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Old Sep 2, 2013, 08:25 PM   #1
aaronvan
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Drupal doesn't get enough hate

Really, it doesn't. Anything this unintuitive, confusing, and ugly to work with deserves as much hate as the world can deliver. Seriously, more hate please.
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 10:02 PM   #2
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Drupal takes time and patience to learn and understand. It most certainly has a very steep learning curve. Once you do understand it you'll appreciate it. While it may be the hardest CMS to learn its also one of the most robust and well coded scripts you can work with.

Don't hate, just take the time to learn it. Or not
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Old Sep 3, 2013, 10:07 AM   #3
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Drupal takes time and patience to learn and understand. It most certainly has a very steep learning curve. Once you do understand it you'll appreciate it. While it may be the hardest CMS to learn its also one of the most robust and well coded scripts you can work with.

Don't hate, just take the time to learn it. Or not
Thanks, I was just venting! Someday soon I be able to devote the time to mastering Drupal. Meanwhile, looming deadlines require me to fall back and regroup with good old Wordpress.
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Old Sep 3, 2013, 11:47 AM   #4
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Really, it doesn't. Anything this unintuitive, confusing, and ugly to work with deserves as much hate as the world can deliver. Seriously, more hate please.
I completely understand your frustration - I am a professional Drupal developer with many years experience using it and creating modules for it and work on Drupal sites on the Acquia SaaS at my present gig. I saw your most recent reply and know you were just venting (I've done my share) -- and this reply really is more for the collective users here, not just you. I'll explain below, it's a long one (maybe record breaking here on MacRumors) - I apologize in advance but it's necessary as I am going to hit on some big points.

With that disclaimer noted, as an overview what many people might not know is Drupal is now enterprise level with many government, education and corporate web sites using it with LAMP setups and SaaS cloud setups all over the world. It's by far the most advanced open source CMS out there with thousands of themes and modules (plugins) available with a myriad of customization possibilities to create the most simple to the most complex sites imaginable. It's extensive API allows for granular level tweaking and alterations of code and database through a system of hooks and cascading templates and file system so overriding is plentiful, something developers appreciate. The theming system is separate from content, code and database so it's very easy to add and create custom skins and layouts, from simple to multilingual/international. Drupal is also very easily configured for multi-site which means more than one site sharing either the same code base or database or any incarnation of each.

Of course, all this is daunting to learn - especially the API documentation which often lacks examples and simply shows you syntax or structure of the functions involved. As the product is continually advancing, numerous functions get deprecated and often the docs don't get updated promptly. Any experienced Drupal developer knows to read and participate in the comments, apply patches, avoid dev or betas if possible, and test often. But on the other hand, the functions are powerful and portable, and if you know PHP and SQL very well you can use various subsets of API's such as form API or the entity API to easily create portable, scalable and exportable code to create forms, query the database, etc.

It takes time to learn the hook system and various API's, but once mastered and learn how Drupal cascade of templates and file system works, a quality developer can in a very short period of time create a custom site built off the basic structures and modules/themes which are shared by the community.

The point I am making is, out of the box Drupal is not all that. Even if one choose only to use third party modules and themes (aka "contrib") and simply install those and customize entirely by the admin interface - a certain level of functionality and customization will be diminished for a lay person expecting professional looking results and performance. I choose my words carefully, here.

From an enterprise perspective, Drupal is well suited in the cloud layer and offers advanced caching support including memcache, APC and Varnish among others. SOLR is easily integrated for professional site indexing and searching. Noting Drupal is, after all, a CMS -- with the proper modules for you can easily configure a powerful front end admin interface for inline content editing and can add and customize editors, file managers, workflow and revision modules to keep content organized and meet the demands of corporate clients.

From a DIY perspective, Drupal accounts for over 330,000 installs in 2012 vs. over 4.4 million for Wordpress. But these are not the same product in terms of features and performance, and many users obviously prefer a more easily configured and more out of the box solution like Wordpress. Even so, any Drupal site can be made to look like and function like a Wordpress site, but not true the other way around. Also, there are so many excellent contrib and licensed themes available, plus Drupal being around so long many major bugs lead to stable code for most applications, it all makes Drupal an industry leader for small, medium and now enterprise level sites in features and performance.

I wanted to take the time to distinguish Drupal, not to sell it to you -- it all depends on your needs and time, of course. A well informed and educated consumer can make the proper choice, and that's really what this reply is about. To also verify that the learning curve to master the API's and the sheer number of choices can be daunting to some. That's why it's not for everyone and why people vent just like you did, here. As noted earlier, I've been there, done that. But in the end, I am rewarded with powerful development and theming tools, and extremely happy clients. Same for me and my personal site.

Please note in the upcoming version 8 expect to see a more powerful API, support for Oracle and other DB formats via an abstraction layer, and a fully object oriented approach to the code base. Meanwhile, version 7 is extremely stable and well supported by the community, so it's not going anywhere fast compared to some companies that have far too frequent major release cycles.

Now you know a little more about it after struggling through the same kind of investigative tasks we all went through in the outset. There is money to be made for professional developers, and your clients will appreciate the incredible customization and ability to meet demanding requirements.

Put it all together, that's Drupal, for better or worse, and I hope you found this comment educational and fair and balanced. Cheers.
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Old Sep 9, 2013, 09:45 AM   #5
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Thanks, I was just venting! Someday soon I be able to devote the time to mastering Drupal. Meanwhile, looming deadlines require me to fall back and regroup with good old Wordpress.

keep learning, and it will pay off.

that's why I like the Acquia Dev Desktop. you can set up a Drupal test site in less than a minute.
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Old Sep 9, 2013, 04:36 PM   #6
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keep learning, and it will pay off.

that's why I like the Acquia Dev Desktop. you can set up a Drupal test site in less than a minute.
Yep, and I'm a huge advocate of drush, the CLI tool for Drupal that simplifies common and complex development, get/set, reporting, DB mgt and maintenance and setup tasks too many to name here. If you're a Drupal developer and don't use drush every day, you'll spank yourself.
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Old Sep 9, 2013, 08:45 PM   #7
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Photics.com runs on WordPress because it's so low maintenance. I tried switching it to Drupal twice, and switched back to WordPress both times.

Besides higher maintenance, there's another big problem with Drupal... upgrading! Modules for Drupal 6 don't run on Drupal 7. And modules on Drupal 7 don't run on Drupal 8.

I think the Drupal developers finally got smart, as I think Drupal 9 is supposed to have backwards compatibility for Drupal 8 modules. It seems the new plan is to have at least one generation of backwards compatibility. This should make upgrading easier in the future. But right now, it's looking like a lot of work.

On another website I run, there are approximately 60 modules installed. I'm quite concerned about the amount of work required to upgrade a multi-site setup from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. I'm figuring that many of the modules might not make it. That's going to make it a lot harder to upgrade my site. To get new Drupal features, I have to be careful about not losing existing features.

Here's a +20 minute YouTube video... ON HELLO WORLD! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-aubgnL72s ...just to get "Hello World" in Drupal 8 is a +20 minute video.

Drush is useful... but WordPress is much easier. I click a link and boom... my site gets updated. That might not seem like such a big issue, but there are a lot of updates with Drupal core and Drupal modules. On average, something needs updating every few days.

Does that mean I hate Drupal? No! I think Drupal is great! I'm a far more successful web developer because of Drupal. Views is powerful. The level of control over a website is superb. Understandably, the extra power requires greater upkeep.
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Old Sep 10, 2013, 10:10 AM   #8
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Besides higher maintenance, there's another big problem with Drupal... upgrading! Modules for Drupal 6 don't run on Drupal 7. And modules on Drupal 7 don't run on Drupal 8.
You're over reaching on the hate!

There was a long, long period of time between releases 6 and 7 so contrib module developers had plenty of time to create upgrade paths which is well documented in the API and easy to implement and install. The same will be true for 7 to 8, and in both situations major versions/enhancements were involved. The same upgrade path is true for minor versions as well. Due to the open source community and sheer number and vast differences of modules, you cannot expect any major upgrade to be simple. Just like going from 32-bit to 64-bit software, just like between major releases of OSX, just like Windows upgrading. Version 8 is still in beta, for crying out loud.

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Here's a +20 minute YouTube video... ON HELLO WORLD! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-aubgnL72s ...just to get "Hello World" in Drupal 8 is a +20 minute video.
Yours was an unfair and misrepresented comment, with all due respect. This video is for developers and discusses in depth the beta version 8 file structure differences and custom module setup for advanced development in YAML syntax, Object Oriented (MVC) vastly different than version 7. This is NOT a video on just how to post a hello world on the home page as some my construe based on your lack of details.

I'm not replying as a fanboy, I'm stating facts. I mean no disrespect, Photics, but Wordpress plugin coding paradigms and under the hood engineering is nothing like Drupal, and you are not comparing apples to apples. In my earlier comments I hit on fair comparisons and agreed with the OP on many points they reaised. That's why I want you to know I am kinda picking on you, not defending out of blind loyalty.
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Old Sep 10, 2013, 11:41 AM   #9
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Yep, and I'm a huge advocate of drush, the CLI tool for Drupal that simplifies common and complex development, get/set, reporting, DB mgt and maintenance and setup tasks too many to name here. If you're a Drupal developer and don't use drush every day, you'll spank yourself.
I still haven't gotten around to using Drush; been meaning to for a long time.

One thing that bothers me about Drupal is it really does slow down with a lot of modules. Speed is actually my only complaint, though. I actually find Drupal to be much easier to build with than Wordpress, because once one understands Views, Regions, and Blocks, the capabilities are endless.
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Old Sep 10, 2013, 01:23 PM   #10
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I still haven't gotten around to using Drush; been meaning to for a long time. One thing that bothers me about Drupal is it really does slow down with a lot of modules. Speed is actually my only complaint, though. I actually find Drupal to be much easier to build with than Wordpress, because once one understands Views, Regions, and Blocks, the capabilities are endless.
I hit on this earlier and will expand a little.

Using Acquia SaaS as a great example, there are 4 cache levels -- 1) Drupal itself in its performance settings which also include CSS/JSS compression 2) memcache (memory based as name implies) 3) APC (PHP level) and 4) Varnish (external). Most pages are cached in two or more, so its up to you to learn about them and get them installed and configured. Of course a cloud or clustered environment which introduces load balancers, multiple webs and DB with external caching at the LB level is *key* to speed, but most times incorrect Drupal cache settings (min/max set too low) are the most common culprit if many modules are involved. Acquia has something called INSIGHT testing which informs the webmaster of modules that slow things down and are unnecessary in a production environment that should be disabled, i.e. devel, views_ui, and a few notable others, including fast 404 other performance tweaks. Sometimes just adding max_memory_limit in settings.php set to allow more RAM will offer improved performance in combination with the above.

My point is caching is key, and even on WP sites, Joomla and other open source CMS nothing can be more important on a production site. My point in posting this response was to let you know Drupal supports them all in the form of easy integration and stats/reporting modules in the admin side or via tools like New Relic for monitoring a cluster or web server.

Quick note on views to those wondering: It's an ad hoc Query builder with a GUI admin interface that permits database queries which return themed results (pages, calendars, carousels, stats, reports, normal content) with minimal effort. Make complex queries using simple tools and output in Drupal highly customized. Views is incredible as it only requires basic knowledge of Drupal and DB queries, not a guru tool.
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Old Sep 10, 2013, 01:29 PM   #11
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EZ Publish

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I completely understand your frustration - I am a professional Drupal developer with many years experience using it and creating modules for it... (huge post - see above) ...all together, that's Drupal, for better or worse, and I hope you found this comment educational and fair and balanced. Cheers.
Have you had any experience of eZ Publish?

...you just sounded like a really informed person and ideal to ask this of.
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Old Sep 10, 2013, 06:13 PM   #12
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Have you had any experience of eZ Publish?

...you just sounded like a really informed person and ideal to ask this of.
I am familiar with it a few years back, I know it's a derivative of Symfony2 converted to an open source CMS in the community realm and requires a components library for advanced development (a dependency). Nice open box alternative to Drupal/Joomla. I recall the enterprise level customer support is not free if one needs it (but Acquia cloud isn't, either).

Why do you ask?
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Old Sep 10, 2013, 07:46 PM   #13
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I mean no disrespect
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That's why I want you to know I am kinda picking on you
Heh, so which is it?

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You're over reaching on the hate!
I don't hate Drupal. I like it a lot. It's awesome software, but there are some serious pitfalls that people (non-developers or beginners) might not be aware of.

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The same will be true for 7 to 8, and in both situations major versions/enhancements were involved. The same upgrade path is true for minor versions as well. Due to the open source community and sheer number and vast differences of modules, you cannot expect any major upgrade to be simple. Just like going from 32-bit to 64-bit software, just like between major releases of OSX, just like Windows upgrading. Version 8 is still in beta, for crying out loud.
Wasn't Apple showing off today how much easier it is for developers to go from 32-BIT to 64-BIT on iOS today? I look more at the future than the past. Fortunately, Drupal is trying to move in the right direction. If it takes an army of developers years to go from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8, how's a small graphics design shop (heavy on artists / light on developers) supposed to keep up with that?

Also, I don't remember much grief with upgrading WordPress from 2 to 3.

Additionally, I know of sites stuck on Drupal 6 because upgrading to Drupal 7 is still a problem for them... old modules were mainly to blame. Should they do better? Yeah, but that's irreverent. The point is that the upgrading process is difficult. I don't complain too hard because I know that makes me more important as a Drupal developer... but that's also a trap clients (or even new developers) might not be aware of.

With Drupal, setting up the site is only part of the battle. Maintaining it is also a lot of work. Most people don't seem to care about the effort involved. They just want it to work and they want their cool features now.

If a mom-and-pop store wanted me to design a website for them, where Drupal was required, I'd strongly recommend to keep the module usage to a minimum. If I did use a custom module, I'd try to pick from the ones that are highly used...

https://drupal.org/project/usage

Something like Webform (https://drupal.org/project/webform) is probably going to be OK. It should make it to Drupal 8. But something like the Support Ticketing System (https://drupal.org/project/support) isn't as popular. Will it be ported to Drupal 8? I don't know. What happens when a business depends on that functionality? Drupal developers aren't cheap. A small clothing store isn't going to want to pay $50,000-$100,000 for custom module development.

That's not Drupal hate. That's just a big concern I have with Drupal.

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Yours was an unfair and misrepresented comment, with all due respect. This video is for developers and discusses in depth the beta version 8 file structure differences and custom module setup for advanced development in YAML syntax, Object Oriented (MVC) vastly different than version 7. This is NOT a video on just how to post a hello world on the home page as some my construe based on your lack of details.
It's an exceptional video - highly detailed. The problem is that it shows how much understanding and effort is required to go from a very basic Drupal 7 module to a very basic Drupal 8 module.

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I'm not replying as a fanboy, I'm stating facts. I mean no disrespect, Photics, but Wordpress plugin coding paradigms and under the hood engineering is nothing like Drupal, and you are not comparing apples to apples.
WordPress plugin development was no picnic for me either. I've actually been more successful with Drupal module development. I think it's a fair comparison because WordPress and Drupal are popular content management systems. If you just want a simple site, I think WordPress is easier to use. If you need more customization, that's when I think Drupal makes more sense.

In my WordPress vs Drupal article, I compared WordPress to a sports car and Drupal to a truck. Both are vehicles that have specific purposes. I like them both.

Anyway, good discussion!

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One thing that bothers me about Drupal is it really does slow down with a lot of modules.
That's one of the things I like about Drupal. It's crazy fast! It has page caching as part of core. Views can also use caching. I did have some trouble with the white screen of death, but then I just upped the settings in server config settings. I was surprised of the performance I got out of a Mac Mini. (Yeah, a Mac Mini. HA HA! )
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 08:24 AM   #14
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...how much easier it is for developers to go from 32-BIT to 64-BIT on iOS today...
I read your entire response. It's one thing to upgrade to the next major version from the end user perspective, another from the developer perspective. In other words, Drupal has well defined upgrade paths and bountiful support for developers to create V7 modules from V6, and plenty of time. But from the end user, they don't care about technicalities and the only meaningful measure of time is "now", of course. So my reply was to let you know that it's never easy to upgrade from an end user perspective but developers have a clear path if they wish to modernize their modules. So when you note the 32-bit iOS thing as you did, you mixed end user and developer worlds. This forum we're replying in now is a technical forum, so my comments were mostly about Drupal's development community and practices. I should have refrained from using front end metaphors, so I apologize for not making that point clearer.

One thing we disagree on: "WordPress to a sports car and Drupal to a truck"

To me, WP is like an economy car and Drupal is like a transformer. That is to say, the former gets you where you want to go and easily, the latter can take you far beyond but read the damn manual first!

Thanks for posting your other comments, I feel the same way and appreciate the word being spread about Drupal including the negative so users get a more accurate portrayal of a complex but powerful CMS like this.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 05:30 PM   #15
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It's one thing to upgrade to the next major version from the end user perspective, another from the developer perspective.
Well, I meant from the developer perspective. I thought I saw something about Epic Games saying how it took two hours to go to 64-BIT.

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One thing we disagree on: "WordPress to a sports car and Drupal to a truck"
Ha, I was thinking of writing Apache Helicopter or Tank yesterday. Drupal is so customizable and powerful. Although, I have seen some strong defense of WordPress as a capable CMS.

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Thanks for posting your other comments, I feel the same way and appreciate the word being spread about Drupal including the negative so users get a more accurate portrayal of a complex but powerful CMS like this.
Ah, you understand. I'm not bashing on Drupal. I think it's great software, but I also think it is important not to over-hype Drupal... like here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsYTvhGhmYo ...ha ha! I felt that was a little over the top.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 12:33 AM   #16
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Wordpress is very appealing, but I think, at least in my own experience, this appeal comes from the fact that it's superior in its Theme department. I started using Drupal with 6, about 3 years ago. The themes were garbage. Even still, most of the free themes do not look that well from a design standpoint.

I don't know why Wordpress attracts all the designers, as it is actually very simple to create a Drupal theme. I have never created a Wordpress theme, but I have looked into it, and it actually seems a bit more complicated than Drupal, which is, for the most part, laying out regions in template files and then styling them. It's even incredibly easy to incorporate Sass and Compass, which most of the base themes do now.

That is my other major gripe with Drupal, but not as much as it used to be, as a higher quality of themes are coming out for D all the time.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 05:26 AM   #17
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Well, I meant from the developer perspective. I thought I saw something about Epic Games saying how it took two hours to go to 64-BIT.
Let's be realistic here - D7 modules are procedural PHP. D8 is MVC and strictly object oriented -- for those who know MVC/OOP it's a sensible and improvement in the framework for all kinds of technical reasons and a pretty simple integration. But this is open source PHP and many contrib module authors don't use MVC, don't grasp advanced programming concepts as OOP and YAML. For many, this will seem like learning a new language. In a way, it is, even if they are told it's "better" for a myriad of reasons. That video you linked here, to me, could have been reduced to a 5 minute example of MVC setup in Drupal as I know the construct involved. But the author correctly assumed knowledge of D7 procedural module setup and that the basic concepts of MVC with the controller, routing config and so on are explained properly for novices. That's why it's a 20 minute video.

I want to ensure the people following this understand D8 Drupal, still in beta, is not your average CMS written in PHP procedurally. It's a major change, one that should have happened a long time ago, using modern coding standards and sensibly integrated into module design so code can easily be re-used, shared and ported, APIs become standardized and everyone follows the same core method which will result in more stable code.

This is not just a simple 32-bit to 64-bit kind of change like Epic endured for all of two hours. But, on the other hand, it's wholly good and much needed. I personally think upsetting kiddie scripters who only know procedural and even then do it badly is a good thing for Drupal in the long run if it wants to continue to expand it markets and its reputation as a stable, quality CMS.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 09:33 AM   #18
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Let's be realistic here - D7 modules are procedural PHP. D8 is MVC and strictly object oriented -- for those who know MVC/OOP it's a sensible and improvement in the framework for all kinds of technical reasons and a pretty simple integration. But this is open source PHP and many contrib module authors don't use MVC, don't grasp advanced programming concepts as OOP and YAML. For many, this will seem like learning a new language. In a way, it is, even if they are told it's "better" for a myriad of reasons. That video you linked here, to me, could have been reduced to a 5 minute example of MVC setup in Drupal as I know the construct involved. But the author correctly assumed knowledge of D7 procedural module setup and that the basic concepts of MVC with the controller, routing config and so on are explained properly for novices. That's why it's a 20 minute video.

I want to ensure the people following this understand D8 Drupal, still in beta, is not your average CMS written in PHP procedurally. It's a major change, one that should have happened a long time ago, using modern coding standards and sensibly integrated into module design so code can easily be re-used, shared and ported, APIs become standardized and everyone follows the same core method which will result in more stable code.

This is not just a simple 32-bit to 64-bit kind of change like Epic endured for all of two hours. But, on the other hand, it's wholly good and much needed. I personally think upsetting kiddie scripters who only know procedural and even then do it badly is a good thing for Drupal in the long run if it wants to continue to expand it markets and its reputation as a stable, quality CMS.
I didn't know D7 wasn't OOP...I always thought it was. Or is it strictly modules that aren't? Anyways, I think that is huge, and I think will be a great opportunity for devs to embrace, especially if they don't know OOP. I'm not a developer, but think about it sometimes, and if I was going to really dig into PHP, I would definitely do it through Drupal since it is such a valuable and effective way to learn. That is how I learned a big chunk of design, by learning to make Drupal themes. Another +1 for Drupal.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 09:45 AM   #19
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D7 core is mostly procedural, contrib modules are a bit of a mix and the better ones in term of coding standards usually are OOP (class oriented). In D8 you got YAML (data oriented serialization rather than document markup) and MVC (component driven architecture) each of which will be new concepts in D8 core and module. Plus the DB abstraction layer will support Oracle natively. I am a developer, so anyone else would find this boring, but it is worth noting for those into Drupal module development.

Thanks for contributing.
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Old Sep 20, 2013, 11:57 AM   #20
CompuMan
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Join Date: Jul 2013
It's funny, because I feel like I am on a never ending search for a content management system. WordPress is good, but I want more. I'm not a huge fan of Drupal or Joomla either. I was looking at this article about alternative CMSs - http://www.wiredtree.com/blog/5-cont...ld-know-about/ - do people have thoughts on a CMS like Statamic or Concrete 5?
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