Questions about using views versus custom queries has come up a few times on this site. The problem is that the questions aren't a good fit for DA, as they fall in the Non-Constructive category.

However, I think this is an important topic and I am convinced that we can craft a question that is both constructive and worthy of canonization about the topic.

I have some ideas, but won't have time to craft anything for a few days.

Please vote if if you think this is a good idea, and add an answer if you have any ideas for starting points.

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This is a good idea in my opinion -as interesting as that question might be, anything asking for pros and cons has to be un-constructive as there's no single, objective answer. But perhaps a question can be constructed with an example generic enough to be on-topic –  Clive Feb 25 '13 at 17:49
    
Even as I was typing that last comment it sounded 'petty' and a bit stupid - if the question is good, interesting, etc, why does it matter if it fits in to a rigid criteria? And to answer that...this is the price we pay for using the SE model. It has its disadvantages, but the amount of crap that's pruned from sites based on those few generic rules in the FAQ far outweigh the perceived problems in my opinion. If we let one go, a slightly lower quality one will get through, then another, then another. Until we have a site of extremely low quality questions that exist because of 'precedent' –  Clive Feb 25 '13 at 17:59
    
Which are exactly the questions in question? Are we talking of using a view instead of using custom code to execute a query? If it is so, it seems a too broad topic to be covered by a single question. (This comment is the classic crumb from two pigeons. ;)) –  kiamlaluno Feb 25 '13 at 18:16
    
@kiamlaluno It was sparked by this one I think... –  Clive Feb 25 '13 at 18:18
    
@kiamlaluno And this one. If we did a better search, more will come up. –  MPD Feb 25 '13 at 19:38
    
@MPD Thank you. The link you provided, and the one provided by Clive are sufficient. –  kiamlaluno Feb 25 '13 at 19:45

3 Answers 3

Honestly, I don't think this is a good idea. In my opinion, you are trying to solve the wrong problem.

You say this question is not constructive, and at the same time very important. I still don't understand what is constructive for Drupal Answers and what is not. Could the FAQ be extended or improved about this matter? From my point of view there are a lot of questions that can be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise but for some reason end up falling in the Non Constructive category.

The worst of this is that some of the answers of these questions could be very useful -for the Drupal Community, and for Drupal Answers as well.

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From my point of view there are a lot of questions that can be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise ...the operative word there is can. There are a lot of questions closed as not constructive for exactly that reason - enough details could be provided but haven't been provided. Until they are provided the question is un-constructive, and only the OP is in a position to provide them –  Clive Feb 25 '13 at 17:54
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One of the common misconceptions for new users is that closing is in some way the 'end of life' for a question. Exactly the opposite is true - questions are closed when they do not fit on the site, to provide the OP with a chance to make them fit on the site. Very few closed questions are deleted on DA, so the OP is given plenty of opportunity to do so –  Clive Feb 25 '13 at 17:56
    
Yes, as a new user I have that feeling too. I'm curious about how many closed questions are reopened -specially questions of new users –  Pere Feb 25 '13 at 20:06
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@Pere The number of re-opened questions depends also from who asked the questions. Without the Op doing anything, the question is probably not re-opened. –  kiamlaluno Feb 26 '13 at 0:34
    
Yes but it may be that users don't have enough hints to improve and re-open them –  Pere Feb 26 '13 at 6:51
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@Pere With respect, we're not offering a babysitting service here. We expect those asking questions to have put enough research in to be able to at least formulate a coherent question about their problem. We offer hints, sure, but when you see 20 of these questions asked a day, it's not reasonable to expect moderators (or any other community member) to hold every single one of those people's hands through what is essentially a very easy task - asking a question about a problem they're facing. I'm positive if you spend more time on the SE network you'll start to agree with that. –  Clive Feb 26 '13 at 9:30
    
The help and support you can receive on this site is excellent. If people want to take advantage of that excellence, they need to put the effort in themselves. That's a founding tenement of this network and is very unlikely to change –  Clive Feb 26 '13 at 9:32
    
As far as I know we were not talking about incoherent questions. I'm not trying to defend nor apologize the bad questions. –  Pere Feb 26 '13 at 9:33
    
Sure...but bad is a very subjective term. It's just as easy to argue that a question asking for a list of pros and cons, no matter how interesting or useful that would be, is a bad question in the context of this site. Just saying... –  Clive Feb 26 '13 at 9:36
    
I'm sorry I still don't wee why this type of questions are bad. But I'm going to stop. –  Pere Feb 26 '13 at 9:43

The problem with this question (and as I understand it, the reason it cannot be asked in that form) is that it has a number of different answers depending on your use case and priorities - of which there can be many. This is not merely a case of improving performance (in which case the question would be trivial). For instance here are a few use-case factors I can think of (off the top of my head) that would affect the answer:

  • single or multiple developers;
  • single site or platform to be deployed;
  • type of content access control;
  • want to allow users to change some of the views;
  • etc.

And similarly off the top my head some priorities that would affect the answer:

  • performance;
  • interoperability with other modules;
  • long term maintenance by programmers;
  • long term maintenance by non programmers;
  • development overhead;
  • etc.

If someone just asked "performance-wise what should I do", my answer would be that you can't make this decision just looking at performance. So the only way I would see this question asked here (given the rules for posting questions) is if someone asked "I'm starting a new project, I need to make the decision of Views vs Custom Query. This is my use case, and these are my priorities. What should I do?"

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Thanks MPD for starting a discussion about a topic that i have been searching a long time. IMO there is no reliable docs/sources to decide which is better. What about adding a community wiki or something to share our thoughts on the subject?

It will help many peoples for sure, who care about the performance. And the question is not constructive but needs some answer. So i am with you to share my opinion about this. Start a Community Wiki, wait for the comments from our Mods and other experienced fello Drupalers.

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