State of Drupal (Szeged 2008)

I was unfortunately unable to get to Drupalcon Szeged last month, so I’m now making my way through the videos and slide decks from sessions there.

One of the favorite keynotes of any Drupalcon of course is the State of Drupal address. Here’s video of Dries from Szeged:



(I took the one supplied by archive.org and cut out the first 37 minutes, including Drupalcon logistics – 10% female attendance!- and a welcome from the vice-mayor of Szeged, Sandor Nagy, who revealed that Szeged is open source friendly but unfortunately uses Joomla! to manage their web pages).

I love Dries’ approach. Most of the talk is structured around this list of the five things preventing Drupal from achieving world domination:

  1. Slow porting of contributed modules
  2. Learning curve
  3. Restricted access to Drupal talent
  4. Drupal.org Experience
  5. Lack of Features

He basically walks through each, commenting on what might be going on and how the Drupal community at large can address the issue.

Highlights:

  • Seems clear that more features need to move into core. Some (more) aspects of pathauto, CCK, and Views into core, perhaps a WYSIWYG editor (though Dries said he isn’t quite ready to pick one here). Looking at what modules most people install helps determine where core should go.
  • Multimedia handling and file handling generally – cleaning up the relationship between files and nodes.
  • Usability improvements – here the focus is on Drupal.org as well as Drupal itself. The default install and administer experience is still too confusing. There’s an initial step for first time users that is still too high.
  • RDF/Semantic Web – moving beyond the assumption that output = xhtml (This was also a theme at Drupalcon Boston)

When will Drupal 7 be frozen? When it is ready to be frozen. Not likely before January 2009, maybe not even then.

1 Comment

  1. Hmm I think the biggest problem is actually user interface issues and the customization of the interface…

    And you know what a drupal fan I am. I don’t see lack of features being an issue honestly.

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