To Patch Contrib or Write a Custom Module: When to know which path to follow

A presentation at New England Drupal Camp (NEWDcamp) in in Providence, RI, USA by Michael Miles

To use a contrib (community) module, patch a contrib module or write a custom module, that is the question.

With over 25,000 community contributed modules available for download it is rare to find one that does not offer the functionality you are looking for. However, when you cannot find a module that fits your needs you are then faced with a choice. Do you patch an existing contrib module? Or write a custom one?

To figure out the answer to the answer you just need to remember to R.E.A.D.

In this session we will go over the four steps of R.E.A.D that help you decide which path you should follow and how you can quickly and correctly identify if you should patch a contrib module or write your own custom module. We will use some real world examples to demo straight how these steps were utilized to make the correct decision.

We will also talk about the basics and best practices of writing and contributing a patch, and the best practices to follow if you decide to pursue writing a custom module and how to contribute it back to the Drupal community.

This session is geared to developer, site builders and functionality decision makers who consider themselves new to Drupal. This session can also prove to be beneficial to experienced drupalists who want validation on habits they have developed over time.