Distributions: Learning from Others

Room 103

Drupal comes with some assembly required.  Drupal core itself is pretty bare bones.  Thanks to several thousand contributed modules, virtually any functionality is possible.  Distributions take those modules, combine them with configuration to serve a specific use case.  There are almost 500 distributions on drupal.org, so it is possible there’s one that might meet your needs, or a lot of them.

Distributions are also often big, enabling over 100 modules, and notoriously hard to update.

Even if you don’t use a distribution, distributions have another, useful, purpose—you can learn from them.

Join me as I perform autopsies of three distributions with similar goals—enabling rapid development of governmental websites:

  • aGov
  • OpenPublic
  • WetKit

Like a medical examiner, we’ll dissect the distributions and try to understand how and why they were constructed.  We’ll also look at how these distributions have evolved their approach as they have gained experience using the distribution.

Among the things we’ll cover are:

  • Modules used
  • Content types
  • Views
  • Features (how components are being modularized)
  • Initialization code
Development and Site Building