Incremental Control

Drupal Commerce Kickstart is very much lauded as a powerful, flexible, and configurable interface. I had the privilege of checking it out recently and I must say, the module interplay is quite impressive. On my machine though (using an ASUS X550L with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and Windows 8.1 dual boot, i5 processor), it throttled during installation.

It took a while, and it took much longer when I placed it in a Vagrant environment. To affirm the theory, I tested it using an organic LAMP setup on my local machine vis-a-vis a LAMP setup inside a vagrant machine. True enough, there was a dramatic difference in loading time.

Interestingly, I also noticed an increase in throttling when I placed non-US dollar denomination and non-US location during installation. Probably it was because the demo store content was initially configured with these default values.

I tried to stay with the whole package for two days and eventually I got a little more adventurous. I browsed through some online discussions of people who are using Commerce Kickstart and learned that there are workarounds. I found a particularly informative post here.

As it turns out, the increased control I wanted for my current endeavor can be made more possible if I did away with the Commerce Kickstart installation and began with a fresh or vanilla Drupal 7 CMS installation instead. The modules are fortunately easily detachable.In fact, I already have them now in my hands because I tried most of it on my machine.

I have yet to continuously hack through the intestines of Drupal CMS. It’s really an entity in itself that requires a lot of tinkering.

Initially, I had difficulty deciding on what to use for implementing this project I am working on. A previous code had the MVC (model-view-controller) type of personalized CMS in it that was built from scratch. It was optimal because code was light and fast. The only caveat is that it will take ages before I can deploy the site because it will involve hardcoding most of the functionalities from scratch.

For now, I decided to make the switch to the loaded CMS that is Drupal 7. I will still probably be checking other MVC structures should time permit me to do so as a good form of technical diligence. Drupal and its distros like Commerce Kickstarter makes use of PAC (presentation-abstraction-control). There is a lot of flexibility in Drupal as a CMS, and as such, it contains a lot of files which can be a bit problematic for optimization later.

There’s the balance between site scalability and site functionality. And this is precisely one of the first steps in project management. Anyway, each web project is like a baby hatched egg and it’s so fragile in the initial stages that you can either permanently cripple it or induce it to develop much faster.

It’s really nice to have a bunch of options to choose from, though sometimes I can appreciate a more elegant and narrowed down way to trim the excessive fat from flashy features.