate and digest documentation will ultimately also lead to less need for support, which will ease off the issue queues...

But how we do it is is better left for another discussion or else I am going off topic myself...

Edit: Just saw your other comment about the Docs subgroups, http://groups.drupal.org/node/125669. Had a quick look and lit seems great. Will have a better look when I am done going over all comments here and see what I can sign up for...

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Totally know your intent was

arianek's picture

Totally know your intent was not that ;) I was posting purely because I am trying to raise that awareness that we are in need of more docs writers and time, and that we've been creating a structure that'll help folks get involved more easily and be more productive!

... and we need to value and

kattekrab's picture

... and we need to value and champion rock star documentation people just like you and Jennifer and the 45 people who showed up in Chicago. If we don't learn to value non-code contributions we will never be truly embracing the diversity in the Drupal eco-system.

I just wish I had more time to do documentation. :) Do you have a "low hanging fruit" list somewhere?

Donna Benjamin
Board Member Drupal Association
@kattekrab

Thanks :) it's so true, with

arianek's picture

Thanks :) it's so true, with docs and other areas like design (which has now had more attention the last while), project management, etc.

There is a ton of low-hanging fruit in the docs queue - probably easiest to pick an area of interest http://groups.drupal.org/node/125669 (look for issue tag links) and find something to pick away at!

Drupal and WordPress are just

mathieuhelie's picture

Drupal and WordPress are just two completely different business models. WordPress is a blogging business that open-sources its software, so "core" features meant to facilitate blogging are financed by business investment. Drupal is a cooperative of different web development agencies and freelancers, hence "core" features are just what the senior members agree needs to go in core.

TLDR: WordPress is a blogging business, Drupal is a developer cooperative. If you don't find your place in Drupal, it's not for you, and it's not a flaw of the model.

pcher1bw's picture

I agree with the statement that "Drupal and WordPress are just two completely different business models." however I have to disagree with "...Drupal is a developer cooperative. If you don't find your place in Drupal, it's not for you, and it's not a flaw of the model.". If you don't keep end users in mind, who is going to use what you develope. I also know that a client of mine pointed his partner to me to redo their website, the partner chose to go with a solution that used Wordpress rather than Drupal, even though Drupal would have been the better choice, because Wordpress seem to be easier to a lot of end users.

When one contributes to any open source project, they do so because it benefits them. If we ignore the comments that point out the flaws in drupal we are ignoring people that might hire us in the future. If we ignore the people that might hire us in the future, then we have NO FUTURE.

There are 2 very good articles to read today, one that point out flaws and one that points out Dries vision. The one that po ints out flaws is aimed at CIO's and is at http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=22930081.... The one that points to Dries vision is http://blog.factory-interactive.com/comments/how-i-learned-to-stop-worry.... As a promoter of drupal one has to see the issues and acknowlege where we might have weaknesses. I can't say that anything is wrong in the article that points out the flaws in drupal and I was just glad to see a long blog in favor of drupal that was pointed to by one reply.

The more CIO's that get a bad impression of Drupal, the worse off Drupal will be. We need to turn the writers at Information Week around. That means we need to address their issues with Drupal to show that we are listening. Numbers are important things! Why else would Dries have included numbers in his Keynote speach at Drupalcon Chicago? The numbers in another article point out that Wordpress has 12% of the websites and we have between 1% and 2%, we are losing the battle, and the votes that count are the end users and companies that need websites.

Paul Chernick

Paul Chernick
CEO
Chernick Consulting
(310) 569-2517

How did they get thoose numbers?

MGParisi's picture

Its pretty tough to tell a Drupal site from a custom site. Its easy to tell a WordPress or Joomla site, because THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME!

We are not pushing away people, but Xerox does not sell commercial printers. Their lowest costing printer is in the thousands and guess what, there are LESS Xerox printers then HP or Canon because HP and Canon reach into consumer markets. Yet Xerox is Still an amazing and profitable company offering some of the best products available. They have attempted to enter the consumer market and failed miserably. Their strength is their Focus on their Product Distinction.

This is business 101. Product Distinction is what makes a product, brand and company successful. When you want an Orange, you buy an Orange. You don't buy an apple and then spend the next 5 years attempting to turn it into an Orange. Sure I would like Drupal to be all things to all people, but it never will be.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

"Its pretty tough to tell a

ciperl's picture

"Its pretty tough to tell a Drupal site from a custom site. Its easy to tell a WordPress or Joomla site, because THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME!"

-- Now this is just a ridiculous statement. Yes, its true that you could point out a bunch of sites that are easily recognizable as WordPress or Joomla... but at the same time I could point out a bunch of sites that are easy to tell they are Drupal. We both also could point out a number of sites that don't look like WordPress OR Drupal because the developers & designers know what they are doing.

To slap such a generalizing statement that "all WordPress sites look the same" is just plain lazy.

I'd have to agree here, all

sc0ttkclark's picture

I'd have to agree here, all of my sites and my closest colleagues all strive for a CMS-less design with our WP sites. Now, a better example might be that you can easily tell what's an .NET site :)

See this report

pcher1bw's picture

This is where the numbers come from, they explain their sources for each part of the report:

http://www.waterandstone.com/sites/default/files/2010%20OSCMS%20Report.pdf

Paul Chernick
CEO
Chernick Consulting
(310) 569-2517

Then what is the point of

tsvenson's picture

Then what is the point of making Drupal easier to use for none coders?

Sorry, but you are making it very easy for yourself by being so narrow minded about what Drupal can be used for.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Its only Broke for You?

Dragorth's picture

So your solution is that it if its only broke for you and yours, just go away? I am seeing a boys club in this thread, like I am playing WOW again.
I am sure you guys are doing something important, so don't mind us, we are just the guys that might fund your work. Oh, wait, you just told me you don't want our kind here.

IAmThatStrange's picture

I'm new to Drupal, very new. I came at it willing to give it all. I came at it after all from Typo3. Difficult you say of Drupal, well some would say Typo3 is impossible and that Drupal would be as easy as candy compared to Typo3. Indeed, I thought that this would be my input as well.

It wasn't

Not close - I was so very very disapointed in Drupal. And I was struck by all the things mentioned above. An attitude of "well you should know Drupal 6 when teaching about Drupal 7"... nope never used it. I saw "Well build one that you like" so often when seraching for how to's that I felt bad for even asking a questions.

And we just upgraded Drupal and it broke all my themes - whoot!

An example of the how bloated the administration of Drupal is - adding an extension to create a slideshow in both Drupal and Typo3

DRUPAL
Make sure all the necessary modules are installed
1. Views (7.x-3.0-beta3)
2. Views Slideshow (7.x-3.0-alpha1)
3. Chaos tool suite (7.x-1.0-alpha4)
4. Libraries (7.x-1.0)
5. Link Field (7.x-1.0-alpha3)
6. Token (optional) (7.x-1.0-beta1)
OH don’t forget to install the Jquery cycle!

These instructions were condensed from a 30 minute video describing how to do this.
1. Create new image styles
a. Full size image
b. Thumbnail image
2. Create new content type (slideshow)
a. Add a full size image field
i. Setup all the parameters for that field (max upload size, min upload size, resolution sizes etc), Make sure you tell it what directory they will be in (no click and choose here, you need to know the path).
b. Add a link field
i. Setup all the parameters for that field (required, Rel Attribute (yeah!)).
c. Setup the display settings for this – yeah more.
3. Create a new content element for each image! Whoot!
a. You have to remember to fill in the link with the url of the site (your site I think, not sure about this).
4. Create the view
a. You need to remember to create it as a block not a page.
b. You have to add the fields in the correct order
i. Link
ii. Image – large
1. Click on Rewrite Results - Make sure that you check Output this field as a link and put in the correct Replacement pattern into the link field (yeah boys and girls this will make so much sense to users).
iii. Image – Thumbnail.
1. Click on Rewrite Results - Make sure that you check Output this field as a link and put in the correct Replacement pattern into the link field.
5. Now setup the settings for the slideshow!
a. You need to choose the thumbnail images for the pager – guess what it’s got the same name as the large one (you probably can change this by adding a second field in the content type specifically for thumbnails). Whoot.
6. Now setup the settings for the field. Inline you have to choose the thumbnails (which again in my case had the exact same name as the large ones).
7. YOU ARE NOT DONE YET
8. You have to add the block into a region and then tell it to display only on the page(s) you want.

and after that. It didn't work right.

And in TYPO3
To add and setup imagecarousel
1. I installed imagecarousel extension No specific configuration nor any other modules/extensions needed other than placing the js in the footer.

To use it
1. I uploaded images to a directory
2. I added images to the plugin (point and click)
3. I told plugin to use a specific skin (one click setting) and gave the sizes of the images and the overall carousel (a total of 4 fields). You can change the slider values (like most js sliders).
4. I styled it.
5. I used typoscript to add it to the overall template.

Done.

Geeze we are going to have to hire more people. Many mor

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Interesting discussion!

stevepurkiss's picture

Interesting discussion! I have a few points:

  • yes, it would be nice to make Drupal easier for the non-programmer to use. Seeing how other software such as Wordpress do it is good for getting ideas and working towards building something better for Drupal. I don't think however that comparing Wordpress and Drupal in terms of functionality as software is necessarily a good idea - I simply couldn't build what I build in Wordpress. Sure, if you want to build something Wordpress can do then no problem, you're free to do so.

  • slow development. This is certainly true in a lot of cases, but as I have been learning, instead of replying '+1' or 'subscribe', we need to encourage more of the community to delve in and help move things along. That's why the other day when I wanted to use the userloginbar module on my new project I spent my Sunday porting it to Drupal 7 then posting the code back. Of course not everyone is able to do that, but if there's 100 plus ones, then there's a community there with a need, perhaps some money or time in their pockets, and if it's that essential then I'm sure a solution can be worked out between them.

  • attitude. My only comment on this is you can always fork a project.

  • not open to criticism. sure, some people aren't, some people are. Only cowards hide behind fake names though IMHO.

Drupal is different. Don't think of it like any other piece of software, think of it as a system which currently looks like it does at a particular point in space and time. As more people and companies adopt it, the community and thus the software will change.

My feeling is that Drupal is currently in its' toddler age and will stumble over a few times before it eventually learns to stand up on its' own two feet. Sure, they'll be a couple of people watching on the by-lines taking the piss out of the baby falling over, but as many others know, there's a good chance that eventually it will stand up and walk. Hey, it might even grow up to be something more truly remarkable than it is already today.

So I enjoy and appreciate reading all these different views from people, better out than in!

webchick?

MGParisi's picture

Does that mean Webchick is a coward?


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

LMGTFY

Alex UA's picture

To quote from Angie's user page:
"Full name: Angie Byron"
http://drupal.org/user/24967

To imply that Angie is in any way "anonymous", just because she uses a handle that's different from her name, is mind boggling.

Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg
ZivTech: Illuminating Technology

I think you missed my

MGParisi's picture

I think you missed my point... I use anonymous names all the time to protect my professional life. I appreciate my anonymous and usually go under alias's just because I dont want a Google Search of my name to bring up every detail of my life. Therefor I guess I was purposing that the correlation between alias and coward is non-existent.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

I disagree...

Alex UA's picture

I think it does make you a coward if you won't stand by your statements. Whether your boss forces you to be a coward is a whole other topic.

Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg
ZivTech: Illuminating Technology

I have seen My Friends give

MGParisi's picture

I have seen My Friends give out their real name and then be sued over what they said or did. I have also had friends who have been physically threatened, and even be targeted for harassment via emails to their Church, Work, Home, School, etc... Some people in this world are truely nuts, and even though their lawsuits where frivolous the personal cost for a proper defense at trial made it a loss for all involved.

I was going to create a new account under another identity for this exact reason, especially since I have seen multiple examples of these events happen within the last few months. I also do not want to say something negative about a product (like Windows) and then have to call Microsoft for support with that information available to them.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

1st ammendment

Alex UA's picture

I'm not saying that there are never times to use anonymous communications, and really I don't think you're a coward every time you don't do something because of a fear (it's often quite rational). But... in this case we're talking about someone spreading total FUD about Drupal because they got their feelings hurt or couldn't figure out some aspect of the software. So, in this case, the person is a straight up coward, and everything they say should be taken as (at best) half-truths.

@drupalcritic- I really doubt that you're going to lose a Drupal job, and anyway it's obvious you don't want to work with it, so why not just come out and say who you are? At the very least you'll make your arguments debatable, but without putting your names next to your opinions, your voice doesn't really count for anything. So, ready to stand up for what you believe?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg
ZivTech: Illuminating Technology

Webchick

MGParisi's picture

I did want to say that using webchick as an example was probably a very poor choice on My part. She came to mind because she is a great person and DEFINITELY not a coward. She is clearly a strong person and an example of what more people in Drupal (including ME) should be like. So if I offended her in anyway, or tarnished her I apologize.

Unfortunately I am a introverted social moron that often fails at communicating in a non-offensive manor. I am extremely logical oriented and very good at programming and working on Computer Business Systems. I am not very political, and maybe part of the problem is that many of the people who are the best programmers come across abit harsh. Maybe the OP and others need to give people like ME the benefit of the doubt and understand that we have good in our heart, no intention to cause harm, and simply fail at communicating properly and politely.

In MY private life I often rely on My Wife to help me be and learn to be a better people person. She is extremely good at that and is a very valuable (and treasured) asset of mine. I have found in other groups and situations people I can rely on who are better at handling social situations then I am.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

Thanks for your honesty! This

Dragorth's picture

Thanks for your honesty! This comes across much better than the negativity that is in this thread. I myself am very introverted, but I have a brain and use it. So sometimes I just shut up. My friends tell me that it solves all my problems, lol.

The reality is, though, that this discussion is a prime example of what the OP is talking about.
If you look at successful projects, they have two things going for them. 1 They have a vision that is being worked toward. 2 they have an evangelical community built on the "good experiences" they had with the project.

An example is Android vs Linux. Android has a huge following because of its user experience that it creates, its simplicity and just works philosophy, as well as a dedicated hacker community. Linux, however, never makes it to the desktop, even though it is almost everywhere else, due to the complexity of the user experience, and the impression that it doesn't "just work."

Do you want this project to be just the system that powers the government, and a few others, or do you want the 6 billion users that will be building their websites in the next thirty years? What is your vision, or goal?
This last is directed at the drupal community as a whole.

it would be nice to make

enrico200165's picture

it would be nice to make Drupal easier for the non-programmer to use
It would be also nice to make Drupal easier to learn for programmers. I have started learning it some weeks ago using "Drupal 7 module development" and the API doc on drupal.org but sometimes is not clear how things connect together. I wonder if it would have been easier and less effort to learn something else; in Drupal there are too many things too learn about the framework before you can start writing something. Not sure if the return on that initial effort is positive for people who will not be working full time as Drupal programmers for some time.
I would be interested in knowing how much time/effort people have too spend before becoming reasonably fluent, ie able to code something non trivial without having to check the docs every 2 minutes.
If someone had experience with Django, Ruby on rails or something similar would also be interested in knowing if what you have to learn before starting coding there is as much as in Drupal (I assume you write more code there, my question is not about that or which is better over the full lifecycle, just about how much you have to undersand/memorize there compared to Drupal)

back to what ever

johanneshahn's picture

I think
many people using wordpress to make their own little blog pages.
its easy to install setup and change themes. (please do not try multilanguage)
But Drupal is made for bigger community pages with forums, groups and profiles.

look at typo3. a normal user without programming knowledge
cant setup a page, but many customers using it.

You're comparing apples and oranges -
or you are using the wrong tool

compare that drupal / wordpress / typo3
http://www.cmsmatrix.org/matrix/cms-matrix

Since chances are you refer

merlinofchaos's picture

Since chances are you refer to Views in your 'pomposity' section, all I have to offer is this:

Views development happens pretty publicly. We have a team of developers, but it's a big project, and there's a lot going on. If our rate of development is too glacially slow for you, I recommend hiring a competent developer to help contribute rather than whining anonymously. I am not motivated to work faster because you a) whine, b) threaten. You accuse us of being pompous, but I think that one goes both ways.

Drupal needs helps! Sure we

houzhongxu's picture

Drupal needs helps!
Sure we should learn those WP guys' PACK-IT-UP style, but that doesn't change the fact WP is more than an app compared with Drupal(as eclipse said, it's a framework, a prototype).
I don't know your status ,critic dude, do you mean that when you said folks here are so narrow-minded? too programmer-centered? too many excuses?
or you just Deliberately provoked public outrage?
if that critic was not your last post, plz hit me back!
thank you!

As a newbie; i agree somewhat

JaDrupal's picture

As a newbie; i agree somewhat with the poster. I'm a systems analyst/ developer moving over to using Drupal to develop websites. It's been tough at times to get up and running. Earlier today i was looking for an e-commerce module to add to my site and saw several but i got confused as to which one to use. I looked at the last date updated which was either several weeks or months ago; also one had the maintenance status as unknown. I don't expect to have the developers crunching out updates everyday but i need the module to look like it's complete - so the description page could have the description; reviews; rating and then if i want to look at bug fixes, updates..., then i would have to click a tab to see it. Right now the modules look like they are under consturciton and i'm unsure as to which one would be a good safe choice. I was told that the key to Drupal is using modules that are actively maintained; maybe there could be a filter to filter out the poorly maintained modules or the ones that are just not fit and present the top 5 to the user.
I see that this group is for the re-design effort and i would love to help with it.

Nicky

Yeah, I don't think that most

EclipseGc's picture

Yeah, I don't think that most of us old timers (if I can call myself that, I've been here for a while now) would disagree with the spirit of what the original poster said, it's the inflammatory nature of the "drupalcritic" that has most of us irritated.

Your information is definitely correct, use the most maintained modules, but also check the stats for how widely installed something is. All module pages have a listing of how many sites are reporting use of that module. This is the pen-ultimate litmus test for choosing modules by and large. In-so-far as a commerce solution goes. Ubercart on D6, Drupal Commerce on D7. D7 is very new though, so lots of development in every corner there (just fyi).

Also, hop into irc. That's the quickest and easiest way to get a pulse on the drupal community.

Hope this helps!

A few clarifications and proposals

tsvenson's picture

Guys,

I would like to clarify a few things about my intention with creating the original post.

I never intended it as a go at Drupal developers or anyone else that do what they can to improve the community. I have the outmost respect for all the fantastic work everyone is doing. I would never have a go at anyone that is volunteering their own time and experience to help others, myself included.

My goal was to try and create some awareness about the competitors we are up against and the challenges we are facing to be able to really take them on. It is also to try and put some light on that we need to make some adjustments on how the community is organised and how people can help out in new ways that currently are not really available.

Regarding those cowards that created new accounts to be able to post off topic attacks on the community I will only say - I am not going to waste my time responding to your posts. If you don't have courage to stand behind your complaints, then shut up and leave us alone!

First a couple of replies to comments in the order they where posted:

@EclipseGc: I agree fully with your reply to the anonymous coward.

@stevepurkiss I agree that WordPress and Drupal is different and that you can do so much more with Drupal. My point is that many will give up before they see that simply because it is so hard to navigate d.o if you don't know where to look. On w.o the information is so much clearer and easy to digest. Remember, they are looking for a solution to build their site with, not a community to be a member of.

My feeling is that Drupal is currently in its' toddler age and will stumble over a few times before it eventually learns to stand up on its' own two feet.

Agree with you there and we need to figure out how to get up on those shaky legs and walk steady...

@JaDrupal: Yeah, it is often quite confusing on the module pages, often it is also difficult to know what Drupal version the information is about when the module is available for more than one major versions.

Thanks for offering to help out. Hopefully soon you will find some way of doing that.

@EclipseGc: Thanks for understanding my intention for the post. Much appreciated.

Regarding comparing Drupal with competitors I think that a fault a lot of people do is that they compare from what they know themselves. Yes, we in the Drupal community know what it can do and that it often can provide much more elegant and flexible solutions that other system.

That is not the point here though. Those new users I am talking about do not have that knowledge. They come to d.o, w.o and other community sites to find those answers. On w.o they will have easy access to a lot of good structured information. On d.o they will most likely quickly get very confused, especially when trying to look if there are any modules available for their needs.

They know nothing about Drupal when they get here, when they search they are going to use phrases they are familiar with. Then if they find a module that seems like a good choice they will land on its project page that often doesn't explain things in a language they understand. After all, these are project pages designed for managing the project development and therefore a lot of the info is geared at development issues.

Another thing that is worth remembering is that d.o is our shop window. People who come here expect the site to be a showcase for what Drupal is all about and what you can do with it. Sure, it is much better now after the redesign, but as soon as you start scratching under the surface it is quickly going to be quite confusing.

As I ended the initial post with, we can change this. But its not just about adding content, we need to change the organisational structure behind how d.o is administrated and maintained. We also need to provide better tools for content contributors to be able to easier work with the pages.

Most importantly, in my opinion, is that d.o gets a structure that better separate content based on the role and needs a visitor have. The main separation should be between users and developers. With users I am talking about those who want to build and/or administrate sites using Drupal Core, contributed modules and themes. Developers are those that work on adding functionality to Core and contributed projects. It is a very clear difference in the information those two groups need.

I believe there are lots of community members, such as myself and JaDrupal that would love to help out working on this, but that we have found out that it is almost impossible to find out how because the organisation is so unstructured and confusing.

Not only that, with more users tailored information I am convinced that we at the same time will make the developers life easier, especially when it comes to their issue queues.

My proposal is this:

Working Groups
This is actually starting to happen now (I hope). http://groups.drupal.org/prairie-initiative is one example. However, it is not really clear what authority and ownership these groups have.

To be able to create real change, these groups needs to have clearly defined goals and members that can take decisions about implementing them.

We will need groups that can work on how d.o can be improved for users and developers. They will look into how, for example, new users experience d.o and what makes them either stay or go somewhere else. Then come up with plans on how to improve things.

Initiative Owners
The result of these working groups will be handed over to initiative owners that will be responsible for implementing these changes.

Community Administrators
These are users that will be responsible for administrating sections of d.o, making sure that everything is smoothly working. I am not only talking about technical people working on the backend to fix problems. It is also about administrating content as well as functionality.

We have a documentation team, but that team is more or less responsible for all kinds of documentation. User documentation and developer documentation have very different requirements, compare an api.d.o page with a handbook page for example. The team needs to be split up in smaller sub groups that can focus on their own areas. They still will need to work together though.

Others will work on administrating the forums, planet drupal, groups, users, and so on...

Community Ambassadors
This is users that will work on guiding users around d.o. In some cases they will also function as mentors.

Another thing that will be important is that d.o become less anonymous. All of the above should have presentation pages where information about the goals and members are easy to digest. The more we get to know the people that are doing the work behind the scene, the better we will know and appreciate the wonderful work they do.

That should also be used for many other things. Project pages need this too. Right now we basically only know the maintainers by their username, unless they get star status (rightly so I want to add) such as merlinofchaos, davereid, webchick most of them are very unknown heros.

A lot of this should be possible to get started with pretty quick and I am sure there is an army of eager users that would ask "Where do I sign up to help" if it was easier. We just need to start this and not spend the next umpteen months discussing it!!!

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

You have some good ideas

David_Rothstein's picture

You have some good ideas here. My suggestion would be to pick one or two and focus on them for starters; it's all too easy for these kinds of efforts to try to do too much at once.

For what it's worth, the two things you mentioned that seemed to me most interesting were these:

  • Improving project pages. Rewriting project pages to be consistent and newbie-friendly would be a big win. I remember this blog post from a little while ago which had some tips on that: http://growingventuresolutions.com/blog/module-owners-how-make-your-modu...

    What's nice is that many improvements could be made without actually having to change the structure of anything on drupal.org (i.e., no need to wait for any "official" changes). An initiative could easily involve a bunch of people going around and contributing rewrites of various popular project pages in their issue queues, with the goal of making them follow a good, solid template and be friendly and helpful to Drupal newcomers.

  • Community Ambassadors. This is a nice idea and something anyone could help with, even if not doing it formally. As Drupal grows and its audience changes, I've lately noticed more and more new people appearing in the issue queues (and elsewhere) and posting things that are in totally the wrong place, etc. While it's tempting to just assume they're clueless people and ignore them, that's not always the case - sometimes they are just new and inexperienced and don't know where to go.

    One of Drupal's strengths is how we seem to be able to pull interesting people from all sorts of backgrounds into the community and have them grow into amazing Drupal contributors over time. As the circle of people who are encountering Drupal becomes larger and even more diverse (e.g., more non-programmers) that can be seen as a real opportunity. I guess it just requires patience, and willingness to help people out even if they start off posting things in the wrong place or doing things the wrong way. I think a lot of us had initial experiences getting involved with Drupal where someone more experienced mentored us through our first interaction with the forums, issue queues, etc. As Drupal grows, starting to formalize that a bit into an idea of "community ambassadors" seems like it has promise.

Please note that I am going

tsvenson's picture

Please note that I am going to be quite direct about what I see is needed to happen. I am not criticising anyone in particular, it is more about the phenomena that is happening natural when you have been a member of something for a long time and learned how to get around the obstacles based on the experience you have built up. Then it is very easy to be blind about how it is for someone who are facing it for the first time.

My suggestion would be to pick one or two and focus on them for starters; it's all too easy for these kinds of efforts to try to do too much at once.

I wish it was as simple as that, but in reality its not. For example, I did a big effort in coming up with a proposal on how Planet Drupal can be improved. I got several positive comments on that proposal and it was even featured by Tom Geller on the Drupal Easy podcast 52 (start listen 51:30 into it) where they agreed it is exactly what is needed. Since then, despite my follow up comments about how to get it implemented, nothing has happened.

Its not the first time I have tried to propose change, or seen others do it, and then nothing happens. At least for me this is really putting me off trying to offer help improving d.o.

What I pinpoint this to is that we lack any kind of good change management within the community. Unless you already belong to the small, rather anonymous, group that are able to implement these changes you will run into the wall and little will happen.

I would love to be able to pick a few things in my list of ideas to work on, but I don't believe that would really change much, plus a lot of what is needed both overlap and depend on each other.

Take improving the project pages for example. Its not just about making them better and easier to digest. A project maintainer has different needs to one that is searching for a module to use or how to administrate it on an existing site. What they have in common though is that all is tied to the individual project. Thus, it needs to be easier for project maintainers to structure the available information and project tools. Then use that information to make it easier to find the module you are looking for, including automatically have project directories that only lists projects that has officially released, and thus supported, versions. Thirdly the documentation for that project will have different target users. Documentation for using or building sites with it are different and needs to be treated like that.

So, in practice you will have several working groups, initiative owners and administrators working on their own sections of d.o, but using information and tools that are shared between them.

Our quest here is to find a way of how we can organise this work so that it is possible to isolate sections users can focus on and at the same time avoid that duplicated work are done that will create redundancy and conflicts.

For that we need pyramid organisation and change management that also are aware of the overlapping and dependencies between the more focused groups lower down in that pyramid.

Whit that I mean that we need to much better understand and manage how implementing change on d.o affects other areas. just focusing on creating a better project management is of course great, but how will that then affect other areas of d.o. Can the change be implemented so that the new structure/information can easily be better available for specific user types and presented in a way that is tailored to their needs?

Simply speaking, the left hand needs to know what the right hand is doing. Right now on d.o they simply don't.

Regarding improving the project pages, I presented an idea, "Revamping the Project Pages", in a post recently. I proposed a tabbed version that would better structure the information and at the same time make it more reusable for other sections of d.o.

Glad you like my idea about Community Ambassadors and that it could be a great resource for the community. Now we just need to figure out a way to make it happen and at the same time make it easy for these ambassadors to function.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Your suggestions on revamping

lisarex's picture

Your suggestions on revamping project pages seem good.

I too published a blog post on make project issue descriptions more usable; our ideas probably have some overlap: http://growingventuresolutions.com/blog/module-owners-how-make-your-modu...

But frankly, writing blog posts isn't how change happens. The issue queue is the primary place for actionable suggestions to get the visibility they need and the discussion and critique to get things done. I just haven't had the time to create and foster the issue, when there's so much else to tackle too.

==================================
http://about.me/lisarex

Actually, an issue was

lisarex's picture

Actually, an issue was started: http://drupal.org/node/997066

==================================
http://about.me/lisarex

Lisa, I have tried a lot to

tsvenson's picture

Lisa, I have tried a lot to help, practically begged for guidance about what to do next, such as in the Planet Drupal case. I had pretty much decided that starting this discussion would be my last effort about taking initiative to change. Reason is that if I look at the time I have spent on trying to pitch in, do research, come up with ideas and also offered to do work on it, it gets kinda scary. Its time of my life I could have spent on far more productive things.

I still believe in the community and love working with Drupal, but unless something happens about making it easier, and better organised, to help out for non developer, then I will simply limit my time to the issue queues and some doc updates.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

The efforts here

Bastlynn's picture

The efforts here http://groups.drupal.org/snowman seem like they would dovetail nicely with what you're talking about. Snowman is trying to create install profiles to enable out of the box functionality for new users to help make the case that Drupal can be immediately useful and ease the transition for first timers.

Wordpress is for users, Drupal is for Developers

niccolox's picture

Drupal is a way more interesting experience for developers, Wordpress is far more rewarding for a zero-budget, lets just do-it end-user

I have to really quickly build a website in Wordpress again, and have been using WP for ages for a video blog http://permaculture.tv ... and the thing is, it just works... Drupal is a set-up experience

some distros such as OpenPublish require over 1.8 GB RAM to install, thats pretty amazing

Drupal Gardens is going to compete with Wordpress... thats the business model...

Drupal Ambassadors

mlangfeld's picture

@tsvenson Must be in the air. I just proposed we all become Drupal Ambassadors, in relation to making the community more inclusive, more diverse: http://groups.drupal.org/node/133714#comment-447619 then popped over here to find you had a different take on it but a great idea, too. We ought to roll them together, and propose something like this to the Drupal Association.

My take on your posts is that difficulty is to know to whom to propose a new initiative. Now seems like a good time, since there is a lot of interest in growing/broadening the community. I'm very interested in this area of growth for Drupal, and want to work on it, too.

Best, Marilyn

A better support system in the works

laura s's picture

There's been a lot of ad hoc talk about creating a new support.drupal.org center, borrowing ideas from other sites and systems like StackExchange. Please share some of your ideas on this discussion: http://groups.drupal.org/node/136719

Edited to add: I hope everyone on this thread shares some thoughts at http://groups.drupal.org/node/136719

Laura Scott
PINGV | Strategy • Design • Drupal Development

@mlangfeld I agree that we

tsvenson's picture

@mlangfeld I agree that we all should think of us as Drupal Ambassadors and I think most of us do that.

However, I also believe it would be good if there where a few official Ambassadors especially new users are able to turn to for guidance, especially when it comes to helping out in the community.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Docs sub-groups

arianek's picture

Docs sub-groups? Right here: http://groups.drupal.org/node/125669 But we need actual people to step up and help work on this stuff! It's sitting right there, just waiting! The more people can team up and cross-review each others' work, the faster the docs will improve! (I'll get off my soapbox now) ;)

Fantastic, great stuff

tsvenson's picture

Fantastic, great stuff @arianek, I will check what I can sign up to help with ASAP.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Interesting points from some.

sk33lz's picture

Some of this discussion is great to continue and build a better Drupal.org upon for new users. Some comments here are just outrageous. With all that in mind, I think that the original poster has brought up a valid point in the fact that the WP website is very easy to navigate and download the software, themes, and plugins quickly without needing to know every detail about everything. I don't think about these things much, as I have used Drupal.org for a while. I did what he suggested and tried to find my way around the Drupal.org site as if I knew nothing. It was tougher than I thought to just get what I needed without knowing a.) what a module is and b.) what version of each module do I need? Granted I have been working with Drupal for several years, so I know what I am doing, but would you really be able to get what you need to put a site together if it was your first time on the site?

For good measure, I did a quick comparison of a WP plugin page and a Drupal module page. Immediately, I noticed that we put the list of maintainers in the location that they have their download link, and we have our download section where they have their maintainers section. I find that odd. Notice I also said download and not downloads. They really only show the public one particular recommended download that they want everyone using. The previous versions are available, but not grouped together with the main release like on D.O. I know we currently support 2 major versions in a development cycle, but is this best to promote to new users?

It looks like WP only "officially" supports 1 main version. Wouldn't it be better to do something similar and show the public only D7 releases and leave all the D6 stuff to those who know about it and are using it already? It would also hopefully take some of the strain off of developers to have to support 2 major versions of each module, theme, or other projects they create, especially the core developers. Many of the core developers maintain other modules, which they have to support 2 major versions of or possibly more if they have different branches. Choosing 1 major version to "promote" so to speak, should cut down on the amount of usage on older versions of Drupal when a new version is released, as well as projects from older versions. This should help speed up the process that we get core releases, or at least take the strain off the backbone of the hardcore developers in the community. Ok enough of me ranting a little, but seriously I think that "promoting" 1 featured release of each project could focus our efforts where they are needed more efficiently.

I agree that improving the project pages will be a huge plus for gaining new users. I also believe that if we can make the project pages in a way that is the shortest path first to get the best version of each project, we will see greater adoption. This would included more actionable download links within the main viewport, especially for a main "promoted" release as I suggested. This should also help with furthering the adoption of newer project releases, so developers should not have to support so much old code in use. Obviously this is not something we can do overnight, but we can build upon everyone's ideas to make a better site for new users. If the featured release is implemented, perhaps we can even make the developers jobs easier in the process too :) Win + Win :D

Peace,

Jason

Wouldn't it be better to do

tsvenson's picture

Wouldn't it be better to do something similar and show the public only D7 releases and leave all the D6 stuff to those who know about it and are using it already?

I don't think that is a good idea since Drupal is not backward compatible between major releases. For many projects Drupal 7 simply isn't possible to use because modules required aren't ported yet. In many situations Drupal 6 will remain the only viable choice for a long time to come. WP is backward compatible and therefore they can do this.

What we can do though is to both explain this better and offer ways of quickly be able to filter the information based on the Drupal Core version you are using. This needs to be done not only on the project pages, but also everywhere else. A dream would be if there was a big switch I can set to Drupal 7 and then everything on d.o is filtered to only view D7 related info. Either specifically for D7 or general info that is not version dependent.

http://api.drupal.org has such a switch and it works great there. Just imagine if you couldn't filter on major release on it that easy...

What will be important is to make sure that visitors understand the reasons behind that Drupal cuts compatibility between major releases, including the advantages it gives us. This is important so that new users will fully understand that just because there is a D7 release, D6 in many cases is what they need and that it is as supported as the D7.

This is a huge difference to what many are used with when it comes to software versions. If its not explained correctly, then some will opt for something else if D6 is the only choice for them because they will assume it is not going to be as supported as D7.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

tsvenson's picture

I just read http://www.resourcenation.com/blog/comparing-the-numbers-wordpress-jooml... that was published today. This one is actually very balanced, I have seen much worse comparisons. Still. it is a typical article comparing these three systems.

It is very clear about how easy WordPress is to get going with. When it comes to Drupal, and to some degree Joomla, you really get the invisible "but" before every time it is mentioned.

Its not said straight out in the article, but the message is still very clear. WordPress is something most people can get going on their own, "but" Drupal you will need experienced help with. To some degree that is of course true, however the message is so clear that I think a lot of readers will easily rule out Drupal and just go directly for WordPress.

These hints will ring warning bells in the head of the readers and will be weighted in when they decide on the next step to take.

Have in mind that these articles are often written by journalists that don't have a deep knowledge or experience from the topic they write about. They go to each community site to gather information for their story. Their experience there will be reflected in their story and as well what they recommend.

Yes, getting a site working in Drupal takes a bigger effort, but why do we need to make it so much more obvious to everyone than it actually have to be?

This is another reason why I initiated this discussion. There are many simple and effective changes we can make on *.d.o that would both give everyone a much better introduction to the Drupalverse the first time they come here, and also make it so much easier for us all to work with.

We just need to understand this better to be able to do something about it.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Nope

Aminka Ozmun's picture

I actually heard about WordPress way before Drupal, but tried to get into Drupal because it was so "powerful" and "versatile." Yeah -- for developers!

You good folks keep saying how Drupal and WordPress are apples and oranges...so why are you chasing the same audience, then? Drupal is not for the proverbial "regular folks;" it's for developers.

I even tried looking into Drupal again this past summer, after a complete web-hiatus of about three years, and this time I spent all of only three days instead of the two to four months I did three years ago to conclude...yep; it's Drupal all right. Same as ever from a new non-programmer would-be user's POV despite all the "improvements."

I'm disappointed you have taken to attacking the drupalcritic person as a "coward" since I followed your original post with great interest, having been lead back here by the website WPTavern. That post articulated exactly all the problems with Drupal that I had experienced -- twice!!

Look, y'all are developing for developers...so why try to connect with the mainstream at all?? I personally resent the effort, as it's lead an average person like myself to imagine Drupal to be something other than what it is: a developer's framework. A programmer's tool.

Please stop chasing the mainstream! You will not get them. The developer-pomposity correctly mentioned by drupalcritic comes across in so many ways. It's like when girls just know something's wrong with a guy even though the guy complains all the time about how he's actually such a "nice guy!"

If Drupal were a person, he'd be like a brilliant but autistic college professor. Brilliant, and probably good for grad students and PhD candidates, but he resents having to deal with freshmen newly out of high school.

Well, at least now he realizes that the feeling is mutual!

I joined IRC

JaDrupal's picture

I joined IRC #drupal-contribute; thanks for the suggestion & tips re e-commerce modules EclipseGC.
Anyway i hope to be able to help in the redesign effort i sent out two emails; one via the general contact form and the other to lisarex - she is named as the person responsible for the redesign effort. Maybe you could email her too tsvenson - just a suggestion.

Nicky

Happy to have helped you

EclipseGc's picture

Happy to have helped you Nicky. Welcome to Drupal.

Thanks for pointing me to

lisarex's picture

Thanks for pointing me to this thread... interesting discussions, for sure! I should clarify, the "Redesign drupal.org" project is out of the active stage, but there's a ton of work that needs to continue. And much that needs to be improved -- I'll add a comment to the bottom with more explanation.

==================================
http://about.me/lisarex

Chipping in

leisareichelt's picture

Just to add that I'm following this conversation with interest.
Some of this I hope we start addressing as a part of the Prairie Initiative @yoroy linked to earlier. I'm also working with Lisa Rex to help work through a bunch of the unfinished design work on Drupal.org

Agree we have lots to improve.

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com
@leisa

Have you seen Drupal.com?

Senpai's picture

Drupal.org is the development and design community's site, which is used to further the software platform as a whole. Drupal.com is the "This is Drupal, and here's how you could use it." site. Trouble is, nobody ever helped the Drupal founder, Dries Buytaert, build it out so that the general public could benefit from it.

Tis a pity.


Joel Farris | my 'certified to rock' score
Transparatech
http://transparatech.com
619.717.2805

The current incarnation of Drupal.com

christefano's picture

The current incarnation of Drupal.com was built by Development Seed.

I think the main error is to

Gerhard Killesreiter's picture

I think the main error is to compare Drupal to wordpress. They are totally different in purpose and thus the websites aren't really comparable.

Exactly

Ryan Weal's picture

I would also add to this that Wordpress should not be considered "competition" - it is simply another tool meant for a similar but different purpose. Both are open source. Each project just approaches and solves problems differently. I know many developers who use both Wordpress and Drupal and I highly doubt that they see their choice in tools on a per-project basis as a competitive endeavour. They see it as using the right tool for the job.

Target Audience

MGParisi's picture

I have a fundimental answer to the O.P.'s post. In the business world it is refereed to as Target Audience, Product Distinction, etc.

Let me ask this; Why would Drupal want to be Word Press? If I wanted Word Press I would use Word Press. I have no problems giving kudos to thoose over at word press for making a quick plug in and play app, but the fact is that I can make Drupal do what Word Press does, but I can not make Word Press do what Drupal does.

Joomla is another example. Joomla is more powerful then word press but not as flexible as Drupal. It also takes more effort to setup a Joomla Site then a Word Press Site.

Now onto Drupal. The Target audience of Drupal are IT/IS specialists. People who want flexibility and power and need their sites to work perfectly. This flexibility comes at the cost of development time, but that is the way it is. If Drupal tried to change its target audience it would loose what makes Drupal special.

Example 1, want a low cost printer for your home? Buy a HP. Want a fast printing low maintenance low cost per print printer Buy a Xerox.
Example 2, want a fast customizable OS with a customizable Kernal with a focus on speed, go with Linux. Want a plug in and play OS that runs tons of applications Buy Windows. Want a OS that runs nothing and crashes all the time, buy a MAC (Kidding)
Example 3, Want an easy to use, point and click camera, then buy a low costing cannon, Kodak or the other 12 different brands that are sub $200. Want a high end super quality camera that uses many lenses and requires months, if not years to learn how to take a great picture Buy the Nikon D300.

The fact is, Linux, Xerox and Nikon sell less products then their competitors. Their products are also more complicated, harder to setup, and harder to maintain or use. But each of these companies provides a unique advantage that no lower costing solution will provide. Hand ME a Nikon D300 and I will struggle to take a picture, but try and get a skilled photographer to use a $100 camera.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

Eh... Wrong!

Alex UA's picture

Now onto Drupal. The Target audience of Drupal are IT/IS specialists.

Drupal certainly attracts "IT/IS Specialists", but in reality most CS majors seem to HATE Drupal (in my experience). I've heard a variety of reasons for this hatred: because it's not "pure" enough, because it's written in PHP, because it doesn't separate content from settings, or some other thing(s) that it doesn't do compared to the "hip" framework. In the beginning, Drupal seemed aimed at smart, pragmatic, technically savvy communicators (or, at the very least, it was this type of person that tended to adopt it). At this point I'd say that Drupal is largely aimed at (or is being pushed by) consumers of enterprise products within a work environment (who somehow can't come to grips with the fact that they have trouble doing basic stuff on the company's website), and many IT folks are forced to choose between several competing products (besides Joomla and Wordpress there are all of the SaaS and/or proprietary systems). It just so happens that Drupal is able to more easily fill the variety of "consumer needs" both within and outside of an organization.

The way you are talking, you are obviously skewed towards an IT perspective, but most of our clients come from the business side...

Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg
ZivTech: Illuminating Technology

Information Systems Professionals

MGParisi's picture

I see the difference between CS and IS/IT programmers. gripe on I personally hate the fact that PHP does not allow for Instantiation. There is not even an option to require it, and this failure has lead to many mistakes when I work with it. For instance plurals variable and function calls can lead to errors that are extremely hard to catch:( I am also OOP based programmer.gripe off

I appreciate and love the framework/API of Drupal. It is quite eloquent, beautiful and intelligent, and really utilizes a programming technique that inheritance and other OOP principles often fail at.

With that said, Information Systems professionals (including Systems Analysis's) like ME are definitely business oriented and recognize that small interface and customizations can make huge differences in the performance and accurate use of the interface and availability of information. Failure to provide these very subtle changes can lead to misrepresentation of data. It can also make certain tasks irrelevant or hard to use by your target audience. Therefor the overrides that Drupal provides and the building block approach that is so hard to initially grasp is the same thing that attracts us (IS) people.

So I agree that Drupal reaches a target audience and assert that is a GOOD thing (not a negative thing).


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

concrete examples

johnsonvirei's picture

Hello MGParisi,

please furnish some concrete examples of things you can do in Drupal that you cannot do in WP.

thank you.

If only Drupal was owned by a single company!

Alex UA's picture

Imagine all of the slick marketing we could do if Drupal was owned by one company, and not by 100's (if not 1000's) of independent organizations! Pushing a project and a website without complete centralized control (which Drupal does maintain over the code) is like herding cats, while doing the same with complete control of the code, marketing, and complete direction of the project(s), and herding cats is a lot harder than commanding dogs.

Anyway, a lot more people (including myself) have stepped up more in the marketing/d.o. side, and hopefully a lot more will, but I don't think we should ever expect to have the cohesive and controlled messaging of wordpress. If being truly FOSS is a strategic disadvantage to WOOSS (Wholly Owned "Open Source" Software), then I guess we're screwed. Luckily, it isn't and we aren't, even if it's hard to see that when you first come to d.o.

Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg
ZivTech: Illuminating Technology

Sigh.

Ryan Weal's picture

Personally I'm tired of the Drupal vs. Wordpress argument.

I did start using Drupal from the perspective of a noobie almost three years ago. Sure, it was confusing at first, but once you get into it it is very nice to use. I would also argue that Drupal is very well organized because things are done in a conceptual way - which is actually really nice. Now that I have a lot of experience with Drupal it is very powerful for me. That is why you should be using Drupal.

Sure if your goal is to be just like everyone else you could probably use Wordpress. That is not what I want to do with my sites. I want to mix and match things, I want to put them together in unique ways, and I want control over how things are done. Drupal gives me the flexibility to do all of this.

Further to all of this, I think Drupal really shines as a good way for information architects to grow into a developer role. When you start with Drupal you get a reasonably nice CMS. When you begin customizing things you get a lot more. Finally when you begin programming with Drupal you get a robust framework and you do not have to re-invent every little thing to make basic sites work.

For those of you who have not seen it, I highly recommend the following article: http://benbuckman.net/tech/11/02/drupal-application-framework-bostonphp-.... It compares Drupal not against Wordpress and (shudders) Joomla but CakePHP, Zend and other frameworks. Those who compare Drupal to Wordpress and Joomla completely miss the point of Drupal in my opinion. Drupal strives to be the best of both worlds - to exist as both a CMS and a CMF.

concrete examples

johnsonvirei's picture

Ryan hi,

please furnish concrete examples of how Drupal gives you more flexibility than other CMS options.

thank you.

Congratulations, you have

tsvenson's picture

Congratulations, you have managed to completely miss my point.

Your whole comment is about your experience with Drupal that you have gathered over three years.

This discussion is about how many new users Drupal is losing to other platforms because d.o is simply to confusing for them. These users don't know what you know. They come to d.o to quickly find out if Drupal could be the thing for them. Unless they are also interested in web development most of them will quickly leave and opt for something else.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Remember the OP...

Michelle's picture

This was about drupal.org vs wordpress.org, not Drupal vs Wordpress. I'm putting this as a reply to the OP not to call out anyone in particular as there's been more than one drifting from the point.

I do think it's a valid point. drupal.org is hard to navigate even for those who have been around a while. I haven't really gotten into this discussion since I'm not volunteering but here's a +1 from me for making it better to go along with my reminder of the topic at hand. ;)

Michelle

Not sure I agree...

Ryan Weal's picture

The gist of what I'm reading here is that Drupal.org is targeted toward developers, and it should be because in most situations you'll need a developer to get the full benefit of Drupal. Wordpress.org does not scare me because they are aiming to do something different - distribute code for advanced users and draw the rest into their hosted service. Drupal.org's hosted service is only for code, and I believe that is how it should be.

.org vs .org not code and features!

tsvenson's picture

Thanks @Michelle for helping reminding people to stay on topic.

Guys, can you please take all fights about features, code and other unrelated discussions somewhere else because you have completely missed my main points which I made very clear in the OP.

If you missed the catch in my exercise, here it is again:

Here is the catch - Pretend as if you know nothing about coding and you don't want to learn. You also have Drupal amnesia. Push all your Drupal knowledge aside as if you never learnt it. Then open drupal.org and look at the information and imagine what a new user would do in the same situation.

This discussion is about how new users that are searching for a system to use are experiencing d.o and competing community sites.

Can we now please get back to focusing on this?

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Define 'user'

leisareichelt's picture

So, as long as we're talking about a generic 'user' we're going to remain unable to design appropriately. Different parts of Drupal.org are intended for different audiences and we need to define those and their needs more closely.

Remember that at the moment, if you come to Drupal.org to get Drupal you have to be able to get through the bit before the installation process - where you download it to a server, have a database etc. That in itself excludes a huge proportion of the population.

So, for me, there are two issues here:
- who is Drupal.org servicing and what are their particular (realistic) needs?
- should Drupal be trying to help people who don't know one end of a database from another get a Drupal site set up and, if so, how should we do this (or are we best just pointing at commercial partners who already deal with this audience?)

L

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com
@leisa

I can't answer 1) but we

Gerhard Killesreiter's picture

I can't answer 1) but we definitly should not be catering for 2). "Some assembly required" should be our motto. We shouldn't actively discourage people who match 2) but we should make it clear to them that they'll have a hard time and need to invest a lot of time. We should also show them that it is worth it...

.

Michelle's picture

I think the differences between types of users is a real problem, yes, but there are some things that are just hard no matter what sort of user you are. Today I suggested to someone in my queue that they should post their question in the forums. They responded by asking me what forum. At first I thought they didn't know which particular forum I meant... Thinking about it more, though, I think they may have not realized drupal.org has a forum. I grumble about it taking 2 clicks to get there but at least I know which two clicks. What about those who don't realize it exists?

I don't know what a good answer for this is... There is simply so much information. How do you make all of it obvious without being overwhelming? The "Get started" path is nice but someone who has already started may not think to click on it again a week later when they get stuck on something. Maybe we need more clear pathways right on the front page? Big buttons for "Get started", "Add modules", "Get help", "Help out" (with better wording, but you get the gist). Divide things up into sections as much as possible so people always know where to go... Just a thought.

Michelle

Solution

MGParisi's picture

I agree allot with these idea's, but I would like to purpose a radical paradigm shift...

I did not want to include it in another post that will be seen by allot as "trolling". I feel that this post, and the daily posts like this also bring up major issues.

Drupal is a wonderful content management system, and social collaboration tool. It is complex and allows for very custom solutions for very unique business problems. What we have here is a problem of finding and consuming information. This is made difficult by multiple overlapping sources of information that provide a ton of places for duplication. Searching therefor becomes hard and the results are a search through a sea of repetition. In addition, due to the way in which we create content associations, it makes some changes to certain aspects of Drupal.org documentation extremely difficult if not impossible. Progress is admittingly very slow.

Therefor I have written an paradigm shift that I have purposed in the past, but we did not have the system at that time to accomplish it. Now we do.
http://groups.drupal.org/node/137039


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

Users

tsvenson's picture

I agree, we need to better understand, and define, the various users that we can expect will come to d.o.

That said, I think it is also important to not exclude the group that comes to d.o just to find out information about what it is and if it could be an option for them to build their website on. Lets call them "visitors" and that the difference is that they are very unlikely to ever have the need of creating a user account on d.o.

Vistors

Decision makers in an organisation that are looking for information about what would be the best alternative to build their website on. Either they have been recommended to look at Drupal, it is mentioned in proposals from consultants they hire or they are simply trying to do their homework themselves.

They will mainly need to quickly find out marketing information and presentations. Easy to digest information, slideshows and other presentations about what Drupal can do, who is using it and why.They simply quickly want confirmation that Drupal is a choice they can trust.

This can also be complemented with more in-depth case studies. However, these case studies should look better than they do today and also be available to download in PDF.

Journalists and other media people is also in this group. They have an article to write where Drupal is included.

The presentation material for the decision makers will be great for them too, especially the case studies.

Then they will also look for anyone to contact for further information when needed.

Users

I believe the best way of trying to find the different kind of users that will come to d.o is to think of roles when separating them. Doing so we can quickly define a few Users such as:

  • Content Administrator - Responsible for content structure, but can also have tasks such as creating new views and similar things.
  • Content Editor - Editing content, but is quite unlikely to be found on d.o as they the tools they use will most likely be very unique to their needs when it comes to workflows, structure and so on. Thus they will get a tailored user guide from those who developed the site.
  • Site Administrator/Webmaster - Making sure the website is working properly, going through the Reports section. They are also often system/server administrators.

Another big group here is site builders that mainly will build sites suing existing modules and very limited coding. The range here goes from anyone that wants to just play around with Drupal, build a personal page and all the way to the largest organisations using Drupal as their main platform.

Themers is another group of users.

What all these have in common though is that they are using Drupal to solve a problem, namely to build websites with it. That is their main goal. Thus to some degree even module developers are included here when they are building modules that solve a specific client need.

Developers

These are of course also users, but they can easily be separated from the groups above due to that they mainly work on Drupal Core or other projects hosted on d.o.

In many cases they are also developing client specific modules/themes as well, but they would then still have the same needs as all other developers.

So, if we better learn what kind of visitors and users (roles) that are going to come to d.o, then it should be much easier to structure the site to be able to meet their needs and provide content for them.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

mlangfeld's picture

Thanks for moving the discussion forward, Thomas. These could be the personas I've been discussing in my other comments. We want to keep the groups simple, so that there are simple choices, as long as people see themselves in the choices.

I'd make Builders a separate category. So: Visitors, Users, Builders, Developers.

I think people could find themselves in those categorizations pretty well. If we start by adding landing pages with suggestions of where to find the information most needed by each group, as I suggested earlier, we would quickly help people find their way around drupal.org

That's not end goal, of course, but it would immediately help while other initiatives work on support issues.

Best, Marilyn

Glad you like my ideas. I'm

tsvenson's picture

Glad you like my ideas. I'm grateful for you comments and suggestions to them. I have also gotten more involved with the doc team and are currently finding out how I can be of best service to them. Already I have had a few short interesting discussions with them. Its going to be fun to get going on this.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

new user

joni's picture

I don't have to pretend - that's me. Came to this discussion in search of what this Drupal platform was that my programmer put me on that has caused so much hardship in my consulting and coaching business. As an expert in leadership with lots more technical savvy than my peers but certainly not a tech worthy member of this community, I think the mission is off to make it work for people like me - come for the software, stay for the community. I was able to interact with far more communities when I was on WordPress. Even though I never dealt with any back end stuff, the extra time and awkwardness of Drupal has meant that I've had to interact with this community instead of my target market and that basic tasks eat up interaction time.

The complications and lack of intuitiveness are relentless. Content management is the worst problem for me, currently it's mostly clunky content retrieval. The search box seems like a crutch around that but it often doesn't bring up even word for word titles. Media limitations are on the brink of making Drupal prohibitive - may need to go back to WordPress, probably should have at the start. Not to have basic easy customer interaction, photo placement, font and color choices seems archaic.

My consulting instincts tell me that there probably needs to be more Mac-type and less PC thinking in the development process. It's been fascinating to glimpse the Drupal developers' world - I know for sure that this kind of co-creative collaboration can lead to extraordinary brilliance. It can also lead to chaos which is always part of the creative process but too often ends up as the endgame - the issue is how the creative process is harnessed and unleashed, especially in a cyber volunteer environment.

Asking more questions like the "beginner's mind" one here is a great technique for achieving what I understand to be the objectives. Also, consider sharing visions - what do you want this to do for people? what does excellence look like to you? what's the spark here for people who aren't part of the developers community and how are those 2 different sparks connected? I work with a concept called servant leadership - and there's clearly a theme of service running through responses. You can capitalize on that by focusing it outward with questions about serving users and their constituents.

Please no "Mac-type" thinking

Macronomicus's picture

Please no "Mac-type" thinking ... style over substance wont do Drupal any good... what is that anyhow? Making fun of everyone who doesn't buy your overpriced product?

A lot of your issues can be solved by using WP or hiring a web developer or using a service for something better. Drupal is too powerful to make as simple as WP. I would hope that scares away some people, because if it didn't then it would likely mean its not as powerful as we'd like.

I was once a new user and to the older website no less, but I persisted because I knew it was what I wanted. Its simple if you dont want limitless potential & just want a VERY basic website then by all means use WP or Google Sites & avoid the learning curve.

However if you are excited by the potential then jump in and mix it up! There are tons of ways to learn drupal and collaborate.

I agree 100%

MGParisi's picture

Usability is a key factor in development, and one that people pay very close attention to, but this is NOT wordpress, Joomla, Elgg, or any of the 1000 other CMS. This is Drupal, and the target audience is not the wordpress audience. I have NO problem recommending people to use Wordpress or Joomla over Drupal. Its not that Drupal is a poor product, its simply picking the right tool for the right job.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

concrete examples

johnsonvirei's picture

Hi macrocosm,

please furnish concrete examples of how Drupal is too powerful to simplify.

thank you.

What im saying is if its too

Macronomicus's picture

What im saying is if its too simple, then it would seem to me its not that capable. Worthwhile things are rarely "simple" ... when something is too simple I always look for the catch. In the case of Drupal, if you "dumbed" it down, then what would be the cost of that? What would have to go? Would we wind up with just another WP? Why are the Hand Holding Services ala Drupal Gardens etc. not enough for those that dont want to understand the underlying framework? Surely there needs to be simple options out there ... what im saying is why should Drupal be one of them? There is nothing in Drupal's history to suggest the Drupalverse wants that, or has any intention of backing away from forward thinking and pushing boundaries.

This conversation seems to please those trying to knock out the knees of a platform thats growing by leaps and bounds. Im sure there are some that would love to see Drupal become another WP; however, there are many more that want it to become exceedingly more powerful, and lets be honest, with power comes complexity.

After seeing the MAJOR upgrades to D.O I cant even imagine why this conversation is happening in such a way. Why not join in with the tons of folks obviously working away at streamlining and better presenting things? I'm loving the new changes & NEVER suffered the delusion it would "simplify" the framework for people whom have no interest in learning.

Cheers!

Thank you for your insights

johnsonvirei's picture

Thank you for your insights macrocosm. If i'm understanding you correctly, drupal is too powerful to make simple and it is okay for it to be complex because you have more functionality at your disposal. Can you offer up a few examples of things you are able to do in Drupal that you cannot do in other content management systems?

thank you.

As a regular user - i joined

JaDrupal's picture

As a regular user - i joined because a friend asked me to develop a site so i looked around and saw one that looked really cool; clicked on source and saw that it was developed using Drupal. So i thought to come over and do one for myself.
The installation guide was not helpful for me it was just too technical so i searched online and watched a pretty good youtube video and got up and running.
I don't particularly like the idea of pointing newbies who don't have dbase experience to commercial sites because some like myself might be web developers who want to learn for personal development and experience drupal for free. I'd suggest creating/ improving the existing facility for newbies. At present it's all mashed together and i've been overwhelmed by it all at times. But i'm still sticking to it because as Gerhard said it is worth it.

Nicky

Wordpress.org "scared" me

Macronomicus's picture

Wordpress.org "scared" me enough that I've never used wordpress, I wanted the swiss army knife & could tell instantly wordpress didnt offer that. We should let drupal gardens and other such independents offer their hand holding services.... d.o should remain the framework mothership IMO.

Perhaps we can find a way to nudge these "generic visitors" into a proper section or away depending on what they are looking for. For example I like how openpublishapp.com has the two menus, Publishers, Developers.

Cheers!

Drupal and WordPress each have their niches

NealB's picture

No one could argue against improving the website, but ultimately it comes down to Drupal serving a different niche than WP. You can't be all things to all people.

Web Managers: another non-programmer group

mlangfeld's picture

@leisareichelt Another persona that deserves consideration is the non-programmer web manager in an organization. Often, though not always, from the web content management side of the coin. Needs help doing more (learning what's possible to do with CCK/Views, for instance, workflows, etc.) If lucky, they have an ongoing relationship with the original developers of their site or other Drupal developers; otherwise they are on their own (with or without budget for more development).

They often pushed for a cms to be able to update content more quickly; find that they still need monthly developer time to work out the issues that arise.

If sections are developed for different personas, definitely include the web manager. They need documentation aimed at them; they might need a forum or other way to share experience, issues.

Best, Marilyn

Relevant session video

c4rl's picture

I've only skimmed this thread, but I recommend those concerned check out jenlampton's session on this subject.

"Wordpress is better than Drupal: Developers take note."

http://www.archive.org/details/WordpressIsBetterThanDrupalDeveloperTakeNote

The original post seems to be

lisarex's picture

The original post seems to be criticizing drupal.org, the Drupal community and the Drupal software (core and modules).... all fair points :)

I'm just going to address drupal.org piece now since that's where I'm focusing my efforts. It's fair to say that the Drupal community focuses on core and contrib projects, and drupal.org can be pretty neglected :) Drupal.org has grown organically for 10 years. There's now over 700,000 published nodes, 50+ site maintainers etc. It's a lot. And we're all volunteers*.

The Community Initiative section shows where we want to focus our improvements. It's not complete, but it's visible:
http://drupal.org/community-initiatives

Leisa Reichelt has a lot of great ideas for improving drupal.org and I'm really excited to get these changes live. It's one step at a time.

You are welcome to create actionable issues to improve drupal.org (that is - name a single problem, why it's a problem, who it affects, and some ideas on how to fix it) and things can be evaluated that way. Issue were filed in the Redesign project (http://drupal.org/project/redesign) but that's now obsolete, and issues should go into one of the other projects (sorry, I know folks are going to be cross by that method, but it's how we're organizing the work). Not sure which project? File it anyway, and someone will move it to another project if needed.

Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts.

*There are a few exceptions where folks have gotten compensated for their time. You can read more about that on the association.drupal.org site.

==================================
http://about.me/lisarex

IMO .. you all have done a

Macronomicus's picture

IMO .. you all have done a fantastic job with the new d.0. I think creating a process that pulls newbies into a welcoming section that will direct them to the info relevant to them would pretty much solve most of the logical OP issues. Then content could be flagged into those sections when it fits.

drupal.org/start is a fantastic effort but perhaps can have another sub level/area that takes into account various user-types and deals with them accordingly... and yes even scare some types away or into the arms of the many fantastic hand holding services available in the Drupalverse.

Keep up the good work and dont let the negative nancies get to you! d.o rocks!

How Long

MGParisi's picture

How long did it take between the last two major redesigns of the website, 6 years? I personally like how the redesign works, and there had been some improvements. I know the politics of creating a site redesign and saw some of the problems with the process. I am amazed it ever got done.

I know the hard work that goes into maintaining things like the document querry. I spent weeks fixing issues that where over 2 years old. The major problem that I encountered when I attempted to help out is that every change that entered the issue query could die by committee. A single person could slow down or even stop certain changes with a single concern. I got a ton done in Documents while there was a few people working on the issue querry. But as soon as more people joined every issue that was filed become un-closable. Some individuals became unmovable road blocks for change. They never seemed to come up with resolutions or changes in your solution to the problem, they just always had a reason why something cant be don.

Certain documents where politically and physically untouchable, and the only way I got to update them was through collaborating software that allowed anyone to work on a single document in real time. Other more major tasks where assigned to someone who I think forgot that they took on that task, or was not active with the task. 3 months passed with no progress on the one task I wanted to work on but that was "assigned" to someone else.

I do know that the web dev's query was even larger, and had similar problems. I know that when I had to escalate an issue into that query the Document Project Manager called it a "Death Sentience" for the project.

It was not any ONE thing that caused the issue, it was MANY obstacles that got in the way. The system of issue queries and committee scrutiny was a major problem to encourage change.

Eventually these issues started to become too much and I quit working on Documents. I simply could not even get a single change done without a debate. It was horrible. I hope things changed. Maybe the system worked for some, but I dont think so. Maybe I did not have enough karma to over-ride the next person on the ladder. I am not certain. I hope people recognized what was going on, I did not. Well not until I took a few years back and started reflecting back on my experience.

I hope this helps, I know its straight forword and not very cushy, polished and probably will unintentionally make people angry. BTW, these issues are currently actively being talked about in IRC.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

Docs - another chance?

arianek's picture

We had some great feedback at the Docs Sprint and session in Chicago that the vibe of the documentation work was becoming more open and approachable. Jennifer and I have been doing a lot of work to make it that way and help people interested in working on them to be effective and supported.

If you still have any interest in working on Docs, we'd love to have you. Some issues are slow because there are not enough people reviewing, but we do our best to review each issue between the two of us, and there are more people helping out as time goes on.

http://groups.drupal.org/documentation-team is now an open group, so you can post any discussions or concerns there if you want to discuss further!

@lisarex I'm not sure where

mlangfeld's picture

@lisarex I'm not sure where this idea would go (after following your link and trying to determine the right place to post), so would be extremely grateful if it were forwarded to the right person/place.

I'd love to see drupal.org homepage include something like the right sidebar box on wfp (developmentseed.org design) though visually simpler, where you can choose among four personas: new visitor, aid professionals, students and teachers, womwn4women, which then direct you to a page that recommends sections of the site that might be of particular interest to you. Points you in the right direction, so to speak.

That would be a simple way of helping people get to the information/group/issue queue/forum, whatever it is that you need, based on your persona. Another way of doing that would be adding a similar choice in the user profile, which would trigger the building of a navigation tool specific to your persona. A lot more complicated, so probably not feasible, but might be worth a thought or two.

Best, Marilyn

Best, Marilyn

I wouldn't be too concerned

Macronomicus's picture

I wouldn't be too concerned about wp ... at the moment im converting a WP site to Drupal. No matter how pretty their (WP) website, eventually some users will hit the wall where they realize "oh WP doesnt do that" or "it will take gobs of hours to do that and make updating your wp a PITA". Its sort of like the Mac website... real pretty but....

d.o upgrades are a good thing, but please dont benchmark off of WP! Round Peg.. Square Hole....

Are you talking to me?

mlangfeld's picture

@macrocosm Are you talking to me? I see I didn't show the full url of the site I was referencing, World Food Programme, www.wfp.org homepage, upper right box with four icons/personas.

Best, Marilyn

Well it was a general

Macronomicus's picture

Well it was a general statement, but hey I like that persona thing its quite nice!

WordPress developers point of view

ryanhellyer's picture

I found this post via WP Tavern ... http://www.wptavern.com/forum/general-wordpress/2193-interesting-discuss...

I'm a self-professed WordPress evangelist, but even I find some of the comments here to be overly critical of the Drupal project. You guys have a kick ass piece of software here. Anyone with half a brain can see that.

Sure your community isn't quite as well setup to handle noob users, and yes that is a definite problem and something which should be corrected but you guys are still a clear cut above the rest of the CMS market and definitely fill a large niche as a developer oriented platform which WordPress does not cater for quite so well.

And don't go thinking that the WordPress world isn't in fear of the Drupal project :P Drupal is clearly a more sophisticated piece of software and if you guys can improve the usability to the point where it is as easy to work with as WordPress, then you will be able to start slowly chipping away at the WordPress market share. But do you even want to? Do you really want a bunch of noob users filling your forums with silly irrelevant questions? Catering to the masses could be an unwanted distraction and a drain on resources.

The beauty of Drupal is in it's complexity, the beauty of WordPress is in it's simplicity. They are both beautiful in their own rights. Do you really want to compete with the giant of WordPress? Or fill a much needed niche in the world of CMS's?

EDIT: My reply is mainly in response to the comments above, not the original poster.

WP has it's caveats too

sc0ttkclark's picture

WP isn't perfect, nothing out there is. Great thing about it is that we can just make it better.

Having worked with WP extensively trying to build functionality similar to how CCK works through the plugin Pods (http://podscms.org/), I've had my share of fun with the limitations of WP itself, the community, and the developers behind it. While I don't know what makes for the best oiled machine, I do know that it's discussions and disagreements that can really help further the project. Usually it results in either someone disagreeing completely with the core developers, the core developers not having time to deal with the issue, or the core developers end up seeing a real use-case scenario which they may have not seen before.

There's a lot of hands in the cookie jar, and I'm pretty sure that's the case for both Drupal and WP. I just wish that more often than currently there could be more discussions about actual proposed solutions instead of ego tripping and cabbage throwing.

Drupal and WP both thrive under the GPL license that backs them. It empowers the users. In many cases, the people who use it the most are developers and the users only really use it when it's necessary to add / change content on their site. Drupal has done an amazing job in building very powerful tools that give developers the ability to build some very complex sites. I believe that WP doesn't get much credit in that department but there is so much under the surface going on that it's easy to miss. There are a number of plugins that bring a ton of developer-oriented tools that aren't distributed with WP by default because WP is really 'marketed' towards the user. Drupal doesn't hold back, and includes these powerful tools by default. As a developer, I love having it all together, but to say that one or the other can or can't do something makes it seem like you'd be forgetting the fact that there are Modules and Plugins for these systems which take it the extra mile. I'd say Drupal and WP are pretty much on par, it just depends on how you look at it and if you know the right things. There are obscure Modules and Plugins out there that can blow your mind that you haven't even heard about yet.

Just take a moment, realize that while WP looks awesome, we have many issues on our side too and there's room for improvement (even in areas the poster above and comments have stated Drupal lacks in, WP lacks in as well). Drupal isn't losing the "battle", and neither is WP. We're #winning together because we fuel each other's ideas through our strengths and weaknesses.

drupal.org could be a bit friendlier

kriskhaira's picture

I think drupal.org could be a bit friendlier to the non-developer. I know a prominent human rights NGO in Malaysia that replaced a Drupal site I installed with a WordPress one because it "seemed less complicated after visiting its website" and they didn't have a budget to hire a developer to maintain their site; but are able to install plugins on a WordPress site by themselves.

Some notes after looking at drupal.org:

  1. The "Develop with Drupal" block might scare away non-developers. Maybe something more relevant to a non-developer like "Extend Drupal?" or "Download Modules?". Stuff for developers can always go into another section or can go in there in some place that will be obvious to developers but not confusing to non-developers.
  2. The link "Drupal Core" might be confusing to non-developers. They might ask "What's Drupal Core? And what's normal Drupal?"

That said it also depends how people are using Drupal. Because if we're targeting end users, then what does that say about modules like Features and Strongarm? I don't think the average non-developer who may know how to unzip and install a module using an FTP client knows how to use Features.

Expand Usage of Roles and Permissions

sk33lz's picture

After reading much of the comments on this thread, and your comment specifically, I think that what most people are looking for here can be handled easily with what Drupal Core's Roles and Block Permissions can offer(perhaps Panels or Context even down the road). It isn't really necessary for newbies to see all the developer specific blocks, IMHO. Perhaps new blocks can be created from Views to show the anonymous and registered roles less Drupal speak. This would be good for the community as a whole, as developers would have the info they need, those interested in development would be able to learn more through an actionable link of some sort. Newbies wouldn't be overwhelmed when they first visit a project page through their Role on the site by too much information. These are basic features of Drupal core, we should use it more to our advantage to capture our audience.

I think that excessive Drupal speak is one of the main turnoffs for newbies who visit the site in general. Perhaps a new role should be made, as obviously we don't want to only allow developers to see that info. People who are interested in becoming themers or developers could have a new role, I propose Drupal Recruit. The whole Drupal learning curve is a process anyway that we are trying to streamline. Why not just add that 1 step to simplify it for newbies? That would leave out all the confusing stuff that people that are just looking to get started don't really need to know, and possibly just turns them away immediately. The first impression is key to anything in this world, not just open source CMS projects.

On a side note, I love myself just like any other right minded contributing soul for this project, but I don't need people to see my username in the viewport of my project pages, I need them to see the download links to my project.

4 or more cents from me. This topic is one of the most interesting to date for me as a Drupal.org user of almost 4 years. I am starting to feel a disturbance in The Force.

Note to whoever did it: I do like the recent move of the Project Usage stats up to the top of the project page :D Let's keep that going :)

Peace,
Jason

The o.p. is one of the best

mermentau's picture

The o.p. is one of the best posts I have seen in a long time. Do we want the users that that find WP so easy? Is Drupal just for developer types who would like to profit from those needing sites that have no skills? tsvenson raises a lot of good points that shouldn't be just blown off with apples to oranges logic.

Comments here portray the feeling that Drupal 7 is not really ready for most production needs now and might be a year until that happens. What kind of project releases a latest major version and then can't advocate that it's the one recommended. I can't see WordPress coming out with version 4 and encouraging new users to get 3. Looks like d.o. recommends 7 http://drupal.org/start, but the developer community wouldn't. The Drupal 6 link on that page brings the user to a page dated 2003. What's a new Drupal user to think?

Maybe as some have hinted we don't want the tribe that downloads and installs WordPress in minutes. We only want developers or firms with funds to hire them. To me in the end Drupal needs both. There is no real reason that Drupal can't have a distribution with the functionality of WordPress and then offer all the expansion options that a developer can give. Looks like Drupal Gardens is headed to fill that need.

I've only been using Drupal for less than a year, and I'm not really sure how fundamental change gets done here. I know there are a few really sharp people at the top of things that can make change happen, but they seem really busy. I hope the change makers really read the o.p.

What kind of project releases

laura s's picture

What kind of project releases a latest major version and then can't advocate that it's the one recommended.

Drupal does. However, unlike the case when Drupal 6 launched, when many contrib modules were nowhere near ready (and waiting for Views and CCK to port first), I think it's a false conclusion to draw that Drupal 7 is not recommended. On the contrary, it would be a hard case convincing us to develop a new site on Drupal 6 now.

Laura Scott
PINGV | Strategy • Design • Drupal Development

Wow what a thread

Ahkonsu's picture

Building a response to this interesting thread has made me think of when I first started deciding what CMS software to use for my clients. In the end I went with WordPress because of its simplicity and make no mistake it is not just a blogging platform it is a full blown CMS system.

So why did I make my choice it had allot to do with understanding the software. I had attempted Drupal I had managed to wrap my mind around Joomla, but in the end it was WordPress simply because it was just so easy. The bonus part was that it was easy to explain it to my customers. While many developers seem to want to make their clients dependent on the coder tit I like to wean my clients off the coder tit and have them able to understand their own websites and be able to react to changes in their business faster.

The OP here made some really great points about how unfriendly Drupal was and may still be, not entirely sure there since I abandoned it a couple of years ago. Now from what I read in the long list of comments here I see that he is pretty accurate in his criticisms. One in particular I think is completely backwards and that is the strange slogan. “Come for the software, stay for the community” this is downright backwards for without users you will have no community to even be bothered with. If you do not focus on your users in some way they will abandon you in droves and head for greener pastures.

Right now those greener pastures are WordPress and it’s easier to use than Drupal. So how unfriendly is the community well I thought I would take a trip though it and see. I found it a bit tough to navigate and when I thought I would check the install process for Drupal turns out it is not such an easy thing to do. Plus the language of everything is totally in geekspeak although I am pretty fluent in that I still need a bit of a translator for the Drupal forums.

As for friendliness and criticisms well everybody and every forum has its issues so that is generally a moot point. The ones that take offense the quickest usually have reason for that, in particular I point to drupalcritic who made some interesting points and then EclipseGc who attacked both the points and the person although he thinks he only went after the points.

Then down a bit further with mathieuhelie mentioning that Drupal and WordPress are different business models and pcher1bw with some info on how Drupal is doing. Then MGParisi comes in with the statement that Drupal is all about product distinction and compares it to Xerox. The problem there is that he lost sight of what Xeroxes real market is and what makes them great. At any rate there is an old sales axiom that says “If you sell to the classes you live with the masses, If you sell to the masses you live with the classes.” Choose your space one can be as good as the other.

I did enjoy the little side bar about anonymous communication on the web and the nice name calling was interesting. Keep in mind there really is no anonymous on the web if someone is determined to find you. As for hiding behind a pseudonym some will do it to try an protect their professional image when they are criticizing a project in a drastic manner like drupalcritic did. Does it make him/her a coward maybe or this person may be someone who looks for help on a regular basis and did not want their efforts to be thwarted.

In the end this original posting is all about tsvenson really discussing the issues around why WordPress is simply kicking Drupal’s butt in the world of sites created with it. One of the best comments I have seen is that Drupal is about the developer and WordPress is about the user. Well if that is the entire groupthink in the community then it will eventually fail, simply because there are millions of users out there and only thousands of developers. You product has to appeal to the masses to be successful simply look at all the great successes out there. I did notice in the discussions that Drupal is not backward compatible this alone kills it for many since to move forward you need to be compatible with at least your last major version, users have come to expect this and again it show how the community does not think about its users only the developers.

One other argument I have seen a couple of times in this thread is that I want my site to do this I want this or that power and ability. Where in all of this is the I want to provide for my client this or that solution to their needs. Remember it is not about you the developer when you are building a client’s site (although many developers seem to think so) it is about providing the easiest and best solution for your client.

One other thing I seemed to have missed in all of this is who directs this great project I had a hard time finding the central contact point. If this is all like one great big committee then you should keep in mind the saying that “a Camel is a Horse designed by committee.”

John Overall
www.JohnOverall.com

What is Drupal?

laura s's picture

I don't mean to be snarky, but it almost sounds like your comment could be summarized as: "Drupal would be great if only it weren't Drupal." I feel it's the opposite: Drupal is as great as it is because it is what it is, and it can be even better because it is what it is.

Let me back up and ramble a bit….

I wonder if much of frustration voiced by many in this thread and elsewhere is due to marketing positioning. The community has lately embraced an effort to make Drupal more user friendly. I think there was much success in improving the usability (and accessibility) of Drupal. However, that usability push did not change the fundamental nature of what Drupal is. It can be hard when people expecting a bike are discovering they get a bicycle factory. "Where's my bicycle?!" When I got into Drupal years ago, it was pretty clear what you were getting. Drupal has never been backwards compatible, and I would not lay money on it ever adopting backwards compatibility. (If you look at trends in software these days, you see the same thing: upgrades are one-way. Drupal is not unique in this.) And yet here we are all talking about Drupal. I feel that's in part because Drupal lets go of old thinking. We would not be here having this discussion if Drupal had to drag along legacy code and old thinking, keeping it working while it tried to incrementally improve its API. You think Drupal is hard now, you should have seen Drupal 4.5! There was no installation system for modules; you had to manually run MySQL queries against the database to create and modify tables. The theming system required you to navigate through strings of spaghetti. The front-end and back-end interfaces were one and the same. You had to edit code just to get Drupal running at all. Reinvention can be a good thing. And it never stops. The drop is always moving!

But now with Drupal's success, people are coming to Drupal who are perhaps unclear about what Drupal really is and has been all along: a developer's tool first. That's how it is the CMS of choice for so many site owners and developers. Drupal's extensibility, combined with so much robust functionality already built and done, is why larger businesses are choosing Drupal. Drupal now can run on many different databases. It has APIs to leverage for developing custom functionality and integrating with third-party systems. And it's powerful enough that you can build quite a complex and powerful site without writing one line of code.

But you still have to build the site. You have to do the work.

Now, that said, things are changing on this front. There are already Installation Profiles that will build you a bike for you, and various distributions out there where you can just download a preconfigured site to start with. And there are more and more hosted solutions as well. Dozens of different kinds of bicycles if all you want is a bicycle. They are fairly new things for the Drupal community and ecosystem, and only recently picking up in the past year or so, but these are good solutions for people who want a bicycle, not to build their own custom bike. These things are happening because there is a need, as this thread demonstrates, and people are naturally moving to fulfill that need.

Ultimately, though, the most amazing thing about Drupal and the Drupal community is that this all came about from people scratching their own itch (or a client's itch). This is a true commons. An incredibly diverse barnraising for each and every one of us. The code is free, and every line of it was written at no charge to you and given to you to use as you wish. The documentation is written by volunteers. The help you get, or don't get, is from volunteers. The themes are created by volunteers, given away. This is a community about free — as in free beer, and as in freedom. We're not organized in a hierarchy. You may call us a committee but we're all a community. Of course it's imperfect! We have a lot to learn, a lot to do, a lot to discover. But we're also well positioned to do something about it. I think those of us who have thrived the most in the Drupal community probably like to get our hands dirty and get into the nitty gritty of what we're doing. And we love being able to effect change in what we have, always making things better. Yeah, we get things wrong, but we also get things right, frequently very right. Some of the greatest excitement right now, months after Drupal 7's launch, is surrounding Drupal 8 and how we make Drupal better. We do it because we can. I'm nothing but thankful for all the people who have put in the long hours, the energy, the persistence to make Drupal core better. That's hard, very hard. And I'm thankful for all the module and theme contributors who gave of themselves to strengthen the community. Yes, there's a lot of junk out there in the contrib area, but that's an issue of finding the good stuff rather than the mere existence of less-than-good stuff (and there are Drupal.org redesign efforts to make good modules easier to find and identify).

Yes there certainly are things we can learn from Wordpress — and Apple, Linux, Microsoft and Angry Birds — and it's because Drupal is the way it is, and the Drupal community is who it is, that we can act on what we learn. And yet Drupal is huge. This community has grown 50-fold since I joined. Drupal core has grown in size and complexity. Important contributed modules have also grown in size and complexity, as well as in number. Yes, that makes Drupal harder to grok than Wordpress but I don't think Drupal would benefit by trying to be a better Wordpress. Wordpress is already pretty good at that.

I think our biggest challenge is our diversity. We not only speak dozens of languages, come from scores of countries, we also come from different walks of life, with different expertise and experience. Sometimes it can feel like we simply don't understand each other. But I don't consider that a flaw, but an opportunity.

And as for who "directs" Drupal, it's not a secret. His name is in the footer of every page on *.drupal.org. ;)

Laura Scott
PINGV | Strategy • Design • Drupal Development

A very good question what is it.

Ahkonsu's picture

Hmmm don’t think I implied that Drupal would be good if it wasn’t Drupal after all there are already great alternatives to it. What I did imply is that Drupal developers seem to care more about their ego and the fact that this is a great development platform and couldn’t give a toss about their clients or the other users out there looking for a solution to their business website needs. Make no mistake users want solutions not bells and whistles. They also need it in an easy to use and understandable format.

What I believe the OP was getting at that was missed in maybe my rant and others is that Drupal is losing out in the battle for new clients by its lack of ease to implement, use and even to maintain. If your users can’t maintain their own site when you’re done you have not done your job. The fact that they may continue to pay you for maintaining it should not be because they need you, but because they understand the value you bring to helping their company succeed with the solution you have provided. They should be able to continue on without you if for whatever reason they decide to part ways with you. This I do not see in many Drupal installs.

As for your point about building a site without having to write a single line of code that goes for Joomla and WordPress as well. Also the codes for these programs is also free maybe not all written by volunteers but still free to use & do with what you want.

You’re right about Drupal not trying to be a better WordPress but what it should be doing is trying to be a better easier to use Drupal. If Drupal doesn’t make a change in the direction of caring for its users it will eventually fade into a distant memory as something better comes along to replace it. And if it does change it may just find users moving from WordPress, Joomla and others to its platform

John Overall
www.JohnOverall.com

Education is fundemental...

Alex UA's picture

The OP here made some really great points about how unfriendly Drupal was and may still be, not entirely sure there since I abandoned it a couple of years ago.

Hmm. You're stating things about Drupal with a lot of authority for someone who "abandoned it a couple of years ago". Simply put: Drupal developers have been making core a lot more usable. You're information is years out of date, and thus your opinion is as well. We make awesome and very usable interfaces using Drupal (see, for example, http://flatworldknowledge.com or http://dahon.com), and frankly there's absolutely no way you could have built either of those sites using WP. Luckily for Drupal (and firms like ours), your misunderstandings are not shared by the majority of large organizations in the U.S., who are adopting Drupal at an amazing clip.

The fact that they may continue to pay you for maintaining it should not be because they need you, but because they understand the value you bring to helping their company succeed with the solution you have provided. They should be able to continue on without you if for whatever reason they decide to part ways with you. This I do not see in many Drupal installs.

And how many "drupal installs", created by actual Drupal pros (see: http://drupal.org/marketplace), have you seen?

Also- the original post was not about how hard it is to get started with Drupal, but rather how poorly d.o. sells the platform in relation to wordpress.com.

Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg
ZivTech: Illuminating Technology

concrete examples

johnsonvirei's picture

Alex hi,

please furnish concrete examples of why the two sites you presented could not be built in WP.

thank you.

Are you trolling?

sc0ttkclark's picture

Are you trolling?

no just wanting examples

johnsonvirei's picture

Hi Sc0tt, no not trolling just hoping to get some examples for some of the claims made in this thread.

thank you.

trolling...

Alex UA's picture

Given you've been a member of this site for all of four hours now, I'd say that your repeated posts demanding others do work for you is pretty close to trolling.

Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg
ZivTech: Illuminating Technology

You are right, it is much

johnsonvirei's picture

You are right, it is much easier for you to dismiss a genuine request for substantiation of your claim as trolling. Clearly you are unable to back your statement up. Thanks anyway for your time.

Exactly

Aminka Ozmun's picture

This is the attitude I used to get, too. And then they wonder why folks sniff at Drupal.

I've been following your requests for proof with interest since coming here from WP Tavern and it disturbs me that Drupal folks continue to perpetuate this newbie-time-wasting propaganda about how great it is for building websites, etc., if only you would just take the time to learn it all.

Well, I'm no natural when it comes to spelling out every single little step in a process because machines are so dumb, but I spent two to four months before I figured, hey, why am I trying to educate myself in computer science and web programming just in order to use this thing!

I was taken in by that "great things available only in Drupal" propaganda but now I realize it's like buying real estate on Mars: nice views, undoubtedly, but when am I ever gonna get to enjoy 'em??

When I learn to build my own rocket there, of course.

Please, Drupal people: leave the laymen and women of the world alone. Advertise your platform as a developer's framework -- not something for regular folks.

Separate Drupal and *.drupal.org please!

tsvenson's picture

The OP here made some really great points about how unfriendly Drupal was and may still be

Please separate Drupal and *.drupal.org. I did no such thing as saying that Drupal, the software, is unfriendly. On the contrary I think it is very user friendly, especially the improvements that has been made in D7.

*.drupal.org, the community sites, is on the other hand in many cases quite confusing to to navigate, especially for new users. That is what the OP is about.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Seems to me a symbiotic

Aminka Ozmun's picture

Seems to me a symbiotic relationship, in more ways than one.

Any product is going to be a reflection of its creator. Drupal and d.o. are products of the Drupal community. I doubt the lack of concern, if not outright disregard, for non-programming newcomers in one is going to be somehow magically non-existent in the other.

Your post sounded revolutionary at first. But instead of "how can we break out of this prison" it's "what color should the cell window shades be"....

Please don't think me unkind for letting you know how I feel in such personal terms (I feel the same sense of exasperation at PC companies that just don't get why Apple's able to charge top dollar for somewhat mediocre product). Most people don't bother with feedback -- the very people y'all are trying to figure out.

Starbuck's picture

I'll preface by saying I happily run both WP and D6 and intend to continue doing so, though I swear I'd rather volunteer for a dentist appointment if I could get someone to perform various updates in either environment for me.

There is just too much information which makes both platforms unapproachable. They have indeed gone from great apps to being full platforms, and the learning curve is now huge and never ending. With all of the claims of simplicity and basic "content management", all we're really doing with a lot of this technology is shifting our skills from old hard-coded HTML to the nuances of the core packages and the subtleties of each of the oh-so-different modules. If the websites helped to reign in some of that complexity, to deliver the promise of a lot of functionality with a fraction of the effort that it used to take, then we'd have some nice resources. But as it is now, the websites just contribute to the cacophony, and our lives as site administrators are not enriched as all of the hype seems to indicate.

My specific pain points with both sites and platforms are all similar. They relate to finding information that I need when I need it so that I can move forward with whatever I'm doing. Both sites are poor in this area.

  • Finding relevant information is painful. User/Developer postings from years ago are mixed with current postings and I'm amazed that people haven't taken time away from contributing to the confusion and put more time into helping to make the vast content more accessible. Examples of this would be filters to refine the content by date plus tags plus keywords/phrases. We should be able to craft a query that says "find this and that with that, for release this or that, between this date and that, and in this module but not that one. The data is all here, we just can't apply narrow filters to it.
  • Both the CMS and blog fans have chosen to use their own software to host their own community sites. But IMHO both platforms are really poor for this. Arguably of course, WordPress is blogging software and shouldn't be used for a full site CMS. Similarly, IMO the default Drupal forum is really poor. Both community forum implementations pale compared to "real" forum software. Again, to point out a possible solution rather than just ranting about a perceived problem, I think more effort should be put into integration with software that specializes in specific functionality, rather than trying to bully these packages into doing something for which they were not designed. Specifically, both packages should integrate well with SMF, PHPBB, or other forum packages. Yes, I know there are modules for this, but they are maintained by individuals with varying levels of quality, and they are not used for the .org sites.

In summary, whenever I come to d.o or wp.o, even as someone familiar with the platform, I find it hard to navigate to content that I know is here. I know there are a diverse set of comments available on every topic, but those comments (and white papers, etc) are spread out in so many unrelated areas that it's easy to miss critical information simply for not having been able to find it. These packages claim to be content management software, but the sites themselves don't seem to have a very good handle on their own content. Fix the problems so that the home sites are better organized and both packages will find new audiences of people more willing to use them.

Forums

Michelle's picture

Moving to another forum app would be a very bad move. It's very important that our site runs on our software. It provides a test case and shows what the software is capable of. That said, forums really aren't good support vehicles in general. Moving to a different app won't fix that. The move to rebuild our support into something similar to Stack Exchange makes much more sense. Still running on Drupal but specifically geared towards support, not conversation.

Michelle

Partial agreement

Starbuck's picture

I agree with your point about using a support mechanism other than a forum. However I disagree with your first point.

It's very important that our site runs on our software. It provides a test case and shows what the software is capable of.

That's a very "it's ours therefore it's right" kind of approach to marketing, and it's self-defeating whether it's used in politics, religion, in business, or in code (techno-religion). That only demonstrates that user/developers are less interested in effective solutions and more interested in perpetuating a belief that they got it right no matter how wrong it is. Seriously, just look around you. Is this really the best foot forward for this package - and is wordpress.org doing themselves any more justice with their forum interface?

The generic forum interface here pales in comparison to platforms created to support Q&A, threaded follow-up, searches, votes, ranking, and other features that are common these days. The quality of the forum is not representative of the quality of the CMS overall. In fact it provides a very bad first view of what this package overall is capable of. I think it's better to demonstrate that the environment is not insulated from the benefits of specialty software, but that it can integrate as seamlessly as possible with such software. That's actually what one of the Acquia initiatives is all about.

I don't doubt that a better forum application can be created with Drupal, and again, I agree that the forum isn't the best medium to use here as an information repository. I'm just saying this specific forum module that we all use is really bad - and because the mindset over wordpress.org is the same as what we have here "the beatings will probably continue until morale improves". :)

Note1: I happened to focus on the forum as a point, but my overall point was that this site and wordpress.org are equally difficult to navigate and to use for research.

Notes2: After searching/reading for about 2 hours here today about D7 and multi-site environments, I came to my own conclusion that there was nothing new in D7, so I just set it up like D6. Where do I realize the benefits of "fast" website development when I waste 2 hours just on one small topic like that? And there are a hundred more just like it that I may want to look up. Do the math. I've had the same experience at wordpress.org. It's not the fault of the software, it's the faulty/human use/implementation of the software.

.

Michelle's picture

That's a very "it's ours therefore it's right" kind of approach to marketing,

No, not at all. No one is claiming that core forum is better than, say vBulletin. What we are saying is that Drupal has a forum that is usable and we will continue to make sure that it works because we need it to run our site. As opposed to "Our forum sucks and we can't be bothered to make it better so we're just going to go buy some other software to run a big part of our site on." If we don't even use our own software, why should anyone else?

And, yes, Drupal's forum can be made much better than plain core shows but drupal.org is understandably very selective on what modules it chooses to use and sticks to core as much as possible.

Michelle

We HAVE to eat our own dogfood.

jcchapster's picture

We have to use what we create.

We have forum software, but we use something different? On the site for support, advocacy and development of the same?

On MY site, sure, I can use whatever I want. On the site FOR the software? To use something else says that ours isn't good enough. And using our own software will lead to more and better development.

  • John Chapman

As a causal Drupal user I

Azuresama's picture

As a causal Drupal user I find this post really disheartening. I have basic design and html skills and that's it. I switched my site over from wordpress/bbpress as I just didn't have the coding knowledge to implement a big feature I wanted for my site. The ability to create a directory of voice actors, all of whom could have custom resume pages where they could list their details then be searchable by keyword etc. I know with dev skill wordpress can be modded to do that, but as I said my skills are basic.
After looking around I settled on drupal, as it seemed to me fairly easy to implement what I wanted using custom profiles, and views. Initially I was really happy, but I find it really time consuming and difficult to update. I have tech savvy friends who help me out from time to time, but since they are busy people there is only so much time I can ask from them. I'm struggling to make my site user friendly, and am finding updates difficult.
Hence the reason I am disheartened, though around the web there are quite a few sites with easy to follow tutorials on Drupal, when I stop by Drupal.org to check on updates and new modules etc statements like "Drupal.org is for developers" leap out at me. It's essentially saying " this is not for you go use wordpress". I can't help but feel a little stung, all those friendly blogs and tutorials I read elsewhere online dry up when I get to the home of Drupal. Don't get me wrong I'm grateful that Drupal is even there for me to use.
I also think some of this is coming off as saying to intermediate users as; Find Drupal to hard to use? Go use another CMS or pay someone. Is that really what the Drupal project wants to say to users like me? I really wish I could afford a professional developer but I can't.
If the Drupal community wants to support users like me, rather than saying Drupal.org is for developers only and banishing us. There's no reason why all the dev support/content has to go anywehre, but a user friendly area or portal for casual/intermediate users would help with easy to find tutorials /articles on Drupal selected for their interest to that kind of user.
Anyway this discussion has been an eye opener, and i think I obviously have to weigh up Drupal's power with other CMS ease of use.

Developers => Site Builders

laura s's picture

Often when we say "developers" we mean different things. Developer does not necessarily equate with coder. I consider "Developer" in the statement "Drupal is for Developers" to mean Site Builder. Drupal is for people who want to build their own thing, unique and different from others. In this sense, Drupal is an ideal tool for someone who wants to build a site or webapp with robust functionality but doesn't want to — or does not have the knowledge to — touch any coding. The solutions are out there. (NB: You can build your voice actors directory with Views and CCK/Drupal 7 fields. You could even allow them to maintain their own pages, upload voice samples, link to their own websites and social identities, and so on. All without touching any code.)

[I wrote more about challenges we face in providing support, but it was getting long so I posted it in the thread Vision for a new support.drupal.org - share your ideas and expertise, where we're working on finding and creating solutions.]

Laura Scott
PINGV | Strategy • Design • Drupal Development

Ah thanks Laura that makes me

Azuresama's picture

Ah thanks Laura that makes me feel a lot better. I'm on Drupal 6 still and that's exactly what I did I used CCK, views etc. I did find the information I needed eventually. :) I'll definitely take a look at your project.

Interesting discussion. A lot

markwk's picture

Interesting discussion. A lot of pent up emotions that obviously no amount of "bandwidth" can heal. I strongly agree that Drupal offers an interesting learning curve for people who want to be a site builder. I took Open Atrium and hacked pieces of this and that from different modules and views and successfully built a great site. Thanks to everyone for their contributions.

~let's stay off the point~

jcchapster's picture

First, Drupal can be very frustrating. It is also extremely rewarding.

I am not a programmer, you will not find any commits from me. I've fixed a few typos, maybe helped a couple of people with some links. I need to do more.

I've been messing with Drupal for a couple of years now. It is NOT point and click. But you can do anything you want to with it. I feel for the people that had to create their own SQL queries, before the days of Views. I see that day by day, month by month, year by year (at this point from my perspective), things keep changing, and getting better. The tools, the goals, the features...

Also, there IS a fantastic community. If I have done my work, and have an intelligent question to ask, the community will respond with multiple responses. Pop on IRC and ask a question that shows you have done the background work at whatever level your question is - I guarantee you will get a response that will lead you to the next step.

I think that we should not try to be all things to all people. It is obvious that Drupal is growing in exposure, and in usage. We see many, many sites switching to Drupal. There are also many sites that use Wordpress. Where in any market segment does one thing fit everyone?

I could say a lot more, but...

Let us just continue to move forward, scratch our itches. When we do, it helps everyone.

  • John Chapman

Urgent Information for Drupal Coders:

Jeff Burnz's picture

Developers, listen up, we need to draft a new set of guidelines for Drupal development - please follow these implicitly. Its vital we do this otherwise the fate of the Drupal universe is dire, the apocalypse is nigh, we must change, now!

  1. Non coders think that because you give away free software you immediately owe them endless free support. Apparently the "free" in free software actually means free lifetime support. Under no circumstances should a coder refuse this free service, or take to long in providing it (an in-determinant period dictated by the level of impatience of the non coder). Coders must always wear a smile when providing free service, and should never become inpatient themselves, or show any sign of annoyance no matter how stupid the non coders responses or questions are. Failure to deliver free service is likely to earn you the badge of "hostile coder", after which you will be bombarded with 4763 support requests for exactly the same thing - you will need answer all of them in full and with a smile.

  2. Non coders think that coders are machines that never need breaks, holidays, or free time with family. In fact to non coders the very concept of a coder taking a break to spend time with family is utterly abhorrent. Coders should never take dinner breaks or have a night out with friends. Coders must stay at their work stations for as long as they are needed, which is 24/7, just in case.

  3. Non coders believe that everything they want should be easy, and no matter how hard it is for coders to deliver these easy to use tools, these tools are never easy enough. There is no bottom limit to how stupid a non coder is allowed to be, the tool must be usable even by a poorly trained monkey or else its "developer centric", and therefore "bad". Having a "bad" module will ensure astronomic usage stats and the ensuing barrage of support requests.

  4. Not satisfied with 100% free easy to use tools, non coders demand that it must also look beautiful. Gorgeous free themes are a must. Non coders never have any budget for such luxuries - all themes should be free and stunningly beautiful. Apparently the lack of free beautiful themes is entirely the fault of the coders, who don't understand designers and aren't making enough effort to attract them. According to the non coders the coders just need to "look at Wordpress and see how they do it" and everything will be solved.

  5. On top of this Drupal must be fast. No matter how over-subscribed their $2 a month shared account is Drupal must be blazingly fast. Additionally because of the confusing terminology used on the Performance settings page (such as "Aggregate and compress CSS files"), Drupal must be fast even with these settings off.

  6. Finally Drupal must never, ever, under any circumstances through an error. Non coders panic easily and may "drop their database" if confronted with an error message, however innocuous.

You Forgot One!

MGParisi's picture

Coders must NEVER make any money by implementing open source projects they developed to meet their costumers needs, even if the Customer SPECIFICALLY hirered the coder because of his involvement in Drupal. In fact ALL Businesses must realize that Open Source Coders should NOT hire ANY individual that deals with ANY system that is in the slightest way near that of the scope of the Open Source project they work on. ANY business that employees an Open Source project that makes money off of that Open Source project is shameful and should be boycotted/shutdown. All such individuals and businesses are should be considered by all "Sell Outs"!


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

One More!

MGParisi's picture

When Answerering any question, document, post or IRC respons that contains any and all gramatical and spealling errors should be pointed out and immediate disqualify that post as invalid (thus ironically making this post invalid)


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

Fundamental difference

freelock's picture

There's a pretty fundamental difference between WP and Drupal, which I think is missing from the discussion, and completely explains why we have challenges for new users: Drupal is about managing information, any information, in a structured way, whereas Word Press is more about providing a solid CMS with lots of support for making a site look the way you want.

If you think about a site in visual terms (e.g. make a site that's a collection of these widgets, and change it to look this way) Word Press has a definite edge.

Where Drupal excels is by keeping all the data feeding those widgets structured under the hood.

And this is hard for beginners because there's a bit more planning and building you have to do before using Drupal starts to pay off.

My most recent blog post on freelock.com discusses this issue (but a direct link seems to trigger the spam filter, so I can't post it here...)

No, that is actually not

tsvenson's picture

No, that is actually not missing from the discussion since it is quite off topic.

I know that difference, you know it and everyone else here knows it. However that is something you know when you have experience and knowledge about both platforms. This discussion is about how new users/visitors are able to quickly get an impression about what Drupal and WordPress can do for them.

There are tons of very big sites out there that are using WordPress, but would very likely be much better of on Drupal. These sites where started by people who had an idea and needed a website to realise that idea. You see, for them what the site was built on didn't matter since that was not part of their idea.

They most likely had no technical skills, nor where interested in acquire it. If they then had no budget they had to build the site themselves. What do you think they would discover when googling for information? They would have found tons of information about how easy WP is to get started with. They would then also find some info about Joomla and less about Drupal.

They might even have gone as far as to narrow down to those three and go to each community home to find out more. What do you think they would find there to help them quickly make a business decision about which of these three platforms would be quickest for them to get their site up and running on?

Remember, these people are in most cases not thinking years ahead. They have little, if any, experience building websites. What they know is that to make their idea a reality they simply must have a website.

My guess is that the percentage would be something like 90% would opt for WordPress, 8% Joomla and 2% Drupal.

I am convinced that if d.o was easier to digest for new users so they easily could find relevant information for what they need Drupal for, then those numbers would be very different. Drupal would without a doubt get at least 25% out of it and leapfrog Joomla. It would also help to kill the myth about that Drupal has a high learning curve and over time that number will only get higher.

Bottom line is, we are making it very difficult for them who don't understand the technology to select Drupal instead of WordPress.

This is something we definitely can change and it is slowly starting to happen now. Hopefully this discussion helps to create a bit more awareness about why it is needed.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

But I think this is precisely

freelock's picture

But I think this is precisely the point. Competing with WordPress by emulating them always puts Drupal a step behind. We're not just working on a better WordPress -- we're working on something vastly more powerful, more capable, and, let's face it, more complicated than Word Press.

That's because we're trying to solve different, harder problems -- or at least engineering a better architecture to support solving them.

While making Drupal easier to figure out and use is definitely a worthwhile goal, instead of trying to compete for WordPress users, we should be doing a better job of demonstrating how much more powerful Drupal as a platform is.

I've stopped trying to sell to companies who just want a simple corporate site with a news feed and some static pages. WordPress does great there. We're selling information management systems -- selling the ability to take some content, add location data to show it on a map, add dates and show it on a calendar, add product info and sell it in your cart -- and change your mind about any of this down the road. That's the kind of stuff Drupal does (relatively) easily that nothing else can come close to matching.

If I'm Red Lobster, sure I'll do what I can to learn from McDonald's success, but I'm not going to lower my seafood prices to match a Big Mac. I'm going to sell what McDonald's doesn't -- yummy seafood. I'm definitely trying to reach more customers, but I don't expect to have the kind of sales that McDonald's has -- and I'm not aiming for that market.

We have several customers who are design/marketing firms that do lots of WordPress sites. They subcontract their toughest sites to us, because we can provide so much more of the functionality their clients are looking for on Drupal, as they reach higher in the marketplace.

I'd say if anything, make Drupal.org showcase the finest work of the community, provide case studies that illustrate how Drupal is a great platform for developing custom applications, and definitely provide more orientation/documentation. But don't dumb it down -- I don't much care for McDonalds, and I'm here because I think Drupal competes effectively against frameworks like Rails, Django, and Symfony, not because it's just a better CMS than WordPress or Joomla.

Your still missing my point.

tsvenson's picture

Your still missing my point. This is not about competing with WordPress! Its about that Drupal is losing a lot of new users that are looking to build sites where Drupal would be the best option for them, but due to that the presentation of Drupal on d.o is confusing they simply don't get that message.

Then, that its "common knowledge" that WP is very easy but Drupal has a reputation about having a steep learning curve doesn't help either. It is also a result of that available documentation for less experienced users simple are difficult for them to understand.

Why do you think I said Drupal would be able to take maybe 25% of the new users and not a higher number? Many will still select WP because they believe Drupal is overkill for them, but many would go for it if they only had more easy to digest information.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Let's talk numbers then

laura s's picture

My guess is that the percentage would be something like 90% would opt for WordPress, 8% Joomla and 2% Drupal.

Here's one set of data: http://w3techs.com/technologies/details/cm-drupal/all/all

Drupal is used by 6.0% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 1.5% of all websites.

If you also look at the 2nd chart, you see that Drupal is used for higher traffic sites than WP or Joomla, although they have more identified installs on the web.

I am convinced that if d.o was easier to digest for new users so they easily could find relevant information for what they need Drupal for, then those numbers would be very different. Drupal would without a doubt get at least 25% out of it and leapfrog Joomla. It would also help to kill the myth about that Drupal has a high learning curve and over time that number will only get higher.

Bottom line is, we are making it very difficult for them who don't understand the technology to select Drupal instead of WordPress.

While Drupal.org is certainly in need of further improvements — nobody is debating that — I'm not sure that the goal is to get people to choose Drupal over Wordpress, or that Drupal.org is the way to achieve that. Wordpress is served by an ecosystem that includes Wordpress.com sites. I think the Drupal ecosystem will answer the needs of people who don't want to think about building a site and just want a done site (e.g., Drupal Gardens, Buzzr), and Drupal.org will come along for the ride (hosting installation profiles, etc.), not the other way around.

Laura Scott
PINGV | Strategy • Design • Drupal Development

Please note that the numbers

tsvenson's picture

Please note that the numbers I presented in that comment was for the specific user case I was talking about in it. I know that when you look overall and also factor in user/clients/organisations that have more experience in web development then Drupals numbers are higher.

Also, the second chart you point to pretty much confirms that the more knowledge people have about web development, the likelier it is that they will select Drupal. Thus, we need to find the best ways to communicate that knowledge to those who needs it before making their choices.

I also agree with you that sites like Drupal Gardens, Buzzr etc are going to be great for Drupal. Still though, people will end up on *.d.o at one point or another and then we need to make sure they get a great user experience here.

I am happy to see that awareness is on the up within the community, mostly because of all the initiatives that are going on right now.

I also think that this discussion has been great for adding to that. I have seen comments where users say they will get more involved, I have also received emails from members pointing me in the right direction, I have started to get in contact with the right people to be able to start getting something done.

Just now I had a chat with the Docs team on IRC and there is quite a buzz there now. We where talking about that it is now starting to be cool to work on documentation. I think that is great and am really looking forward to finding out the best way I can help out.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Do we really want to go the

yoroy's picture

Do we really want to go the sarcasm route now? I think this is quite an informative thread with some of the hard things that need to be said getting said.

Regardless, it seems the comments are getting repetitive. The next challenge is to extract the main points from this discussion and list the topics that need further specific discussion or even action. Similar to what Leisa did here: http://groups.drupal.org/node/133169#comment-443989. Open new discussions for each.

@tsvenson, what say you?

Drupal Association need to take the leading role

tsvenson's picture

I completely agree.

However, I think that trying to find smaller parts to digest here is not the right way. D.o has grown so big and the information on it is overwhelming even for us. This has led to that there are a lot of duplicated content as well as outdated content, leading to confusion for many.

Often when you find a handbook page, it refers to other pages. I was for example looking at how to use Drush on windows today, I found several pages that was pretty much copies of each other with small differences as well as having links to each other.

That anyone can add a handbook page worked fine years ago when the community was much smaller and everyone had a good grasp of pretty much everything. I don't believe it works that well any more.

Instead we need to look at what kind of workflows we can implement to make this better structured and controlled, as well as making it possible to also translate to other languages.

I am sure we can find a lot of people who would love to help with improving *d.o if we make it easy for them. If people can easily focus on a small section, knowing the limits and have a good guide on how to do it, then it wont be difficult to get people to sign up.

We also need to look into what tools these users will be provided with. I don't buy the reasons some give for not implementing a WYSIWYG editor and better file management with it. That is what is needed to be able to focus on working on the content.

I would really like to see the Drupal Association take a leading role in this process and that it also can assign roles to users about what and how they can administrate things.

As a bonus, I am also sure that this experience will be very useful for the improving Drupal, and contribs as well.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

...

Jeff Burnz's picture

Well join the Drupal Association and get on with it. Who do you think is in the DA? Its you and me. Look, you really just lost the respect of mostly everyone here with this comment - you were given a call to action and you responded by fobbing the responsibility off onto "somebody" and digressing into more issues for you to bike-shed about. Us old hands have all heard this 1000 times before, don't think for a moment that we have not, or that we do not know these issues, but there are only so many hours in a day to get things done. Fobbing this off is just a cop out for not taking responsibility yourself - you're either part of the solution or part of the problem.

Look, the hard truth is that many of the points you have raised in your comments ARE being worked on in some way, however you choose to come here and talk about them while other members of the community are simply getting on with it and doing their best with limited time and resources - if you picked just one issue and committed to working on it for the next 12 months you could make a difference - there's a challenge.

I can't help but see your

tsvenson's picture

I can't help but see your comments in this discussion as very close to trolling.

You seem to draw conclusions about what is being discussed here and what I, and others, are trying to achieve without really trying to understand it.

I said that I would love to see the Drupal Association take the lead about this. I have given many reasons that you easily should be able to recognise to why this is necessary. The main one is that this is simply not something where it is possible to pick a little area and work on it. It needs an overall plan and structure in the same way as the terminology, UI and other things where cleaned up in D7.

We now see the fruits of that in that projects, both new and ported, are adopting these things. The result is that D7 will have less confusion and thus be much easier to work with. It doesn't add functionality, but it is equally important for the use of it.

*.d.o needs the same kind of makeover. That is a task that is impossible for any single person to do. I started this discussion partly to create awareness about this. I am very happy that I have achieved a lot of that, most comments here have confirmed there is a big need for this and many have stepped up saying they want to help. This is a need not only for new users, but something that every existing user would benefit from.

And FYI, you obviously have no idea about what and how I am contributing to the community, nor even cared to do any research about it before submitting comments like this.

Sorry, but I am not affected by your comment at all. What I am is focused on trying to create change and get things done. So far I can only say that is exactly what I have been able to start doing, including teaming up with many other great members that already are working on some of these things and where I can help out to some degree.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Wrong

MGParisi's picture

D7 includes some major increases in functionality (as well as what you said).

Now I HATE the "Well Why dont you do it response" and have had this pulled on Me when what I was suggesting needed allot of approval. I remember in My Early Drupal days someone gave me this answer and I did just what he suggested. I spent over 20+ hours on the project, and then when I went to present it, people said "We dont want that!" My work was forgotten. This infuriated (infuriates) Me, and then the outcome was less the favorable. The long term results of this was staggering, and its amazing I am still here. I also believe that the new user is the most important user. Listen to what they say. Their are COUNTLESS times I have seen the simplest and most eloquent solutions come out of the new users. So I must strongly disagree with this response.

I saw your post, saw what people was saying and made a post http://groups.drupal.org/node/137039 Yet I dont see a single response to that post. There are quite a few groups that are actively working on these issues, yet the discussion's based on the solutions get 1/100th the response that the discussions based on the problems get.

Now to tsvenson, you present allot of problems, but you never purpose anything, and if you did (in this thread) what you purpose got lost in the discussion. I suggest you take what you learn here and start working with current projects and groups that are actually working on solutions to the problems we are facing. Part of the problem we have is that so many people tell us why we can't do something, and not enough people try to figure out how we can do it.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

I've read you post and think

tsvenson's picture

I've read you post and think its excellent. Unfortunately this discussion has so far taken up a lot of time for me, but it has been worth it. I will go over it again and give you some feedback when things slow down a little.

I have actually presented quite a bit of ideas on how things can change in my comments here, and also got great feedback on them. However, this discussion is mostly about creating awareness about these issues. Making us better understand why they are needed, including that we need to be better on understanding new users needs and skill levels. There are better places for how it is done and executed than this discussion.

Personally this has lead to that I have come in contact with several great members of the community that either already are working on some of these things, or have guided me to where I need to go to make things happen. I have already gotten myself involved in a few things and it feels great to be able to get something done. I am not going to run blindly though. My time is limited, as everyone else, for this and it is important that I first focus on how it is best used for helping to improve the community.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Unfortunately

MGParisi's picture

I look foreword to your next post and the actionable information you have learned. A white paper would be wonderful.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

I think you miss the point of

Jeff Burnz's picture

I think you miss the point of my post. There are ways of getting things done in Drupal and bike-shedding controversial topics in g.d.o threads is rarely the way forward. What tends to happen is there's lot of venting and releasing of tension, then some build up in momentum and then nothing. If you put action to your words, even a list of actionable items, then things start to happen - then you have concrete things you can put in the infrastructure issue queue. Pushing things off to somebody else is not the way forward - that shows a severe misunderstanding of how our community works. Outlining why the DA should do something you think is important is hollow, joining the DA and driving the entire concept forward would actually achieve something.

Lots of things can be improved with small incremental easy to apply solutions (dww called this "stop the bleeding"), we do not want to go through another redesign. Incremental improvement yes, compete makeover no. A profound impact could be made simply by massively improving this page: http://drupal.org/cases (because its bloody terrible).

Issues about terminology are well covered and was highlighted in Mark Boltens review, we know this. What we need are ways to fix it, not more discussion on it being a problem. Fixing it requires resources and education - actionable initiatives that require zero bikeshedding, just the willingness to get in there and make it happen.

Changes to UI/UX such as adding an editor to d.o has been discussed for a long time, in fact I opened the original issue for this probably 18 months ago - this will happen when all the stars are aligned and the time is right. Right now documentation team have infrastructural issues that are of greater concern. This is clear. People are working on it.

As for drawing conclusions - of course I am! I thought I made that abundantly clear. Sorry, but who are you to assume that I do not already understand these issues? Perhaps you don't, but I most certainly have deep insight to many of these issues, having discussed all of them at some point or another over many years. What you seem to be ignoring is me telling you that these are all known issues and that most of them are being worked on. What don't you understand about that?

FYI the humourous post I made is a direct poke at noobs, there is nothing sinister about it, but noobs need to hear the other side of the coin, often threads like this end up as a bash-fest on the developers, with fingers pointing directly at them as the single point of failure for the uptake and retention of new users. I've heard this a thousand times "drupal is too developer centric", but Drupal keeps growing, getting bigger, more popular, the dooms dayers have all been wrong - life on planet Drupal did not cease to exist because we didn't dumb down the homepage to the point a well trained monkey could learn everything about Drupal in 3 easy clicks. In fact we have more members, more sites, more contributors, more code, better systems and a whole new Initiative concept to drive Drupal forward. Metrics across the board are up for Drupal, way up, so really, whats your point here in all of this? Drupal is a roaring success, from what I can tell you have a lot of ideas that are essentially baseless - comments here are a mere fractional slice of the wider community, what you need is data, and the the data at the moment is telling us all a very different story. Pain points are by and large well understood and recognized, there are of course many improvements that can be made, this will always be true, so get in there and make them, no one is stopping you.

Just a bit of humour!

Jeff Burnz's picture

Come on man, its just a bit of fun;)

I think the OP had a lot of good points, I've been doing R&D for the D4DC Initiative to look at how other communities engage the design community and Expression Engine is streets ahead, we could learn a lot, so yes I understand the fundemental issues at hand.

I figured as much, but there

yoroy's picture

I figured as much, but there was no indication in your post that it was :-)

I'd be very interested to hear your findings, where (when) can we read up on those?

This is not about comparing features or markets!

tsvenson's picture

Wow, been away for a few days and am stunned about the number of comments my post has generated. Most of them are really good, but unfortunately a lot if quite off topic as well.

Firstly, this was never about comparing features, markets or anything. I wanted to put some light on the impression new users, or better call them visitors, will get when they come to d.o.

As pointed out by myself, and many others, we who are used to d.o have little problem with finding what we need. New visitors do not have that luxury. If they come to d.o to do research for a business decision, then their impression will be based on how they experience the site, how easy it is to navigate, how the information is presented on the screen and how easy it is to understand.

@pcher1bw sums it up good in his comment:

I also know that a client of mine pointed his partner to me to redo their website, the partner chose to go with a solution that used Wordpress rather than Drupal, even though Drupal would have been the better choice, because Wordpress seem to be easier to a lot of end users.

I don't know the full story here, but I can imagine that the client did some research himself. Of he went to w.o and d.o to find out more. On w.o he was treated with quite easy to digest information presented in a reader friendly way. He also quickly found the Showcase link and could quickly browse through some sites using it. On d.o he could also quickly find the link to Sites built with Drupal, but clicking on it he wouldn't be treated with nice screenshots. Instead it is very lengthy case studies. Nothing bad with that, but not easy to digest for someone who wants to quickly get a feeling.

Then if the client would try and dig a bit deeper on both sites I am quite convinced confusion would be his impression about d.o, but not on w.o.

That he then thinks Drupal will be much more complicated to use when his site is built is easy to understand.

We know that with Drupal you can make things very easy for users to administrate the content. But the problem is that we will then have to over convince clients about this.

When I started my first company importing and selling software and hardware 25 years ago, the first thing I learned about the users was that I needed to assume they know nothing when they called for support. I needed to explain things in a very basic language to them until I got to learn what they skill level was. That is still true today. If I talk with a potential client that needs a website, he doesn't really care about what it is built with, he wants a site that helps driving new business to him.

However, WordPress is what Intel managed to do with "Intel Inside". Most have heard about it and everyone is talking positive about it. Thus, even if the client never have seen WP it already has an advantage. Then if they go to d.o and try and understand things on their own that will simply be confirmed.

We know better. We know the power of Drupal and that the client would be much better of in the end with it.

Unfortunately many comments here has confirmed to me that a lot of you really don't try and understand what a new user, or client, need before selecting what to use.

Just think about all the great products that now are history because they where not able to get their message through to people.

Anyone remember the Amiga? I have had the pleasure of meeting several of developers working on it, including Dave Haynie and Carl Sassenrath. What the developers at Commodore did was incredible. In my opinion that was, and probably still could be seen as, one of the best developer teams ever in the computer history. Many things you today do on a computer and think is great, you could do on 7MHz A500 20+ years ago.

The Drupal community for me is almost the same thing. A bunch of absolutely fantastic developer that are creating amazing software. But, as with Commodore, it lacks understanding about the users and their needs.

Unless we wake up and realise that we need to better communicate our accomplishments to those that haven't discovered it yet, then we will fail in getting them as new users.

As I said in the beginning, this discussion is not about how great Drupal is, we all know that, or what markets it targets, we also know that, it is about that we are probably losing minimum 60-70% of the new users due to that we are not able to communicate this so that these new users quickly get it too.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Does anyone know how

davidhernandez's picture

Does anyone know how wordpress.org is managed? Is it a small group of people that fully controls all the docs and everything? Maybe that is the difference. I do think the drupal.org site suffers from too many chefs, or at least a lack of focus, which is definitely reflected in the user experience.

hehe

MGParisi's picture

Yea, the Document team is usually rather understaffed. The main problem is that they dont have the number of people to do the job's that are available. The big problem is that when you do want to do something significant then the politics get involved. Small changes are needed, and quite big changes can be made with many small steps:(


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

The WordPress codex is a

ryanhellyer's picture

The WordPress codex is a wiki. It can be modified by anyone who registers for WordPress.org.

The blog section is accessed via only a small number of people.

WordPress.org itself is maintained by Samuel Wood (aka Otto). I'm sure he'd be happy to talk to you guys if you got in touch with him; he's read most of the comments here already.
http://ottopress.com/contact/

Its hard to say what's easier

slavojzizek's picture

If we could all slow down and stop competing, it would be easy to learn things. We don't know how to learn, that's the #1 issue. Technology can't save us, and no matter how easy you make something, it still requires one to want to learn it. When you want to learn, you try to find out the steps necessary to progress forward. Documentation / Screencasts / helping friends / forums / user groups all could make this possible. Some things take more time to learn, that does not mean they are better or worse. It just so happens that Drupal in many cases favors generalized solutions over buy-now solve your issue now apps, thus you have to learn how to apply the solution 1 time (which takes longer), to then use it 20 more times quicker. Informing people of that point, is what would most likely enhance learning. Also, I went back to administrating some custom CMS's, and Drupal is lightyears ahead of those in terms of ease of use. For instance, you don't even have to code a single thing to have a badass site - that's ease of use! Also, we have to be aware of the slight of hand that's occurring - there are many criticisms of Drupal coming out right now especially because Drupal is becoming prominant. Just watching the patterns of life, this always happens, and is a sign that Drupal is doing the right thing! Lots of these conversations come up in response to what Wordpress / etc. people are saying, or people who are frustrated with their learning are venting, we don't have to change our course of action because of that. We all know that at times we want to throw a computer out the window when we are trying something new - but then, we get over it and just do it. Just be aware of it, that's all. Also, there are many shill accounts on many forums, sites, etc. trying to drag Drupal down - just feel the intent, and keep the vision alive without being resistant / oppositional / or throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

OP message getting lost

Starbuck's picture

The OP @tsvenson was comparing the d.o and w.o websites. Stop there. This shouldn't be a comparison of the software nor admonishment of users vs developers. This is also not about the documentation ... directly.

I think as familiarity with Drupal increases for some, so does defensiveness increase while lack of understanding for the pain of others decreases. What we're seeing is here is a lot of defensiveness for the platform and lashing out against visitors who don't understand all of the data that's crammed into this site.

Note, what we have here is a collection of data that only sometimes becomes information. It becomes information when one has understanding. When one is looking for understanding, more data just translates to more confusion. This site has years of accumulated comments, and details about problems and features that don't exist anymore. It's painful for someone to have to wade through that, not being sure what applies to what someone is doing now and doesn't apply. The site also has many details about changes to the core mixed in with discussions about other matters. Changes to the core simply do not apply to someone trying to "use" the software.

With regard to users vs developers, I think someone needs to become a user first even if they are developers, and they can then get introduced to Drupal development. Right now this site is so heavily oriented to Drupal development that people just trying to use the software will get turned off. This is where we see some of the hostility (sure, even in humor) related to people who want to use software with no understanding whatsoever about how it works. Well, if the software is really so great then we should be able to use it without that deep understanding. We can. But that insight is buried in all of the rhetoric about knowing how Drupal works in order to make it work.

The problem with the site now is that lack of discipline has lead to chaos, as can be expected. Reigning in the chaos can be achieved through increased community discipline. What all of these CMS packages lack is context-sensitive content where the consumer defines the context - this goes far beyond context as specified by keywords in a search box.

When I say above that this is not about documentation directly, what I mean is that we have a ton of docs, but a lot of it has become invalid as modules get absorbed into the core and new functionality comes available. One aspect of doc maintenance needs to be a simple flagging of content that it needs to be updated. Actual updates can be done later. The service to the user/consumer of the information is that now they know what they're reading may not be 100% applicable to the software in front of them. That is valuable information.

Here is a proposal to fix some of the problems.

We need a sub-site, or "site view" that is focused on the current platform. When a new visitor comes to the site their search for information should not include details about D4, D5, or even D6. Their search for modules or themes should not include those that haven't been maintained for over a year or those that aren't certified for the current platform. And forum postings older than a year should probably be hidden as well. The best foot forward for new visitors should only include those things that we are sure about - don't lead someone to a module that they can't use. The message from the site is : Here is the current software, current and well supported modules, current forum postings about that platform, and documentation to help you understand and use what you have in front of you.

To get to that point, nodes need a Version field that supports multiple versions. The subsite/view will only display content where the filter shows (now) "d7". If we create that view now then there will be zero content. A new job for anyone who wishes to contribute to the site will be to start flagging content anywhere they can find it for the versions to which the content applies. As more flags are added so the version-specific content of the subsite will increase with absolutely no new content authoring required. Visitors to d.o will get the option via listbox to see various views : Current platform only (D7), Current and prior release (D7,D6), Deprecated releases (D4,D5), etc.

Support for these version fields must become a part of the community consciousness. If you have a problem with the current release, flag it as such. Anything not flagged will not be displayed to someone looking for information (articles, forum postings, etc) on the current platform. You will not get help if your request does not specify the version. Your article will only be read by people that you target, and in your article you should be careful to separate out content that does not apply to all releases.

For people who want to contribute to the site, just do a search for content added within some recent time period and with no Version field. Look over the content, set the field and move on. For forum postings and comments, all threads on a given node should inherit the version of the parent, unless it has a version specified. For new postings, the site could have the Version field be required, and anything over a year old can (erroneously in many cases) can get flagged as being for a deprecated platform. That leaves a more narrow window for content that needs to be checked. (That would be OK for forum postings but not for other docs .... some decisions need to be made.)

I'm not saying we shouldn't be able to see content from prior releases. Links to all nodes should work. I'm saying all searches performed while a specific view is active should only return nodes that match that view/release. Perhaps as a visual cue, special CSS can be used so that a light border appears around content that is not flagged for the current release.

For a bonus, other node metadata should be considered, like content ratings (points, etc), as a universal feature of the environment. Not only will users then be presented with current information, but they will be able to see readily what information others have ranked as being the most important. Of course that has its own issues. Ratings need to be weighted with a higher rating from someone with more community influence carrying more weight than someone who is just posting for the first time. The point is that we have data, now we need more metadata to turn that data into information, make it easier to find, and to help visitors find what they need and make better evaluations.

Sure there will be issues along the way. I'm guessing this functionality could be a valuable module in itself and perhaps a valuable addition to the core. This feature alone could make Drupal a must-have solution for many sites that face the same problem of information overload.

Feel free to criticize the specific suggestion, but it's a specific suggestion to address a specific problem, and so far I haven't seen many alternatives.

word up, really good post

yermo's picture

I started with webdesign (if thats the right term) two weeks ago..with drupal.. dont know php, mysql, html, wouldn´t know the difference between or , but I want to learn because I have a couple of (I think good) ideas for a website and want to wrench them out of my brain.
I won´t stay for the drupal community, because the only service I can render is filling your forum with silly questions I rather figure out myself. (Yes, I have my pride) And there is no Noobforum (I think) I can go to, or help out in.

I never tried WP, but I definatly will for my simpeler site, just because I lose so much time figuring out how all the modules stack up, that I´m afraid by the time I get my site running, Justin Bieber will be president of the US, or my brain is so fried, that I forgot what I actually wanted to make my site about.. and maybe silly, but I´m anxious to put my first site online, even if its absolute bullocks. I just need audio and a nice lay out. And I´m a bit dubious about all the modules that seem superimportant and all encompassing, but are still in the development fase 18 months after drupal 7 is launched. (no stress on the coders, full respect, but well, I chose drupal for developing sites, not for learning how to code) Well, that´s what the browser said when I asked for a good program to make websites. How can I know if there´s a fair chance that a developers status means it´ll block my whole site once it´s online??

I don´t want to be puny, I know I´ll have to learn code at some point, and I would actually love to do so. And that´s why I think I´ll stick with drupal instead of WP in the long run. I have the feeling that drupal lends itself to slowly start learning code. It´s just everywhere, you kind of roll into it. I already learned soo much in the last 2 weeks. I love the idea of how Drupal works, it´s so organic, it´s just brilliant. It feels like it works a bit like my brain does. I feel the possibilities are so endless that another program just won´t do the tricks I want my site to do. And I knew it was gonna be harder then WP, it is mentionned in a lot of forums when you start looking for information to start a site. But it says as well that it is worth the effort.. WP is mostly mentionned as really easy to use, but more limited.

Anyways, I think the usability of the drupal.org site would be advanced greatly for new users if :

-(mentionned before in the comments) very active or finished modules get + attention in the search list or like you mention, only finished versions are seen, or definatly get some separate place. It says download modules, but why would anybody want to download a module that is not working correctly? It feels a bit like artificially pumping up the number of modules that are available for drupal.

-clear mention of the drupal version in the forums.. I never worked with D6, but I loose patience and interest (read: I panic) when a solution means following a path I don´t find in my version. Different versions might work on the same idea, but it´s a completely different program, that could actually be on a completely different site. Mixing it up just seems sloppy.

-a clearer guideline for the modules views, panels and the mediamodules...which are the salt and pepper of any user in my opinion. Noob or not. And I think these modules would satisfy the needs of most people that now start a site on WP. All the add page and articels, blogs, forums, etc are pretty straightforward and userfriendly, but pretty dull (as for content) for anybody that wants to start a site and pimp it up just a notch with nice content. Face it, who starts a personal blog based on drupal 7 if you can´t put your favorite songs, a nice video of the kids, or wathever on it. Making these modules so uncomprehensive is quite a scare for new drupal users, coz they are the first modules you look for. (most installs, most adviced to download). Panel tutorial videos are non existing, medias seem all in development,..

-a noob forum

-a video link with the modules ....experienced users probably need 15 minutes to figure out how a module works, but I still spend a couple of hours just understanding what it does, and I probably miss half of the neat features it can do. Let alone compare it with the other modules that seem to do about the same thing. Without Lynda.com, lullabot and other you tube feeds I probably would have given up after week 1. It doesn´t have to be fancy..just the computer screen and an experienced user clicking away and telling what he is doing, easy to cut out pieces and update for new additions, easy to pause and do it yourself. That way I can see in 10 minutes if that module is what I need and start pushing buttons like a pro. (everybody wants to feel smart and actually do something, see changes) If I´m interested I can start digging in the documentation, although in this day and age I don´t understand the focus on docs as a primary source of info. You can have a video open next to your new homepage, do exactly like ´they´ do, hear somebody explain what you are doing, ... why would anybody start browsing (a lot of) (two paragraph) pages of plain text ?? What happened with an image tells more then a thousand words..

On the long haul. I don´t know the strenght of the drupal community, but it seems that by making each drupal versions so different, they might erode their best coders (and best modules). Why not stick to drupal 7 which is really friendly on the user side, so modules (and the work put into them) don´t become obsolete every new release? Upgrading to drupal 8 would mean rewriting all the modules yet another time...how long can you motivate voluntary coders to do such a thing? It feels that for just a couple of new features in the core, a lot of good modules get lost. What makes drupal,... the core or the modules? (I might be stretching my leg a bit too far on this one as I don´t know anything on coding)

Just a last word on the marketshare of wordpress.. it might be that millions of sites where created with WP, but there is no indication of how many of them are still worked on after creating the first page.

sorry I wanted to be smart

yermo's picture

sorry I wanted to be smart and say I dont know a from b, but I put it between brackets..looks like it is code for something..makes it all look blue. Yet another thing learned..woohoo! :)

...

Jeff Burnz's picture

very active or finished modules get + attention in the search list or like you mention, only finished versions are seen, or definatly get some separate place

Problem here is "what is a finished module"? Many -dev and -rc releases work better than full releases - there is no way to safely delineate what is good and what is bad, certainly a known problem and a hard one to fix because the module space is freaking huge and only going to grow much bigger in the coming years. Dries actually addressed this in his keynote at Drupalcon Copenhagen last year - how to handle the rapidly expanding module space. One site I have used a lot in the past is http://drupalmodules.com/ - very helpful.

clear mention of the drupal version in the forums

Up to the OP, they can select the version when they post. Sadly Drupal forums are the poor cousin of everything else Drupal, they could be so much better in so many ways but lack people to actually get in there and work on it. Again, the issues are known, its a resource thing.

a clearer guideline for the modules views, panels and the mediamodules

Basically a book or an entire video series in itself, not sure if Drupal.org can fill this - probably something Lullabot/By the Drop/Lynda will solve. Again its a resource issue - people all have competing issues when it comes to docs and docs are one of most under-resourced aspects of d.o - look how many people bitch about the structure, how to find stuff etc, but then in the second breath also want many more docs - I think most people working on docs got there by actually writing docs, they would prefer to write them, but end up managing them instead. Its a problem.

a video link with the modules

We can already do this on our projects, problem is video's do take a lot of time and effort, its not all wiz-bang and its done. You need proper software to make good videos and that means $$ for most, sorry but OS screen capture software is mostly shit, we need Camtasia or similar to make a decent screen capture movie with voice over. Jing is OK but you only get 5 mintues, which is OK a lot of the time. That said we can't force anyone to do this, frankly I would love it if I could embed videos into book pages (from Vimeo) so I can have the video in d.o handbook pages for my projects - awesome, but I don't have enough permissions on d.o to do this...

Why not stick to drupal 7

Because then we're not moving forward and breaking new ground or making Drupal better, remember D7 is so good because we changed it (massively) from D6.

Lastly thanks for your noob post - you really made me think about what it was like to be a noob, which is good. I do fondly recall fumbling about with all the modules spending hours figuring out what they all did ect, of course you are right that experienced users can figure out things in minutes, frankly a lot of the time I read the code before even installing a module and learn more from that.

Problem here is "what is a

tsvenson's picture

Problem here is "what is a finished module"?

That's quite easy, we just need to follow the guidelines from the security team. I remember the bad media we got when whitehouse.gov had a tiff when using a dev release.

That page says this about contribs:

Issues with contributed modules

When the security team learns of a security issue with a contributed module, the module maintainer is contacted with a deadline. When the maintainer fixes the problem, the security team issues an advisory. If the maintainer does not fix the problem within the deadline, an advisory is issued, recommending disabling the module and the project on Drupal.org is unpublished.

Thus, only official releases will be visible in the default project list. If a project gets unpublished by the security team, then it will automatically disappear from that list/search.

There should of course be options to search all project, but it will be clearly market and warned about the risks.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Those are security issues

Jeff Burnz's picture

Those are security issues ONLY. However a contib maintainer can easily release completely broken code, or at the very least bug ridden code and no one will be the wiser. This does not mean it has a security flaw - security team is not interested in finding everyday bugs, only security holes. Unless the user goes into the issue queue and can understand what is being talked about they may have no idea, download the module and fry their site. The issue is much more complex that reducing this to a security issue.

Thank you for your reply Jeff

yermo's picture

Thank you for your reply Jeff Burnz! Things make a bit more sense to me now and the complications involved.

Your idea about the vimeo book pages sounds really awsome and I truly hope you get the necessary permissions and support to make it reality.

The forums are indeed a bit of an anticlimax if you look at all the amazing things drupal can do. I saw something called stack exchange, which looks pretty good. But I guess it depends on what the forum is for. Show the most looked at question, or first in first out schedule.

If developpers are able to read code directly to see what something does, I understand how docs get a bit understaffed when resources are low. Seems that they are only a main rescource for people that don´t understand computer language. Indeed not sure if this can be called a priority mission for coders to put their time in.

Calling D7 a major step forward is definatly not an understatement. Especially for people like me.

Glad to have made you feel like a noob again :) I wouldn´t mind holding on to this amazing bingo feeling every time I push a button and my site does something extraordinarily wicked.

Thanks for a great writeup

tsvenson's picture

Thanks for a great writeup about you first time with Drupal @yermo. You have really been able to encapsulate the issues a new user is faced with when starting with Drupal. Obviously you have taken time to do research to make an educated choice for what would be the best platform for you to use in the long term.

A lot of what you say will be very useful for us in the work that is now going on about improving the user experience of *.d.o, I will for sure use it in the things I have now gotten myself involved in.

I don't know how much time you have, but it would be great if you would be interested of helping out in the Doc Team as well. Your fresh knowledge about Drupal would come to great use for that.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Thank you for your

yermo's picture

Thank you for your encouraging words tsvenson. Although I was hesitating to post, now I am glad I did so.

I would love to help out. I will enroll for the doc team. Sounds like a nice opportunity to learn more about some of the modules I´m interested in. For the moment my main limitation is getting internet access though, so if I don´t show up regularly it is mainly due to this.

may the best CMS win.

mike stewart's picture

may the best CMS win. hopefully its FOSS. but its simply not a zero sum game.

--
mike stewart { twitter: @MediaDoneRight | IRC nick: mike stewart }

It is uncomparable

gdzine's picture

@tsvenson
You might be right from your point of view and if i understand correctly from the newbee' point of view.

I have few points which ?i want to coin here too:

  1. Paradigm of learning programming has change a bit, now all new comers (to any platform/framework) try to get free videos, tutorials and very quick recipes for head-start.

  2. In general WP is consciously promote it as mainstream blog software and nothing else and thus manage user's expectations very nicely
    And when you are working on a very niche area, it is very easy to provide rich documentation for it, and i would like to mention that they separate out their target audience very cleverly by having a developer section which is missing at http://drupal.org/documentation.

I would like to request @arianek to think about that too.

  1. Drupal is not WP it is more than that. And there the problem starts, when you have such a power house you need to be more organized which @arianek and team are perusing at the moment. I do hope that D-docs will be far more comprehensive in near future.

  2. Drupal association is spending a lot to pitch a professional look and feel of D.O, UX improvements etc. But eventually D.O supports are coming from the developers/designers (module/theme contributors) which is hampering the growth of drupal. Developers can't be the support staff, you should hide your developer from the client(if you really want to treat your new comers as client, and I believe we need to treat them as client and future of drupal). Here I expect DA to take a note and start thinking the way out.

  3. This is my personal view and please forgive me if you do not like the idea much. Drupal is promoting Install profile heavily now a days and all the ideas are swirl around about the business models around it. But I personally think that this the way to go for drupal to catch the new comers and help building the future of Drupal. Now questions comes to the mind how. jeaton has started a group called Snowman and it may evolve in this line If i understood it correctly.

In brief i would like to put my money on the install profiles promoted to the documentation and comes with core to cater various normal newbee use cases, like small 5 page site with image gallery, about page, contact form product gallery etc as a n example. And I am sure the that to attract new people we need to have such a solution because at the the end of day we can not say we are made for BLOG, we are more than that.

~~~~~~~~~~: http://gdzine.net | http://twitter.com/gdzinenet |info@gdzine.net :~~~~~~~~~~

The best thing about drupal

MarketStone's picture

Is it’s security team.

I second this

pcher1bw's picture

If this was a motion to vote on the security team as being the best thing about drupal, I would second the motion, however it is off topic.

Paul Chernick
CEO
Chernick Consulting
(310) 569-2517

Security First. Videos Next

Christopher James Francis Rodgers's picture

I like off-topic so that I do not feel obligated to address every single
keystroke on this page.

The fact that Drupal is a highly-secure CMS is tribute.

The fact that some Drupal docs are locked out to registered users
is a sign of in-security.

You will note that at wikipedia.org (i think it is)
that all documents are editable by all.

"The most secure building in town is identified as
the one with the doors unlocked always,
and with never a problem."

Not that I really care.

Print is dead. I need videos for my third graders
and my great-grandma.

Unfortunately Google D7 vid searches
are as time-consuming/wasting
as using these handbooks.

I heard I can get D6 vids at tpb.o
and so I thank Lullabot ahead of time for that,
although I still need D7 vids presently.

Help.
.
.
.
- Uncle chris
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Come on Drupal 8. ..that's where DB's dream lies anyway.
.
.
.
.

archive-drupal_7-open_letter-2011.04.01


All the best; intended.
-Chris (great-grandma.com)


"The number one stated objective for Drupal is improving usability." ~Dries Buytaert *

.

Michelle's picture

I wouldn't use Wikipedia for your argument...

There aren't many protected pages on d.o and, really, I don't see the problem with those that are. When it's critical that something be accurate, you don't want just anyone going in and playing around with it. If something needs to be changed, and you don't have access, you can always file an issue to get it changed.

Print is not dead, neither is text, and not everyone is able to learn from videos. Please don't assume your needs are those of everyone.

Michelle

Christopher James Francis Rodgers's picture

Michelle: I am glad I do not fully trust Drupal for "editing".

Your reply,
which I welcome openly,
did destroy my latest "working_draft"
inside my new FireFox version 4 window.

[Actually, I as try to stop laughing,
I thought for sure that my
"going out on every limb"
on every-page I visit in the docs
got me barred from another location;
again.]

[..plus FF4 is yet 'new' to me..]

I had not been worried
about the non-editable-nature-change
of my comment when 'replied' upon
given that I though that
my reply to this well welcomed security in-burst
was further above and not immediatly below the DB line;
and my comment would be largely ignored.

@Market Stone: "You have successfully penentrated
the barier. Congratulations."

I do laugh.

I cannot edit my first comment. gd.. :o) oh man o man; thats bad . gosh, god..

Anyway, I laughed as Mike Stewart's post played this page's
final post everytime I checked it. (I hard at 'edit' in my mind)

The room got silent. lolol.


FYI: Answer by Dries at Quora. "For the past 3 years, the number one stated objective for Drupal is improving usability."

====

@Michelle:

If I live, I will later respond.

Sincerely:

  • Chris.


All the best; intended.
-Chris (great-grandma.com)


"The number one stated objective for Drupal is improving usability." ~Dries Buytaert *

To Christopher

Michelle's picture

Since you don't want me to reply to you, I'll reply to myself.

If you need to do drafts, please us a text editor. Once you post something here, it is publicly visible and reply-able and also sends out an email to everyone in the group who is subscribed. I believe further edits send out additional emails. Also, it is not necessary to put hard returns at the ends of lines. They will wrap to fit the screen if you just continue typing to the end of a paragraph. If you need further help with this, please contact me offsite as this is now completely off topic.

Michelle

Michelle:

Christopher James Francis Rodgers's picture

Not a day has gone by since my previous post
that I have not thought of you.

I have been busy, busy, busy.

How are things up in WI?

I think of Garrett from "Prairie Home Companion"
every-time WI comes to my mind.

So, you want me to use a text editor
instead of my simply using this window...

I was unaware that editing a comment would send
eMail notices out to subscribers/ previous posters.

And yes I know that text wraps.

I am exercising my poetic license.

My comment about "Print is dead" was meant
in deference to the movie "Ghost Busters"
since it was a mind opening thing for me to have heard,
and I intended to get others thinking.

I know text is alive and well;
particularly for coders
who would no doubt find using
"Dragon Naturally Speaking" (a voice to text program)
to be more time consuming than a keyboard.

And Mathew Cutts of Google would likely concur
that computer users are not likely to be able to search
for information except by using textual keywords--
at least not in his or my lifetime.

But in terms of new users learning how to use Drupal,
nothing is quicker or cleared than a well produced video
such as can be found at Drupalize.me, or Lynda.com,
for example.

So I am actually more that curious
and I at a complete loss to imagine--
given that a picture is worth a thousand words
and a video is worth 3 images a second--
who you envision might not benefit more from a video
than any other medium.

Every kid I know heads to YouTube first
to try to get the information they seek.

... But since this site is not set up
to handle video tutorials, you are right.

I don't think images are even post-able;
are they?

Print is all we have.

It is a shame, but you are absolutely right.

Print is all we have.

... learning to understand and use Drupal
at tortoise speeds.

Anyway, assuming you will even see this,
welcome back to the party...

... initiated by a WP secret agent to distract
the Drupal community and occupy our time with this page
instead of working on D7 or D8; and sponsored in part
openly by WP ambassadors....

... you know... tsvenson: the secret agent.
He who recommended
first and foremost that readers go to the WP site
and check it out. He was not fooling me, anyway.

... and you know ... ProactiveResearch; openly a WP ambassador.

Yes. Welcome back to the party;
I have enjoyed thinking about this page daily.

I still laugh at the "Coders gone wild" crack.

All I have wanted since July 2009 is a D7 site.

I refuse to consider anything else--
except maybe ...

Drupal 8 is going to be Great!

All the best to each of you
and thank you sincerely for all of your work.

Oh. And, uh, tsvenson:
Come on now. Fess up.

lololol.

-Chris


All the best; intended.
-Chris (great-grandma.com)


"The number one stated objective for Drupal is improving usability." ~Dries Buytaert *

.

Michelle's picture

There are many people, including me, who do not find videos beneficial to learning. Just because something work better for you, that does not mean it is the best for everyone. There are many different learning styles.

Michelle

...

Jeff Burnz's picture

Same, videos are OK for quick overviews and introductions, or for fairly simple task based operations, but for hard core learning or reference I want books and other written documentation. There are heaps of both around so its all good.

__

tsvenson's picture

Agree, videos are great for giving a good visual introduction about how to do things and how it will look. But then when you are going to apply it, you don't want to have to search for specific parts of the videos every time you need to brush up on something. That's when you want it complemented with especially reference pages/books or well structured howtos or other form of guides.

At least for me that is what works best.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Not everyone wants a community

ccdechesney's picture

Not everyone wants a community, some people just want software that works. I do want to contribute, and I intend to help out with docs (if I can figure out how and where to volunteer.) But I have carpal tunnel problems so my computer time is limited and I don't want to spend it clicking through irrelevant mail or chatting on IRC. I don't think a Drupal user should be required to participate in "the community" before they can advance from being a noob.

I think Drupal.org supports the extreme newbie pretty well and covers installation and startup pretty well. From my experience it's the next step up that isn't handled well. Searching drupal.org to see if anyone else has experienced a particular problem is painful and frequently non-productive.

The top level groups page is extremely non-informative. If you do find a group that's interesting, the next step is not obvious. How about a couple of paragraphs about groups in general - who can join, how to join, what might be expected of you if you join ... What about a paragraph for each group with similar info specifically about that group and what its goals are?

I got onto drupal.org today to see if I could learn how D7 is doing in terms of module support and overall acceptance. I have an idea for a module that would probably be a lot easier to implement in D7. Should I go for 7 or do the extra work and stick with 6? A couple of hours later I'm no more knowledgeable than I was when I started. I'll order a couple of books. After reading them I might see about setting up a D7 test site.

I love Drupal so I'll keep climbing the learning mountain, but sometimes I get frustrated because I know someone else has already solved my problem, they may even have written down the solution, but I can't find it.

I suggest modifying the

Mark_L6n's picture

I suggest modifying the discourse slightly.
It has been said many times in this discussion that Drupal needs better documentation so that non-progammers can use it.
But as pcher1bw noted in one of the top posts (bottom paragraph), Drupal is difficult to learn for experienced programmers as well.
As a new learner, I think some of this difficulty comes from:
x) Documentation, of course. But it is not only more documentation that is needed, but better documentation. Sometimes the documentation is too much like a Unix help page: a command with a list of parameters. Sometimes a better big-picture overview and a guide to best practices would help. I apologize for targeting one area, but I have just spent a long time on drush and will use that as an example; it has has a fair amount of documentation in various files, but not enough overview, description of parameter usage and suggested best practices.
x) Lack of guidance and big-picture-overview on getting a basic site up and running. A poster above had a good example--look at setting up a basic WYSIWIG editor for your users. I coincidentally just tried that as a new user, and you can see the difficulties and ambiguities here.
x) At this point in time, the many unfinished modules for Drupal 7. Some of what I need to learn hasn't been finished or documented yet. (I see a big effort was made on this for Drupal 7; hopefully learning from this will help with Drupal 8.)

There is one other big potential problem I see: speed on shared hosting for D7. (I'm talking about good shared hosting, not just any cheap shared hosting.) I would think that the market share of Drupal will drop a lot if good shared hosting isn't feasible, and that could be a big hit to the project. If the problem can not be addressed before D8, hopefully at least there can be a webpage set up with a list of settings to discuss with your webhost for maximizing performance under their limitations.

The mechanics of improving drupal.org site

ccdechesney's picture

I understand that the last redesign of drupal.org site was done by a group that then disbanded. (If incorrect, please correct me.) The problem with this is that Drupal is changing and the web is changing. There must be a committee of some sort that coordinates improvements and redesigns of drupal.org. The committee continues over time but the people involved change. As many people as possible should be involved in thinking up improvements, so the process of suggesting improvements needs to be as easy as possible.

How I think it should work: As a random Drupal user I am using drupal.org when I get an idea for improvement. I go to a spot on drupal.org and post my suggestion. Someone on the site improvement committee gathers suggestions together and groups similar ones by category. The committee as a whole decides which suggestions have the most merit and solicits help in implementing them. Before I post my suggestion, maybe there would be a way I could check to see if someone already thought of it or a better version, then I could add my vote for their suggestion. Why not have suggestions implemented in order by most votes? Maybe committee not so needed if procedure set up well. A person who has permission to change the site could look at the voted suggestions and pick one to implement. Perhaps the committee would solicit suggestions on a certain area of the site at a time to focus the imagination of the community on improvements to that area.

Right now if I have an idea to improve the site, what do I do? Send an email? Who to? Post something? Where? Not clear at all. If I have to search or join a group just to make a suggestion, not inclined to do it. More pressing things to do.

d.o. redesign group

Alex UA's picture

I understand that the last redesign of drupal.org site was done by a group that then disbanded. (If incorrect, please correct me.)

It's not that it disbanded, but the tasks were pushed back into the webmaster and Drupal.org customization issue queues. I was personally hoping that the issue queue would get repurposed into a more general d.o. text/marketing queue, and I think we need a dedicated content/marketing role on d.o. that is in charge of the non-documentation text.

I'm not sure I agree with the exact way you're proposing to tackle the issue, but I definitely agree with your basic take on the situation.

Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg
ZivTech: Illuminating Technology

For now, post an issue in the

lisarex's picture

For now, post an issue in the webmasters queue if you have an improvement for drupal.org (but please first search the issues in case it's already in the issue queue).

The drupal.org redesign team of volunteers and paid developers is no longer actively meeting, correct. drumm is still active in making improvements, and I'm still driving tasks that will ultimately improve d.o. such as the content audit. There are lots of other volunteers reviewing and posting content so ensure front page content stays fresh. Plans are underway to improve groups.d.o. But it's all volunteer-driven, and we all have day jobs (some of us, thanks to Drupal!)

"Right now if I have an idea to improve the site, what do I do? Send an email? Who to? Post something? Where? Not clear at all. If I have to search or join a group just to make a suggestion, not inclined to do it. More pressing things to do."

I made a suggestion for this: "Add mechanism for people to report problems on pages on d.o." http://drupal.org/node/1118990

Would you use it?

==================================
http://about.me/lisarex

I would use it in a heartbeat.

ccdechesney's picture

Yes, I would use it in a heartbeat. That is exactly the kind of thing I am lobbying for.

What I've been trying to say (and obviously haven't succeeded yet) is that drupal.org needs to harness the energies of as many of its members as possible because a small group of volunteers cannot possibly do it all. The easier it is to provide feedback on minor issues the more feedback there will be. The more feedback there is the more members will contribute. Once you get people contributing in a small way, it should be easier to get them to contribute in larger ways. The more different brains we get working on improving drupal.org the better it will get at meeting everyone's needs.

How-to information

michaelsilverman's picture

I have been working with Drupal for just over a year and am using it for my own business. What I would like to see is more in the way of "how-to" information. For example right now I am looking for a way to get an email notification when a user registers at the site. Finding a solution to a specific problem on D.O is difficult and in most cases when I want to post a question I am not sure where it should be posted.

I think there is a huge opportunity for mentoring on a per incidence basis - where a question could be submitted and the person responding would be compensated for their time. I would be happy to pay someone in the community to show me how to solve a specific problem instead of spending hours trying to figure things out on my own.

Michael

.

Michelle's picture

I know this was just an example, but I searched Google on "drupal new user email notification" and found this: http://drupal.org/project/user_register_notify . So there's one question answered. :)

For general pay-for-support, try #drupal-consultants on IRC.

Michelle

Action items and deadlines

jetpower's picture

Agreed with michaelsilverman. As a computer hobbyist-turned-consultant who gave up high-level programming in 1987, I am fond of drupal's intent and foundation and miserable about its public perception. I am in the process of convincing my neighborhood council execs to keep drupal as we plan our site redesign.

The clunk factor is the biggest obstacle. Just as the author says, the many committee chairs need quick and simple ways to post content and meeting notices. Forget caring about code - community volunteers don't have extra time to learn parens and hrefs with their full schedules.

Redesigning drupal's accessibility must to be treated as a project from the top down. Ultimately, this is purely a "skin" issue - but it's more than a technical skin - leveraging michaelsilverman's and similar comments into something that broadcasts ease of use with the double asterisk of hidden and accessible power is a "best practice" direction.

We are all easily fascinated by depth of features, tools and utility. Competing with Wordpress is one thing. Presenting drupal as the simple-to-use powerhouse it should be will require dedicated organization and project management.

chrisco-on-twitter's picture

Background: I'm a guy with a tiny bit of HTML/CSSJavascript knowledge (built a few basic Dreamweaver sites, installed and used WordPress, etc.) who, last night, began exploring Drupal.org and installing and trying Drupal for the first time to:

1) Play, explore, and experiment;

2) Learn about the community around it and if it might be something I'd like to get involved with and to what extent; and

3) See if serendipity might strike and connect me with a great freelance developer that I "click" with and who might be interested in helping me (us?) use Drupal (or another CMS, CMF, etc.) to launch and test a few experimental sites that I have not been able to bring to reality (yet) because I don't (yet?) have the technical skills. More on this at the end of this long comment (sorry it's so long).

Anyway, I stumbled upon this article because it was featured on Drupal.org.

It's a fascinating article, and the comments/conversation are even more fascinating. Some comments even had some "scary" parts (see "My $20 dollars (rather than two cents)" by drupalcritic).

Anyway, after the first 10 minutes of reading the comments I was a little turned off. But now, after being out and about for a few hours and coming back and reading more, and getting down to Ryan Weal's comments and some others, I'm inspired to make my first comment and continue my exploration and experimentation. When you read my impressions, below, please consider that I am a total newbie, who is trying to be constructive and give honest impressions that might help in some small way.

Below are my first Drupal impressions. My exploration started last night and has continued today. These impressions are fresh and some of them are raw. They are unedited.

1) I expected to see at least one "killer" shopping cart (not that I need one, but just that I figured one strong leader would exist for Drupal): I didn't find one. What I did find was Ubercart, which says on its home page that Drupal is "the leading open source content management system" and uses the word "killer" in the middle of the pitch, and ends it with the words "and much much more!" Then I "scroll" one centimeter down the page and take a look at the latest Ubercart news, the most recent entry being from July 2010. Then I click the "Downloads" link and see the most recent release is from August 2010. I don't see any mention of Drupal 7. Made me wonder how "the leading CMS" and its "killer" shopping cart be so dated. I then Googleed "Ubercart reviews" and this was the first result: http://drupalmodules.com/module/ubercart, which has all of 14 reviews (and the reviews made my spidey senses tingle even more than they already were). Regarding "Drupal is THE leading CMS": Is that really true? My what measure? Or is this one of those "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky" kind of word-definition things?

2) Next I looked into PayPal. Surely there must be a "killer" module for that. The ones that come up on Drupal.org when I searched and filtered by most installed don't give confidence.

3) Next I looked at localization and geo. That looked interesting. Sigh of relief.

4) Next was user management, file upload, social, and community features. Some good/great, some meh. Ok.

5) This went on for a couple of hours, looking at each category, sorting in various ways, digging, etc.

My first impression, as a brand spanking new newbie, was that Druapl might be great for when you want more than a blog and you are (or have) a good/great developer (and designer, because some of the sites and themes pointed to look up-to-date and others like they are from 1995). It's even better if you are a Drupal developer who can land big clients and bill them lots of hours at fat rates doing developer stuff because that's just what you have to do if you use Drupal. That may be cynical, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but it is a concern prospective clients may have, especially ones paying out of their own pocket and/or on small budgets.

General Concerns:

1) Possible deviations from statements and reality (Ubercart) and what that might mean;

2) Things that I thought would exist, don't exist or don't seem to be well contributed to or otherwise don't seem where I would have expected them to be.

3) Possible negative energy poisoning the well, But hopefully not enough to be fatal and hopefully nothing that can't be turned into a positive-energy, giving, thriving, growing, pay-it-forward kind of community. I dunno, I'm an idealist, but I know ideals are possible to achieve with positive, can-do, grow-the-pie kind of people. What kind of community would you say Drupal is?

Design/Usability/UI/UX/Etc. Concerns:

4) Is there a Hacker News type up/down comment voting system, possibly with nested comments? Because it might be useful in such a l-o-n-g discussion as this comment thread. If there is one, why is it not used on such a busy site? And why no social sharing? Word-of-mouth = viral growth = good (and cheap) growth = life. UPDATE: I see it now. The contrast is kind of low, which may be why I missed it. Now I know :)

5) When I registered for an account, I didn't get to pick my password right then and there. Instead I got a link to a page that did not even immediately present a field where I picked my password. Terrible first impression. I know why, but it's besides the point, as it still makes a bad first impression. Why do it differently than the way "everybody" expects it to be done in 2011, which is the way Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon and "everybody" else who knows what they are doing does it, which is by letting people pick their password when they sign up and then sending them a link to click to confirm their account? If I was Malcolm Gladwell ("Blink") that would be enough right there to tell me that something was majorly wrong and I had to get away fast, at least until there was a change in leadership and the new leadership had good design/usability/user experience sense or at least sense enough to let people who do have that sense lead in that area.

6) Speaking of sign-on / sign-up? Why is the AJAX user-name-check feature not used and why is there no Google/Facebook/Twitter/whatever option? There are modules that do those things? Are they not good enough for Drupal's own site? Again, a bad first impression. Drupal.org could/should eat more of its own cooking. Why "everybody" on the web is probably also on at least one, if not more, of the major identity providers, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Drupal has modules that enable. Why not use? Seems kind of crazy and makes me think of that Seinfeld:

Kramer: What did you want to see me about, Mr. Leland?
Mr. Leland: Kramer, I've been reviewing your work. Quite frankly, it stinks.
Kramer: Well,I've been having trouble at home and, uh, I'll work harder. Nights, weekends, whatever it takes.
Mr. Leland: No, no, I don't think that's going to do it. These reports you handed in, it's almost as if you have no business training at all. I don't know what this is supposed to be.
Kramer: Well, I'm just trying to get ahead.
Mr. Leland: I'm sorry, there's just no way that we can keep you on.
Kramer: But I don't even really work here.
Mr. Leland: That's what makes this so difficult....

I know/think people aren't directly paid to contribute to Drupal, but I suspect there are some leaders who need to have frank talk with Mr. Leland. It's what's best for the project. And everyone, including Kramer, will be relieved, thankful, and better off.

7) The text under the upload profile picture might needs editing. As I recall, tt says images must be 85x85, which is wrong. What is correct is that images larger than 85x85 will be automatically resized. Or?

8) Why does Drupal want people's birthday if they don't use it? Get rid of it or use it.

Well, that's my two cents. Sorry it's so long and un-polished, but hopefully there's something there that can be of use. Seems like there is a lot of low hanging fruit to pick and I don't understand why it's not already been picked (is it even being picked now, I hope so, but have little confidence).

How to fix?

A) Pick the low hanging fruit first and improve the first impression.

B) Do some usability testing. A lot of it. Keep doing it. Read (or re-read) and apply Steve Krug's two books.

Thanks, cheers, and I look forward to contributing as much as I can to the Drupal community (I know)

Cheers,
Chris
Gothenburg, Sweden

PS: Please get in touch if you are a good (great?!) Drupal developer who might be interested in some freelance work, such as:

1) Vertical niche directory:

1A) Directory of 3,000 businesses (one role), with profiles, maps, geo, search, results, sexy sort/filter, mobile friendly (recognize device and display appropriately), users (another role), profiles, comments, reviews, ad blocks, newsletters, blog with multiple contributors, writers & editors (roles), and media types. Already got the data set to populate the database of businesses, which will then be notified and able to claim their profiles for free (and then buy upgrades/premiums if they want and be cross-sold on B, below). Directory platform to be reused with other vertical niches we will roll out. Those ones will include heavy ad and affiliate revenue.

1B) "Jobs" board.

1C) CRM (Salesforce or Sugar) implementation tying A and B together.

2) Person-to-person marketplace vertical. Basically a one-product freelance marketplace. One side will pay and post jobs, which will be cued up. PayPal or Amazon payments. The other side with clear the cue and get paid. We will take a small percentage. Will work on all devices (desktop, tablet, mobile). Some people already signed up.

chrisco-on-twitter's picture

My newbie research and review continues. Now I'm on to this page http://drupal.org/node/3060/committers and don't think I understand how to read the table. Can anyone help me? Thanks.

CODE COMMITTERS FOR DRUPAL CORE:

Dries 1 day ago
webchick 4 days ago
Git Migration 5 weeks
drumm 12 weeks ago
Gábor Hojtsy 15 weeks ago
killes@www.drop.org 3 years ago

I know it's not saying there have only been:

1) Two commits in the past month.
2) Three commits in the past 11 weeks.
3) Five commits in the past 2.9 years.

But what is it saying?

Thanks again,
Chris

.

Michelle's picture

That lists each person who has access to commit to Drupal core and the length of time that has passed since they last made a commit. As you go down the table, you go through branch co-maintainers from previous major versions. Since only D7 and D6 are currently supported, commits to earlier branches aren't happening and those co-committers are no longer committing. Though Dries has said that commits to D5 would still be allowed if someone wants to step up to fix any remaining bugs. So you could see more from Drumm if he's willing.

Michelle

From a technical standpoint

mikey_p's picture

From a technical standpoint the query that drives that page shows only individuals who have been marked as the author of a commit, regardless of current ability to commit to the project. This also only shows users whose commits could be mapped to user on drupal.org, other individuals may have committed, but if they do not have verified email addresses, then there commits won't be associated with their Drupal user account.

chrisco-on-twitter's picture

...that that table, at least by itself, is not a good indicator of how many people are committing and how active they are.

What's the best place to look to get a picture of that? Or is there no one best place? Sorry for the newbie question, but, as part of my continued newbie testing and first impressions, your replies comedown solidly on the plus side.

Thanks again,
Chris

PS: On the usability side: Does anyone else sometimes have trouble with the CAPTCHA? It worked fine for my first comment, but it did not work at all the first time I tried to submit my second comment yesterday (I tried like 10 times in a row, more carefully and slowly each time, and it didn't work at all. I am quite sure I typed the characters correctly. So I gave up and came back later, after I received my next "twice daily" notification of new comments to this post. Then it worked on the first try. I'm using Chrome on a Mac.

.

Michelle's picture

See commits here: http://drupal.org/node/3060/commits

Michelle

Right, so there are core

christefano's picture

Right, so there are core committers and there are core contributors. The issue I created about creating a page that lists core contributors is still open at http://drupal.org/node/245249

chrisco-on-twitter's picture

That's exactly what I was trying to look for. And the reasons you mention on that page for having a list are exactly the reasons I was looking for that information.

In other news, and apologies in advance for getting kind of fired up:

My real-life, real-time prospective new Drupal user usability/suitability test continues. Today it led to this post: "Packaging a Drupal site -- possible for under $10,000?": http://www.tomgeller.com/content/packaging-drupal-site-possible-under-10000 , which led to this reply, I copied below because my comment went into a moderation queue and the post is nine months old and I'm not sure if it will get approved:

So the best a mailing list of Drupal consultants could come up with was: (1) a list that didn't help you solve your "problem," and (2) a $10,000, 3- or 4-month quote?

That reinforces the "overpriced for what you get and vs. the alternatives" scent in the air when prospective new Drupal users start sniffing around. It also seems counter to the pay it forward, non-greedy, give-to-the-community philosophy that open-source and community are about.

What does it mean? Does it mean one of these two (of multiple other) possibilities?

A) Drupal is "too" complicated and it really does take $10,000 to develop solution to the "problem" you described. If so, is that sustainable? I mean for less than $10,000 you could just get an intern or virtual assistant to do it manually for you. And you'd still have $9,000 left over for whatever you wanted.

B) The community has "too many" people who quote Fortune 500 prices to small businesses and/or startup projects, thus driving prospective new community members, users, etc. into the arms of the alternatives that Drupal has on both sides, such as WordPress on one side and frameworks, such as RoR, Django, and the PHP and other frameworks on the other.

It makes me think of those "hybrid" bicycles that are positioned as half road bike / half mountain bike. Sure, if you buy one of those, then you only need one bike, but it's worse than a road bike on the road and it's worse than a mountain bike on the trail. And if it costs more, and has beauty and other drawbacks, too... WTF?! That's a recipe for buyer's remorse and a product that fails to thrive, at least unless there's some major compensating factor, such as the price is really cheap or the community is blazing trails, growing fast, building momentum, attracting many people, solving useful problems, etc.

I mean, to play devil's advocate and ask the question that prospective new users have: What is Drupal's value proposition, how is Drupal positioned relative to the alternatives, and do the answers to those questions hold up to scrutiny?

I know Drupal must be the best (or at least a great) tool for certain job(s), but what job(s)? Not blogging. Not forums. Not frameworks. Not beauty. Not speed/performance. Not usability. Not UI/UX design patterns. Not affordability, apparently. Where does it lead? Why should people considering the alternatives use Drupal? What specific job(s) is it the best tool for?

Speaking of affordability, as part of the research I'm doing right now as a prospective new Drupal user, I found my way to this page http://www.lullabot.com/contact/work which is linked to from this page http://drupal.org/user/24967 which belongs to webchick, who is the #2 code committer for Drupal core, from what I can tell. That form suggests that, at least with Lullabot, you can't do anything on Drupal for under $15,000 to $50,000 and that $50,000 to $100,000+ is more like it. What do you guys say about that? I know Lullabot is targeting the deep-pocketed customer, and that kind of money is small change to them, but it's a deal breaker for the other 90%+ of us. I mean, are a few large companies what's going to enable Drupal to grow, thrive, attract people, users, etc?

Ok, before I close, here's one more analogy that pops to mind: AOL and what happened to it when it was disrupted by better, prettier, cheaper, more nimble, and more active alternatives. AOL failed to adapt and turn itself into something people wanted. Instead, it tried to raise switching costs, such as by not making their address book easily exportable, not offering a forwarding function, etc, etc. Basically there were greedy and stupid. Classic. Could something like that happen to Drupal? Is it at risk of getting (further?) marginalized, as more and more existing Drupalers leave and fewer and fewer new ones join? I hope it doesn't happen, but it seems like a risk, at least from this newbie/prospective Drupaler perspective.

I hope my comments have at least some useful nugget or perspective for someone. They represent a real-life usability test of sorts.

Cheers,
Chris

I replied to this comment on my site...

tgeller's picture

...at http://tomgeller.com/comment/1472#comment-1472 . In short: I think it's very insightful, and muse further on its themes (with a little disagreement).


Tom Geller * Oberlin * San Francisco * TomGeller.com
Author/Presenter, Drupal video series at lynda.com
Creator of materials for Drupal-focused companies

Thanks, Tom

chrisco-on-twitter's picture

Good comments, thank you (when I get time, I'll reply to them on your blog). Yes, I probably should have toned down my "passion" (we'll call it), but I did want to give an unfiltered impression because that can be helpful in usability/first-impression-type tests.

Regarding how my first Drupal impressions have evolved: The more I learn about Drupal and the community, the more I like. Tomorrow I'm going to a Drupal meetup in Gothenburg, Sweden, and am very much looking forward to it.

Cheers!

Glad to hear it!

tgeller's picture

It's good to hear that your impression is improving, but first impressions are important.

If you want to make your criticisms more effective, the next steps are to:

1) Break them out into individual suggestions
2) Track down the appropriate issue queues where they can be worked on. THIS is the hardest part.
3) Post there, then
4) Follow up.

It's a lot of work! Making it easier is UNQUESTIONABLY an area where improvement is needed... and, sadly, not one that's easily done by "the crowd". The solution, in my opinion, is to institute some power of fiat. That would make d.o less democratic, but more efficient.

(Possibly related blog post: http://tomgeller.com/content/problem-drupal-documentation .)


Tom Geller * Oberlin * San Francisco * TomGeller.com
Author/Presenter, Drupal video series at lynda.com
Creator of materials for Drupal-focused companies

Next Steps "How To" (page and video)

chrisco-on-twitter's picture

Is there a "How To" page and/or a video/screencast (hint, hint on the screencast, Tom :)) covering this subject? Because I can see a lot of people getting "stuck" on #2 in your list. I know "they" probably could figure it out themselves with a little digging, but the like anything else in terms of conversion to action, people fall off at each step along the path. The more steps, the more falloff. The harder the steps, the more falloff. Etc. Cheers.

OMG

Aminka Ozmun's picture

"B) The community has "too many" people who quote Fortune 500 prices to small businesses and/or startup projects, thus driving prospective new community members, users, etc. into the arms of the alternatives that Drupal has on both sides, such as WordPress on one side and frameworks, such as RoR, Django, and the PHP and other frameworks on the other."

Yep!

I was quoted almost US$12K for a simple site -- which I'm now doing myself in WordPress, with even better features than I originally had in mind, for just $200 (within premium themes and plugins)!!

Nice lady, nice company (big Drupal folks here), but just...out of touch.

One Word

MGParisi's picture

Word Press simply does not meet the requirements WE EXPECT from Drupal Core or the Module Quality we have. Use Organic Groups, Views, Content, GMap and Location, logintoboggan, and so many other EXTREMELY polished modules and see how Drupal works compared to how the others work. Yes you can modify the modules in Word Press, but when an update of the module comes out you need to re-apply all of your customizations. The way the hooks work in Drupal are unique to Drupal.

Need one example of why Drupal is amazing. Download and use the Devel Theme module, and you will see the amazing work that is done.

Yes, you can get what you want done in Wordpress or Joomla, but to get it to work JUST RIGHT you will need Drupal. People creating big sites who know that how how like small changes in the interface, presentation and user experience can effect their audience knows how important it is to have the ability to polish out all of the details. They have two choices. Drupal or Custom Website.

When BIOWARE and LUCAS ARTS wanted a website, they where not willing to negotiate on anything. For that reason, and that reason alone, they Choose DRUPAL for their sites. Zappos and so many other top industry players choose Drupal over other CMS systems.

I say it again, when you realize the details matter, that the interface and the way things work becomes paramount to everything else you have two options build from scratch or use Drupal....

I don't know any successfull project manager or system analyst who would choose Joomla or Wordpress for a large planned corporate project. Most of them know the limitations of these solutions and are not willing to deal with them. They recognize that Drupal has no limitations, and so they either pick Drupal and only go Custom when speed is paramount. Its simply unfeasible to make a current system like WordPress or Joomla into something they are not.

I am happy for all those that find their place in WordPress or Joomla. I can find Jobs in Joomla but as a Information Systems specialist Learning Wordpress is entering a large desert of opportunities. I get more job offers for FoxPro then I do for WordPress and Joomla combined. Then again I never see a job offering for a system analyst and word press. They probably exist, but they are a small market.

Now I am certain that Rapid Application Development and simple web prescience sites will work just fine in Word Press or Joomla. These Websites will benefit from their simplicity and lack of depth, but when you need more then simply presenting documents, when you need a flexible content management system that delivers the RIGHT content to the RIGHT audience, I would not touch anything else.

I am not being Biased towards Drupal. You can either make the solution meet your needs or get the tools to get your needs met without compromise.

Drupal is not a Pre-setup solution. Pre-setup solutions are limited by the fact that they are already setup for a task. We can easily reach into this market by creating a generalized solution, and getting template builders to make templates for it. Essentially make a Forum Distro, Social Network Distro, etc... Drupal has the ability to do that, but the focus of the people who do the work have no interest in pursuing these larger scale pre-made solutions. There are companies that do this, they offer their own distro's and their own themes. But as far as open source development, the people doing the work decides the direction.

I would WELCOME, LOVE, and SUPPORT more Distro's being made available, but personally I am just not interested in doing that type of work. If you are, we definitely can use you.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

I give you a goal.

MGParisi's picture

I have accountants, managers, accountant managers, shop keepers, etc all join the site. Then allow me to write one peace of content and publish it ONLY to the audiences I want. I also want a system that adapts over time. As a system analysts, I know that I don't know what an accountant will want, and I know that accountant wont know what he/she wants until they need it. So I need to adapt this system to meet the needs of these individuals. Also Accountants that work with Outgoing data, like: Shipping data and Product sales will suddenly decide they need different content then the accountants that need Incoming data: Shipping, Product Availability, Product Costs. Yet I don't know this until after the system is developed. The system requirements demand that the target audience will change, grow, divide, shrink, etc... We need a solution that will work with OUR fast moving company!

Copying content is not acceptable. I need the individuals to get the content I created and I maintain to be updated in real time, and if I change my content I need them to have access to the latest content. I also want people to collaborate on content, and give individuals or groups of individuals the ability to change this data.

I mention content. I do not want just documents. I want Event Calenders, Maps, Shipping Information, Real Time Shipping costs, access to inventories, access to the manufacturers, packaging labels, etc. I need REAL CONTENT, not DOCUMENTS!

Now attempt to build me this solution using Joomla or Wordpress. I will build mine with Drupal, and we see who is not only finished first but who can offer the solution and meet the requirements. I have no problem betting My Money, My Job, My Reputation on Drupal... Are you willing to do the same for your content management solution?


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

BTW

MGParisi's picture

The interface has to work easily and differently to meet the end user. Each end user has different levels of skills. The guy working with the inventory has less computer experience then the accountant and needs less information available to him. So each time a new group comes to me and says, ya know, I would like this button to say X, while everyone elses button says Y, I will Deliver... Can you?

I can continue to add countless more system requirements. I can plan on Scope creep and deliver in the end because My solution does not have limits. Can you say the same for yours?


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

Again, Drupal.org v

davidhernandez's picture

Again, Drupal.org v Wordpress.org, not Drupal v Wordpress.

Arf!

Starbuck's picture

Having read every post of this thread since the beginning, and contributing a couple myself, I submit that this thread is a perfect example of why d.o needs work - and w.o is just as bad.

  • It's too easy for someone to not read comments and simply jump down to the bottom to say something "completely original" that was actually said many times before.
  • There are too many subthreads that have nothing to do with the OP, but which will be a permanent fixture within the discussion.
  • There is no way to separate comments, as in "about Drupal and WP" vs "about D.O and W.O" ... or simply "about nothing related to anything of interest to this audience".
  • There's no paging mechanism or collapsing sections (AJAX?) to reduce the scrolling burden.
  • There's no way to translate the "data" of the text into actionable "intelligence" which can be used to improve the site.

In the long run this is just another stream of consciousness for someone to wade through next year while searching for anything that happened to be mentioned here. The junk all sits side by side as an equal partner with the valid content, and that is exactly what we see everywhere on this site.

That's the impression that's put forth by D.O. And while we can say that people are confusing the platform with the implementation, in this specific case one reflects on the other. Yes, we're eating our own dogfood here. And man, this stuff tastes like dogfood!

Time to turn it into actions

tsvenson's picture

For the most part of it, this has been a great discussion and I am very pleased with the many comments from those of you that are quite new to the community. You comments have been insightful reading for me to both remember and better understand how it was/is to visit *.d.o the first times.

Personally I think we pretty much covered what was needed to be discussed about this and I have also noted many good ideas on how things can be improved.

At the moment, the best place to help with changes is in the Prairie Initiative groups lead by Leisa Reichelt. The group already have many projects in the idea and planning stage that I am sure will lead to that the user experience for both new and old users will increase by magnitudes.

One of those initiatives is the Exploring Solutions: Better Product/Project/Module pages where we are trying to come up with a better presentation as well as administration of projects. The last few weeks I have been working with Thomas Moseler (eigentor) on this. A few hours ago we posted our New Mockup proposal based on tabs idea for the community to have a look at. Please have a look at it and give us some feedback about what you like, or dislike, that we can use when we continue working on the remaining tabs.

We hope you like it and also find ways you too can get involved in helping out to improve our community.

--
/thomas
T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

I just want a website that works

nick@guillemot-kayaks.com's picture

While I have a background in engineering and some small experience in programming I now design and build wooden kayaks. I own and operate a small business where I am the head designer, technical writer, shop manager, web guru, graphics department, customer service representative and chief bottle washer. In other words I work alone and do as much as I can on my own.

When I got started with Drupal for my business website I did so on the recommendation of one of my customers. I had a custom module that I needed so I contracted that out and asked the contractor to set up the initial structure on my website. When the guy I hired failed to finish the job I did the remaining work myself. I tweaked the incomplete module to the point where it did what I wanted and then added other modules that provide the features I desired. I am happy with the result.

I think I am representative of one class of users of Drupal that should be important to the Drupal development community. I am a guy who uses Drupal to make a website. I want a website that works. I don't have time to add Drupal Developer to my collection of hats. I wear more hats than I can handle already. While I would love to, I've got a business to run, an right now I am feeling guilty because I a writing stuff here instead of doing something that will get me paid.

The idea that I might choose Drupal because I somehow like or enjoy the community surrounding it, is about as foreign an idea as using a word processor because I like the people who developed the application. I use a word processor to write my documents, I use a CMS to make my website(s). I chose Drupal as my CMS because it looked like it could make the website I wanted. What I need out of the Drupal community is the ability to make a quality website.

From my perspective the Drupal community seems to be primarily interested in developing code and less interested in actually transforming that code into websites. If a new user goes to drupal.org they are presented with a short description of drupal saying how great it is and a "Getting Started with Drupal" button. Follow that link. The page comes up with a prominent "Download Drupal" button. Now, why would I want to do that? If I'm a guy interested in code maybe the opportunity to download code is appealing, but if I want a website I want to know a little more before I start messing with a .tar file.

So, I go to the next column "Extend Drupal" and a list of "Most popular modules". Now, why would I be interested in that? I still don't know anything about Drupal. I click on the link for "Views" and I read the first line "When installing Views on Drupal 7, you absolutely must have CTools of at least alpha4 and you may need to flush cache as much as twice. "

Say what? I don't even know if I want Drupal yet and I'm already being told I'll need to flush stuff. Maybe this kind of stuff makes coders happy, but I just want to make a decent website.

The next column on the Getting Started page is "Documentation" and the first item listed is "Installation Guide" which I guess in a convoluted way does tell how to install Drupal, yet again, there is really no reason given for why some new user might want to and it really doesn't say: "To install Drupal do this..." instead it is all about getting code.

I need a website, I don't want code. I understand that code is needed to make the website I need, but I really want to know why all this code is a good thing and some clear guidance of what code I need for the website I need. I could go on, but at almost every level drupal.org is about code and not about websites.

If my needs for a website include the ability to post new material for customers to read, sell products, and provide a newsletter to readers of my blog, will Drupal work for me. It can take a lot of digging to figure out, yes, it will. Do I need Ubercart, Drupal Commerce or e-Commerce? Ummm.... If I go with Ubercart can I upgrade to Drupal Commerce when it is further along in development? Ummm.... Will Ubercart work with my card service provider? Ummm......

I have literally spent days browsing through the module descriptions trying to figure out if the capability I'm looking for is available and which of several modules related to that capability actually do what I need, and which of those works with the version of Drupal I have installed and if I should bother installing it because it may or may not be supported as I upgrade. There are great modules available but there is a huge amount of digging required to figure out which are worthwhile.

Before a user even contemplates contributing to the Drupal project they first must be convinced that it will at least come close to solving the website-building problem they have at hand. Drupal.org does a bad job of selling Drupal to the potential user like me who just wants a website that works. If I could redirect some of that time I spend digging around towards actually contributing to Drupal I think Drupal would be better off and I know I would be happier.

If you are a Drupal developer I hope you understand that you are developing a tool to perform a task and that if fail to make the tool easy to understand and use you will your efforts will be for naught. It doesn't matter how good and solid your code is, if the potential user can't figure out you made the tool he needs, your code is virtually useless. If you can make Drupal completely welcoming for a guy like me who just wants to make a website, you know you have done a good job and your work will be appreciated. Personally, I have some patience to figure some things out, but not everyone is like me. If some other system makes some other newbie think they will get the website they want sooner, they will go with that system, even if the code is not as good.

I don't want code, I want a website,
I don't want a community, I want a website,
I don't want to join Drupal, I want a website,
If I get my website, then I might help with those other things.

Your absolutely right

MGParisi's picture

The problem is that the majority of us are piss poor marketers. We are coders. I agree with you on this, but unfortunately open source has a very difficult time at "Just making it work" and selling itself. Case in point, I have installed Linux a half dozen times and have yet to have a good time with it. It never does what I want when I want to do it. I always seem to be 6 months behind the release that would of fixed it. LOL.

The truth is that people take what open source offers, packages it up nicely in new ways and then they make a bundle. So if you want a plug and play solution you generally sacrifice customization. When you want complete freedom you sacrifice plug and play. Now I am certain that I could install linux NOW, and given enough time I would love it. It would take me months to perfect but I know that once I get it, I would love it. (but I am not leaving windows!)


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

If you build it they will come...

ccdechesney's picture

@NSchade - I'm with you completely!
@MGParisi - My impression is that Drupal.org has primarily been an organization of coders for coders. The structure of the drupal.org website has reflected that. The social structure of the community has reflected that. Nothing wrong with that! But to grow into what it could be, Drupal needs designers and marketers and explainers. The structure of both website and community needs to have a place for them. The structure of the website both reflects and shapes the community. Without a place on the website to contribute and be recognized, the designers and marketers and explainers feel unwanted. If the website gives these people a way to contribute, they will.
I consider myself to be one of that group, although I do also code. I've been using Drupal for a couple of years and I've almost given up on it several times. I cuss every time I have to use drupal.org. It's only recently in discussions on a few groups that I have found a way to contribute. I'd like to contribute more, but it's not obvious to me how. (You coders probably think I'm stupid because I can't figure it out, but I'm a visual thinker - if it's not in front of my eyes it doesn't exist.)
As far as "plug and play" vs "customization", I believe that Drupal could be the best of both worlds, with a lot of problems finding a plug and play solution but still offering complete customization for those who really need it. This is the vision that keeps me using Drupal and makes me want to contribute to it.

What is the solution?

MGParisi's picture

So what is the solution?


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

Understand that it is a problem

nick@guillemot-kayaks.com's picture

I am too am not wired for marketing, I would rather build kayaks, but in order to finance the building of kayaks I must market. I can not make kayaks and hope people will use them just because they are nice. I need to convince people that my pretty wooden kayaks are better than the ones they can buy at the local big box store. If I don't do this, then I am just building boats to fill my garage.

Likewise with Drupal, it is fine to write an elegant piece of code, but if you want people to appreciate your work and be able to feel that the effort you put into that elegant piece of code is actually doing more than wasting space a hard drive on some server somewhere, you need to tell people what you have done and why it is a good thing. Nobody knows better than the guy who wrote the code why that code was worth writing.

By providing a clear description of a module, detailing what it does and how it can be used will allow people who are unfamiliar with the module to understand its function will help get more people to use it. The benefit of this to the guy who wrote the code is the simple satisfaction of knowing that his or her hard work is paying off for more people. This requires aspects of marketing, but it doesn't mean you need to make up BS, it just means providing an accurate and complete description of your work.

For modules developing a standard format for the module with, for example, a one sentence abstract, followed by a paragraph going into a little deeper description. Then a section describing some basic examples of real world implementations. I know that when I go to a module that has links to examples of websites using the module, I like to go check out those links.

Whatever you do, caveats and warnings should not be the first line/sentence/paragraph. We know Drupal is a work in progress and some modules may need some disclaimers and they should be included, but don't start out with a warning to flush the cache. A standard layout for each section would be a start. It seems to me that the module nodes could be set up with a form that must be filled out with fields for abstract, description, example ideas for use, example websites/pages using the module, and warning/caveats/disclaimer. In this way, in order to list a module the developer must take a few minutes to think about specific aspects of his or her module that would in turn help potential users understand why they may want to use it.

By using a form format like this it could standardize the look of the pages making it easier for new users to find the information they need.

I just want a website that works. The modules to make it work typically exist already. If I can't find the module I need because I can't figure out the description, the person who wrote the code has lost one potential user and it probably means that others are failing to use it as well. This devalues the work the coder has done because it is not getting used as much as it could be.

For now, I am willing to do a little digging for my own needs, but an ideal solution to the larger issue of plug-and-play may be some form of a wizard that allows users to check off features they want and steers them to the profile with the necessary modules . The current profiles list is instantly overwhelming, just a long list of things with funny sounding names and descriptions that don't make a lot of sense to me. Even a introduction page to packages that list 5 or so typical configurations: Blog, Discussion Group, Small Business E-commerce, Activity Club, and Art Gallery whatever. would go a long way to welcoming in new users.

Again I agree 100%

MGParisi's picture

If you submit an issue for views, I am certain it will be well received, especially if you like the comment you made. The truth is that most of us are computer nerds. The fact that we can write english at all is amazing, and as you can see, our English is definitely English geared towards people like us. Its hard to right for an audience that is your either not sure of, or that your not appart of. We don't know what others know. I am usually VERY long winded due to this fact, and I try to spell things out but there are posts I made that never get a comment. When I ask people about it I get questions that I never thought I needed to address, and other people see my posts as being derogatorily since they can be simplistic in area's that maybe are too "common sense".

What I ask for is A) help and B) understanding, compassion and passion. We are triing our best, and I can tell you that the people working on views are working very hard at meeting your audience as well as mine. There has been many new users that point out improvements and you may not see them immediately implemented, but your not getting ignored. We store that info in the back of our heads so that we can either deal with it over time, deal with it in the next version or deal with it as soon as we are not fixing critical errors.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

Views Ticket for improved documentation

MGParisi's picture

http://drupal.org/node/1122322 its that easy!

Yes I understand, you want to get back to work. But you also should pay it foreword. People spend years writing these modules so you can use it. You make excellent points, but take a bit of time and give back. I give time to Drupal because in the end it helps me allot:) It makes me a better person and helping others pays in dividends you will never expect.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

Whatever you do, caveats and

merlinofchaos's picture

Whatever you do, caveats and warnings should not be the first line/sentence/paragraph. We know Drupal is a work in progress and some modules may need some disclaimers and they should be included, but don't start out with a warning to flush the cache.

In case you didn't notice, the the module you're referring to is currently in -beta. At the time it that was written, it was in alpha. It turns out, that means this kind of code has known bugs. This warning is out there to try and get you around one of the major pain points.

If this is too much for you, please don't install the code. Clearly, the harsh warning did precisely what it was supposed to do, which is to make you think twice. I sincerely recommend you don't do it. Don't install it. Find some other solution.

ccdechesney, nobody and

lisarex's picture

ccdechesney, nobody and everybody 'owns' the content on drupal.org. That is a problem and a thing of beauty. :)

Your input would be valuable in http://groups.drupal.org/prairie-initiative (if you haven't seen it already)

==================================
http://about.me/lisarex

One person's use case is not everyone's.

esmerel's picture

Your example from the top of the Views page may be unfortunate for you, but it's a gigantic time saver for those of us who spend our (free!) time supporting the project. Views has a quarter of a million installs. If even .1% of those installs run into that issue, and head for the issue queue (which they do), and spot that warning immediately, we've potentially saved 2500 people anywhere from 1 minute to hours of time. If that warning isn't there - and be aware, it normally isn't. This is a critical enough problem that it was important enough to call out to save people trouble right now.

If those 2500 people don't see that warning, there's a good chance they spend 10 minutes opening an issue. Or searching for an issue that's already open. If they don't spot the issue they create duplicates, which take at least 1-2 minutes for one of us to read and process and close. More wasted time. And issues aren't sticky. And since you probably didn't notice the size and activity level of the Views queue - it's around 900 issues that again, most of the people working on it are -not- getting paid for it either.

So, I'm sorry if people can't cope with a critical warning at the top of a page. Being someone who has supported huge customer bases, I'm the kind of person who wants those warnings, because they save me time. It might take you 30 seconds to read that warning. If it saves me 5 minutes of issue queue work, it's a win. If it saves that .1% of installs more than 1 second each? That's worth it in my book.

I use Views

nick@guillemot-kayaks.com's picture

I actually didn't choose Views as an example, it presented itself. I read the original post at the start of this thread and did what was suggested. I went to the D.O. home page and looked at it as a new user. Views presented itself.

I understand completely that the information about any issues with a given module is extremely important to get out there. But, isn't it also important to relate to new users why they may want to keep Views in mind for their future needs if it actually does stuff they find useful. An experienced user has incentive to read down a bit, a potential new user is not going to see any reason to keep reading.

It would seem to me that there are other ways the necessary information for experienced users could be presented so they can find it easily, and the basic what-does-this-module-do information does not get lost in the noise for the new user.

For example a flag at the top that experienced users will understand means they need to look down at the bottom to learn what the problem is.

"I want a website"

rwohleb's picture

If you just "want a website" then maybe you should hire a professional, because you are talking in vague terms. Drupal is self labeled as a Content Management Platform. No one claims if will do everything out of the box, so why are you expecting it? You could use something like Wordpress to get a basic website, but have fun when you try to do something with your custom module. This is the power of Drupal, and this is why the majority of use it. It's extremely flexible without getting in our way.

Please keep in mind a couple of important factors:

  1. Most of the code is written be people who are trying to scratch a particular itch that they have.
  2. Most of us accomplish specific functionality using a combination of contributed modules. No one module will do everything we need, so expecting to find it is a waste of time.

it seems to me that you need

bserem's picture

it seems to me that you need somebody to make the website for you, and pay him for it!
somebody who has spend hours in the community and knows all these things about views and ctools and alphas and betas

if I want a kayak I pay to have one (I buy),
if you want a website buy one

Bill Seremetis
http://srm.gr - working with Drupal in Greece

LOL

MGParisi's picture

Then again, maybe tree's are broken because It takes skill to make a kayak out of it. Maybe we should .PATCH tree's.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

I did pay someone

nick@guillemot-kayaks.com's picture

I know I wrote a lot, but one of the things I wrote was that I paid someone to create my website originally and have paid for help with upgrades. But, that is not the point.

When I read the first post in this discussion I could relate, and so I went and tried to view D.o. as a complete neophyte and I have related to the readers here what I saw. I feel somewhat qualified to do this because I am not a skilled programmer or someone with a lot of experience in the Drupal community.

It is fine that you want to help the professional site builder, but is the complete neophyte really off the radar for Drupal? The home page of D.o. seems to want to invite new users in, but it does not do a good job of it.

Wouldn't it be of benefit to the Drupal community to create an atmosphere that brings more users in?

:(

MGParisi's picture

Did you read the entire thread, or just the first post. Because this is starting to sound like a broken record.

BTW, your problem is that you hired an idiot, not that Drupal is broken.

Most of my carrier has been cleaning up the mess that the person who charged 1/2 of my going rate. You get what you pay for, and most often you pay twice as much for the 1/2 off special. This is not Drupal Exclussive. I know over 30 languages and built everything from accounting systems to sewer usage reporting system's.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

Idiots

nick@guillemot-kayaks.com's picture

I'm going to say this only to provide context to other things I have said: I honestly don't think the person I hired is an idiot, nor do I blame him in anyway for my perception of how material is presented on Drupal.org. I hired someone who was well recommended, and had obvious Drupal chops (430+ commits on almost 30 different projects and counting). I am not even upset with what I got, given what I paid. He never finished the project (probably due to missteps on both our parts), but I was able to do the rest and I stopped paying when he stopped working. I have no sense of hard feelings from him, and I have none for him. When time came to upgrade to the next version of Drupal I hired someone else and they did the work I needed and I am satisfied with their work. I would have paid them to do more, but we never quite agreed on a direction to go with the project. That's fine, I again have no hard feelings. When it comes time to do more serious work that is beyond my abilities I'm quite prepared to hire someone else.

Despite the way I may come across I am complete satisfied with Drupal as a "product", I have tried to direct my discussion to how information is presented on Drupal.org.

At the risk of continuing to sound like a broken record, I guess my own presentation has been clumsy if anyone thinks I have any complaints about how the Drupal code works. I am not complaining about the fact that it is not a plug-and-play application. Any comments I have made are about how clumsily Drupal.org presents what Drupal is capable of. Drupal.org fails to present Drupal in most favorable light.

from my point of views Drupal

bserem's picture

from my point of views Drupal does a good job with newcomers: it asks from them to study and pay attention, in return it really leverages their abilities in webmaking

I was a newbie myself, I still am, and I wouldn't change drupal with something else. The main reason for doing so is it community, it's ever growing community that includes and welcomes everybody: programmers, designers, bug-hunters that don't know how to code, translators, big companies, one man companies etc

Yes Drupal must solve some issues, issues that don't exist in other systems. But I believe it is trying to.
Yes it would help to have more users in, but they should stay in here because they love Drupal, they should part of the community.

Bill Seremetis
http://srm.gr - working with Drupal in Greece

Poision

MGParisi's picture

I've got a business to run, an right now I am feeling guilty because I a writing stuff here instead of doing something that will get me paid.

This comment did irk me, but I decided to give the OP a bit of latitude and put it into context with the rest of the post. I can see how people get upset at those that make these types of posts. Personally I dont give away anything for free if I expect something in return. So I was more tolerant of what he was saying. He also used views as an example, and I am not going to argue nor contest the views developers point of view.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

I'm sorry that you took this the wrong way

nick@guillemot-kayaks.com's picture

My hope is that by providing my perspective there will be some benefit to the Drupal community. I was trying to point out that I am giving up my time when I could be earning a living to provide a perspective that is different and hopefully useful for the guys in the trenches writing the code.

I appreciate what they are doing. I just feel their work is losing some of its potential impact due to poor presentation.

Drupal.org is the portal to all things Drupal. If someone says "Drupal is cool" and newbie wants to learn more, the first thing they are going to do is Google "drupal", the first 4 links lead to Drupal.org. Everything they are probably ever going to learn about Drupal is right there on their screen. Either it says stuff that keeps them interested or it doesn't.

If you are a guy pouring all your free time into creating this awesome thing, don't you want more people using it?

Don't get mad at me because I don't know everything, try and make it easier for me to learn.

If nobody thinks its a problem that potential new users may turn away when they first open the door, then fine, I will "shut up" as was so helpfully suggested. But if people understand that I may have a point, then I may be convinced to continue trying to help.

.

Michelle's picture

The "shut up" was uncalled, unacceptable, and has been unpublished.

Michelle

Not ME!

MGParisi's picture

I did not take it that way, but I know that others did. I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt and also tried to put it within the context of the rest of your post.

FYI: I did not post that "Shut Up" response, and appreciate Michelle deleting it. I would of done the same thing If I had the ability to.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

Contributing

laura s's picture

I was trying to point out that I am giving up my time when I could be earning a living to provide a perspective that is different and hopefully useful for the guys in the trenches writing the code….

...Don't get mad at me because I don't know everything, try and make it easier for me to learn.

May I point out that you are not unique in this? Everyone here could be "earning a living" instead of putting labor into Drupal, *.drupal.org and the Drupal community. This is all volunteer. This is a barn-raising. Please don't get mad at a community that has provided so much to you for free, and demand that it's not enough. If you see a need, step in and help. When you're learning, you're also in an ideal place for helping improve documentation, for example, because of your perspective on what's not clear in the documentation currently.

If nobody thinks its a problem that potential new users may turn away when they first open the door, then fine, I will "shut up" as was so helpfully suggested. But if people understand that I may have a point, then I may be convinced to continue trying to help.

There have been several invitations to help posted in this thread, including invitations to join an effort to create an entirely new support.drupal.org, invitations to pitch in on the Prairie Initiative, invitations to join the Documentation team, invitations to help report bugs and test patches, and on. It's clearly not a case of "nobody thinks its a problem".

So if you want to help, please do.

Laura Scott
PINGV | Strategy • Design • Drupal Development

Hmmm...

MGParisi's picture

The best way to learn is to teach others. Want to learn Drupal, Take part in all/some of the above solutions. I would recommend documentation and/or support. You will learn allot faster by teaching others then you will by going it alone. Too bad people dont realize what you gain when you give.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

If anyone does want to help,

davidhernandez's picture

If anyone does want to help, but is really clueless about where they fit in, feel free to contact me directly. I'll try to point you to the right areas and people.

Perhaps you're in the wrong room

yelvington's picture

Not everyone should be building a website from scratch. Perhaps you should be at http://www.drupalgardens.com/ or http://www.subhublite.com/.

That may well be.

nick@guillemot-kayaks.com's picture

If noobs who don't know much about Drupal would really be better off at one of these other sites, then Drupal.org fails completely in helping them understand that. If you want people to appreciate and benefit from your hard work it seems kind of silly to hope they just stumble on the right place to be. How hard would it be to have something on the home page directing new people who are interested to the place where they will find the information they need?

sans snark

EclipseGc's picture

It would be pretty easy to reply to this snarkily, but I'm pretty sure I understand your frustration. The issue here is that you're expecting the wrong thing from the wrong solution. Not that "Drupal" is the wrong solution for you, but building it yourself may be. Everything you described is exactly as it should be (contrary to some other contributions to this conversation) because that's how Drupal works. It can't work any other way, Drupal's not really a product to be sold, certainly not on the level we're discussing. DrupalGardens is a product to be sold, wordpress.com's hosted solution is a product to be sold, and there are about a billion other providers of products of this type who want to sell at that level. Drupal itself is not that.

Drupal is an open source collaborative of developers, largely for developers. This is definitely problematic for Drupal in certain ways, and there are others in the community who would see it differently, but despite the wonderful documentation work, the attempts at making great themes, and even the adoption of Drupal by organizations from the White house to your kayak building company... none of that changes the fact that Drupal is a system that is based on code, and needs more code to survive. Bottom line: no code, no Drupal.

Drupal.org is the support beast for that bottom line. It helps us collaborate, it helps us iterate, and it helps us innovate. None of those needs are really marketing oriented and as such, I submit to anyone reading this post that that right there is all the proof I will ever need that Drupal.org is not, nor should it ever be, a marketing site. Does that mean we don't need a marketing site? I can't say... my instincts say a marketing site for Drupal could be a really good thing. I'm pretty sure that's the intention of Drupal.com, but it fails to do much of anything at the moment except hopefully direct some traffic at Drupal.org. At the end of the day, I think it's important that we keep our priorities straight, and sadly @NSchade, I hate to say it, but changing the experience you described should not be amongst our priorities, because what you went through is exactly the first good set of steps towards contributing to this community, and that notion is priceless.

This, of course, doesn't mean that I'm insensitive to your clearly expressed desire for "a website". I'm just trying to point out that your needs, IMO, SHOULD NOT be met by Drupal.org because Drupal.org is the support mechanism for all that code you mentioned. A DrupalGardens (or similar project) is probably much more suited to your needs. And I hope that suggestion on my part is not misconstrued in a negative light. I'm genuinely trying to be helpful and point out how things work, and why we need them to continue working that way.

Your understanding of my position is greatly appreciated,

Eclipse

I like this

MGParisi's picture

Wow this points out a MAJOR contradiction. On one hand we should sell our product better, on the other hand we should better point out that this is a solution for specialists. I see allot of people who are attempting to create their own websites. Even Word Press requires a decent level of understanding. I have seen websites in a box, but Content Management Systems do not come in boxes. If you do a Google on Content Management Systems I would find it very difficult to believe that you can come away with any opinion that is simple solution. I also find it hard to believe that any individual who owns a business should not be held responsible for their decisions. To claim ignorance because you did not know that it took an expert to make a website is a bit hard to believe.

So do we really need to put "It is hard to make websites!" In big blinking red text on our main page?


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

Sometimes wood has knots

grape's picture

Any cabinet maker who is married knows that when his wife wants new cabinets, sooner or later he is going to be building them for her. More often than not, those new cabinets were included, and promptly forgotten, in the negotiations for that expensive table saw he really, really needed.

One day Joop's wife told him that she wanted the new maple cabinets that he had promised. Of course because he had bragged to her about all of the high quality cabinetry he built, she wasn't going to be settling for any of that veneered plywood Ikea junk. To top it off, the price of maple lumber had sky-rocketed because EmmaJane's Green Party had just won the election and wanted to keep all of those beautiful maple trees out of the sawmill. Joop didn't know how he was ever going to pay for this massive project his wife had so unfairly imposed on him.

The very next day Joop's old friend, Jossie decided to send over 10,000 board feet of beautiful 8/4 hard maple that was left over from a project. It was easily enough for two sets of cabinets! Joop was beside himself with joy. He filled up the shop fridge with the best Canadian beer he could find, drew up the plans, make his cutlist, and sent off his very best tablesaw blades to Forrest for sharpening. Finally, he was ready to build the cabinets that were going to keep him out of trouble and make his wife happy forever! All thanks to Jossie's gift! What a great friend!

One day, well into the project, Joop was busy working in his shop and found a knot in an otherwise perfect board. He needed that specific piece of wood for something special and it absolutely could not have a knot, but there it was just staring at him. Joop grabbed the board and ran fuming over to Jossie's house. He started pounding on his door demanding an explanation.

"This knot is unacceptable! You ruined my project!" he yelled, pounding on Jossie's door. "Why can't you ever get it right, you dumb old goat!" he screamed.

Jossie was clearly surprised by his friend's tirade. He listened patiently as Joop went on and on about how that knot had not only ruined the entire cabinet project, but even his marriage. Joop stomped his feet, cursing and blaming everything from speed bumps to Jossie's innocent, sleeping cat.

Jossie calmly agreed with Joop that knots are hard to work around sometimes, particularly when the grain of the wood changes and causes some tear-out with the plane.

"Wood comes from trees, dear friend, and because of that knots are a fact of life. We are just going to have to learn to deal with them," Jossie explained.

"Plus, cutting around all of the knots never makes for very straight boards," he added, rolling his eyes. "Even if you would have paid me full price for the lumber, I still wouldn't have guaranteed knot-free wood."

_

WorldFallz's picture

I don't want code, I want a website,
I don't want a community, I want a website,
I don't want to join Drupal, I want a website,
If I get my website, then I might help with those other things.

[emphasis added]

Then open source isn't for you, period. You'd be happier purchasing software that meets your needs and has a team of people that are paid to care about your website. And I'm surprised no one has pointed that fact out to you already (unless I missed it).

I say that harshly, provocatively, on purpose. I see this a lot from people commenting about how drupal doesn't meet their needs. IMO this stems from misapplying a commercial software mentality to open source. Drupal.org is not a commercial entity that cares whether or not you, NSchade, can build the website you need with their product (yes, there is acquia, but their model is different and acquia is not 'drupal' per say anyway-- besides you're not posting on acquia.com but drupal.org).

As a former student of cognitive psychology I find myself intrigued (even obsessed) with this phenomenon. I find myself asking people this a lot lately-- if someone walked up to you and handed you $100 would you have the gall to complain that it wasn't the $1000 you needed? Why is it then people who use drupal and drupal.org for free, often making money on it for themselves in the process, contribute nothing back, feel completely entitled to complain about it and deride modules and module maintainers without shame or impunity? Seriously, I've love to know.

In any case, open source exists as a mechanism for users to collaborate to meet their own needs-- not yours. That you can benefit from it without paying for it or contributing to it in any way is a nice side effect-- but hardly the main purpose.

Yes-- to the extent that your feedback can make drupal a better CMS, which makes everyone's job easier and encourages greater use, which in turn generates more community members, which feeds the cycle again-- your experience matters. But if you think the drupal community, which you've made it clear you want no part of, cares whether or not you can build your website then you're way off base.

Merlin can certainly speak for himself, but since you've used views as an example, I will continue with it. Merlin didn't create views so YOU could build your website better. He created it because his job and his employer were scratching their own itch. That they choose to contribute back (which they didn't have to do), and incur the overhead of maintaining the single most used drupal module (unpaid remember), should be commended-- not derided. And if placing a warning at the top of the project page can help avoid some of the 2938498273986529 unnecessary and duplicate issues (which are again, attended to pro bono), then great. That leaves views maintainers more time to improve the code rather than attend to the needs of vampires.

Like it or not drupal IS a community-- and you're part of it by virtue of using it and posting here. Though you've made it clear you want to be a vampire and not a contributor, that doesn't change the fact that the second you posted you became part of the community. Luckily, there are plenty of community members that choose to contribute rather than bleed the community dry.

Your analogy is incorrect. We

Dragorth's picture

Your analogy is incorrect. We love the hundred dollars. The fact that you put the hundred dollars on a pedestal above our heads, stand about ten feet from it, and tell people like us that its not for you is what we hate.The fact that you have changed it enough that we who are using the normal currency cannot use this without instructions is akin to a cash back that has no instruction on how to get it.
I for one love Drupal.
I am not so sure about SOME of its fans.
In psychology, didn't you learn people are not simple, are so complex that you can only guess what the average human would do? What about having to study the outliers to find out what they would do under any given circumstances. The people willing to use Drupal tend to be outliers, do to the learning curve. This will not make Drupal mainstream, which is portrayed as a goal by the persons in charge. Or at least on most servers, which amounts to the same thing logistically.
We love Drupal, stop being negative enough to scare people away. The idea of open source is to allow people to scratch an itch, not corner the market. You are more like a commercial, proprietary entity do to the arbitrary elitist attitude.
News flash. There are plenty of smart people other than you, they don't necessarily think like you do, though.

I disagree

MGParisi's picture

The $100 is still $100. If you decide to burn it for heat because your ignorant to the fact that you could use it to buy a truck full of logs does not make the money any less valuable to society, it makes the money less valuable to you as an individual.

Give me $100, and Ill put it in the bank. Give another person $100 and they will buy their spouse dinner and a movie. We both use the same thing for two different purposes.

The core developers have given allot of tools for those that would like to make Drupal into something different. You can make your own "installation profile" or "distro" and host it on this site. You can create a group around that Distro and get people to make themes for it. You can goto ALMOST any Document Page and Modify it, and on the few pages you cant do that, you can goto the Document Queue and ask someone to do it for you. You can also start conversations, log into Drupal and ask about things, and talk to people who have influence on how to move foreword.

Right now is an excellent opportunity to jump in and get involved. D8 is in its planning phase, people are asking "How do we move foreword". Many people are looking for excellent, well thought out and developed ideas. Be prepared to do some work, draw diagrams and ask questions.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

I agree it is still a hundred

Dragorth's picture

I agree it is still a hundred dollars. However, we know that you can train animals to not eat. That doesn't change the properties of the food, just the stimuli of the results. This is important. Drupal is great. Some of the responses from the community surrounding Drupal is not. That is what I have been responding to, as do most people. The issue is, do you treat the consumers of what you are creating in a way that encourages them to continue using, or do you discourage them. Then, if the goal is to encourage them, are the current actions of the community helping or hurting the goal.

I have had the same issue with the World of Warcraft Guilds. The passion that they put into that game clouds their vision to the point they don't want anyone that doesn't appreciate it as much as they do to play. This runs counter to the goals of the game itself, to encourage more players.

There are some very religious people in the Drupal Church, but it clouds their thinking. The most cited reasons by non-Christians of why they wouldn't be a Christian? The members.

Drupal is a great CMS, one-stop solution. I want the world to know this. But this IS THE place to come if you want drupal. This is the experience you get. Drupal.org is RAW.

I agree that we all have to do more. But just adding more people doing it is not enough, when some of the current individuals are hurting the whole. You can't try to drown out their voice by adding more noise. It just doesn't work.

So this is a call out for EVERONE to think about what we post, to encourage positve and helpful post, to realize if we are over worked and not post if necessary. We can say NO! if it is in the best interest of the community. We NEED to say no in those cases.

Thanks again for all of your hard work, and lets make this a more enjoyable place to be!

Drupal is taoist, its

slavojzizek's picture

Drupal is taoist, its self-initiated for those who want to learn. Wordpress and Joomla are Buddhist,they tell you what rules to follow and what to do and you just plug and play. Really, its just that simple.

HEY!

MGParisi's picture

I want to respond to this, but hey... Acceptance of others is the better path :) LOL:)


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

There is a lot of fair and

JacobSingh's picture

There is a lot of fair and useful criticism here that would be easy to overlook given the tone of entitlement which can drive long time contributors like me nuts.

@NSchade: Drupal is not a product IMHO. It is a community. if you want to check out a product built on Drupal, see http://drupalgardens.com - it is like wordpress.com for Drupal. That sounds like the experience you are looking for. There are several other products known as "Drupal Distributions." Google it.

In terms of valid take aways, I don't think that it's an issue of Drupal not "fitting" for you and blaming "the people who build it" for not making it easy for you to get started.

What is important is the distinction I made above about what piece of the Drupal ecosystem makes sense for a given audience. The Drupal.org homepage should better reflect that IMO. In fact, a huge effort by many paid and volunteer people has been underway for 3 years to do exactly that which resulted in a massive redesign of the site.

At any rate, I wish you luck in your endeavors with Drupal or otherwise. I know it's hard to understand that Drupal isn't like a proprietary software product or an OSS project with one company behind it. Most people aren't used to the idea that other people build things and give them away for free. Just make sure that now that you know it, you at least realize they don't owe you anything, but want you very much to join the party!

I don't feel entitled

nick@guillemot-kayaks.com's picture

New users coming fresh to the site have no reason to feel other than entitled. I would guess that there are more people interested in making a website that works than there are people interested in doing the coding for said website. They are about to either click the next link to read more about Drupal, or hit the back arrow and continue their search for a CMS to make the website of their dreams. If any part of the goal of the Drupal project is to get more people using Drupal, then to the extent that that is the case, there should be some desire to "sell" the Drupal experience to everyone that lands on the home page.

As a developer for Drupal, which do you want to have happen? Should new people just move on, or stop and get involved? The only reason anyone new is ever going to contribute anything is by being lead deeper in to the community. If you are a developer you should also not feel entitled to their instant gratitude. Everyone is busy. You don't have much time to get new people interested in joining. There just aren't that many people out there who are looking for a community first and a CMS second.

Again, if Drupalgardens is where I-want-a-website people should be directed than they should get politely directed there, but I don't think that is actually the right answer because there are people who really do want to work through the vagaries Drupal of themselves and are willing to do the work involved, but may get scared off at the door anyway. And once they have done some work in their own self interest, then maybe they will feel ready to contribute more.

This issue is not a matter of blame. I don't blame people for feeling that complainers should contribute and stop complaining, but just because someone is not immediately able to contribute a technical fix does not mean they don't have a worthwhile insight.

I also am quite willing to accept that Drupal is not a commercial turn-key system, and in point of fact it does fit for me. I have figured this out despite drupal.org, not because of it.

I am not in anyway complaining about any technical aspects, my comments have all been about how material is presented. Presentation does matter and maybe I have not presented my point of view well

Now it has been almost a

damir's picture

Now it has been almost a month since this thread was started. In that time you could have improved a lot of complaints found here but no you guys rant on all the people who made all this great software and provides tools for free.

There is thousands of people out there who are make a living building Drupal websites. Drupal is the tool that no matter what my clients asks me it can be done. That freedom and flexibility is hard to find. None of my clients have complained that Drupal is hard, it is up to me to provide that experience and Drupal gives that to me. Im not locked in any way. I found that to be with other CMS software. If you are not satisfied with it, choose other CMS software. It is like with everything else, no one forces you to use it.

Encourage people instead of spreading those negative vibes, help filing bugs, help with documentation, installation, user guides. There is a ton of stuff you can do to help out. Take your negative energy and turn it to positive and make a difference.

Im so tired of people bashing on creative souls that do all this for FREE. Who are you and what have you achieved and have the rights to bash something that others have spent days, months and years to develop. I would be ashamed if i where you. Instead get out of your comfort zone and give some constructive critique instead but what is most important is to get out and help get all those missing pieces on the right track. This is a open source community and open source community is about helping, encouraging and sharing and all that is done for FREE.

So stop comparing WP against Drupal. Choose one and start devoting to the platform and community. If you are not happy than move on to other projects but be sure that everything you complained here is soon to be found on other platforms in some way.

Nothing is perfect and it will never be but together we can make it even better.

Thank you Drupal folks that made Drupal what is it today, a kick ass platform. You rock in every way.

Too Conflicting view's

MGParisi's picture

I understand the frustration caused by this discussion. It starts the process but has yet failed to come to any conclusion on what Drupal(.org) is!

Early on I found that changing drupal.org is extremely hard. I have had little to no success in adding or changing features to Drupal.org, implementation and or design. We come up with beautiful ideas, great documentation and incredible improvements, but I have seen very few massive redesigns get past the proposal phase. Failure to be able to change the fundamentals comes from:

  • Drupal is not a Democracy. In many places Drupal is a do-ocracy while in other area's its an oligarchy often lacking any authority.
  • Drupal fails to be a Republic, meaning there are few (if any) processes to get improvements from planning to production.
  • Too many cooks in the kitchen, and not enough chiefs. http://groups.drupal.org/node/138529
  • Proposals are derailed. This is done because of:
    • Repetitive comments from people who clearly do not even read the entire post.
    • Nay Sayers, that railroad projects with criticism offering no solutions.
    • They become to large to read (like this post)
    • Take too long to reach concussion; generally if they take more then a week, they don't get implemented.
  • Because Proposals are derailed, leadership fails to take any action.

One of the root causes of the continuation of this conversation probably has to do with a lack of a clearly defined direction, and/or mission statement. Thus I present a summary of what I have read and a conclusion that can be drawn.

Mission Statement 1: Drupal is tool for a informed developer. Drupal.org is a product support site and learning center, not for sales and marketing.

The truth is the current state of Drupal.org is a focus on flexibility. Drupal 7.x focuses on flexibility at the cost of plugin and play. Instead Drupal is a set of tools that are deployed by developers to make into a complete solution. This requires experience, expertise and knowledge. Within 10 minutes of using Drupal you realize that it is not a end user plug in and play solution. I understand the desire to make Drupal more plug in and play. However the direction the community and more importantly leadership has taken is more flexibility, more tools and more control. Consistently Drupal has almost always chosen power over ease of deployment.

  • Drupal has a large learning curve
  • Using Drupal irresponsibly can lead to a broken, insecure site.
  • Drupal.org is a community for the development and responsible deployment for professionals to use.
  • It is the responsibility of the people who develop sites to be knowledgeable. A lack of knowledge is dangerous.
  • Drupal.org is the "Technet" equivalent of Microsoft windows. Its not geared towards "sales" but is instead geared towards "support and service"
  • Each major release of Drupal takes a blank slate approach. Because of this, upgrading a Drupal site to the latest version is not an easy process.
  • Companies like Acquia, Drupal Gardens and the many other developers who are using the product provide the sales, support and solutions for the product.

Mission Statement 2: Drupal is a plugin and play solution.

I spend up to 6-8 hours a day working on Documentation, providing support, and helping people to learn Drupal. I do know those who are spending a significant amount of time working on this and those that are instead standing on a soap box preaching about how things should be. Yes allot of improvements are being worked on, but ultimately it comes down to those that are willing to implement and those that are willing to dream. We have also seen how good intentions and sound theory often fails when put into practice.

There are those that would like to make Drupal into a plug in and play environment. Allot of people want Drupal.org to be a sales pitch and product page. But again as we can see in Merlins comment in response to NSchade's post's sound theory (though horrible sales pitch) and practical deployment fails to always co-exist.

Modules and Themes are a "use at your own risk" experience. Knowledge of coding and review of the modules are left up to the consumer of the modules. Guarantying the safety of all 5,000+ modules is impossible for a volunteer based organization. Like views, using insecure versions, unfinished, or in development versions are risky at best. Drupal.org does its best at providing the end user with information regarding known security issues, has an open issue queue and usage statistics for consumers of modules to utilize in make smart decisions. However this provides no guaranties the module is perfect. Drupal.org relies on the end user to report known security issues and bugs so that they maybe fixed in upcoming versions. Even when a major release has occured, bugs and small problems continue to exist. Often times it comes down to choosing the right Dev version.

Conclusion - Open Source

By nature, open source REQUIRES end users to provide testing and report security vulnerabilities. A smart, informed user base that also reports bugs and security violation is necessary for open source to work. Without this feedback, no open source solution would work. Those that understand open source start to realize that it fails to provide a rich plug in and play environment. It relies on a support network of corporations and businesses to provide support, distro's and security. Linux, Apache, PHP, MySQL and so many other successful applications rely on this. In short open source is open, but in no way FREE!

Therefor Drupal will continue to be a professional application for those that specialize in it. It requires constant knowledge, learning, continual attention to the community, and an attention to detail. This requires a significant amount of time and dedication. Drupal.org is a knowledge base. PHP.net and MySQL.net do not attempt to sell their products, they exist to provide information.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

It seems to me that you are

ccdechesney's picture

It seems to me that you are saying that the drupal community only values coding skills and that those of us who want to volunteer other skills are not wanted. If this is the case, I think that Drupal will ultimately fail or at least fail to achieve the growth that it could have. I have worked in the commercial software industry for many years, although not lately. The best products have always come from a combination of coding skills, marketing skills, explaining skills and design skills.
There is obviously a huge pool of users that want a website that they can maintain themselves, a site that does something more than just a brochure site. Drupal could meet the needs of those users with some changes in the focus of the drupal community, basically by expanding the community. If the drupal community doesn't want to do that, someone else will figure out a way to serve those users.

Ergg

MGParisi's picture

In a earlier post you claim Drupal.org needs help. Along with your reply to my post, and the fact that I have noticed your record of contributions ( http://drupal.org/user/638744/track ) and with so many others with records (and responses) just like yours, I have come to the conclusion that a large portion that are calling for change have not done anything to create change.

Now usually I try to encourage feedback, but quite frankly I have seen my own attempts to get change become high jacked by people who dont care about anything but getting something for free. Now I call it how I see it, and I get someone who has clearly not read the ENTIRE thread, nor have they learned Drupal or the issues that arise when attempting to make change, or the issues that occur when you interact extensively with the community.

Also ccdechesney, maybe you should read my entire post before you respond.

Raises White Flag, bashes his head on his desk to make the dull pain go away!


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

It seems to me that you are

davidhernandez's picture

It seems to me that you are saying that the drupal community only values coding skills and that those of us who want to volunteer other skills are not wanted.

I have heard this from other people, so some people definitely get this impression. I will freely admit that there are many people that do have this mindset, but, as with any large community, don't lump as all together. There is no real collective opinion. Many of us do not share this opinion, and greatly value the contributions of others, regardless of what it is. I even value the various arguments I read here. I don't agree with everything, but it is important to me to have everyone's thoughts communicated. It leaves an impression that I take with me everywhere.

At this point...

MGParisi's picture

Actually no one has that view. Infact My post never mentioned coders at all. The problem is that people have a problem with the language of the profession.

For instance,
"System" or "Information Systems" and "Computer Systems" are not the same.
"Management Information Systems", "System Analysts", "Project Managers" are not experts in "Coding".
"Hackers" are not Criminals, and "Hackers" present a unique skillset then Computer Programmers (AKA Computer Scientists)
"Information Technology" does not equal "Information Systems"

The Information Systems Profession is a subset of the "Computer Professional". I consider myself a MIS specialist. I do not run servers, setup linux boxes, run networks, run databases, etc. I also do not do Website Design (Which is a subset of the field of Commercial Art's). Now there are computer scientists and coders that utilize Drupal, they generally build their own modules and run a rather basic setup of Drupal. I mention this because the conversation seems to continual comparisons between coders and non-coders. Yet this is WAY too simplistic. The fact that I have yet to mention professional computer scientist as a preferred skill occupational focus for Drupal implementation seems to be lost. I have yet to say that Drupal is made for "coders". Infact the word "coder" is so vague that people within the profession do not use it.

By utilizing modules I give up on overall system performance for application deployment time. A person who needs to run high traffic sites would benefit from custom made modules. If you need even better performance, then you need a ground up custom solution.

When I am working in the industry I hire IT professionals to run the servers. When I need a something done on the server side, I call an IT professionals and they set it up. IT is a hobby for Me. I am proficient with Microsoft Systems, but not nearly as proficient as a Microsoft Certified Engineer. I know the minimums of WAMP, IIS, and I know better then to setup a Oracle or MSSQL server. You can be a jack of all trades and a master of none, Or you can be a master of one. You cant have both. There is simply too much to know.

After you start to look deeply into these area's you start to realize that I am no better at making a Kayak then a person who makes Kayaks are at performing My Job. It would be equally irresponsible for someone who does accounting to hire me to work in the Accounting Field. Sure there are those that wish to learn how to build a Kayak. These hobbyists may actually do an amazing job, but their is a huge learning curve. Its equally irresponsible for us to pretend that Kayak builders can build an Information System.

Drupal is wonderful, it is beautiful, it is amazing in so many aspects. I am not ashamed by the fact that it is a professional solution for professional people. I embrace it. I also have no problem downloading and using word press, Elgg, or OSCommerce given the system and time requirements. I see what I need and I build for it. If you want a plug in and play solution, then Drupal is NOT it. Sorry, but Word Press and Joomla do a much better job at it. If you want a system that works with a high expectation towards customization, speed and flexibility then Drupal is it. There is some balance within the Drupal model for improvements, but lets not loose focus on our market segment and/or our core market. Personally I see Joomla attempt to be everything to everyone and yet it fails at anything specifically.

Professional Grade tools are for Professionals. If you do not know how to use a table saw, I would recommend you take a classes before you start even turn on the machine. To try and make a table saw for someone who does not know how to use one, will lead to injury.

I look at this post http://groups.drupal.org/node/139754 and I see the same conflict. People want an Open Source system with a large library of modules to be reliable and secure. The issue is that attempting to accomplishing that creates a system that is not more reliable or more secure, and in fact misrepresents itself and also is counter productive to its success in all area's. I also now realize that Merlin has one hell of a point of view. This discussion http://groups.drupal.org/node/137914 also has to take note of what is being said about the views requirement for a warning.

As you can tell I am reading these proposals, talking to people who develop the site and am getting allot of information that is not even represented here. I also have over 10 years of developing and working on CMS systems.

David I recognize your involvement in the community. I know you have a larger view point, and even see you on IRC right now as we talk. I do respect your view, and know you will accomplish tasks that will lead to better user interfaces, within Drupal.org and within Drupal that makes it more of a One Size fits all then that is GREAT! But lets not throw the baby out with the bath water. Lets be reasonable with our expectations and our realizations. Also David, you are a proficient user. That makes it very hard to see the huge hurdles faced by people who come to learn Drupal for the first time. Our long term experience can blind us.

I saw what was said about views, and I thought, wow that is a smart idea. Then I got Merlin's experience and that theory of having modules pages beign sales pages came crashing down. Theory verse Reality. Reality beat down Theory:(

The main problem I see with the reviews like the one pointed to in the OP's first post is that we have done a bad job at telling people what Drupal is. I would go one step further and state that within the community we have 2 different ideas of what Drupal is or will be. If we did a good job then we would not be compared to word press. When we do try to compare Drupal to word press we are attempting to compare an apple to an orange. There both fruits, but that does not mean everyone who likes oranges will be happy with an apple.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

Thanks to all Drupal coders

ccdechesney's picture

I want to make clear that I do very much appreciate the coding work that has gone into Drupal. I think Drupal is fantastic! What the group of you has created is amazing! I wouldn't be spending time offering what I intend to be constructive criticism if I thought Drupal was poorly done.

I also know how disheartening it can be to work hard on something and present it to someone and have them say,"That's nice but why doesn't it do x instead of y?" The critic does not intend to downgrade your work, they are focused on their problem and until they solve their problem they are not going to be able to see anything else. This is human nature. If your code is used by end users, some of them will react this way. If you can, try to see that they are telling you that you could expand your user base if you made a change or an addition. It is an opportunity that you can take or ignore. This is why it works best for there to be an intermediary between end users and coders. MGParisi is saying that this intermediary is the paid Drupal developers. I'm suggesting that it could be a combination of the drupal.org (or drupal.com) website and volunteers.

The problem of users making use of a product (in its most generic sense of something that is produced) in ways that were not intended by the creator is not confined to software but happens frequently in all kinds of fields. The savvy producer listens to how users are actually using the product and what they like and dislike about it, and makes changes to meet users' needs. If not, the users will flock to a product that does meet their needs. Whether money or something else (fame, acclaim, altruism...) is the reward for the producer is irrelevant to the working of an open market. If the producers are really only producing for themselves or for a small group of their buddies then they will ignore the needs of users. I guess we will know which camp the majority of the drupal community falls into by what happens (or doesn't) next. That last statement sounds very negative but I do not intend it to be, only honest. The drupal community is free to make their own choices and I am not saying that they are bad people if they don't care about users. I just wish it were clear which it is so I can figure out what I'm going to do.

Your forgetting People!

MGParisi's picture

Your forgetting the IX and UX people. The Documentors, Project Managers, System Analysts, Database Designers, Database Optimizers, the API writers, the Project Leads, The testers, the security team, the Web Masters, the Quality Control, Graphic Artists, Page Developers, IT professionals, System Performance testers, support, etc....

I am quite frankly tired of this being a two profession discussion (coders verse hobbyists). I am neither a coder nor am I a hobbyist. I am a systems analyst with skills in IX, UX, documentation, quality assurance, community building, information delivery, etc. I haven't written code in 3 years.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

Solution

MGParisi's picture

Guess what! I am listening. We are compiling these ideas into proposals. But we have a problem...

Leadership!

I am personally looking for ways to empower people to be able to make proposals into action, development and deployment. I am not talking about Drupal (the software) but Drupal.org's website. I personally feel there is a power vacuum when it comes to D.O. and some of its branches. If we get this power vacuum filled, simply suggesting a change will only be the start. If your not willing to put in the time to bring your proposal to fruition then all you can do is plant a seed and hope someone else who has the drive to move foreword.

If we can get a leader to break the cycle of debate, to create (or help create) procedures, and to find ways through barriers then maybe we can start making the big changes. Right now, proposals seems to be stuck in endless debate only to ultimately die a slow death. I feel frustrated because we DO want to move Drupal.org down many of the paths suggested here, but I find absolutely no procedure and a lack of leadership.

Therefor I am asking the people who are in charge to assign responsibility of D.O., G.D.O and other sub sites to dedicated an individual who has the resources, time and authority to provide the tools and methodology for those who have the drive and the resources to go through the tasks needed to improve the site.

Ultimately we may disagree with this persons decisions but ultimately I will support them in this process. I would be SO happy if I could get some "official" response to some of the better suggestions. I would be VERY happy to start working on the documentation necessary to take an idea and move it foreword.

Now maybe someone is already assigned this task. I hope I am not stepping on anyone's toes. But when I look at some of the wonderful work being done on some of the initiatives and I wonder What do we do now, I get frustrated. We need a person with authority and trust of the top people.

If you feel that we are NOT listening check out http://groups.drupal.org/node/137914

Now that proposal is GREAT! The idea is very well developed yet its dead in its tracks. We need someone to review it, consult with their team, and make a recommendation on what we need to do next. Basically I would love to see an official response, an assignment of responsibilities, and creation of procedures. If what we get is a rejection, that would be great with Me. If we get the go ahead to develop a complete proposal and ultimately that proposal turns out to be rejected then at least we did something more then talk about what we would like!


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

Working towards proposals

yoroy's picture

http://groups.drupal.org/node/138189 lists the main topics we're collecting input on. Phase of idea generation is coming to a close in say, a week or two, three.
What we'll want to do next is condense some of the big discussions here into (actionable) summaries in new wiki pages, one for each topic. No-one can give a go on these long (good!) discussions, so boiling things down in an overview of the challenges, vision, strategy & tactics for each area (duplication, onboarding, module pages, profile pages, notifications etc.) is the next step.

As a Drupal UX maintainer I hereby assign you the responsibility of starting the write-up of this summary for the module review process in short, succinct sentences.

And I don't think thinks are dead in their tracks, things tend to take weeks instead of days around here. But yes, it is time to transition into the next phase of analysing the input and drawing some conclusions on which direction to take in tackling things. We will!

Module Review Process

MGParisi's picture

In the next few days I will be talking with ZZollo and Mlncn about the Module Review Process. Feel free to contact Me on IRC or mail about this.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

Sounds like a plan!

yoroy's picture

Looks like the right persons to start coming up with a battle plan of sorts. Great!

Ultimately its up to the community

MGParisi's picture

Well from what I understand, ZZolo had the job and still wants the job, but ultimately its upto the powers at be and ZZolo. I can not commit to anything long term, I work on allot of things and My life is too chaotic for a year or longer position. But if the overall opinion is that ZZolo is in control of this, then I will support his plan. If not then we will be back to the drawing board and should get a leader to decide which way we are going to go.


--Sig--
Owner of Toastyart a Drupal based High Quality Art Gallery.

To me its amazing how someone

slavojzizek's picture

To me its amazing how someone will spend time arguing about how something isn't good enough or right, instead of trying to learn its perspective and then improve it with their ideas. One of the downsides of working in decentralized internet groups is that infiltrators, nay-sayers, and hecklers get equal voice with people happily doing work.

Assuming we are talking about

Mathijs Koenraadt's picture

Assuming we are talking about hobbyists building personal afficionada sites, we SHOULD discourage the Wordpress user from moving to Drupal. Drupal is overkill for their needs. Joomla is a much better choice for them.

Drupal is good even for hobbyists

jcchapster's picture

I can't go with you there. Why exactly should you discourage use of Drupal?

Soy desarrollador en

bosspetta's picture

Soy desarrollador en WordPress. Mi actual empresa basa sus desarrollos en Drupal, por lo que he tenido que ponerme "manos a la obra", e intentar ponerme al mismo nivel que tengo con WordPress. Estoy totalmente de acuerdo con Thomas cuando dice que se debería cuidar muchísimo más el "primer golpe" cuando un usuario entra a formar parte de la comunidad. Primero se debería ofrecer facilidad de uso, y después su funcionamiento interno, ha ahí el secreto actual de WordPress.

Un saludo a todos.

P.S: Sorry, my english is very poor.

Christopher James Francis Rodgers's picture

Thanks to Google Translate.. "Auto-Detect Language" to "English"..

===

[Comment Above (translated)]

I am developer in WordPress. My current company bases its developments on Drupal, so I had to get "hands on" and try to get the same level I have with WordPress. I totally agree with Thomas when he says that care should be taken much more the "first strike"when a user joins the community. First it should offer ease of use, and then its inner workings, it is the secret of WordPress today.

Greetings to everyone.

=== End Translation.


All the best; intended.
-Chris (great-grandma.com)


"The number one stated objective for Drupal is improving usability." ~Dries Buytaert *

Everyone is WRONG!

lagpro's picture

Seriously, this thread illustrates a lot of problems that really don't go to the core of any of the real problems.
Marketing? Community? Seriously! Drupal vs Wordpress? or Joombla?

Here are the real problems in a short list.

1) Drupal wants to be fully extensible without any limits or scope.

2) Use cases are too wide reaching and diverse which creates a mess of interlocking modules that have no quality control. Major modules receive special attention (i.e. views, panels, token, ...) but the majority of modules are in various conditions of half crap.

3) Building a more complex CMS system in Drupal 7 is fragile at best because of the feature creep/quality of the supporting modules.

4) More and more modules are built with dependencies on other modules and there is no schedule that anyone can depend on, so you wind up with half-ars solutions which then require custom coding, which then creates more complicated inter-related module/hack/upgrade hell.

5) Wordpress is a simple CMS system that does what it does. Wordpress goes south on user membership sites (former Buddypress/MU) which becomes its own set of plugin/hacks hell. I would never use Drupal to build a simple static/limited dynamic website. I would not use Wordpress for a more complex membership site. Stop comparing the two - its really a bad comparison. You might as well compare Drupal to CodeIgniter and YII as Wordpress for bad comparisons in design,implementation, and marketing.

6) "Wordpress is for users and Drupal is for developers". WTF. Canned Dog food is for people and Dog food is for dogs - after all only people can open the cans, dogs can't. I hope that made about as much sense as the other statement! Developers build sites, people use them. HOWEVER! People have to MAINTAIN them, and that is a big issue. 7 made some great strides in fixing this problem in Drupal and I actually believe it is better than WP in dealing with larger sites. Plugin development in WP-land can sometimes be more chaotic than Drupal.

7) Drupal should really be compared with Microsoft ASP.Net, IBM, and Oracle if you want to aspire to something. Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle have an advantage because they control their products and they get paid for it. But they don't have an army like open source, and they don't take risks (they can't afford it). But if you want to look at features, scalability, extensibility, etc. - look at the big guys, don't look at the simple stuff. Does this mean that Drupal should try to take them on? NO. It means that you should look at them in comparison to core features, quality, and use cases.

I know that a lot of people will disagree with me on number 7 but what the hay. You are not going to learn anything from Wordpress or Joombla. I use Wordpress for a lot for sites and I have used Drupal since version 4. Wordpress has gone through its issues leading up to version 3 and the integration of MU - that was no picnic. But Wordpress is not structured or built like Drupal and it is not the same type of tool.

Modules, Libraries, and API's are the greatest design aspect of Drupal and also its biggest liability. Quality control on these items are killing Drupal 7 for any serious deployments. Look at how many posts are on some of these modules that read "Sorry, I'm busy and can't do this for a couple months" or "last updated 18 weeks ago" etc. And everytime there is a big Drupal conference, module development will escalate and then fall like a rock. And worse yet, post conference changes usually involve feature-creep, forked builds, and more delays. That really sucks when you NEED the module to make your site work. But then again, I can create a new module that does what you want, post it up, make it work for my site and then tell everyone I am busy for a couple months and not update it for 18 weeks! #Fail.

BTW - I included Marketing in my comments as well - my Subject line :-)

Lagpro

Lagpro

Christopher James Francis Rodgers's picture

I am curios if you consider yourself among those you address in your subject line.

-Strictly End-User; loving Drupal regardless.


All the best; intended.
-Chris (great-grandma.com)


"The number one stated objective for Drupal is improving usability." ~Dries Buytaert *

Did not read comments so

ivanjaros's picture

Did not read comments so ...
Remember Drupal is more API than CMS whereas Wordpress is more CMS than API. Cant compare the two.

If you immediately know the candlelight is fire, then the meal was cooked a long time ago.

Christopher James Francis Rodgers's picture

d.o is killing me most notably when I got the following response
while trying to comment on another post to an effort to help
some poor devil...

[Your submission has triggered the spam filter and will not be accepted.]

wtf? adi? (like gdi, only using Ala)

All that aside...

Drupal 7 is my only child. What is Wordpress? What is Drupal 6? I have never heard of them.

Question of the Week

When I search from the Modules page,
and I have it filtered for D7 only;
and I use the choice "Most installed"
is it not true that D6's installation count for each module
is part of the total using in compiling the list that loads,
or is the ensuing list that loads based strictly upon
D7 installations of each module in the list that loads?

Please respond.

-baby

PS: This great stuff here, ...
Report from the University of Minnesota Drupal Usability Testing
http://drupal.org/node/1175694


All the best; intended.
-Chris (great-grandma.com)


"The number one stated objective for Drupal is improving usability." ~Dries Buytaert *

Make sure. . . .

jpw1116's picture

You're entering the Captcha code, aren't you?

Otherwise the spam filter's doing its job, I'd say.