The Onion Goes Drupal!

Who would have thunk it? The Onion, a fake news site (and by far the funniest site in the genre), has just implemented what I believe to be the most impressive configuration of drupal to date. In a very real sense, this site disproves the popular theory that drupal is only good for some things, while Mambo, and proprietary bloatware CMS's are good for others. Take a look at how the Onion used drupal, and then I dare you to come back and argue that Drupal is a limited platform that is only good for blogs.

Their complex four column layout is most impressive. Their system could easily manage the website, ads, and content of say -- The New York Times. Now, I, and several others have been no doubt aware that drupal had the capability of powering such a complex presentation, and flow of content. However, ths Onion is the first site that I've seen that proves the point.

Of course, in every redesign there will be a few critiques, and this one is no exception. You'll notice the site runs somewhat slow, and jerky at times. While a great deal of this is caused by their flash ads, I suspect a significant chunk of it is their liberal usage of Javascript through out the site. In particular they used way too much sIFR. sIFR is a Javascript/flash script that dynamically replaces header text with any font you load into its flash library. Its main advantage is that you can display headers that use fonts which the user doesn't have installed. In addition, sIFR safely downgrades for browsers which don't support flash or javascript. However, any Javascript and flash should only be used when absolutely necessary. And I'm looking closesly at the headers, and I see no reason why they used sIFR, when straight Arial or Helvetica would have done the trick anyway. True, they have some sort of dropshadow thing going on, but dropshadows are -- like -- so 1999! How bout you just give us clean crisp headers, and we'll thank you for a site that flows 5 times more smoothly.