A cautionary tale for the Drupal community

Don’t get cocky, kid.

Kevinjohn Gallagher recently wrote “WordPress has left the building”, expressing his colleagues’ and clients’ frustration at trying to use WordPress when CMS capabilities are required. His 15 points of pain for developing usable sites with WordPress are an interesting list for Drupal developers as well. We have good solutions (that are still improving!) for many of the items on that list. Yet, we still share a few of those pain points with WordPress.

Unfortunately, Kevinjohn has been getting attacked by many of the WordPress community. While many WP fans have been writing “How WordPress took the CMS crown, his piece about his agency dropping WordPress as its go-to website solution as provoked vitriol. Over at the WP Tavern, he writes:

[…] there are more posts on WordPress community sites discussing my CV and dyslexia than the actual content of my post.
Sadly in the last 7 days I’ve had 3 ddos attacks, 14 threats (4 “credible”) against myself or my family, multiple requests to have me removed from speaking at WordPress events

Thanksgiving wishes for Zen contributors

and how to do the same in your project

The Zen theme had its fifth birthday on October 11, 2011. While that milestone just slipped past without my notice, I’ve recently been thinking a lot about things that I’m grateful for. Zen, like Drupal core, improves because of the influx of new ideas and solutions to shared problems. And I’m extremely thankful to all those that have contributed their work.

More than simply saying “Thank you” to all those who’ve contributed patches to both the code and the documentation, I’ve decided to convert each contributor’s name into an actual Git commit. That sounds pretty geeky, but the real purpose of those commits is so each person’s name shows prominently where it belongs… on Zen’s Maintainers page.

I have a really useful Git tip for project maintainers below. But I’d also ask that you please join me (in the comments of this post) in thanking all of the people who have contributed to make Zen great.

Building in the buff

the developer’s “designing in the open”

Steve Fisher and I have talked about “designing in the open” on our Using Blue video podcast. The current design on that website is a work in progress; as we figure out how users are interacting with the content, we’ll tweak and refine the design. The concept is particularly useful in combating “the perfect is the enemy of the good.”

With my personal website, I’d like to extend the designing in the open concept right down to the roots. This site needs to be upgraded to Drupal 7, so I’ve decided to document and illustrate the entire process of rebooting my website.

This will not be a simple upgrade. I’ll be re-thinking the purpose and goals of my site and rebuilding it from the ground up. And I’ll be attempting to incorporate a myriad of design principles and best practices as I go.

Stop ignoring Lorem Ipsum

And learn to use your tools properly

A quick Google search shows the “Death to Lorem Ipsum” meme is a reoccurring one that is once again hitting the twittersphere this week while An Event Apart is in Boston. Their points about understanding the content during the design phase are completely essential when creating websites, but their rallying cry is completely off base.

Crying “death to lorem ipsum” because real content keeps breaking our design is like crying “death to hammers” because we keep hitting our thumb.

Imagine if Vera Wang was asked to design outfits for a team of people.

Let’s say her client doesn’t initially tell her anything about the people she needs to design clothing for. So, Vera uses Elle McPherson as the model. And the client approves of the design because, of course, it looks fantastic on Elle.

But when Lebron James and the Miami Heat show up for their outfits and look completely ridiculous in misshapen clothing, let me be clear…

Do not blame Elle McPherson!

Lorem ipsum is just a model of real content. If the designer uses the wrong model, its not the model’s fault.

Pages

Subscribe to JohnAlbin RSS