Dries Buytaert

Drupal 7, the cocoon and the butterfly

There exists an interesting story about a man and a butterfly cocoon. It is about a man that found a cocoon, and brought it home to watch it turn into a butterfly. As the butterfly inside matured, it struggled to get out of its cocoon, but couldn't quite get free of it. One day, the man became tired of waiting and decided to help the butterfly. He removed the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly was pleased, but it had a swollen body and small, wrinkled wings. As a result, the butterfly never succeeded in flying and spent its entire life crawling around.

What the man didn't understand was that the struggle required for the butterfly to break out of its cocoon actually forced fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom. It is the struggle that causes the butterfly to develop its ability to fly.

I feel the same way about Drupal 7. Seeing Drupal 7 getting steadily closer to its release, is like watching a cocoon grow into a butterfly: the inevitable results are going to be spectacular. Release management and fixing bugs is hard work, the work of a determined caterpillar. However, I think Drupal 7 will be quite a metamorphosis relative to Drupal 6. Not only will it look different, it will function differently — making users and developers feel like Drupal spouted wings.

And like the caterpillar that grew into a butterfly, it won't be the Drupal many of you used to know. It will be a nicer looking, more powerful, and more scalable Drupal that is easier to use. If you overlooked Drupal previously in favor of another system, you might want to revisit Drupal once Drupal 7 is released. I think you will be surprised at the difference. Or if you know someone that overlooked Drupal in the past, you might want to echo this story.

— Dries Buytaert

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