Monday, June 7, 2010

Assignment 3 Interview with Ilana Kingsley

For this assignment I interviewed Ilana Kingsley from University of Alaska Fairbanks, Rasmuson Library.

1. How and where did your library hear about Drupal CMS?

Around 5 years ago I was looking for software that would allow other people to edit content (so I didn’t have to). I new I could create something using PHP/MySQL—but I also knew that I’m not a top-notch programmer. Somehow I came across Drupal, Mambo, and Joomla. I don’t remember exactly how/where I heard about them.

2. What motivated your library to adopt Drupal for its website?

I was tired of being the “web ho” and having to fix minor mistakes. Also, library faculty/staff did not provide me with content to add to the web site. I thought that by providing them with a easy template system, one that meant they didn’t need to know HTML, they would be more apt to provide content.

3. What were your decision making criteria?

I installed and tested Mambo, Joomla, and Drupal. Mambo uses Python, and it was clear that I would need to learn Python in order to effectively administer the system, so I eliminated Mambo. Joomla and Drupal were both in the running. I decided on Drupal because a) it had a very impressive user community, and b) it had a great Taxonomy module.

4. What were the important benefits or advantages of Drupal over the old system your library was using and other CMS system?

Library staff/faculty could update their own content without having to know HTML.

5. How was the learning curve?

For me, I jumped right in without problems. I recall the Views module had me stumped for a while (this was Drupal 4x), but I soon figured it out. For library staff/faculty, the biggest curve was remembering the URL to login and remembering their username/password (my system isn’t integrated with campus authentication).

6. Once Drupal was chosen how long did it take you to become familiar and confident with the software?

I felt confident with it right away. However for more complicated workflows that use different access control modules – I’m still pulling my hair out.

7. Did you work with Drupal’s source code?

If so, was it difficult to change the source code to meet the needs of your library? No! Changing Drupal’s source code may break something when the time comes to upgrade Drupal.

8. Did you have to train your co-workers? If so, was it hard for them to understand and learn Drupal?

I had several training workshops.

9. Would you recommend Drupal to other libraries?


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