High productivity

Have I mentioned that I loves me some Drupal?

Oh yes. I probably have. Anyway, in the last 48 hours of last week I managed to take two sites from photoshop mockup to fully functioning. Well, almost, anyway. There are of course some minor issues with Internet Exploder to deal with, and some pages to be tweaked.

[img_assist|nid=531|title=|desc=|link=url,http://mom2momsc.com|align=left|width=237|height=250]

[img_assist|nid=532|title=|desc=|link=url,http://heritage.islandpacket.com|align=left|width=147|height=250]

We created a common template architecture for niche sites that can rapidly be reskinned with CSS to create unique sites with minimal code changes. The rest, from the Heritage site course guide to the Mom2MomSC.com multimedia sharing page was implemented with a minimum of coding, and in very short order using community-contributed Drupal modules. We plugged in our proprietary Omniture analytics module, Vmix video integration and my own Videowrapper module to round out the sites.

I'm a fan of more abstracted frameworks like Ruby on Rails, Django and the like for highly specialized vertical applications, but for a rapid time-to market general purpose application platform it's hard to beat Drupal, where most of the common hooks like authentication, access control, content organization, are already in place, and hundreds (thousands) of other high-quality modules are just a click away. And if you want to plug in your own alternate solutions (like we have for integration with a proprietary corporate registration system), you can do that too. So basically, you can concentrate on features that achieve your business goals, rather than the ancillary elements.

What would you rather do? Spend your time an energy reinventing the wheel, or building revenue and audience generating products?

IMHO, which is worth what you paid for it, I'd rather run something that got me 95% of the way on a project and let me spend most of my time on the remaining edge cases, optimization and security than spend 95% of my time just getting the framework built to support whatever business goals I have.

Comments

Reinventing the wheel, of course!

Because you know I can do it better than all those other idiots that have come before me, even though I've been writing code for only two weeks and have never studied software engineering or computer science. I mean, they make everything so damned hard. Instead of all that icky worrying about date basses, and sequal queeries, I can just write:

if ($user == "randy" and $password == "Randyr00lz") {
    echo "Welcome, master!";
}
else {
    echo "Go away, n00b!";
}

and if my password gets hacked, I can just change the code!

Seriously, though, Drupal is the shit. My wife wants to make an internal site that has all of her knitting patterns stored, but she wants to be able to tag them and search them, with the search results showing her titles and a picture. A custom app for this would've been a week or more of programming. Instead, Drupal, CCK image fields, views, and contemplate, and boom, a usable beta in about 30 minutes. I think it took me longer to get the MySQL/Apache config correct for her Slackware 11 system than it took to actually build the application.

I haven't looked at Drupal 6 yet, but if CCK isn't part of core yet, then that's really freaking stupid.

Christian's picture

As far as I know, *parts* of CCK are moved to core in 6.x, but not the whole thing.

Drupal is great when you don't know what you're going to be tasked with creating next month or next week, and you deal with *some* common elements (UI, user management, security, etc) from one project to the next.

Would I create a specialized, highly optimized data service with it? Probably not. I'd use Rails, cuz that's what all the kewl kidz are doing. Then I'll do a screencast about it! Heh. I keed.