After about a year and a half of struggle we finally unveiled the third version of the Prosperity! Network’s new web site. The saga of this project is a good example of design by committee that is the death of many projects and results in cost overruns on many others. In spite of some valiant efforts to define the goals and features of the site from the beginning, the project kept morphing. There literally was a committee behind the effort, but the make-up of the committee changed from meeting to meeting. Eventually, the county hired someone (Angie Schwab) dedicated to get the project done and that is what she did.
Our role has been to try and advise the Prosperity folks on what can and can’t be done within the project’s budget and to find the best technology to implement what they finally decided on for the site. Early on we chose to build the site using the Drupal platform. At one point, though, during the murkiest time in the development process we suggested abandoning Drupal for something simpler. But the decision was made to go forward with Drupal and for now, that seems to have worked out.
Sometimes working with Drupal is like trying to solve a Rubick’s cube puzzle. One move affects all the other squares and their relationships. So, you might start down a path thinking you are making all the right moves. But then a new feature request comes in, you install a new module and that module doesn’t play nice with something else you’ve installed. Fun. Still, Drupal is the most feature rich, flexible platform we have found in the open source world. I think Drupal will serve them for some time.