Drupal 7, the next major version of the popular open source content management system, could reach a release candidate stage as early as this week, the founder of the system said on Wednesday.
A release candidate is the last stage before a general release. All that needs to be cleared up are four critical bugs pertaining to visually impaired access, the interface and a potential security issue, said Drupal developer Dries Buytaert, in an interview at the ZendCon 2010 PHP conference in Santa Clara, Calif.
"We're trying to do the release candidate in the next week, maybe even on Friday of this week," Buytaert said. Compared to Drupal 6, Drupal 7 is easier to use and scales better on large sites, such as those getting 30 to 40 million page views per month.
The upgrade, however, might run slower than Drupal 6 if it is deployed onto a single server. Drupal is in use by such organizations as Best Buy, the White House, United Stations, and InfoWorld, noted Buytaert, who is CTO of Acquia.
There have been seven alpha releases of Drupal 7 and two beta releases, with the first beta offered on October 7. A final release is hoped for within the next two months. There could, however, be multiple release candidates.
Drupal was written in PHP, even though Buytaert's background was in Java development. "I used PHP because I wanted to learn PHP at the time, but also because I think Drupal is successful because of PHP and PHP is so accessible." The barrier to entry for developers and engineers is low compared to Java, he said.
Buytaert at the event detailed his secrets for community-powered innovation:
- Recognize there is no quick formula; building a community takes time
- Expect growing pains, such as when Drupal's Web site experienced a server failure in 2005
- Build an architecture for evolution and allow people to collaborate
- Provide the right tools, such as forums, mailing lists, and wikis
- Build a commercial ecosystem, rather than just a developer ecosystem
- Leadership is more important than management -- let participants do what they want
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