ergophobe - 4:01 pm on Jul 12, 2013 (gmt 0)
I definitely appreciate your position. I also started using Drupal about 10 years ago and Wordpress about the same time with the idea of avoiding continually writing code. And while it saves a lot of time on a new site, I do notice that the DB-driven site I built from scratch in about 2003 is running on the exact same code base with the last bug fix having been rolled out over 6 years ago.
You might have a peruse here, though it hasn't been updated in a while.
The problem you have with PHP-based CMS in general is the code is mixed with the layout
Many people think Drupal 8 is a make or break release, because it attempts to fix a lot of this. And even within the community, there's a sense that this could be an OS X type of advance or a Win Vista type of advance.
But a few things are oriented toward relieving the pain.
1. Separation of code/presentation layers with Twig. This is mostly seen as a security issue (major problem with PHP CMS - themers have access to full PHP and can delete your DB). [twig.sensiolabs.org...]
2. Inline editing. If you have the privileges, you will make content edits from the page itself. True WYSIWG.... unless of course it's a big fail.
3. "Not built here" technology. There has been a general recognition that building components from scratch, which is the Drupal tradition, is a mistake. This first started in small bits perhaps 5 years ago with rolling in JQuery, but with D8, the database layer and many other major components will use existing and well-known PHP frameworks (Symfony for the most part).
4. Config export. Another huge problem with Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla etc is that they mix content and configuration in the database. This makes pushing feature updates from dev to production difficult and often risky. With Drupal 8, almost all config can be saved to code. Drupal has been way ahead on this already with Features and CTools exports, but because config in Drupal is so complex, it still ends up with 10x more config in the database than Wordpress. This should reverse that situation.
As I say, D8 is still in alpha. I've installed it and played and generally like it. But many people think that this release will either catapult Drupal to the fore putting it leaps and bounds ahead of other PHP CMS, or it will consign it to the dustbin as a bloated, unusable and unfriendly CMS.... check back here in about year for details.