Last week, I shared my State of Drupal presentation at Drupalcon Nashville. In addition to sharing my slides, I wanted to provide more information on how you can participate in the various initiatives presented in my keynote, such as growing Drupal adoption or evolving our community values and principles.
Drupal 8 update
During the first portion of my presentation, I provided an overview of Drupal 8 updates. Last month, the Drupal community celebrated an important milestone with the successful release of Drupal 8.5, which ships with improved features for content creators, site builders, and developers.
Drupal 8 continues to gain momentum, as the number of Drupal 8 sites has grown 51 percent year-over-year:
Drupal 8's module ecosystem is also maturing quickly, as 81 percent more Drupal 8 modules have become stable in the past year:
As you can see from the Drupal 8 roadmap, improving the ease of use for content creators remains our top priority:
Four ways to grow Drupal adoption
Drupal 8 was released at the end of 2015, which means our community has had over two years of real-world experience with Drupal 8. It was time to take a step back and assess additional growth initiatives based on what we have learned so far.
In an effort to better understand the biggest hurdles facing Drupal adoption, we interviewed over 150 individuals around the world that hold different roles within the community. We talked to Drupal front-end and back-end developers, contributors, trainers, agency owners, vendors that sell Drupal to customers, end users, and more. Based on their feedback, we established four goals to help accelerate Drupal adoption.
Goal 1: Improve the technical evaluation process
Matthew Grasmick recently completed an exercise in which he assessed the technical evaluator experience of four different PHP frameworks, and discovered that Drupal required the most steps to install. Having a good technical evaluator experience is critical, as it has a direct impact on adoption rates.
To improve the Drupal evaluation process, we've proposed the following initiatives:
|Initiative||Issue link||Stakeholders||Initiative coordinator||Status|
|Better discovery experience on Drupal.org||Drupal.org roadmap||Drupal Association||hestenet||Under active development|
|Better "getting started" documentation||#2956879||Documentation Working Group||grasmash||In planning|
|More modern administration experience||#2957457||Core contributors||ckrina and yoroy||Under active development|
To become involved with one of these initiatives, click on its "Issue link" in the table above. This will take you to Drupal.org, where you can contribute by sharing your ideas or lending your expertise to move an initiative forward.
Goal 2: Improve the content creator experience
Throughout the interview process, it became clear that ease of use is a feature now expected of all technology. For Drupal, this means improving the content creator experience through a modern administration user interface, drag-and-drop media management and page building, and improved site preview functionality.
Most of these initiative teams meet weekly on Drupal Slack (see the meetings calendar), which gives community members an opportunity to meet team members, receive information on current goals and priorities, and volunteer to contribute code, testing, design, communications, and more.
Goal 3: Improve the site builder experience
Our research also showed that to improve the site builder experience, we should focus on improving the three following areas:
- The configuration management capabilities in core need to support more common use cases out-of-the-box.
- Composer and Drupal core should be better integrated to empower site builders to manage dependencies and keep Drupal sites up-to-date.
- We should provide a longer grace period between required core updates so development teams have more time to prepare, test, and upgrade their Drupal sites after each new minor Drupal release.
We plan to make all of these aspects easier for site builders through the following initiatives:
|Initiative||Issue link||Stakeholders||Initiative coordinator||Status|
|Composer & Core||#2958021||Core contributors + Drupal Association||Coordinator needed!||Proposed|
|Config Management 2.0||#2957423||Core contributors||Coordinator needed!||Proposed|
|Security LTS||2909665||Core committers + Drupal Security Team + Drupal Association||Core committers and Security team||Proposed, under discussion|
Goal 4: Promote Drupal to non-technical decision makers
The fourth initiative is unique as it will help our community to better communicate the value of Drupal to the non-technical decision makers. Today, marketing executives and content creators often influence the decision behind what CMS an organization will use. However, many of these individuals are not familiar with Drupal or are discouraged by the misconception that Drupal is primarily for developers.
With these challenges in mind, the Drupal Association has launched the Promote Drupal Initiative. This initiative will include building stronger marketing and branding, demos, events, and public relations resources that digital agencies and local associations can use to promote Drupal. The Drupal Association has set a goal of fundraising $100,000 to support this initiative, including the hiring of a marketing coordinator.
Megan Sanicki and her team have already raised $54,000 from over 30 agencies and 5 individual sponsors in only 4 days. Clearly this initiative resonates with Drupal agencies. Please consider how you or your organization can contribute.
Fostering community with values and principles
This year at DrupalCon Nashville, over 3,000 people traveled to the Music City to collaborate, learn, and connect with one another. It's at events like DrupalCon where the impact of our community becomes tangible for many. It also serves as an important reminder that while Drupal has grown a great deal since the early days, the work needed to scale our community is never done.
Prompted by feedback from our community, I have spent the past five months trying to better establish the Drupal community's principles and values. I have shared an "alpha" version of Drupal's values and principles at https://www.drupal.org/about/values-and-principles. As a next step, I will be drafting a charter for a new working group that will be responsible for maintaining and improving our values and principles. In the meantime, I invite every community member to provide feedback in the issue queue of the Drupal governance project.
I believe that taking time to highlight community members that exemplify each principle can make the proposed framework more accessible. That is why it was very meaningful for me to spotlight three Drupal community members that demonstrate these principles.
Principle 1: Optimize for Impact - Rebecca Pilcher
Rebecca shares a remarkable story about Drupal's impact on her Type 1 diabetes diagnosis:
Principle 5: Everyone has something to contribute - Mike Lamb
Mike explains why Pfizer contributes millions to Drupal:
Principle 6: Choose to Lead - Mark Conroy
Mark tells the story of his own Drupal journey, and how his experience inspired him to help other community members: