Drupal 7 is out!
It has been a long time coming. Drupal 6 came out some 3 years ago. That in many ways was the time when Drupal emerged from relative obscurity, where it was known only by open source aficionados, PHP geeks and a few untold thousands of independent website owners who knew a good thing when they saw it, to a CMS recognized worldwide as one to be reckoned with. More powerful than Wordpress, more flexible than Joomla!, more affordable (and flexible and, in many ways, powerful) than proprietary systems like Vignette, Drupal 6 came on the scene the quiet hero to many site owners. [Note: I mean no disparagement against Wordpress or Joomla!, which are active open source web software projects, and we like open source software! But each is different; describing how so is something to be left for another blog post another day.]
We here in this shop have had the great fortune of being able to work with Drupal 6 on a number of projects — and each of us individually beforehand — playing a small part in a very large and impressive community.
Drupal 7 promises to step everything up a notch.
Right now, we have a couple of Drupal 7 projects in house that are in the last strategic planning and architecture phases, which means that we — and especially Brian Vuyk, who contributed 33 patches to Drupal 7 and, last year, took over the Primary Term module, while offering up and testing patches for a number of contributed modules — will be bringing a lot of time and attention to some interesting modules needing upgrades, as well as perhaps a new one or two.
Meanwhile, as announced here before, the Square Grid theme and the Floater theme are both available for Drupal 7. (Confession time: They're still not tagged as official stable releases, but Square Grid is actually quite stable currently; Floater has some sprucing up for its 1.0 release. Expect stable releases of each very soon!)
How far we've come in just a few years!
I first discovered Drupal in 2004. I joined the community in November of that year. Back then, Drupal 4.5 was new. Theming was an order of magnitude more difficult than it is today. Modules did not have installation routines, you had to manually execute MySQL commands to add or update tables. PHP 4.whatever was the standard. You had to get into the code quite a bit to set up any kind of site.
Since then, Drupal has grown. Ultimately, the test for Drupal 7 is just beginning. My expectation is that people will respond with enthusiasm and delight, and Drupal will continue its phenomenal growth with every major release.
And yet this is open source, and the drop is always moving. Drupal 8 is coming!