From FUpload to SWFUpload

Community contributed extensions are a double-edged sword in the free, open-source software world. On the one hand, the user community creates and maintains hundreds of modules for a web application that is free to download and install. A for-profit company could never create such an expansive set of plugins on their own. On the other hand, volunteer commitment to a module can wane over time.

An upgrade to PHP version 5.3 broke our Drupal 6 Image FUpload plug-in. Apparently, this problem was discovered two years ago and has not yet been entirely fixed. Not coincidentally, the Image FUpload project is seeking a new maintainer.

Fortunately, the SWFUpload project is in better shape, so we switched to it this weekend. Project usage statistics confirm that at least a thousand other site managers have made the same decision.

Both modules rely on the same SWFUpload Google project, so they operate in similar fashion. SWFUpload seems simpler and behaves more consistently than Image FUpload. Previously uploaded photo gallery images are stored and presented by ImageField and FileField, so past photo galleries do not depend on the choice of uploader.

What batch image uploader will be available for Drupal 7? Neither Image FUpload nor SWFUpload has a Drupal 7 version in development. FileField is now integrated into Drupal 7 core, so perhaps a partial rewrite is required for one of these modules to advance to D7.

Many thanks to Drupal community developers for your work. This project would not be possible without you. If you are interested in automatically creating Drupal users based on LDAP accounts, check out my contribution to the LDAPsync module.

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