It's finally here! After nearly three years of development, Drupal 7 is now available for use on production sites! Drupal 7 is loaded with tons of great new features aimed at novice as well as experienced website administrators.
If you have been reluctant to try Drupal because you thought the learning curve would be too difficult or that it would be hard to install Drupal, you will be pleased to know that the installation process has been streamlined and the administration interface has been made more usable and easier to learn. Several commonly-used features have now been included into the base Drupal installation, so they are easily available to everyone.
Power users of Drupal will also rejoice at new time-saving improvements to make
it easier to build custom modules and themes. Experienced users will also benefit from improved organization in the new administration interface as well as other
new, built-in features included in Drupal 7.
Goals of Drupal 7
When development on Drupal 7 first started, there were several goals that Dries Buytaert, the founder of Drupal, laid out. They are as follows:
• Better media handling: Make it easier to add images, Flash, Flex, and so on to websites built with Drupal.
• Custom content types in core: Integrate portions of the CCK module into core to allow site administrators to apply this functionality more easily.
• WYSIWYG editor: Incorporate a What You See Is What You Get HTML editor into core, so editors can add formatted text to their sites more easily.
• Better performance and scalability: Make sites built on Drupal leaner and faster to load, improve performance for users that are logged into the site, and make it easier for Drupal to be used on sites that get lots of traffic.
What's New In Drupal 7?
• Better tools to structure/organize content: Make it easier to create a
meaningful site structure to hold all content in a way that makes sense
for both administrators and visitors.
• Basic Views-like module: Incorporate portions of the Views module to
make it easier for site administrators to present site content in different,
interesting ways to visitors.
• Automatic upgrade functionality: Allow site administrators to download
and install updates to Drupal, contributed modules, and contributed themes
without needing to download and unpack tarballs and then manually deploy
them to a site, making Drupal as easy to upgrade as your operating system.
• Improved node access system: Improve control and permissions for who can
access which nodes and what they can do to each node.
• Better internal APIs: Make it easier to maintain Drupal and add custom
modules for site-specific functionality.
• Better external APIs: Make it easier to import data into a site and export data
from a site. Improve functionality allowing administrators to consume and
expose web services.
• Usability: Reduce the learning curve for new users and make common tasks
faster and easier to get to for experienced users.
These primary goals were taken from a poll conducted on the official Drupal
website (http://drupal.org), and are reflective of the opinions of over a thousand
people in the Drupal community. The goals for Drupal 7 also reflect a stated plan of
focusing more on the end user and larger websites.