[development] Drupal 7.0 Alpha 1: Coming soon to a downloads page near you!

Angela Byron drupal-devel at webchick.net
Thu Dec 31 21:32:10 UTC 2009

Hm. Trying this again. I sent this Wednesday night but apparently it  
didn't make it?


Drupal 7 first opened for development back in February 2008. At  
Drupalcon Boston a month later, we brainstormed on how to tackle some  
of Drupal's toughest challenges: our usability was not up to par, we  
were burning time fixing the same bugs over and over, our database  
abstraction layer suffered many limitations, upgrades were a  
nightmare, and critical modules such as CCK not being ported were  
harming our adoption rates of Drupal 6. Drupal 7 has made tremendous  
strides since then to solve each of these problems, as well as many  
others. Among the improvements are a revamped UI, a testing framework,  
a new database abstraction layer, a browser-based upgrade system for  
contributed modules and themes, and CCK in core.

Now it's time to head into the final stretch: stomping down the list  
of critical bugs, so that we can release Drupal 7.0 out into the  
world! :D

To help this along, Dries and I will create the first alpha release of  
Drupal 7 on January 15, 2010, Drupal's ninth birthday. For developers  
working on Drupal 7 clean-ups, particularly around anything that is  
touching APIs or the UI in a fundamental way, your changes will need  
to be completed by then. Once the alpha is released, we will start to  
treat Drupal 7 as an actual stable release, which means nothing but  
non-API-breaking bug fixes.

The initial brainstorming at Drupalcon just a few weeks after  
development opened for Drupal 7 was <strong>instrumental</strong> in  
laying a strong foundation for the entire release, I would love to see  
Drupal 8 get the same opportunity. However, this means releasing  
Drupal 7 <em>before</em> Drupalcon SF (mid-April), so that our  
attention is not divided between getting our past efforts out into the  
world, and deciding what our future efforts will be.

And when does Drupal 7 come out? When the list of critical issues [1]  
hits zero (currently at 340, though this will fluctuate all over the  
place for awhile as non-critical issues are marked such as and new  
critical issues are found). To spook you with a little math, if we  
want to see a Drupal 7.0 release by the end of March, at the current  
total we need to solve roughly 120 issues per month, or 30 issues per  
week, or 5 per day. Yipes! :)

Obviously, the more people we have helping out with fixing critical  
issues, the faster this number will go down. So if you haven't yet  
played around with Drupal 7, now's a great time to start! Pick a  
critical bug that looks interesting/achievable, and take the  
opportunity to learn a bit about the changes in Drupal 7 at the same  
time while you solve it. There are always folks in #drupal and #drupal- 
contribute on irc.freenode.net to help you, and there are a variety of  
bugs for all skill levels and areas of expertise.

Let's rock!

[1] http://drupal.org/project/issues/search/drupal? 
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