The bleeding edge of Drupal 7

Drupal LogoI’m a very renegade web developer. I like to exist on the bleeding edge, and I’m waiting with baited breath for the next version of Drupal to be released.

My memory of the last big Drupal release – migrating from version 5 to 6 – was a frustrating affair. Though the new core code was available, very few of the contributed modules were available at the time Drupal 6 came out.

The reason for writing this is because I came across this blog post on Mikkel Høgh’s blog, where he talks about supporting Drupal by adopting the latest version as soon as possible. Now, even though that’s quite an old post, I admire the principle – upgrade as quickly as possible and help move the Drupal project along.

I’m keen to jump on board with the latest version. There are sites in production that I can afford to experiment with and one’s where I’ll adopt a “wait and see” attitude, or perform some more in-depth testing first.

Since this is my personal site, it’s the least reliant on contributed modules, but still taps into some of the main ones. Imagecache, CCK, Views, Pathauto, etc. I’ve high hopes that most of these will be available on the day that Drupal 7 goes live. I’ll probably do an upgrade test first – taking a database dump and running the various upgrades on a test server. My bigger concern will be a few sites I have hanging off a multisite installation which use a range of different modules. That’ll be a head scratcher.

All the same, I’ve got full confidence there’ll be a great new version of Drupal out soon and it’ll work just fine in production! I’m especially looking forward to new, more granular themes and I really want to test Drupal with Varnish cache to see what it does for performance.

Anyone else planning on moving to the latest whenever Drupal 7 becomes available?

6 thoughts on “The bleeding edge of Drupal 7

  1. Hi Gerard,As pointed out above, CCK and ImageCache is practically in the D7 core. Pathauto isn’t, but a port to D7 is available (dev) and works fine.A few weeks ago I decided to run my personal blog site on D7 alpha 5, and I have been writing a few posts about my experiences. Not only with core, but also with the 15 odd contributed modules I have enabled for it as well.The community learned a lot from the D6 release and the time it took before important modules where ready for it. The same thing wont happen this time.Views is also available in a dev version. I haven’t enabled it on the live site yet since I don’t need its functionality yet. I am playing with it on my dev server and so far I haven’t stumbled on any big issues.The main thing stopping D7 from going beta right now is the upgrade path from D6. A new alpha, or hopefully beta, will be released within about a week according to a tweet from webchick./thomas

    1. gerard

      Hi Thomas – thanks for the info. Looking forward to the new version, especially after what I’ve seen of Drupal Gardens.I enjoyed your post about WordPress 3 versus Drupal, by the way. You make some very good points there, especially since WordPress has a bunch of usability features that Drupal can’t currently match – WordPress in a multiuser setup along with BuddyPress might be the knockout punch that pushes potential new Social Networks toward WP than Drupal.

      1. Hi Gerard,Thanks for enjoying my post. I hope there will be more for you to enjoy.Yeah, WordPress is slowly eating into Drupals features, and for many that will be enough.I do believe Drupal has what it takes to match it though. Drupal Gardens for a start has the ability to export your site so you can easily migrate it to a stand alone installation. As far as I know, that is much trickier with we also have the things happening with distributions, installation profiles, for Drupal. I think they will simply explode with Drupal 7. We already are seeing this starting to happen with Drupal 6.Thus putting together a Drupal Multi Blogging distribution with all the needed modules, configurations and so on that both matches and goes beyond what WP3 is offering is certain to happen.The new UI improvements in Drupal 7 are screaming for these things to happen./thomas

  2. A good article and message here. Ultimately, it benefits all of us who run Drupal sites if we support running on the latest version, even if it means the potential for a couple of remaining bugs.I plan to upgrade most of my own sites once Drupal 7 hits beta (pending time), and the sites I administer for others once 7.0 is released.

  3. Anonymous

    Drupal 7 is great because you can do basically any website you could ever imagine with custom post types and all the awesome stuff inside it. The huge downside is – I still can’t find a way to migrate from WordPress.

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