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Re: first batch of answers (Re: [Demexp-dev] New test Drupal site open.


From: David MENTRE
Subject: Re: first batch of answers (Re: [Demexp-dev] New test Drupal site open.
Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2006 22:33:44 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.1006 (Gnus v5.10.6) Emacs/21.4 (gnu/linux)

Hello Augustin,

Some feedback on your answers.

Augustin <address@hidden> writes:

> On Saturday 16 September 2006 07:14 pm, David MENTRE wrote:
>>  3. Account creation should be reworked. In my mind (to be discussed),
>>     we would have two different workflows for the demo and official
>>     servers.
>>
>>     * for the demo server, one could create a demexp account through the
>>       Drupal interface, that would create an account on the demexp
>>       server (for vote) and one could vote immediately,
>>
>>     * for the official server, one could enter account creation on the
>>       demexp web interface but that would trigger an email to demexp
>>       admins that would create the account manually (or at least
>>       validate account creation).
>
> I don't see the need for 3 servers, test, demo, and official. 
> "Test" is for developers.

We agree.

> with the demexp.module, everything is transparent on the web, so I don't see 
> the interest of having a separate 'demo' web site.

The main idea of demo is to have a web site when people can test demexp
without the heavy registration procedure for the official server.

> If you really insist, though, I can create another drupal web site within the 
> drupal web site. It will run on exactly the same code, but it can be 
> configured completely differently and will be an independent web site, with 
> its own users, questions, theme (design), etc... and it will be connected to 
> the demo server instead of the test server. 

Yes, that it what I was thinking of.

> For stage 1, my focus is creating a stable module for the official server + 
> web site. So I will only code for the official way to create an
> account.

Ok, let's do that.

>>  4. Account creation form should be modified. I think it is manfdatory
>>     to have following fields:
>
> Drupal core comes with a profile.module. I don't need to code anything. It is 
> only a matter of post-install configuration and you can have all the profile 
> fields you want, even the most exotic ones. 

ok.

>>  5. The timezone field in current login is not very clear to me in
>>     current Drupal interface. Is it GMT+n with or without summertime
>>     shifting?
>
> It is a limitation of Drupal core: it doesn't handle summertime changes. 
> It is a known limitation, and we are waiting for someone to come up with a 
> patch with core. 

Ok, until this is fixed in Drupal core, remove it from the interface (if
possible and not too complicated).

>>  6. The Tags link[3] is quite nice. It is probably not scalable for a
>>     very big amount of tags but for a reasonable amount it is quite
>>     usable. However (there is always a however ;-), it would nice to be
>>     able to change the metric criterion, for example through a drop down
>>     menu: number of questions with that tag (current setting if I'm
>>     correct), most recently edited questions with that tag, most voted
>>     questions with that tag, etc.
>
> It's ironic that it is the part that has impressed people the most 
> (understandably), but I have not much to do with it. 

;-)

> This is made possible by a contrib module called tagadelic.module. 
>
> My module is an import module: most of my work was to import the data from 
> the 
> server and store it in the Drupal native way. This way, all other tasks can 
> be handled by the other modules. 
> That's what I have done in this case: I have imported the tags so that 
> Drupal's very performant taxonomy handling can do its job and so that other 
> contrib module using Drupal taxonomy can also do their job, like here.

Ok, I'll take a look at this part (when time permit).

> 2) We are not limited by tagadelic.module. There are dozens of taxonomy 
> related modules in contrib, some of which I really ought to test later on.
> 3) We can submit patches for some of those modules or create our own 
> complementary implementation for additional features.


Ok, we'll do that at stages > 1.

>>  7. At mid term, it would be necessary to have a way to navigate into a
>>     tag hirarchy, but we already discussed of that;
>
> yes.
> Again: a lot can be done with taxonomy. At stage 2 and later, we can 
> investigate different ways to achieve what we want.

We agree.

>>  8. The Questions link[4] is basic but works. At mid term, being able to
>>     search into question fields would be nice (but maybe we could count
>>     on Google/Yahoo/... for that ;-);
>
> There is a good search.module (in core) that I have not enabled. 
> There is a popular views.module in contrib that I have never tested, but that 
> has been talked about a lot. 
> Those are modules that we can test later.
> I don't need to code anything here.

Nice!

>>  9. Forums attached to each question is very nice. However, after
>>     various discussions on demexp-fr and elsewhere, it appears that it
>>     would be sometimes necessary to a Forum without a question attached
>>     to it, and maybe create a new question and attach it to one or more
>>     Forum discussions. I have no clear idea on how to make all of that
>>     work, but my main idea is that the democratic debate (on or more
>>     Forum) would sometimes (but not always) trigger one or more vote
>>     (demexp question), without a bijection between the two;
>
> Those forums (without a question attached to it) already exist. Look
> again. 

Yes, I've seen them.

> More forum can be configured as wanted at any time. The hierarchy of forums 
> can be changed any time.

I suppose that can be done by users and administrators, depending on
access rights defined at account creation.

> If a debate within a general forum triggers a question (actually, I expect 
> this to happen often!!), creating a question will trigger the creation of a 
> forum. Then new threads within that new forum can link to old discussions in 
> the general forum. In some cases, the old discussion can actually be moved 
> whole into the new forum.

Ok, I did not know about that.

> All of this will become clearer to you once we get to use the site.

I hope so. ;-) At one point, I think this this forum management should
be link to "classifier" rights we have in demexp server (or is it
another task? We'll see).

>>  10. I *personally* hate web forums. Do you know if there exists a
>>      Drupal module that makes a link between Drupal Forums and Usenet
>>      for example?
>
> I used to use a feature like this for phpBB. It was a MOD called
> mail2forum.

I was think of forum <-> Usenet (NNTP protocol), not emails.

> We certainly can try to have something like that, but I am not too eager.
> My past experience with phpBB and mail2forum shows that it can soon become 
> messy, between dealing with badly formatted emails, security concerns, spam 
> posted on the forum and delivered to every email subscribers, subscribers 
> complaining and denouncing us as the spammers, being blacklisted,
> etc...

Ok, we'll see that at a latter stage. There is no urgency.

> Also, we would need one mailing list for each forum.

Not with a news server.

> Still, we can try and we'll see, but that's for later stages.

We agree.

>>  11. How is internationalization handled in Drupal? At long term, we
>>      will have both questions and responses translated and we will need
>>      to take care of that;
>
> Internationalization is maybe one of the weaker points of Drupal. 

:-/

> Still, there is a fairly good i18n.module that should allow us to do 
> everything we want (translation of pages, etc.)
>
> I have never tested this module thoroughly. I wanted to update it for Drupal 
> 5 
> (like I had to updated tagadelic myself to use on our test web site: most of 
> the contrib module have not been updated yet, because Drupal 5 has not 
> entered the beta stage yet... it should very soon), but it is a fairly 
> complex module so I gave up. 
>
> That's a module we'd want to properly test and decide to use or not at the 
> end 
> of stage 1 (i.e. before we launch the official web site), because it affects 
> the way URL are formatted and it will affect search engine indexing, etc. It 
> will be clumsy to switch half way through. 

But search engines can re-index the modified web site at a later
stage. But yes, i18n support is important for the project (even if i18n
support is quite weak in current demexp server).

> As far as i18n and l10n (summertime changes) are concerned, here is some 
> excellent news that we received today:
> http://lists.drupal.org/archives/development/2006-10/msg00086.html
> Hopefully, we'd have a much better thought out i18n for Drupal 6.

Ok, for stage /n/ > 1.

>>  12. The items on the left side ("Sujet actifs" and "Commentaires
>>      r├ęcents") should be tailored to distinguish between Forums and
>>      demexp Questions. For example, we could have the list of the most
>>      recent Questions and the list of most recent Forums;
>
> Those are "blocks" (to use the Drupal lingo).

Ok, we'll redefine blocks at one point.

>>  13. In the link listing all Forums[5], it would be nice to sort the
>>      list by different criteria (forum name, number of subjects, number
>>      of messages, most recent forum, etc.). In fact, all the
>>      capabilities you already have for Drupal's forums;
>
> http://demexp.ouvaton.org/forum/1
> You mean click on the table headings to sort the forums?

Yes.

> A patch would need to be submitted for core.

Ok, too complicated for now. It was just an idea.

> For stage 2, you'll have to see first what can be achieve easily (by using 
> core functions or contrib modules) and then evaluate the most pressing 
> navigational needs.

I agree.

>
>>  14. I would personally use Drupal only for the web interface to demexp
>>      server, and probably use other technologies for information on the
>>      democratic experience project, logins, etc. So I would remove all
>>      general information on the Drupal web site.
>
> No. It would be a very big shame not to use Drupal which is a very complex 
> and 
> performant CMS for such simple tasks as presenting a few introduction pages.
> I'll detail my answer in a separate email, when I get time (maybe later 
> today).

Answer postpone to your other email.

>>  15. What is the meaning of the "Languages" item on the left side? Is it
>>      the leanguage of the interface, of the displayed forum,
>>      questions,...?
>
> This is a custom block I created myself, with a simple menu to the English 
> and 
> French description of the project.

ok.
 
>>  16. Drupal links lack sometime some semantics, as they are most of the
>>      time of the form /node/nnn/.... Would it be possible to improve
>>      that?
>
> Within Drupal, every piece of content is a node: a forum thread, a picture 
> within a gallery, a demexp question, an "about" page, etc.
> The native format of a page is /node/nnn .

Ok.

> I can easily create an alias so that for example:
> http://demexp.ouvaton.org/node/248
> can be accessed at :
> http://demexp.ouvaton.org/demexp_question/243
> Both lead to the same place.
> I have done it manually for this particular node as an example, but I can do 
> it programmatically for every question nodes.

Ok. That would be nice but could be done at a later stage.

>>  17. At first connection on the Drupal site, the main page should
>>      probably display some "hot topic" items, like most active tag or
>>      question.
>
> The demexp.org home page can be designed the way we want. That is not 
> relevant 
> to my module.
> We can discuss the organization of the whole site later. 

Ok. This was just suggestions.

I haven't looked at your code yet (I hope to do this this week-end): I
have too many things to look at (Thomas's packaging, Christophe's and
Ketty's patch, your code ;-).

Best wishes,
d.
-- 
GPG/PGP key: A3AD7A2A David MENTRE <address@hidden>
 5996 CC46 4612 9CA4 3562  D7AC 6C67 9E96 A3AD 7A2A




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