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Drupal: vote up or down

Doug wrote
> I've been managing all my web assets the old fashion way...
> Galleries, blogs, and comments look like they demand a different
> approach...

Hi, Doug. Actually, I would say that even simple, static content needs a 
better approach. But the old-fashioned way has hung on for so long, 
because it's humanly possible to manage a web site this way. However, 
once you start using a CMS, you won't go back, even for static content. 
Because using a CMS is so much more flexible, convenient, and fast. Gone 
are the days of a 10-page site being 10 times as complicated as a 1-page 
site. Now, if you can do it for 1 page, you can do it just as easily for 

> ... drupal...  Anyone here have experience/opinions about this
> "content management system"?

I've used Drupal for several of my sites, the most notable being (, because it's where I try out 
all my ideas before unleashing them on the world. This site started as a 
simple database of quotes from the show Gilmore Girls. But it's grown 
substantially, because I've been adding features, just by using 
off-the-shelf Drupal modules.

The quote database was going to require custom programming. So I chose 
Drupal for this site, because the programmer documentation is pretty 
good, and it's easy to get started with. At the time, I also tried 
Joomla, but the developer docs I could find were shallow. They didn't go 
into enough detail for me, a programmer, to get started extending 
Joomla. On the other hand, using a single link from the Drupal homepage, 
I found all the documentation I needed to get going.

Now Drupal is the standard platform I use and recommend.

> I have done nothing with <?php/> or mysql...

You shouldn't have any trouble getting into either of these. The online 
documentation at and are also invaluable, BTW.

> The folks over at drupal claim they are trying it make
> it so you don't have to know what all is going on with those 50 tables
> in the mysql database (but it might help).

Rarely, it helps. I think I've had to go into a Drupal database one... 
no, two times. Because I do all that custom programming. If you do need 
to go into the database, it's not hard to figure out what's going on 
with all those tables, even without any documentation. As a programmer, 
I found the Drupal architecture to be very intuitive and easy to work with.

> I've got a web site, and it needs a gallery for pictures of animated
> quaternions.

I'd need to know more about the specifics of your project to offer 
specific advice. But my general advice:

* Unless you need a specific feature provided by version 5 (or a v5-only 
module), stick with Drupal 4.7 for now, and plan to upgrade later. 
There's a better selection of modules for 4.7, because many 4.7 modules 
have still not been updated for v5 yet. And there are many, many themes 
that have not yet been ported for v5. (Of course, if you're using a 
custom theme, this doesn't matter.)

* No matter what software you decide to use, whether Drupal, Joomla, or 
something else... Set up a test site to try out the software, and then 
deploy it when you have everything working the way you want. You may 
need to reconstruct portions of the database to do this. Keep track of 
which these are while you're going through the exercise.

* is your friend. Especially .

I'd also be interested in hearing about your experiences. Please feel 
free to email.



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