The FCL Lab website currently tops our list of priorities.

We’ve been struggling with it for months now, and our biggest obstacles have been the odd affordances and constraints of Drupal.  Drupal is the content management system used by Oregon State University.  It’s open-source and very adaptable.

These are good things.

It’s also user-hostile and often intolerably restrictive for users without certain administrative privileges.

These are bad things.

Very bad things.

It’s sort of like being handed an array of organic compounds and told to create a rhinoceros. Of course, you have to assemble your rhinoceros one cell at a time, creating each cell individually, organelle by organelle.  You can’t just make a skin cell, copy it, then paste it all over the rhino.  You see, this lack of a basic function allows you to make a rhino with all kinds of crazy skin, so it’s actually a “feature.” Aren’t you grateful?

Oh, and you can’t bond hydrogen to carbon yourself because your version of nature does not include that functionality.  There’s an active community of creator deities out there who have found various workarounds, but these all require a level of sanctioned omnipotence that the universe has withheld from you as a matter of policy.  You can finish at least the brain by the end of the week, right?  After all, it’s just one thing!

Perhaps Drupal’s most beautiful moment so far came toward the beginning of our development process.  We wanted to find out how to activate and work with modules, so we tried to consult the help documentation.  Instead of the help page, we were greeted with a message telling us to install the “help” module, with no further explanation.


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2 thoughts on “Oh, the Drupality!

  1. Ask and you shall receive. 🙂

    Here is a handy dandy Drupal notebook:

    And if you’re interested in heading out here to campus for a class or two out of the eight active ones that are offered, you can register here:

    Or, if you’re unable to make it to the campus, all of the training material, including slides and pre-developed content, are available here…I would be happy to give you your own training site so you can experiment with it all:

    Happy Drupaling!

    The Drupal Commando 😉

    • Thanks a lot, Sherri!

      We’re getting ready to go live, so the turbulent home stretch is upon us. I’ll take a look at the notebook and see if we can shine this up some more. 🙂

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