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Drupal 7 Alpha 1 Released

When speaking about WordPress CMS often the Drupal platform is mentioned as the most viable and more powerful alternative to WordPress. After more than 2 years of development the Drupal community now received what it has been waiting for for a long time: the first Drupal 7 release.

Albeit still only an Alpha release, the bang in the community was big and I suppose for the Drupal users it was very welcome news to finally be able to look forward to certain features like Custom Fields which are standard since a really long time in the blogging community. Drupal 6 already brought an image uploader and tags to the software and Drupal 7 now brings more features WordPress and users of other blog software have known for a while already.

What’s new in Drupal 7? With Drupal 7 come image editing, integrated updater and custom fields.

Revamped User Interface
An incredible amount of work has gone into improving the user experience and administration interface. The new administration theme “Seven”, the overlay module, the dashboard and the configurable shortcut bar, all lead to a much more user-friendly interface. In-place editing is enabled for blocks and nodes by default, so modifying the content of a site becomes much simpler.

Custom Fields
Drupal 7 bundles in the ability to add custom fields, similar in functionality to the Content Construction Kit (CCK) module. However, fields are no longer limited only to content types; they can be added to users, taxonomy terms, and other entities. Fields also have support for translations.

Image Handling
Drupal 7 brings native image handling to core. Image fields may be added to content, and have image styles applied to them, such as scaling, cropping, and other effects.

Update Manager
Building on Drupal 6’s Update module, which keeps site administrators informed when new module and theme releases are available, the new Update Manger module can also install and upgrade modules and themes.

Front-end “under-the-hood” improvements
A new render API allows for highly granular theming, core template files have been revamped to provide more semantic markup, Drupal 7 now has built-in RDFa support, includes jQuery UI and a new AJAX framework, and a new core theme “Stark” which exposes Drupal’s markup directly for those who want to dive in and start theming.
In addition, Drupal 7 has several major accessibility enhancements, making it the most accessible release of Drupal to date!

Back-end “under-the-hood” improvements
A revamped database layer resolving nearly all limitations in the Drupal 6 database layer, automated testing framework, new PHP stream-based file API that supports private and public files simultaneously, revamped node access system, new hooks for more flexible system interaction, an Entity API, a job queue API, and many, many, many more improvements.

Drupal 7 is also the most scalable release to date, with features such as built-in proxy server support, advanced caching techniques, and Content Delivery Network support for static files.

If you’re a fan of Drupal or alpha versions, you can read more about the announcement and download Drupal 7 Alpha 1 here. I bet you’ll have to wait until at least 2011 before ‘Gold’ status is reached though.

Categories: Blog Software
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Comments

  1. stevan says: 1/18/2010

    new version drupal is very powerful..

    Reply

  2. Brian ) says: 1/19/2010

    I actively develop sites with both WP and Drupal. I must say that your article is slightly misleading and frankly sounds uninformed. It seems that you have not spent much time with Drupal or in the Drupal community.

    Reply

    • Franky Branckaute ) says: 1/19/2010

      I am not going to hide a certain level of bias. But frankly my bias is based on working with Drupal 5 when EE1.6 (core) was available already and WP 1.5/2.x. Not to mention Joomla and Mambo.

      More so projects like this just make it hard to believe that Drupal really that powerful is. Drupal must be the Debian of the CMS: the most powerful option but totally unusable for Joe Average.
      I hope the thriving community can correct this, especially with WP3.0 coming out this year, it would be nice if the Drupal interface would be more accessible for possible switchers.

      Reply

      • Brian ) says: 1/19/2010

        While I agree the fact that Drupal, up to this point, has not had much of a plug-and-play solution I think this is mainly because Drupal is much more than a blogging platform. IMO, WP is the best blogging platform around, offering straight out of the box functionality, admin features, and customizability. But to use it as a full fledged CMS (and some people do) is stretching the platform. Drupal on the other hand can be formed (in the hand of a skilled developer, I admit) into anything. http://webjackalope.com/16-different-clones-you-can-build-with-drupal/

        One of the focuses of the Drupal community and its key members this year is to make the platform more usable out of the box. The key to that debate is what will people use it for. You don’t want to build a Bugatti Veyron for someone looking to haul compost. In this light there are great strides being made to encourage the community to release install profiles (http://drupal.org/project/installation+profiles). One of the most popular is OpenAtrium (http://openatrium.com/).

        Finally… I would like to know what your final sentence, “I bet you’ll have to wait until at least 2011 before ‘Gold’ status is reached though” is based on. Drupal 7 implemented an “automated testing framework” as your article pointed out. In other words, most of the patches that were submitted are already working and ready to go. My guess is mid-April 2010.

        Thank you for your response and sorry for all the links.

        Reply

      • Franky Branckaute ) says: 1/19/2010

        Brian, thanks for your answer and the informative links (had to rescue the comment the spam bucket though ;)). There is no doubt that WP is being stretched into all kinds of very creative implementations the platform wasn’t built for. Much will of course change with the WP3.0 merge, bbPress as an official platform and BuddyPress. Only then will we be able to see the real ‘power’ of WordPress and compare its performance objectively to other platforms with similar usage.

        Personally I much more prefer the power and speed of Expression Engine and am certainly not the biggest WP Fanboy out there. Although I do hope that we can expand the scope of BloggingPro to more platforms over the next months solutions such as Drupal, Joomla and many more will continue to be the stranger in the hornets nest (and I will not include them in a revision of my self-hosted blog software options post either).

        As for the last line… snark to finish the entry. Guilty as charged.

        Reply

      • Rajat Agarwal ) says: 3/2/2011

        Hey Franky, you said “Drupal interface would be more accessible for possible switchers..”. Now that Drupal 7 is out finally, don’t you find the interface almost a copy of WordPress interface? Every single thing in the interface is WordPress-like. I have been a Drupal developer and I think that this move is simply to target the WordPress audience.

        I wrote a blog entry about this here: http://bit.ly/fmazat

        Maybe you’d like to have a look at it and comment. Thanks!

        Reply

  3. Brian ) says: 1/20/2010

    Franky,

    One more link… check out the demo video… http://drupalgardens.com/

    Reply

  4. tampa general contractor says: 6/15/2010

    I’m looking at setting up a new website and can use either Drupal or Joomla. Which do you prefer, and why? I’d like to understand better the practical differences between them.

    I do some programming, not an expert but I’ve been doing my own html sites for 10 years.

    Reply

  5. Freelancer says: 10/6/2010

    Drupal and WordPress should be complementary to each other as they are both great platforms to work from

    Reply

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