Big Drupal site



I’ve taken the CMS plunge and installed the latest Drupal v6rc4 in a subdomain on our site. This is the first CMS I’ve installed and used and don’t mind going with a pre-release cut for personal non-production testing and learning. Rather than reporting issues here, for a change I thought I’d share some success.

  • D6 installs on DH with no issues including the old cgi-system issue or whatever it was.
  • No custom PHP.ini was required. All DH PHP5 defaults are fine.
  • I’ve installed almost every module for which there is a D6 development beta, or production release. Everything seems to work except role_control.
  • The SMTP module was important for me but there wasn’t a v6 cut! Someone had provided a patch however, and it worked flawlessly.
  • To separate this sub-site from our main site I went to the DH control panel and created a subdomain as, which points to /foo/test01. We’ll create other paths and subdomains as we add test and production environments. The subdomain was accessible within seconds - again not a hitch with DH or Drupal.
  • My next step is to install Gallery2 (full version, why not?) and see what that might do for members.

I think the only issues I have with this involve major modules: Blog, Forum, Wiki, Issue Tracker, and Projects.

I use WordPress for blog and this blows away the core blog in Drupal. I will be looking for a way to provide seamless integration between these platforms.
I use a SimpleMachines forum because it’s well maintained, I don’t want to pay for vBulletin, phpBB has had too many security issues, and I just plain like it. Again this blows away the Drupal forum and I hope to interface the two.
This CMS is like one big Wiki but I’d really prefer something standard like MediaWiki if I can integrate smoothly. Using standard, familiar, popular software is always preferable.
I use Mantis for tracking bugs and feature requests. The Projects module in Drupal will not be available for v6 for quite a while, and while I don’t need a projects module I would like to get one in there. I want to integrate Mantis, but I will be looking for another package where people can host and manage code, like SourceForge, GForge but much less robust. I might just use Mantis for this and shift some of the focus toward project maintenance, upload/downloads etc than just reporting.

I know there are various bridge projects between Drupal and some other tools, but there’s no such thing as a universal adapter yet that allows software to fully integrate, so every effort will be custom and I may need to write some code to make it happen - and PHP is not my primary language unfortunately.

I am going to try to implement a custom OpenID environment so that people can jump around to multiple Drupal environments hosted here. (This may help with the package integration issues mentioned above too.) Sure, people can get an OpenID from any other provider. Does anyone have comments on the value or issues with trying to self-host? Anyone here at DH doing this?

At some point soon we’ll start looking into books and stories and custom blocks and themes and triggers, and then start sifting through the Drupal websites and forums to find code and tips that will help us to properly administer these sites. We expect to have a number of installations here at DH. There is a lot to research in here. It’s time consuming, but as long as it’s all working it remains fun.

Finally, I’ve noticed the performance of various Drupal pages isn’t up with that of our other hosted packages. Is this normal for Drupal here? I’ve set all of the standard performance tweaks and will be looking to cut some corners and get creative. Is this environment resource intensive in a way that would displease DH?

Comments and questions are welcome from all.

Regards and thanks to all for have led the way and those who follow…