by Esther Furger Business

Enhancing Drupal

Earlier this year, I attended the Drupal Mountain Camp in Davos. One speech there dealt with the problem of funding open source work. This is, of course, a complex matter. Different roles and different interests regarding the improvement of open source technologies like Drupal are involved and leave the question what’s an improvement and what’s just a waste of time unanswered. I don’t want to dive too deep into that topic because honestly in my position as a consultant it could be a walk on a cliff. But why do I mentioned it at all?

by Esther Furger Business

The speaker told one thing, that is very important and true, no matter if we like it or not: An initiative of a developer or a group of developers has to be business-relevant in order to get funds... and an easy to sell idea must virtually be fragranced «ROI». This may be not fair. But as a business developer I am all too familiar with that principle – and sometimes it is a real downer. But I’m also not writing about my personal issues here.

You know what has a super strong ROI-odeur? – «increased efficiency». And that is what I suggest should be focussed on when enhancing Drupal, contribute to existing modules and developing new ones.

Selling something, that reduces workloads and increases the efficiency of workforces, is easy because it’s interesting for all stakeholders. Even for me. I often deal with some content management in the finishing run of a project. When nerves are on edge and things have to go fast forward. You could say, I’m a heavy user of Drupal 8 – since WONDROUS is specialized for Drupal 8 CMS. And as a heavy user, I have developed quite a perspective regarding the improvement of Drupal in order to make my work more efficient.

ROI wishlist

Here is my «ROI-fragranced wishlist» for our Drupal systems – and this is all I want for Christmas this year:

  1. List view / Index / Scroll Spy (or anything like that)
    Some nodes can become pretty long due to many inner paragraphs, content types, blocks and so on. When working in the backend-editor (and that can have many reasons) an index in the backend - maybe already in the list view, but certainly in the edit-view, would help to get straight to the point.
  2. Moving paragraphs from stripe to stripe
    When working on content design, sometimes you have to test how different paragraphs or structured contents or blocks look in different stripes. And if it doesn’t look good, you need to move them. Or you simply put something in the wrong stripe by accident. It doesn’t work. Each paragraph has to be rebuilt in another stripe.
  3. Versions of paragraphs
    Scheduled publishing for nodes and files at WONDROUS is already almost a vintage-feature. But recently I was faced with a publishing routine of a client that challenges the existing routines. And building it along this routine could create real value since the bespoken client is probably not the only one with this kind of workflow. I with, that until a certain point in time has been reached, content A is displayed. When the point in time is reached, content B will show up – in the exact same element. Furthermore content A and B can be any type of content; from file to person.
  4. Backend language is a user setting, not a page setting
    The backend-language shouldn’t be connected to the frontend-language. That makes no sense in a CMS of a website where an author isn’t a user at the visitor time. So the language settings of the backend should be decoupled from the frontend’s language and instead be a part of the user-settings.
  5. Add more / change more
    When adding / changing a new menu-link, you should be able to add more. And not just be sent to anywhere.
  6. User interface translation
    I don’t want to lose too many words about this. But this is so not user friendly … are you sure that this is how it is supposed to be?
  7. Media search
    Implementing a media entity into a node, an existing image for example or a pdf is a mess in Drupal. There should a combined search filter or at least different sorting options. Because, come on, who can remember when a file was uploaded and therefore get to the right page?

Too much hate?

Your love is my love: I do love working with Drupal 8; as a consultant, business developer, content strategist and content designer. But with these enhancements, my love could even grow.