When you come to work with a new web application, one of the most daunting tasks is knowing what addons you need, Drupal is no different in this regard. When you visit the Drupal download area, its not the easiest place to navigate and choose what you want. There are 4323 different modules to choose from.
The download area allows you to choose from Profiles, Modules, Themes, Theme Engines and Translations. And once you select the type you are brought the the listings which you can sort by Title, Creation date, Last release, Recent activity and Usage statistics and filter by Drupal Version. You can also choose which type of project it is, for example : Third-party integration which has 755 options reduced to 492 for Drupal 6 only.
Its easy to get lost in this forest of mods. But with Drupal the answer is there when you look. The installation profiles is really quite helpful. Ranging from Publishing profiles, to project management these give a good taste of whats needed. Even reading through this profiles (only 50 or so) gives a good guidelines for what to use for different purposes.
Initially, I chose to follow a profile from a case study, which meant installing 40 modules, and frankly confused myself with which to use for what! But that I guess is part of the learning process. I will do a post later in week of which modules I am now actively using, and those I intend to use later on.