What Drupal 7 still needs for OGA 2.0 as of January 5th, 2011

What Drupal 7 still needs for OGA 2.0 as of January 5th, 2011

bart's picture

I spent some time today playing around with Drupal 7 and trying to implement some of OGA's basic functionality.  It's come a long way since last time, but given that OGA uses some pretty advanced modules, it's unsurprising that not everything is quite ready yet.  Here's a sample of some of the issues I ran into:

  • The Flags module (which I use to implement Favorites) causes a crash when I try to view nodes.
  • The Advanced Forum module hasn't been updated yet for Drupal 7.
  • As far as I can tell, none of the Taxonomy Access Control modules, which we use to control access to the admin forums, have been updated.
  • The CCK Reference module is *still* not even in beta.  It also lacks any kind of advanced Views support.
  • The Relation module, which is intended to repleace Reference (above) doesn't even have a development release yet.
  • The Badges module, which I use to implement medals, hasn't been updated yet.
  • The Taxonomy Manager module (which isn't structly necessary, but is nice to have around) doesn't work at the moment.
  • Several modules cough up random error messages that don't appear to affect anything.
  • There's no CCK URL field type anymore (I can do this myself, but I shouldn't have to).
  • The Rules module currently lacks an obvious way to compare a form entry to a constant (although it will happily compare a form entry to another form entry)
  • The Notifications module is nowhere near ready
  • Etc, etc, etc.

Now, you may be wondering if there's any encouraging news.  The answer is a resounding YES.  Here's what I've discovered so far:

  • Taxonomy terms can come with their own CCK fields, which means that for things like licenses, it should be easy to include an icon and a link to the license description.
  • Reorganizing the internals of the site will make things way easier to code.  For instance, right now our art is spread out over three different node types -- 2D, 3D, and Audio.  That will be changed to a single node type called "Art", and the submitter will be able to select the type of art they're submitting when they upload it.  This will help me avoid having to maintain separate views for each type of art, and it should make adding new art types (such as documents) a lot easier.
  • Improved AJAX support has been built into core, which should mean snazzier, more usable forms.
  • Comments can now have additional fields attached to them, which means that we can allow people to attach images, audio, and node links to their forum comments.
  • There's a module called Services that can respond to SOAP calls and the like, which means easy integration between OGA and other sites and programs.

So, what does all this mean?  First, it bears repeating that under no circumstances am I prepared to release OGA 2.0 with less features than the current site.  Certain things, such as art collections, will replace some of the features we have here (such as turning Featured Art into an art collection called Staff Picks and another one called OGA Commissions), but I don't want to be removing the features that people like and use. 

Most of the issues that I listed above can be worked around, but in my experience it's vastly better in the long run to use a solution that's well-maintained rather than quickly hacking something together myself.  For instance, I'm not prepared to duplicate the functionalty of the Notifications module, or add References support to Views, or help writing the Relation module, or implement my own version of access controls for the forums.  The only major exception to this is the Badges module, which I may replace with my own code that's more appropriate for the way OGA does things.

Anyway, that's where we stand at the moment.  I'm actively working on it, but it's going to be a while.  The official relase date for OGA 2.0 is when it's ready.  If you haven't seen differently, then that hasn't changed, so please don't ask me when it's going to be done.  Feel free to ask about current progress, though. :)