For many years, I had run a site on Drupal 6. For some reasons, continuing was no option, as was migration (upgrading). By the way I have to thank Drupal 6 for, all in all, forgiving me more than one basic mistake (my first Drupal project ever) and serving pretty stable along some five years. Which is good. Despite this, I am happy that this performance hog now sleeps (almost) for good.
While Drush is a nice and handy CLI tool that especially eases shell and cron integration in advanced *X setups, Drupal’s so-called batch API was once designed to work around problems resulting from the lack of a full root access which was widespread standard with web hosting those days (and often still is).
This can become a problem once you want to build advanced environments with sophisticated workflows. Today’s example is (otherwise great) pathauto module.
Ever tried to copy a vzdump result containing a LUKS encrypted volume image from your PVE host to a mounted remote share (NFS, SMB, whatever)? Ever succeeded without any “I/O error”? No? Same here.
With increasing user counts, desire for more features grew constantly. Soon after brauherr.de’s first launch as a portal, it became clear that complex projects as this one need either good patronage or far more volunteers. For a good-will project with, if at all, some educational benefit this leaves few alternatives to an open source system, ideally one with a vast contributing community.