The "featured content rotator" seems to have become a standard feature in our client sites - a front page device for promoting content, using nice "flashy" effects during auto-rotation between promoted items. For Drupal 5 sites I ended up always working off the same custom module I had built for the first one and having to tweak it according to different client requirements: Did they want tabs? Did they want pause and play buttons? Should navigation be triggered on tab click or on tab hover? And so on. I had been thinking to myself I should really get around to writing a one-module-fits-all solution, where these options would just be different configuration settings. Well, I am now certain I will never write such a module. Recently, we needed to implement a rotator feature for a D6 client site. I had heard vaguely that there were D6 modules available but until I came across this post in the Duplicated Modules Hall of Shame on groups.drupal.org I had no idea that so many developers had contributed their own version of this feature.
So I set about evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the various alternatives and figured while I was at it I should draw up a full comparison to help others choose between them. The comparison document is under the "Comparisons of contributed modules" section in the Drupal Handbook and you can find it here. As I went through the different modules I really was incredulous at the amount of duplicated effort, and many of the developers still seem to have plans to enhance their modules' functionality in directions that would only bring them closer to others that are already there. However, I was happy to discover that the developers of two of the most impressive (and most similar!) options - Views Cycle and Views Rotator - are already discussing consolidation. Awesome rotator module developers unite - yay! :-)