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Drupal 6 and what I’m doing about it

Well Drupal 6 is now in Beta (4th one to be exact), and I’ve finally decided to take a good look at it. Well, saying ‘finally’ isn’t exactly true. I was testing it when it was still in alpha. I was the one that found it confusing how disabling the PHP filter module left the PHP filter in the system. Anyways, enough about that. I have been looking at the 4th beta of Drupal and I have to admit, it’s not all that close to being ready for primetime. Drupal 5 was a ridiculously stable beta. Drupal 5 only had 2 beta’s and 2 release candidates before it was available for an official release.

I remember starting to built the CIS website when Drupal 5 was in beta-2, and then upgrading to the respective versions as time went on, so that when Drupal 5 was ready for primetime, the CIS website was good to go. I got the idea from lullabot’s development of the twit.tv website. Lullabot had a bit more of an advanced way of development with the head version of Drupal 4.7, where they started each new day with an updated version of Drupal HEAD. Back when I was building the CIS site, I didn’t know enough about CVS (unfortunately) to be able to have that style of development. One day I might develop a site like that.

I do notice a bit of over engineering in Drupal 6. The team of developers lost their focus, and it looks like a huge chunk of what went in before the code freeze was a lot of ‘cool’ functionality that unfortunately didn’t get tested thoroughly before being committed. I haven’t looked at all the modules yet, but from what I’ve seen so far, I wouldn’t be surprised if beta goes to 5 or 6 before a release candidate. BUT! Even though I criticize, I am doing my part. I’m finding these bugs and submitting them! If I wasn’t doing my part in the bug search and squash, I wouldn’t have any right being as critical as I am about the development of Drupal 6.

I’ve been using eclipse as my development environment for sometime now. I’ve followed all the steps I’ve needed to follow to get my development environment what it needs to be to start creating patches for Drupal. Soon I’ll be creating patches and submitting them to the cause.

One problem I did find was that the register page, password request page, and login page all have the same title “Log in”. That is rather confusing. I submitted it, and it seems to be getting some traction. If I knew how to write a patch for it, I would have written one and submitted it. There have been changes to the Drupal menu system, so I’d need to learn the new menu system, learn how to create the patch, create the patch, and then submit it! Volunteering time to this Drupal thing can get exhausting if you aren’t all that enthusiastic about Drupal. I guess I’m just a Drupal nut!

Comments

Agreed. I'm relatively new to Drupal and the first thing I did was try Drupal 6 beta 3. I ran into numerous bugs and quirks right away. I can see some very nice features to it, but it seems like it has a ways to go before it's ready for mainstream.

 

Drupal 5.5 on the other hand seems rock solid, though it doesn't seem as streamlined nor does it have all of the out-of-the-box features (like OpenID, although it can be relatively easy to add).