Drupal 4.8/5.0 will have an installer

Last month, it was announced that Drupal will have an installer included in the next major release of Drupal. The installer will not only automate the creation of the required Drupal database tables for you, but should also allow for the creation of "install profiles".

However, this patch is more than just usability: it supports "install profiles" so that anyone can create a distribution out of Drupal core, contributed modules, and themes. This will begin a new era in Drupal's life. Without a doubt, there will be a Drupal for blogger distribution, and a forum distribution is already in the works. Also, new installations of Drupal will only contain database tables for the modules you've actually enabled.

While the announcement of this installer was last month, I really have not had much time to actually check how the installer will actually work. While I would expect the installer to work as easily as installers in other content management systems, I've learned over the years to not count my chickens before they hatch. Today, someone has posted a very good article on what Drupal users can expect in the next major update of their application.

Replacing the Drupal Dashboard

A sleepless night for Earl Miles late last week provided the Drupal community a replacement to his Dashboard module. Earl Miles announced a successor to Dashboard at his site, Angry Donuts. The new module is the Panels module and I expect we'll be seeing it used a lot by Drupal's users, especially newcomers of Drupal and those less inclined to dig into the PHP code.

Dashboard the previous module, allowed Drupal developers an easy way to implement "simple" two-column layouts of content (called nodes in Drupal) that are not sidebars. While you can put blocks about anywhere in Drupal, the core doesn't offer an easy way to put content outside the "main body". While dashboard overcame the "single column" for content obstacle, it required knowledge of PHP to implement.

A first look at mojoPortal

A couple days ago I opened my Thunderbird e-mail client on my Windows XP system and found an e-mail from Joe Audette of the mojoPortal project. "Mojo whata?", I asked. I thought I knew most of the content management projects (CMS) projects around, but this one didn't ring a bell. After reading his e-mail, I understood I likely have not heard much about his project because my focus on CMS has been a little too narrow lately.

In his e-mail, Audette writes, "Hi, just wondering if you only cover CMS's using php technology or if you would consider giving any press to .NET/Mono based projects? Any coverage of my project mojoPortal would be much appreciated."

As I've mentioned in past posts, I have a strong desire to cover more than just PHP Web applications. mojoPortal, named after Audette's dog, is written in C# and runs under ASP.NET on Windows or under mono on Linux or Mac. Already the talk of a CMS using a blend of Microsoft and open source tools was peaking my interest.

They Hate Drupal, They Love Drupal

Does Drupal make the grade? The answer to that question evidently depends on who you ask. Last week, the Tech Republic posted a review by Justin James on the Drupal content management system. Mr. James concluded that "Overall, Drupal does not make the grade". This week the Drupal community is all a buzz over the decision for IBM's developerWorks to use Drupal for designing, developing, and deploying a collaborative Website.

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