[erlang-questions] Drupal cloan anybody?

Joe Armstrong <>
Thu Feb 26 13:14:00 CET 2009


The other day my son wanted to build a web site ....

He's no programmer - but he can point a mouse and click.

He showed me the kind of stuff he wanted. His university has a web
site and he can administer bits
of it by pointing and clicking ...

To cut a long story short ..... drupal

The idea is nice - Jim User knows nothing about web sites, but can
fill in a menu and click a button
and you get a website.

I thought I'd play with drupal ... bought a book .... read it ...
(well skimmed through it)

Play time - http://bitnami.org/ - fantastic ( a single click downloads
Apache+PHP+MySQL+Drupal)
Execute one shell script and fill in one form and we're up and running.

If you don't know what bitnami is stop reading this message and go take a look

(bitnami is apt-get install XYZ on steroids - it gets all the bits you
need *and configures everything*
in a couple of mouse clicks)

WHY DONT WE PACKAGE YAWS+MNESIA+COUTCHDB etc in a similar manner to the bitnami
packages? - make it *really* easy to get started.

(I see a lot of mail from people who have tried to gets started with
yaws/mochi/couchDB etc and fail
 or who have to search for info and fail, or who write tutorials on
how to install stuff 'cos it difficult -
this is *just like me* - I have big problems installing stuff (like
mysql) that I don't know well - it takes
a long time to make stuff work if you do not understand it)

What is drupal?

     templates + forms + database + plugin architecture + way of
working + report generator

Well we can do most of these things - I've just made a javascript
thingy to make forms - we could use
mnesia/couchDB/dets/filesystem as a database - we need some kind of
templating (I've done this as well)
need a web server (mochi/yaws/...)

We could cloan the drupal architecture - in essence the appendices to
the book I bought contain the database schemas that power Drupal so
most of the hard work is done - in a sence a data base schema
is a form (almost).

I think it might be fun to try and make a bitnami type distibution
that packages a LYME stack
(Linux Yaws Mnesia Erlang) - (or Mac Mochi CouchDn Erlang) then build
a menu/table viewer layer on top - then build some apps on top of
that.

If the basic infrastructure was Webserver+database+erlang+menus+table
viewer then building
an application on top of this might be a simple job.

(The bit I'm missing is a table viewer in a browser, something like
the module tv that runs with
AJAX calls in a browser - and that has a few nice js effects)

Another problem that needs to be addressed is multi-platform packaging
- how can we package
this for linux, windows, os-x and "the cloud".

This might make a nice community project - we need some specialist
knowledge here in the following areas:

            - web servers (think yaws, mochiweb)
            - ccs + html templates (think pretty designs)
            - data bases (think mnesia, couchdb) (or even backends to mysql)
            - javascript (think, fancy forms, AJAX, jquery, pretty
effects, JSON)
            - packaging (like bitnami)
            - Instant messaging (xmpp, ejabberd) etc.

Then we need people who want to build domain specific apps

          - bulletin boards
          - blog engines
          - mashups
          - cms
          - bug trackers

The latter group should be presented with a uniform API towards the platform

To the question is anybody interested? - I expect the answer to be yes
- but how can we organize this?
Can we have volunteers? - who does what on which machine?

All comments are welcome

/Joe Armstrong



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