Oh wiki where art thou?

A recent thread on the Drupal documentation list has brought up once again the "why don't we have a wiki on Drupal.org?" question. It comes up regularly; you can set your watch by it.

What I've never understood is why anyone would want to take a step backwards from Drupal's handbooks to a simple wiki. How would removing features and capabilities help Drupal's huge pool of documentation?

What exactly makes something "a wiki"? Let's examine:

Benchmarking page loading

One of the major changes in Drupal 6 (where "major" is defined as "worthy of a mention in Dries' keynote") was a new feature of the menu and theme hooks. The newly introduced "file" and "file path" keys in those hooks' respective retun arrays. allow them to define files that get included conditionally, only when needed. In theory, that should be a big performance boost; page handlers are virtually never called except for on the page they handle, so loading all of that code on every other page is a waste of CPU cycles. Of course, there is also the added cost of the extra disk hit to load that one extra file we need. Modern operating systems should do a pretty good job of caching the file load, but that may vary with the configuration.

So just how much benefit did we get from two dozen fragile patches that were a glorified cut and paste? And is it worth doing more of it? Let's benchmark it and find out.

DrupalCon Boston: Biggest DrupalCon Ever!

So I am finally back from Boston, and have slept off the jetlag and DST change, so I can finally get caught up on writing about Drupal's latest foray into the world of conventions. Sadly I had trouble with the wireless at my hotel as well as at the convention center, so writing anything up before now wasn't really feasible. Drat.

I was actually a bit disapppointed at this DrupalCon; so many amazing talks, and I only managed to see a quarter of them! Hopefully the videos will be online soon, so I'll be able to see what I missed.

I also had an entourage this time. Three of us from Palantir were in Boston; myself, George DeMet, and Tiffany Farriss. We arrived Sunday, the day before the conference. What is a bunch of geeks to do right before a major conference? Eat, of course!

Quote 103

Drupal makes sandwiches happen.

— Leslie Hawthorne

Quote 102

Open source is made of meat.

— Chris DiBona

Quote 101

Popular open source software is more secure than unpopular open source software, because insecure software becomes unpopular fast. [That doesn't happen for proprietary software.]

— Chris DiBona

See you in Boston!

DrupalCon Boston is only one week away! Are you excited yet? I am, and so are 799 other people. We've filled the conference center and sold out the conference at 800 people. Yikes! I won't be able to shake hands with more than a third of you. :-)

I have a fairly light schedule this time around, at least on the presenter side.

Quote 99

I find your lack of documentation disturbing.

— Darth Coder

D7 Database update: Almost there

The new database system for Drupal 7 that I've been talking about for the past few months is nearly ready for submission. With chx's visit to Chicago we were able to refactor it for far better modularity and cleanliness. As of yesterday, the system is able to navigate around Drupal, submit forms, create and edit nodes, and view the insanely heavy modules admin page. I still need to make it work with the installer, but it's looking very promising. A very recent copy of the new code base, pre-Drupal-integration, is available in my sandbox.

Here's a brief list of the features it offers:

Drupal 6, now more than ever

For those who haven't really been following it, several hundred contributors, 13 months, and tens of thousands of lines of code have gone into making the only version of Drupal ever that is better than Drupal 5. So, naturally, we've released it and called it Drupal 6.

Drupal 6 boasts a boat load of new functionality, ranging from Ajaxy yumminess throughout the system to native support for OpenID to vastly enhanced multi-lingual support. Several entire subsystems have been either overhauled or totally rewritten to proivde more power, flexibility, and speed. The official press release has the complete rundown, or for the more visually inclined there's a new features screencast. For me, though, the new theming system is feature numero uno.

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