March 2012


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Brian Hayden <[log in to unmask]>
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UofMN Web Standards <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 30 Mar 2012 12:22:49 -0500
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On Mar 30, 2012, at 12:11 PM, Chad Fennell wrote:

> My own experience with Drupal was that yes, there was an initial steep
> learning curve (more so than WordPress).  But now I find it quite easy
> to implement a wide variety of sites and applications with it.  I am
> pretty sure we'd be running into some significant problems extending
> WordPress to handle our needs had we gone in that direction.  But, as
> I said, we're probably different than most departments in this regard.

Yeah. I wouldn't dream of using Wordpress for a site that makes much use of non-"article" data, particularly from external stores. That'd be a world of hurt. 

> As for calling MySQL a "toy" database, well that is just dripping with
> flame bait, and I won't take it :).

Well, the biggest issue (setting aside the well-known debates about ACID compliance, blah blah) is that Drupal assumes a flat table structure, because it's made for MySQL and MySQL is non-SQL-compliant by not providing a third naming layer in addition to the database and the table. We have Postgres databases with many "tables"(/relations), and use schemas to help keep things manageable. Most data stores of any size using Postgres or Oracle (or any other SQL-compliant database) do the same. Getting Drupal to work with these, especially if you want to really put Drupal to effective use by using Views, etc., requires some heavy-duty hacking. It's not a project to take on lightly, and you will get very little help in the Drupal wiki/forums. There are over 4,000 open bugs currently, which is a little ridiculous. It's a classic case of nobody wanting to fix the hard and unglamorous stuff. 

Which is not to say Drupal is "bad". We're not using it out of pure masochism--there's a reason for it. My point is, know what you're getting into, and evaluate whether you have the resources to do it. Clearly the Libraries do-- other departments may not. :)