State of Drupal presentation (April 2021)
Last week, Drupalists around the world gathered virtually for DrupalCon North America 2021.
I gave a Drupal 9 and Drupal 10 update, talked about going back to our site builder roots, and discussed the need to improve Drupal's contributor experience.
Drupal 9 update
People are adopting Drupal 9 at a record pace. We've gone from 0 to 60,000 websites in only one month. In contrast, it took us seven months to reach the same milestone with Drupal 7, and three months for Drupal 8.With Drupal 8, after about 1.5 years, only a third of the top 50 Drupal modules were ready for Drupal 8. Now, only 10 months after the release of Drupal 9, a whopping 90% of top 50 modules are Drupal 9 ready.
Drupal 10 update
Next, I spoke about the five big initiatives for Drupal 10, which are making progress:
- Decoupled menus
- Easy out of the box
- Automated updates
- Drupal 10 readiness
- New front-end theme initiative
I then covered some key dates for Drupal 9 and 10:
Improving the site builder experience with a project browser
When I ask people why they fell in love with Drupal, most often they talk about feeling empowered to build ambitious websites with little or no code. In fact, the journey of many Drupalists started with Drupal's low-code approach to site building. It's how they got involved with Drupal.
This leads me to believe that we need to focus more on the site builder persona. With that in mind, I proposed a new Project Browser initiative. One of the first things site builders do when they start with Drupal is install a module. A Project Browser makes it easier to find and install modules.
Modernizing Drupal.org's collaboration tools with GitLab
Drupal has one of the largest and most robust development communities. And Drupal.org's collaboration tools have been key to that success.
What you might not know is that we've built these tools ourselves over the past 15+ years. While that made sense 10 years ago, it no longer does today.
Today, most Open Source communities have standardized on tools like GitHub and GitLab. In fact, contributors expect to use GitHub or GitLab when contributing to Open Source. Everything else requires too much learning.
For example, here is a quick video that shows of how easy it is to contribute to Symfony using GitHub:
Next, I showed how people contribute to Drupal. As you can see in the video below, the process takes much longer and the steps are not as clear cut.
(This is an abridged version of the full experience; you can also watch the full video.)
To improve Drupal's contributor experience, the Drupal Association is modernizing our collaboration tools with GitLab. So far, this has resulted in some great new features. However, more work is required to give new Drupalists an easier path to start contributing.
Please reach out to Heather Rocker, the Executive Director at Drupal Association, if you want to help support our GitLab work. We are looking for ways to expand the Drupal Association's engineering team so we can accelerate this work.
I'd like to wrap up with a thank you to the people and organizations who have contributed since we released Drupal 9 last June. It's been pretty amazing to see the momentum!