Sunday, July 27, 2008

July 2008: Drupal 5 or Drupal 6. Which do I choose?

It's July 2008. You are new to Drupal and you don't know which version to begin with...

Regarding which Drupal version to use, please don't get confused.

FACT: The most popular Drupal version is Drupal 5 (to date).
FACT: D5.0 was released Jan. 15, 2006 while D6.0 was released Feb. 14 2008.

What do people consider in choosing?
  • Built-in features. Usually the latest version has the neatest features (fortified and improved). Of course, you need to create a list of all your needed features. You don't expect Drupal to do everything for you. You''ll have to install or code some of the things that are not inherent. Which lead me to...

  • Contributed modules. Some Drupal developers are not moving to D6 because Views and CCK for D6 are not yet in their final version. These two modules are the most essential in terms of building a Drupal-based website on-the-fly (I myself am a CCK addict). And since both are in the early release candidate versions, many are not-so-hesitant to switch to D6. My advise to you? Create a list of features that your website needs and check if the functioanlities have a compatible module in the Drupal version that you are suspecting to use. Find those modules here.
Interestingly, Views and CCK for Drupal 6 already have release candidates.
  • Buzz. Drupal developers are segregated in many ways: Geography, Culture, Gender, Motive, etc. Some are there only to Drupal services, and some are there to enjoy collaborating with other people by learning/creating cool functionalities and software improvements. No matter what the motives are, "hype" is always there to guide everyone in the hive. What?@# You're not familiar with any Drupal events? Now is the best time to buy an event ticket to attend one, or, organize one with your local community.

  • Documentation, Learning Resources, and Support. Are there good Drupal books I can buy? Are the new Drupal hooks well documented? Are screencasts and online classes available? Are Drupal mentors within reach in my local community? --These and more will definitely define your Drupal experience. It is very critical to have good support and back-up in times of dreary dead-ends. If you find yourself not-at-ease with your local community... then join another community. Or better yet, get yourself on a chatty mood, ask, and participate in forums and Drupal chatrooms. Get that well-deserved support you are longing for and get ready for some Drupal lovin' --and make sure your code of ethics are intact (so as not to get kicked out).
Happy now? I hope you found your nirvana. I know it sounds like you'll need a lot of patience to wait for everything you desire (for your website that is) but the good thing is that there are hundreds of people helping and reaching-out to make Drupal the best web framework ever.

RESOURCES ONLINE to prove my point

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