Cinderella unfolds her beauty - Drupal UI Report

There once was a workful and modest lady who provided all kinds of service to the people. She was so happy serving she forgot to put on a beautiful dress. Also not few had a hard time to understand her and her unusual ways of doing things. Only the ones that took their time discovered all of her incredible beauty. But some day she also wanted to take part in the partying...

I think I do not have to mention who this lady is.

The recent developments in Drupal UI improvement really impress me. Summing them up reveals that the pace is quickening. Starting with my favourite: Form Builder. This wonderful and intuitive UI is not only getting Drupal up to par with other systems. Without having checked I believe it should take the lead in form building for non-commercial systems. If Nathan Haug and the Lullabots keep their promise and the module will seamlessly utilitize the forms API and be as conseqently used throughout Drupal 7 as the drag-and-drop feature is in D6 for menus, blocks and CCK - wow, I am beyond words :)

Module Page

Next for me comes the new Module page maintained by Philip Vergunst (skilip). This module (sure heading for core when mature) adresses a need in Drupal that was often expressed: What is the workflow when you upload a module? You upload it. Done. Now you go and enable it - go to modules page. To be able to use it, if you are not an administrator - go to access control Page. Now - where did the Maintainer put the settings page? I have seen grown men cry being unable to find the settings, that may even be moved with a new version. Ah -  "By Module" page (Kudos to Webchick) to the rescue! Mostly presenting all settingsfor a module in one place, this page is much underrated. But why - Say - it is not build from a UI perspective. Imagine putting all this into a beautiful and intuitive UI? Along comes Philip!

Media are sprinting

And this is not the end. Also put enabling/disabling the module onto this page. Still not enough to blow your mind? Often Joomla-Savvy people complained Drupal has no UI-driven module install manager. Now even integrate Plugin Manager with the Module Page! (also kudos to SteveJB for pushing things ahead by providing lots of mockups). If this page becomes mature reality within the D7 timeframe and might even make it to core, it solves about 4 or 5 issues in a row...

And then there were three... An itch that you try to scratch often when you talk to a client new to Drupal or get ashamed using the incredible new Wordpress media upload tool is the inconsistent and not really top-down approach in Drupal to upload images and media. There are at least four or five different Approaches: image field, image module, inline images via IMCE or good old image Assist, or new Asset Module. Let alone 10 different Image Gallery approaches, and all have in common no central media manager in Drupal.

But fear not, the brave, the fast and the furiuos gathered for the Media Sprint to end all this confusion, or at least to plunge headlong into the troubled waters of Drupal media management. A UI is rapidly evolving, and the goal is the only right one: to integrate as many Drupal Modules into one interface, (and hopefully make some of the superflous). Similar as Form Builder (at least as I understand it) the user is to be presented ONE streamlined and intuitive interface whenever he uploads media to Drupal, while under the hood things might be more complex. This project is still young in age but has strong participation and backing of an entire team of Developers.

To be continued...

There is more: Jeff Noyes has great as straightforward proposals for a Dashboard and the blocks page, and there is a strong push to get a CSS Grid Framework into Drupal (and hopefully run a Theming Contest for new Core themes on that basis!)...

Let us not hurry Drupal 7 but give all this time to mature. Cinderella shall have time to brush her hair and maybe even put on some makeup. Then she will be ready for an unforgettable dancing night where at least 25 Princes Charming will throw themselves at her feet...

Kommentare

SteffenR

Wow - da bin ich wirklich auf die neue Drupal 7 Version gespannt.. Aber erstmal muss ich mich durch das Drupal 6 Buch durcharbeiten ;):.

Gruß aus Braunschweig..

Zoran

Great work, keep it up. I love returning back to this site and reading the quality content you always have on offer.

Lara

Wow - da bin ich wirklich auf die neue Drupal 7 Version gespannt.. Aber erstmal muss ich mich durch das Drupal 6 Buch durcharbeiten ;):. Gruß aus Braunschweig.. komik yazılar chat film izle bedava sohbet sohbet

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Great work, keep it up. I love returning back to this site and reading the quality content you always have on offer.

Flimm

I'm excited about the new media management.

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Great post!

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