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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Drupal 7 has promise, but don't upgrade existing installations just yet

The team behind Drupal announced today the availability of Drupal 7.0, the latest incarnation of the popular free and open source content management system, which powers more than one percent of the world's websites.

Today's release is the culmination of a development cycle that lasted more than two years, including three betas and four release candidates. More than one thousand people reportedly pitched in to help shape this release.

"Drupal 7 sports an improved new user interface, accessibility improvements, better image handling capabilities, support for rich content metadata, security features, scalability and database interoperability enhancements, a suite of 30,000 automated tests to ensure stability, and more. In short: it's a tremendous leap forward for the project," said core maintainer Angie Byron in a press release.

More than two hundred and fifty launch parties are taking place around the world this Friday, including one in Portland (7 PM, at the Lucky Lab, 1945 NW Quimby St, Portland, OR 97209) and one in Seattle (3 PM, at Elliot's Oyster House, 1201 Alaskan Way, Pier 56, Seattle, WA 98101).

While there's no question that Drupal 7 is more usable and scalable than its predecessor, I've concluded the new version still isn't ready for production use, based on testing I did today. Regrettably, I encountered errors both when trying to populate a new installation of Drupal 7 with content, and when trying to upgrade a Drupal 6 site to Drupal 7.

I wouldn't classify any of the errors as showstoppers — they didn't make Drupal unusable from the frontend — but they did impair administration.

So my advice to individuals and organizations that rely on Drupal to power their website is: Hold off on upgrading for now. Give the developers time to make the upgrade process more seamless, and for maintainers of add-ons to make their themes and modules compatible with Drupal 7.

But do make an effort to start getting acquainted with Version 7.0 now by setting up a dummy installation, so the new administrative interface won't seem so daunting when you finally do upgrade your established sites.

Comments:

Blogger juergenk said...

agree :)

January 12, 2011 3:47 AM  

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