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Jennifer Lea Lampton
Oakland, California, USA
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Hi Jen. First of all, thank you for taking the time to eloquently communicate your ideas and motivations, and for your many years of passion around Drupal's learnability and work to improve it. However, I'm troubled by your use of the phrase "higher tier" 3 times in your post. I think it misrepresents the goals and decisions in Drupal 8. For example, neither in <a href="http://buytaert.net/the-future-is-a-restful-drupal">Dries's post a year and a half ago</a>, nor in <a href="http://buytaert.net/why-the-big-architectural-changes-in-drupal-8">his post last week</a>, nor in any other post of his that I'm aware of, does he distinguish along tiers of developers. I appreciate <a href="#comment-9">your follow up clarification</a>, but disagree with that dichotomy as well. Instead what I think you'll find in those posts is the perspective that Drupal has become more complex (with every version, not just 8), because the web continues to mature. 10 years ago, web services, multilingual sites, e-commerce, configuration management, responsive design, etc., etc., weren't a priority for Drupal. If you look at what it takes to do those things in Drupal 6 or Drupal 7, you'll find that by the time you learn the coding approaches of both core and the dozens of contrib modules you need, that you've had to put in a lot of time to get up to speed. You didn't need a fancy education, or a super high IQ, but you needed time, and in some cases, the help of peers in your local Drupal users group and throughout the community. And I think the same will be true for Drupal 8. Quoting Dries from his earlier post: <blockquote>As it has evolved into an increasingly powerful system, Drupal has gotten increasingly complex and is not as easy to start developing with as it once was. Many developers are nervous about continuing that trend. Managing complexity is a challenge faced by many software projects, and one approach is to use standardized patterns and components.</blockquote> That's what Drupal 8 is about. It's not about higher tier vs. lower tier, formally educated vs. not, professional vs. not. At no point in time has Drupal been the easiest CMS to get started with: its appeal has always been its flexibility to be a good fit for a broad range of websites, the amazing breadth of what you can build with no custom coding at all, and the ability to add in custom code where you need to while still fully leveraging and interoperating with all the code in core and contrib. So the question Drupal has had to face is how to continue to evolve those strengths, given the evolving needs of the web, while still being learnable, understandable, and maintainable. Object orientation and incorporating modern standards, components, and patterns <strong>is a way to achieve that</strong> rather than the abandonment of those goals. If you've never before done any coding at all, then learning Drupal 8 will be harder than learning Drupal 4.6 was. But once you've done that learning, you'll be able to accomplish more, both within Drupal, and by learning modern standards, components, and patterns, also be ready to take a crack at hacking on any other modern PHP or non-PHP project. Now, I do agree that there are some things in the current state of Drupal 8 that make for a terrible developer experience, and an especially terrible first impression to someone who just wants to hack together something simple. But Drupal 8 is still in alpha: lots of people are working on improving that.
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