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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMS Dude View Post
    ........ users who just want free technical support all the time........
    at the risk of going totally off topic, I think this is just a sign of the changing world (a bad sign imho) and the "Me Generation" wanting instant gratification and solutions.

    And it's not just on this website. I currently also post on webdeveloper, codingforums and devshed and it's a sign of the times on those websites as well.

    Yes, a few years ago there were a lot more "technical/tutorial" type threads and discussions. Nowadays, I would say at least 60-70% of threads I visit anywhere are related to a student, newbie or DIY'er who has got themselves sinking in coding quicksand and is looking for someone to drag them out for free.

    The way I see forums in general nowadays, is basically as fast code drive thru's with very few users looking to actually learn anything. Most just want a quick FREE solution to their immediate need.


  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMS Dude View Post
    While I can totally see the logic in this decision ... I believe the unfortunate consequence has been exactly what has been mentioned in this thread.
    I monitored the stats very carefully for a long time before making the call. It was already happening, rather than being a consequence.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK View Post
    I monitored the stats very carefully for a long time before making the call. It was already happening, rather than being a consequence.
    So your stats can measure the collective level of expertise and/or years of experience of those posting?

    That's one heck of an analytics package!

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMS Dude View Post
    So your stats can measure the collective level of expertise and/or years of experience of those posting?

    That's one heck of an analytics package!
    Nope, but they can measure the amount of traffic to the different forums. The advanced/specialised sub-forums got low traffic and the response rate was dropping rapidly.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK View Post
    Nope, but they can measure the amount of traffic to the different forums. The advanced/specialised sub-forums got low traffic and the response rate was dropping rapidly.
    Well I wonder if that's because the advanced topics had reached the saturation point or were there other reasons. I know we've had some really talented people come through here and move on as their careers took them in other directions. Was it because the topics were no longer being discussed or were there no experts to answer them? * Oh, that's not really a question, it might not be something we've got stats for... I'm just pondering the thought...
    Last edited by awasson; Jul 26, 2012 at 23:31. Reason: Grammar
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  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by awasson View Post
    Well I wonder if that's because the advanced topics had reached the saturation point or were there other reasons. I know we've had some really talented people come through here and move on as their careers took them in other directions. Was it because the topics were no longer being discussed or were there no experts to answer them? * Oh, that's not really a question, it might not be something we've got stats for... I'm just pondering the thought...
    Yeah, it's something I think about a lot. I think you're right - people learned and moved on, and then the internet changed so a new school of people didn't settle in the same way. People are consumers in a different way these days. For many it's about a quick fix, not a place to make friends.

    I don't have the answers so I try all sorts of things. And I'm always interested in your opinions.

  7. #32
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    Like Sarah and Ralph I feel that it's a natural progression for forums and online communities, and not necessarily a sign that anything is going wrong at SP.

    Twitter, Github, Blogs and Local meetups provide more focused ways for people who are really interested in some topic to learn / share and communicate with others who have the same interests.

    Forums are more accessible and allow anyone to ask questions so it attracts a lot more people who a new to it and the Sitepoint books are also geared towards beginners.

    Those are some of the reasons for the change in demographic.

  8. #33
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    Wow guys, thanks for continuing this discussion so constructively & informatively. You've definitely provided me with some good background about the forum, and hopefully anyone else paying a visit and wondering the same thing.

    PS: When I think of code hacking, I'm not offended. I remember when being a hacker meant 2600 (http://www.2600.com/) and things like that. Now when I hear hacker or code hacker, I think of Makezine or Hackaday.
    No, it's not a term that anyone should get offended about.

    Cheers.

  9. #34
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    Depending on your definition, one could say that developers and "code hackers" are pretty much the same thing.
    Both of which utilize codes to create or alter things, so the differences between the two aren't too significant.
    From the perspective of experienced developers who embrace change and pursue greater knowledge...there is a *huge* difference between "hackers" and "developers". Quality assurance, project management, best practices, etc. These are all skills a professional developer should be familiar with. Hackers are concerned with getting the job done, at whatever expense (their own sanity and definitely that of others who might later maintain the codebase).
    The only constant in software is change itself

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCSpectra View Post
    From the perspective of experienced developers who embrace change and pursue greater knowledge...there is a *huge* difference between "hackers" and "developers".
    I still think there's a place for hackers. When you need a quick fix to a problem, the hacker is much less likely to over-analyze the problem.

    Only problem is that, in many cases, the hacked job might wind up breaking something else unintentionally. Or it just makes for code that isn't as easy to maintain. You might save yourself 4 hours using a hackish method ... and then spend another 8 hours fixing a byproduct of that hack later on. Or an extra 15 minutes each week that just keeps adding up little by little because ultimately, all you did was address the symptom rather than the underlying disease.

    It's all about short-term versus long-term. Where I work, we have two titles: Developer and Architect. The architect's role is to worry about the underlying structure and maintainability, while the developer worries about implementation. We don't always follow that model to the letter, but I do like the idea of having the "architect" title, and I believe it's a title that should be adopted more frequently in the industry.

  11. #36
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    Hi,

    I too have been around since the days of deeper discussions, collaboration, and experts that congregated here together. The demographics yes have changed, but it seems to be a little cyclical. Many advanced people had to field the same sort of basic questions over and over when the times where deeper discussions were more the norm. Given that many of these people became highly involved with corporate work, open source initiatives, and standards committees (mostly triggered by them being experts). I have noticed in the last 4 months a new wave of advanced people beginning to emerge. I don't mean to say that it will go back to the old days but I have seen a small rebirth of expertise in the PHP forums say. I know there is still alot of expertise in the Design You Website, Program Your Website, and Host Your Website.

    In addition SitePoint has created more specific areas of expertise like PHPmasters.com, DesignFestival.com, BuildMobile.com, CloudSpring.com, and RubySource.com. Each of these sites have member with considerable expertise in their respective areas. This rollout and change takes time to establish and to organize, but I have also seen SitePoint proactively tying these resources back into SitePoint, and I believe this trend will continue. Given this it is more likely that experts will give some more focus to SitePoint forums.

    The world is becoming more abstracted from the 'real workings of things', consumers like this microwaves, cars that can park themselves and you can talk to rather than pushing buttons, media boxes that magically can via a usb have all pictures, movies, music, connect to network servers and with hdmi to your 2 inch/ 6 cm flat screen TV. This trend has led people not to have to learn what makes things work or how to fix them. Do you know that I have a neighbor that had a $750 screen door that they were going to throw out because one screw had fallen out and they wanted a different colour! I asked them if I could remove it for them and installed it in my house. They were amazed that a home owner could do this; however 20 years ago this would not even been considered as the door would stayed were it was and the home owner wouldn't think it was a poor quality door for missing one screw. The type of many of the questions that are on all forums not just SitePoint very much reflect this more abstracted layer of people who expect speed, ease of use, and for it just to work.

    If we look at our physical communities; a town or village that we might have grown up had been disappearing over the last 20 years, people got lost in the seas of people in the big city, the sense of community had be changed and in some cases lost. We've seen that impact our community at SitePoint. However, if we take the lead of villages and towns (at least in our part of Canada) they are starting to be reinvigorated, people are moving back and a whole new group of people are finding the community values and ways of doing things. This is part of a cyclical nature that has been documented since the 12th century and I believe it starting to happen to SitePoint by some of the new highly skilled people that have arrived, stayed and starting new discussions.

    Sorry about the long post, but I love community and I want to help build a strong one here. Part of this is leading by example

    Regards,
    Steve
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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK View Post
    Nope, but they can measure the amount of traffic to the different forums. The advanced/specialised sub-forums got low traffic and the response rate was dropping rapidly.
    That might also be more due to it being a sub-forum. What really attracted me to Sitepoint ... was the fact that it was the only place that had a "CMS" specific forum, and it's in a bulletin-board format. As my alias might suggest, I am most interested in CMS's. That's primarily what I care about, and that's what I like to talk about; Joomla, Wordpress, Drupal. Mostly PHP-based, but I'm also curious about those built with other languages.

    And this place was the only one I could find that had sort of this general "CMS" board. Unfortunately it was buried underneath all of these other sub-forums, and now it's sort of mangled in with this "Wordpress" thing. It's not any great mystery why it hasn't historically been very popular. But I can say with good confidence that the popularity of the opensource PHP-based CMS is absolutely exploding out of control. And there is a void that could be filled, and a lot of contributions that some guys like myself might be able to make to such a forum.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMS Dude View Post
    And this place was the only one I could find that had sort of this general "CMS" board. Unfortunately it was buried underneath all of these other sub-forums, and now it's sort of mangled in with this "Wordpress" thing. It's not any great mystery why it hasn't historically been very popular. But I can say with good confidence that the popularity of the opensource PHP-based CMS is absolutely exploding out of control. And there is a void that could be filled, and a lot of contributions that some guys like myself might be able to make to such a forum.
    That's the reason I started that post yesterday about what CMS' are being used on Sitepoint (http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...-CMS-of-choice). I know everyone and their dog knows about WP but what about the others... Perch for instance I had forgotten about.

    I somehow got out of general PHP/.NET development about 5 years ago and got heavily into CMS an CRM development. I'd like to see the CMS & Wordpress section become a CMS (Content Management System) forum to see if it encourages more discussion about CMS in general not so much where do I get this WP theme or plugin.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by awasson View Post
    That's the reason I started that post yesterday about what CMS' are being used on Sitepoint (http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...-CMS-of-choice). I know everyone and their dog knows about WP but what about the others... Perch for instance I had forgotten about.
    Yea, I noticed that, and I figured that was your motivation behind starting it. Good idea.

    I'd like to see the CMS & Wordpress section become a CMS (Content Management System) forum to see if it encourages more discussion about CMS in general not so much where do I get this WP theme or plugin.
    I think it would be very helpful to people who are looking for the right tool for a job. And it could help save a lot of people time and frustration trying to fit round pegs in square holes. Or from using a kitchen-knife to cut down a tree ... or using a chainsaw to butter their toast. All of these CMSs are being developed by such strong communities, and each one seems to be attracting a different approach to things that people could be leveraging better. We're really spoiled with amazing choices; each one tailored for a specific type of site.

    I currently work for a Drupal shop and we have this saying ... Drupal is our hammer. And when a hammer is your only tool, every problem starts looking like a nail. There are a lot of reasons why specializing in Drupal is great for our company. But professionally, a lot of reasons why it's good for me personally to stay on top of everything out there.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMS Dude View Post
    I currently work for a Drupal shop and we have this saying ... Drupal is our hammer. And when a hammer is your only tool, every problem starts looking like a nail. There are a lot of reasons why specializing in Drupal is great for our company. But professionally, a lot of reasons why it's good for me personally to stay on top of everything out there.
    There's a lot of truth in that for sure

    Off Topic:


    True Story: A buddy of mine actually put a stereo and speakers in his car with the only tools he had, a break knife and a set of vice-grips.
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  16. #41
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    This is an example of where my original question came from:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...sponsive+theme

    Within any true developer forum, this should be a super hot topic now, and should elicit dozens and dozens of responses, opinions, debates ...etc. That thread had just 2 members involved, and it's a month old. So that's gotta say one of three things:
    1) There are no - or not many - mid to high end developers here (I say "mid" since responsive design should be any professional front end dev's concern now)
    2) There are a few, but they are selfish and don't want to share their "secrets".
    3) There are a few, but they're really, really busy and don't have time to share their knowledge and secrets.

    After a month I would expected most relevant members to find some time somewhere, so I'd rule #3 out.
    #2 I would hope on good faith isn't the case.
    Which does leave the most likely situation #1.

    And from looking into Linkedin groups from a suggestion earlier in this thread, that does seem one place that some higher end advice has move too perhaps. Early days yet, I've only just found a couple of groups.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMS Dude View Post
    I currently work for a Drupal shop and we have this saying ... Drupal is our hammer. And when a hammer is your only tool, every problem starts looking like a nail. There are a lot of reasons why specializing in Drupal is great for our company. But professionally, a lot of reasons why it's good for me personally to stay on top of everything out there.
    Oh God yeah. I've lost count of the number of discussions I've had with people who basically only new Wordpress, and were convinced it was the best solution for everything.

    IMHO, you should always be able to offer your client a handful of different CMS options, depending on the type of site required. And no, the client doesn't choose from these options, you recommend the best one. I work with Wordpress, Website Baker, Vanilla Forums, Opencart, Prestashop, and a number of those minimal CMSs perch ...etc). And if I have a client who comes to me with requirements that honestly aren't covered by one of those, then I outsource or pass onto a colleague with the relevant knowledge to deliver the optimum solution.

    It frightens me that some people go the "one size fits all route", and maybe another group to place under the "code hackers" banner?

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by deeve007 View Post
    Oh God yeah. I've lost count of the number of discussions I've had with people who basically only new Wordpress, and were convinced it was the best solution for everything.
    I think it is great that these newer web-based solutions like perch or page-lime are popping up because they fit a lot of the really super basic needs, for when even Wordpress might be overkill. I guess if I only have one hammer, I'm glad that hammer is drupal ... but there are a lot of times when you're buttering toast with a giant, super-sharp steak knife. It's overkill for those that just need a butter knife, and that butterknife could be something like pagelime or perch.

    For those needs where even drupal might be hard pressed ... you can always go the MVC framework route (Zend, Cakephp, Symfony, etc.). That's why I think the direction in enterpris-ish CMS's will eventually gravitate toward the "CMS built on a framework" model. A niche where ExpressionEngine already has it's hat in the ring (built on top of code igniter). Also Silverstripe and now even Drupal is starting it's migration to the Symfony framework in Drupal 8, which is HuGE, huge news.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by deeve007 View Post
    This is an example of where my original question came from:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...sponsive+theme

    Within any true developer forum, this should be a super hot topic now, and should elicit dozens and dozens of responses, opinions, debates ...etc. That thread had just 2 members involved, and it's a month old. So that's gotta say one of three things:
    1) There are no - or not many - mid to high end developers here (I say "mid" since responsive design should be any professional front end dev's concern now)
    2) There are a few, but they are selfish and don't want to share their "secrets".
    3) There are a few, but they're really, really busy and don't have time to share their knowledge and secrets.

    After a month I would expected most relevant members to find some time somewhere, so I'd rule #3 out.
    #2 I would hope on good faith isn't the case.
    Which does leave the most likely situation #1.

    And from looking into Linkedin groups from a suggestion earlier in this thread, that does seem one place that some higher end advice has move too perhaps. Early days yet, I've only just found a couple of groups.
    Now I think you're being extremely unfair for no good reason and I find your three-point conclusion to be very ignorant of the valuable content this forum contains, provided you use the search function instead of scanning the results of a day or week.

    If you do a search on "responsive design", you get a bazillion threads discussing it, some at length and on an intellectual level, others less intense.

    This is a community, and quite a tight one at that, and topics will not get discussed at length over and over and over.

    Here's one thread that discusses responsive design: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...ponsive+design

    And it isn't the only one.

    If you do expect every thread to contain a heated and thorough debate on whatever its topic, then yes, you will be sorely disappointed. However, even the more modern resources such as stackoverflow and its kin will have a handfull of high quality threads and a magnitude of threads with the same question that get very few responses.
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  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by awasson View Post
    I somehow got out of general PHP/.NET development about 5 years ago and got heavily into CMS an CRM development.
    Where I work, job after job has been involving creating a bridge between the clients' CRM, and their Drupal CMS (in our case, we usually use a restful web service -- custom or occasionally the services module). In some cases, like with Sugar CRM, this is a fairly easy task, since it's written in PHP and because it's so popular there are a lot of contributed resources and documentation out there.

    But then there are certain cases where the CRM is more obscure, written in java and doesn't have a very handy or well-documented interface for dealing with the outside world. Some of these are presenting us with challenges, and I'd LOVE to hear your take on this one. Namely ... I've been seeing us run in to some situations where the CRM is almost driving the whole process. Almost like it is acting as the CMS and the CRM ... and drupal is losing some of it's significance. Almost acting as more of a framework or a glorified Apace server, in my opinion (and I tend to be opinionated about it).

    I tend to be from the school of thought that the CMS should be the CMS. That it should import the data it needs -- namely content-related data -- from the CRM where it originates, but that it should otherwise be able to act completely autonomous from it. What is your thought in these situations? Do you think there is a right or wrong way of looking at it? Or do you just figure ... whatever way works best for the client and fits their needs is the right way?

  21. #46
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    Yeah, the CRM/CMS thing has been poking at us for years now and it's still a bit of a murky subject.

    It all started about 12 years ago we created a member only section on an ASP (classic) website for a professional society... Then we added an area for members to track their continuing education records. Then we created various levels of membership. Then we added a section for interns to track their exams while articling. Then we added a section for interns to log their work experience. Then we added the ability for members to be associated with Firms. Then we added the ability for members to associate their areas of expertise and finally we added reporting so that we could list out Firms and Members and Associate Members based on various filters.

    Once we got to that point I recall thinking.... Wow... There's not much difference between what we've developed over many years of additions and reconfiguration and any Member Driven Social Network. It works really well but the downside with this particular project is that it is on an ancient technology stack and is a bit of a pain to maintain and extend. We're currently in the process of moving it over to an open source solution.

    We also built a couple of sites that consumed webservices from remote CRM's.... That made our lives quite easy. Give us a web service and tell us what you want us to do with it. We did that for another member driven organization and another place with a rewards card where they wanted customers to log-in and see how many points they had gathered, transaction records, etc...

    Moving forward, I am trying to establish a standard for new builds that we use Drupal/civiCRM for our foundation however, I'm also keeping a close eye on Red Hen CRM which has been really busy with development recently and I think they might have even released an install profile or demo module recently. There's also a really neat project called ERPAL (http://www.erpal.info/)... It's German so I use Chrome browser and get it to do the translation. It's worth keeping an eye on.

    I agree about the CMS being a CMS and the CRM not messing with it... I'm not particularly fond of NationBuilder for that reason... It's a CRM that wants to be a CMS too. I'd way rather have a the ability to do whatever I want with the CMS and still know that the CRM is hanging back just waiting for me to request some data.

    civiCRM is not perfect but it's the best I've found so far (still have to demo Red Hen). Making civiCRM expose its data to Views takes a little leg work but other than that it plays extremely well with Drupal. The biggest hurdle with civiCRM is documentation. I'm trying to be a good community member an add to the WIKI as much as possible but there are a lot of areas that I find difficult to find info for. The other issue in the CMS/CRM arena is that the line blurs between how much you need to be responsible for... Am I developer or have I now become an on-call HR resource

    All that said, it's pretty exciting stuff to work on. One of the initiatives I'm working on right now is creating a conduit between FileMaker Pro and civiCRM so that those of my clients who are managing their organizations using a Filemaker database can continue doing a lot of that from within Filemaker but they'll get a member dataset from the civiCRM database. Anything they change in Filemaker will commit a change to the civiCRM database. That way they can take baby steps as they migrate from Filemaker to civiCRM. Of course in order to post events and that sort of thing they'll have to login to the CRM online.

    Cheers,
    Andrew
    Last edited by awasson; Jul 27, 2012 at 14:10. Reason: spelling and typos
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  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by awasson View Post
    Well I wonder if that's because the advanced topics had reached the saturation point or were there other reasons. I know we've had some really talented people come through here and move on as their careers took them in other directions. Was it because the topics were no longer being discussed or were there no experts to answer them?
    That happens a lot online. There are a lot of websites that used to be devoted to various aspects of web design or programming, that have shifted emphasis. A List Apart was one that I used to read avidly and learned a lot from, but gradually they exhausted the field of articles about useful, practical design tips and now it's mostly about business, which hardly interests me at all. That isn't to say that the quality of the website has changed, just the area it focuses on.

    Similarly when I first came to SPF, I learned a lot of useful, practical things from the forums. These days I feel that my design repertoire – while in no way being comprehensive – is sufficient for what I need. I'm sure a lot of other people feel the same. There's been a shift in the way people work. Far more people are now throwing together Joomla templates with a bit of Jquery splattered over them, and so that's what people (and especially newbies) are more likely to ask about. Social media is another buzzphrase, but there's only a limited amount you can say about it.

    I guess as web design and maintenance has become more of a mainstream industry, it doesn't have the same exclusivity that it used to, the same feeling of community among webbists that it once did. For most people it's just a job, and they don't see any need to engage with like-minded people to develop their skills – not when there is so much information available out there.

    While there are interesting topics being discussed, experts usually hang around (as long as the topics are new, and they aren't just the same old things being re-hashed time after time), because even experts can learn something new in that kind of environment. It's when the questions turn to more of the "please help me with my homework" type, with no real serious engagement, that the experts are likely to feel undervalued and bored.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by awasson View Post
    One of the initiatives I'm working on right now is creating a conduit between FileMaker Pro and civiCRM so that those of my clients who are managing their organizations using a Filemaker database can continue doing a lot of that from within Filemaker but they'll get a member dataset from the civiCRM database. Anything they change in Filemaker will commit a change to the civiCRM database. That way they can take baby steps as they migrate from Filemaker to civiCRM. Of course in order to post events and that sort of thing they'll have to login to the CRM online.
    That's all really interesting stuff. If you were in Chicago, you could get a very lucrative job in about 5 minutes.

    Now take this situation right now you have with filemaker. And I'll give you a hyptothetical: Suppose your client was really comfortable and familiar dealing with filemaker. And they want to take this a step further, and just say ... I mark this as "published" in filemaker, it then automatically fires a requst to drupal, creating a record and publishing it.

    To take things even a step further ... they have a lot of relationships existing between various entities in their filemaker db. Relationships that need to be honored in drupal ... so each drupal record has a corresponding "filemaker ID" that relates all of the drupal entities together. Filmaker has a few join tables as well, that of course we have to use in drupal. Client already has a URL structure set up, so filemaker also sends drupa the path alias for a page. There are also a number of categories that various pieces of content would fall under, and heirarchical relationships within those categories -- all managed in filemaker, so drupal doesn't even have to concern itself with it.

    Now I'm fairly new with my company, so far be it from me to rock the boat so quickly. But I have a really hard time not expressing my dismay over the fact that we haven't consulted them on an alternate way of approaching this, where Drupal and the clietnt's CMS might be able to be more "de-coupled," and to act more autonimously. I have no problem with them sharing necessary info between the two. That's the whole point, but I still believe at heart that we're inviting future disasters if we allow their CRM to act as a CMS ... and drupal (a CMS frameworkd) to act as an apache server.

    And what really drives me crazy is that none of the other developers seem to think this is unusual. Is it just me? [/rant]

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMS Dude View Post
    That's all really interesting stuff. If you were in Chicago, you could get a very lucrative job in about 5 minutes.
    Yeah, I've thought about leaving my comfortable little post on the west coast to do some traveling/working... I get short term contract offers quite a bit and one of the guys I work with is down in San Francisco working on a project right now. I'm just too comfortable where I am.

    Quote Originally Posted by CMS Dude View Post
    Now take this situation right now you have with filemaker. And I'll give you a hyptothetical: Suppose your client was really comfortable and familiar dealing with filemaker. And they want to take this a step further, and just say ... I mark this as "published" in filemaker, it then automatically fires a requst to drupal, creating a record and publishing it.
    That's the goal of our current project. It will plug into Filemaker and provide a conduit to the CRM dataset. They'll open up Filemaker as usual but instead of dealing with a filemaker database on the machine or local network, it will talk to a dataset that is part of the civiCRM system. We have some checks and balances to work out so that we don't have any collisions and so that we can roll back transactions, etc... but we're going to keep it as simple as possible and no try to make Filemaker do anything that it doesn't already do.If they want to do advanced real CRM work, they'll have to log into civiCRM.

    The first thing we're doing is auditing their current Filemaker Pro database and refining the existing Filemaker DB to make sure it is as streamlined as possible... There's no point in taking a garbage database and importing it into the CRM. We'll take the clean database, import it and add whatever custom fields we need but only the necessary fields. I often see situations where they don't have a "notes" field so instead of making a notes field, someone will start using a receipt number field or something to cram notes into. Happens all the time. We'll make sure they have all the fields they need and cull the ones they don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by CMS Dude View Post
    To take things even a step further ... they have a lot of relationships existing between various entities in their filemaker db. Relationships that need to be honored in drupal ... so each drupal record has a corresponding "filemaker ID" that relates all of the drupal entities together. Filmaker has a few join tables as well, that of course we have to use in drupal. Client already has a URL structure set up, so filemaker also sends drupa the path alias for a page. There are also a number of categories that various pieces of content would fall under, and heirarchical relationships within those categories -- all managed in filemaker, so drupal doesn't even have to concern itself with it.
    Yeah, that's starting to sound complicated... I would suggest auditing the system as a whole and making sure that the best tool for the job is being used where it needs to be used... When I import contact records into civiCRM, it will create a unique ID for every record it makes (obviously) but I can retain internal ID's as well and create as many custom fields as I need. I imagine the same can be done with the new Red Hen system as well as Sugar, etc...

    As far as maintaining joins and relationships, it sounds like Drupal is going to be the CRM rather than having Filemaker, Drupal and a dedicated CRM... I'm sure it can be done and there are a lot of people in the Drupal CRM, Drupal Group who are working to that end but I wouldn't attempt it without a really good plan which is why I'm putting my efforts into civiCRM. I can import the CSV data from Filemaker or wherever and let civiCRM create it's own relationships between contacts, memberships, groups, etc... Drupal is the CMS, civiCRM is the CRM and Filemaker (once we complete the Filemaker plugin) is just an interface o the contacts database.


    Quote Originally Posted by CMS Dude View Post
    Now I'm fairly new with my company, so far be it from me to rock the boat so quickly. But I have a really hard time not expressing my dismay over the fact that we haven't consulted them on an alternate way of approaching this, where Drupal and the clietnt's CMS might be able to be more "de-coupled," and to act more autonimously. I have no problem with them sharing necessary info between the two. That's the whole point, but I still believe at heart that we're inviting future disasters if we allow their CRM to act as a CMS ... and drupal (a CMS frameworkd) to act as an apache server.
    Yeah, that's always the challenge when you're conscientious, trying to future-proof your work and look after the client's best interests. I inherit an awful lot of stuff from shops that just get the job done but aren't around to take care of the client after the fact. I think it will serve you well in the long run but I guess until you're more established in your role, you'll have to just go with it...

    I would be suggesting to your management that they do more planning and auditing of these types of jobs before they start production. It's hard to do because everyone is all excited about getting down to work but it's the only way to make sure that all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed. That said, even when you do lots of planning scope creep kicks in and you're fighting to keep everything on track.

    Quote Originally Posted by CMS Dude View Post
    And what really drives me crazy is that none of the other developers seem to think this is unusual. Is it just me? [/rant]
    Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm blown away that some things are done without anyone taking notice and saying hey... This doesn't make sense! Either they're too lazy to speak up or they've spoken up in the past and have been beaten to submission... I worked for a place like that once... Just shut up and work was their motto

    Regardless, I think you've got a bright future ahead of you because you don't rest on your laurels and keep learning as much as you can... It's how we survive!
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

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    Quote Originally Posted by kohoutek View Post
    Now I think you're being extremely unfair for no good reason and I find your three-point conclusion to be very ignorant of the valuable content this forum contains, provided you use the search function instead of scanning the results of a day or week.
    Thanks for your opinion. There are other experienced users that have given differing opinions, but I'll take yours on board.

    And that was a single example, there were other thread examples I could have posted too.

    Anyway, I'm now just appreciating this conversation, which has become fairly constructive, wouldn't you say?


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