One year blogging with Drupal

It is a bit more than a year that I use Drupal instead of Spip for building my website. It was a revolutionary move, even if there's been a number of inconveniences.

Revolutionary ?

  • Well, I can decide many more things with my website, without asking for technical help from others.
  • I can have a great design theme, without mastering designing skills.
  • Many ready to use options from user point of view.
  • Looks much more like a real website, then like a self-created piece of online journal
  • Since most of the people around me are masters in Drupal, I just feel more as a part of a community. Long time ago, we were implementing Spip all alone, in a different part of the world, where people around us were experimenting with other different CMS, so the contact with the community was made by one person only.

Inconveniences? Sure. Many.

  • First of all, there was this new software that I need to master. It provides more options, therefore it is more complicated. Therefore, need more time to master... (the same socio-technical vicious circle)
  • Second of all, not only the software, but also my old good habits. The terminology is much different, but also the whole website building concept is different. You don't only replace: article by node, but also you understand they are not the same thing. There is no rubriques (sections) in Drupal, no pages (articles), no order of the publications by section and language... shortly, it all broke my deterministic habits at once.
  • Thirdly, I have never, really never managed to move my contents from Spip into Drupal. We tried to automatically move several sections, but the result was not great: lost their typographical details, language problems (like accents, cirilic, etc.), photos attached to the article would magically disappear, etc. So I had to move each posting manually. Blah, in fact I never actually did. Which is also the reason some of the sections still stay (and will stay) empty.
  • Spip had great statistics, and many things worked magically well. Rather than with Drupal, being a gigantic project, there are number of things which still need improvement (like sending automatic e-mail messages when you receive a comment on the website).
  • Spip is translated in a number of languages. The admin interface can switch language like magic. Rather, Drupal does not do that. I don't complain, Enlish is just fine, but when I do trainings, it is convenient to show people they can read the commands and the options in their own language.

Well, let's stop complaining. With Drupal were fixed some major personal problems like the langage(s) in which I should write. With Spip my site was multi-language. It was defining automatically your language skills and was showing you the right articles. However, I was stuck writing in each of the three languages, either translating it all, or just writing about my emotions in one language, about conferences - in other, and about gender and technology - in third. What a waste of time and resources!

What is weird is that with Spip, I needed a little bit more than 10min training to start using it. With Drupal, I passed a year of maintaining the site, posting and improving, and there is still long way to go... Maybe like the GNU/Linux learning curve...

Anyway, all this just to say: Happy Birthay my Drupal site! You are now one year old!