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Drupal is officially crap

As a software developer, I expect all software to start out with issues, but eventually get better. Sadly, that has not been the case with Drupal. To be fair, most other web content management systems look worse, but I went with Drupal here for various reasons, so I know the details of the problems that crop up better. I can't say I'm going to switch to something else immediately, but I can say that it wouldn't be too much of a hassle to roll my own CMS for the basic needs of a site like Impossibly Stupid. I thought that a dedicated CMS like Drupal would allow me to avoid that, but it has only lead to more hassles.

Firstly, there is the update procedure. Or, rather, the lack of one. The instructions are basically “Manually copy over everything, but make sure you don't replace anything you changed!” Not at all helpful, especially when I have significant changes to core Drupal files like .htaccess. Many things, like pictures and embedded media, I have local copies of and I can just upload them all again with with a single command, but things on the site itself require backing up because Drupal itself isn't confident it won't screw everything up.

And that brings us to the database, which Drupal is constantly screwing up. I'm no stranger to MySQL, so it is particularly frustrating when Drupal's opaque database update scripts fail. Here is the wonderful error I'm constantly getting now:

The update process was aborted prematurely . . . All errors have been logged. You may need to check the watchdog database table manually.

Naturally, no errors are logged and nothing is in watchdog regarding the problem. I could dig into the SQL, as I have done to fix other Drupal problems I encountered, but I'm tired of it. As a technically competent person, I'm well aware of the line the separates not-invented-here from value-added-vendor. Drupal is now on the wrong side of that line, and it's only a matter of time before I migrate to something else. Or maybe Drupal 7 will be ready before then and address these, and other, issues. Either way, change is in the air.