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Frustrated With Drupal
I have spent days trying to do something that should be very simple - to set up Drupal with a system that allows me to send out my email newsletters.
It didn't help that my web host was in the middle of switching mailing list managers, from ezmlm to mailman. It didn't help when my ste was set up for mailman, but documented for exmlm.
After finally threatening to move my account elsewhere they actually sent me a terse four-line message telling me where and how to set up a mailman mailing list (the lists are all on another server so if you don't know where it is, you're stuck. And CSoft uses its own controlpanel, csoftadmin, which has its own unique command set).
In the interin, I tried a bunch of things with Drupal. I got to explore, for example, the Drupal Actions and Workflow modules. There is no documentation available for actions - not even something that sys you need to use actions in conjunction with some other manual. Nothing. And with workflow, the only documentation I could find was a video.
Drupal really really has to fix this. The search results thrown up by the site on any search are utterly useless. You get bits and pieces of discussion in the Drupal discussion forums - questions about how to install it, for example, with no links to the answer. What you don't get (maybe because it doesn't exist?) is documentation on how to use it.
Anyhow, after spending several hours figuring our how to make the workflow work, and to send an email message, I run into another problem: how to send an HTML message. It appears to have become very political inside the Drupal developer community, with the verdict being that the makers of Actions will only allow the purity of text email. Morons!
More burrowing through the Drupal site. Try the Send Module, which in turn requires the MimeMail Module. According to the site, Send is supposed to "permits you to create a 'send this item' link on any node type (image, story, event, etc.)." What it doesn't tell you is how you are supposed to do this. If there is a trigger or a toggle anywhere inside the module commands, I couldn't find it (and I spend hours searching, methodically going through every possible setting - I am nothing if not persistent (people who read these articles should know that by now)). So, another dead end. I cannot use these modules to send anything.
So anyhow. CSoft finally gets around to telling me about the new mailman installation. OK, fine. Forget trying to use Drupal to send emails, I'll just do that manually, and use the Drupal Mailman Manager module to allow people to subscribe and unsubscribe from mailing lists. I set up the lists in mailman (again working without proper documentation, so I'm working by feel here). I am able to subscribe and unsubscribe using my administrator user ID. Then I test on a typical website user. Disaster.
I think you need to try volunteering some time on an open source project to discover just how difficult it is to develop, release, document, and support any given module. Sure I feel for you, sounds like you've been through a lot of frustration.... but when your dealing with free and open software this is simply going to happen.
Anyway best of luck with your project, hope you got it solved. [Comment] [Permalink]