[thelist] What's a Programmer To Do?

Fred Jones fredthejonester at gmail.com
Wed Apr 1 14:31:03 CDT 2009

> Are you working as a freelancer, with an agency, or inhouse, and what
> service exactly are you providing/do you want to provide (if you don't mind
> my asking), Fred?

I work freelance. There is a company I often work for as a
sub-contractor, but I am trying to do more and more freelance work
now. What do I provide? Whatever my clients want. :)

Basically I make simple to medium complexity sites using Drupal these
days. What do I *want* to be doing? More programming and less Drupal
diddling. lol.

> Speaking from personal experience I have always found Drupal a pain. It is
> very easy to set *something* up for the layman, but I find Drupal is not the
> ideal system for your average website (or even many specialised websites) —
> in my mind it lends itself very specifically to large communities of
> contributor/authors working on large documents or projects that require some
> kind of peer/group review/ammendment process. Even then I find the
> taxonomies incredibly taxing 'haha', the relationships very limited for any
> serious information architecture customisation, and have generally found the
> whole set up very difficult to customise on any intricate level. In the past
> I've set up two Drupal sites at clients' request, and nobody has been
> satisfied with the end product…

I can defend Drupal here. The learning curve is fairly steep, but once
you know the API and can code modules and/or play with template files,
it is quite flexible. The hook system I feel is quite elegant and
provides excellent access at data without hacking any core files--I
have indeed never had to hack any core files for any site--the API and
hooks allow me to do what I need to do.

The drawbacks of the API are, IMHO, the lack of OO and the lack of a
strong database abstraction layer. There are other complaints others
have, but those are mine. :)

It also, of course, has a very large set of modules. In fact it's hard
to keep up with them and the functionality provided by them is fairly
wide-ranging. That said, it also has its limitations of course and for
more corporate work with complex work flows etc. I am told that other
tools are far better.


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