Remember the golden rule
- Thursday, November 15 2001 @ 12:33 PM EST
- Contributed by:
Guys, Geeklog would conquer the world if you remember to make it as configurable as possible. Which points in the direction of increasing modularity and taking as much out of the core code as you can and putting it into modules or plugins.
Why? Because there are big philosophical differences among webmasters. For example, I detest topic icons, I don't want my users choosing themes, and I don't want anonymous users posting. Doesn't mean the functions shouldn't be optional (someone else might love 'em), but I want to disable them as cleanly and as quickly as possible. I have a whole bunch of similar prejudices, and I think anyone reading this page will be nodding sympathetically. The common experience of the weblog webmaster community is a frustrating hunt through all the available software looking for the right feature set. We've all found programs that are perfect but for one missing (or nonremovable) feature.
Which leads to a second consideration. Be sure that the core code is free of any trace of modules or removable features. Examples (I don't remember where each is from): Software that allows you to disable polls by switching off the current poll, but still displays an entry in the main navbar for earlier poll results. Software that lets the webmaster be the sole moderator for incoming articles and comments, yet allows all users to see a counter for ranking posts, which would only be meaningful if voting were enable. And so on and so forth. The idea is to keep the interface free of things that might confuse the end user, right?
The reason that Geeklog or Drupal or Nuke gets adopted is that there are a whole lot of webmasters who would rather not become serious programmers. So we find convenient software and tweak it. The less coding we have to do, the better. What we hate is having to rip out code that's part of a program simply because the developer fell in love with an idea (like ranking). Or because every other weblog seems to do it (like polls). Whatever, it's more work for mother, and mother doesn't like to work.
Easy configurability is going to become increasingly important. The recent news events have produced a significant uptick in weblog and content management use; this is only going to draw in more webmasters with increasingly diverse needs. . . .