itch of the week
In open source, things get done by people scratching their own itches. This column's purpose is to document stuff I'm working on in my "free" time, as well as "bubble up" places in the Drupal project that could use a hand from the larger community.
Earlier tonight, Jimmy Berry posted a plea for the Drupal community to clean up their messes in terms of testing. Since Jimmy did a whole bunch of the heavy lifting involved in getting the SimpleTest framework ready to commit to core, a major milestone in Drupal's development, we'd do well to listen to his words and his frustrations when he sees all of his hard work falling apart due to neglect.
Still stuck... er, I mean... visiting ;) Boston after Drupalcon, thanks to a lovely winter storm in Canada that refuses to go away. Karen Stevenson was nice enough to put me up in her hotel room for a night, so I wanted to pay her back by making this important issue my "itch of the week": we need to figure out a data model in order to move CCK fields in core efforts forward. See Karen's Field Structure thread for more details.
This week's itch is another usability itch: adding example text to all textfields in core. There's work there in process to do stuff like emulate the Yahoo! registration form, where a faded-out example value is placed in initially, and disappears when the box gets focus:
On browsers that lack JS support, the example text will just be displayed next to the box.
How does this work?
I noted in my Drupal 7.x Personal Battleplan that I was going to focus on Usability and QA stuff this go around. So I've started a new segment called "itch of the week" to keep track of the efforts I'm working on to that effect. It'll be interesting (well... to me and probably no one else :P) to see if I can keep up with these weekly or not. ;)
Anyway. The first itch goes to.... permission descriptions!
This is a patch that was originally written by kkaefer way back in fall of 2005. It came back on my radar when I was observing Marci working with Drupal on her blog and struggling to figure out what the various options meant. It further came back on my radar when I heard a support request come in from a client about why their editor could see private site content intended only for administrators. Permissions are sometimes poorly named (I've come across some doozies in contrib :P) or have other implications that are not immediately obvious, such as roles with "administer nodes" permission bypassing any access control on content. This patch attempts to make these more obvious to folks.
Anyway, if this sounds like something that's interesting to you, please help review the patch, and we'll see if we can get it into Drupal 7.x. :)