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Nov 09 2020
Nov 09

For the past few years, I've examined Drupal.org's contribution data to understand how the Drupal project works. Who develops Drupal? How diverse is the Drupal community? How much of Drupal's maintenance and innovation is sponsored? Where do sponsorships come from?

The report might be of interest even if you don't use Drupal. It provides insights into the inner workings of one of the largest Open Source projects in the world.

This year's report shows that:

  • The recorded number of contributions increased year over year.
  • More and more contributions are sponsored, but volunteer contributions remain important to Drupal's success.
  • Drupal's maintenance and innovation depends mostly on smaller Drupal agencies and Acquia. We don't see many contributions from hosting companies, multi-platform digital agencies, system integrators or end users.
  • Drupal's contributors have become more diverse, but are still not diverse enough.

You can look at the 2016 report, the 2017 report, the 2018 report, and the 2019 report.

Methodology

What data did we analyze?

We looked at all Drupal.org issues marked "closed" or "fixed" in the 12-month period from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. This for Drupal core and all contributed projects, across all major versions of Drupal.

What are Drupal.org issues?

Each "Drupal.org issue" tracks an idea, feature request, bug report, task, or more. It's similar to "issues" in GitHub or "tickets" in Jira. See https://www.drupal.org/project/issues for the list of all issues.

What are Drupal.org credits?

In the spring of 2015, I proposed some ideas for how to give credit to Drupal contributors. A year later, Drupal.org added the ability for contributors to attribute their work to an organization or customer sponsor, or mark it the result of volunteer efforts.

Example issue credit on drupal orgA screenshot of an issue comment on Drupal.org. You can see that jamadar worked on this patch as a volunteer, but also as part of his day job working for TATA Consultancy Services on behalf of their customer, Pfizer.

Drupal.org's credit system is unique and groundbreaking within the Open Source community. It provides unprecedented insights into the inner workings of a large Open Source project. There are a few limitations with this approach, which we'll address at the end of this report.

What is the Drupal community working on?

In the 12-month period between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020, 31,153 issues were marked "closed" or "fixed", a 13% increase from the 27,522 issues in the 2018-2019 period. This averages out to 85 issues marked "closed" or "fixed" each day. This is compared to 75 issues in 2018-2019.

In total, the Drupal community worked on 4,195 different Drupal.org projects this year compared to 3,474 projects in the 2017-2018 period — a large 20% year-over-year increase. I attribute the larger than normal growth to the Drupal 9 release.

Time period Number of issues "fixed" or "closed" by day Number of projects worked on 2017 - 2018 67 3,229 2018 - 2019 75 3,474 2019 - 2020 85 4,195

The majority of the credits are the result of work on contributed modules:

A pie chart showing contributions by project type: most contributions are to contributed modules.

Compared to the previous period, contribution credits increased across all project types:

A graph showing the year over year growth of contributions per project type: contributions to modules grew the most.

It is nice to see the "non-product credits" grow. More and more members in the community track credits for non-product contributions. These include organizing Drupal events, presenting at Drupal events, promoting Drupal, mentoring, and more. While some of these increases reflect new contributions, others are existing contributions that are newly reported. The fact that the credit system is becoming more accurate in recognizing more types of Open Source contributions is both important and positive.

Who is working on Drupal?

For this report's time period, Drupal.org's credit system received contributions from 8,303 different individuals and 1,216 different organizations. We saw a 2.5% decline in individual contributors, but a 7% increase in organizational contributors.

A graph showing the number of individual and organizational contributors year over year.

Consistent with previous years, approximately 50% of individual contributors received one credit. Meanwhile, the top 30 contributors (the top 0.4%) account for 20% of the total credits. In other words, a small number of individuals do the majority of the work.

Starting last year, I weighted each credit based on the adoption of the project the credit is attributed to. For example, each contribution credit to Drupal core is given a weight of 10 because Drupal core has about 1 million active installations. Credits to the Webform module, which has over 470,000 installations, get a weight of 4.7. And credits to Drupal's Commerce project get 0.6 points, as it is installed on around 60,000 sites.

The idea is that these weights capture the end user impact of each contribution, but also act as a proxy for the effort required to get a change committed. Getting a change accepted in Drupal core is both more difficult and more impactful than getting a change accepted to a much smaller, contributed project.

This weighting is far from perfect, but so is the unweighted view. For code contributions, the weighted chart may be more accurate than a purely unweighted approach. I included both charts:

A graph showing the top 30 individual contributors ranked by the volume of their contributions.A graph showing the top 30 individual contributors ranked by the impact of their contributions.

No matter how you look at the data, all these individuals put an incredible amount of time and effort into Drupal.

It's important to recognize that most of the top contributors are sponsored by an organization. We value the organizations that sponsor these remarkable individuals. Without their support, it could be more challenging to contribute.

How much of the work is sponsored?

When people contribute to Drupal, they can tag their contribution as a "volunteer contribution" or a "sponsored contribution". Contributions can be marked both volunteer and sponsored at the same time (shown in jamadar's screenshot near the top of this post). This could be the case when a contributor does paid work for a customer, in addition to using unpaid time to add extra functionality or polish.

For those credits with attribution details, 15% were "purely volunteer" (8,429 credits). This is in stark contrast to the 69% that were "purely sponsored" (37,399 credits). Put simply, roughly two-thirds of all contributions are "purely sponsored".

A graph showing how many contributions are voluntary vs sponsored: two-thirds of the contributions are sponsored.

This is the first time in Drupal's history that "purely volunteer" contributions stayed flat year over year. This might be related to COVID-19; coding sprints are harder to organize, people may have lost income, parents are busy home-schooling their children, people have Zoom-fatigue, and times are generally stressful. In contrast, we did see a very large increase in "purely sponsored" contributions.

Volunteer contribution remains very important to Drupal. Volunteers contribute across all areas of the project. A lot of volunteer time and energy goes towards non-product related contributions such as event organization, mentoring, and more.

A graph showing how many of the contributions are volunteered vs sponsored.

Who is sponsoring the work?

Now that we've established that the majority of contributions are sponsored, let's study which organizations contribute to Drupal. While 1,216 organizations contributed to Drupal, 50% of them received four credits or less. The top 30 organizations (roughly the top 2.5%) account for approximately 30% of the total credits. This means that the top 30 companies play a crucial role in the health of the Drupal project.

Similar to the individual contributors, I've ranked organizations by both "unweighted contributions" and "weighted contributions". Unweighted scores are based solely on volume of contributions, while weighted scores also try to take into account both the effort and impact of each contribution.

A graph showing the top 30 organizational contributors ranked by the volume of their contributions.A graph showing the top 30 organizational contributors ranked by the impact of their contributions.

If you are an end user looking for a company to work with, these are some of the companies I'd work with first. Not only do they know Drupal well, they also help improve your investment in Drupal. If you are a Drupal developer looking for work, these are some of the companies I'd apply to first.

A variety of different types of companies are active in Drupal's ecosystem:

Category Description Traditional Drupal businesses Small-to-medium-sized professional services companies that primarily make money using Drupal. They typically employ fewer than 100 employees. Because they specialize in Drupal, many of these companies contribute frequently and are a huge part of our community. Examples are Third & Grove, Thunder, PreviousNext, MD Systems, etc. Digital marketing agencies Larger full-service agencies that have marketing-led practices using a variety of tools, typically including Drupal, Adobe Experience Manager, Sitecore, WordPress, etc. Many of these larger agencies employ thousands of people. Examples are Wunderman, Possible, and Mirum. System integrators Larger companies that specialize in bringing together different technologies into one solution. Example system integrators are Accenture, TATA Consultancy Services, EPAM Systems, and CI&T. Hosting companies Examples are Acquia, Pantheon, and Platform.sh, but also Rackspace or Bluehost. End users Examples are Pfizer or bio.logis Genetic Information Management GmbH.

A few observations:

  • Most of the sponsors in the top 30 are traditional Drupal businesses with fewer than 50 employees. With the exception of Acquia, Drupal's maintenance and innovation largely depends on these small Drupal businesses.
  • The larger, multi-platform digital marketing agencies are barely contributing to Drupal. Only one digital marketing agency shows up in the top 30: Intracto. Hardly any appear in the entire list of contributing organizations. I'm frustrated that we have not yet found the right way to communicate the value of contribution to these companies. We need to incentivize these firms to contribute with the same commitment that we see from traditional Drupal businesses.
  • The only system integrator in the top 30 is CI&T. CI&T is a smaller system integrator with approximately 2,500 employees. We see various system integrators outside of the top 30, including EPAM Systems, Globant, Capgemini, Publicis Sapient, Accenture, and TATA Consultancy Services. Accenture and Wipro, despite doing quite a bit of Drupal work, did not receive any credits.
  • Various hosting companies make a lot of money with Drupal, yet only Acquia appears in the top 30 with 1,823 credits. The contribution gap between Acquia and other hosting companies remains very large. It was great to see that Pantheon tripled its contributions from 43 to 122 this period. Platform.sh earned 23 credits compared to 22 in the last period. In general, there is a persistent problem with hosting companies not contributing back.
  • We only saw two end users in the top 30 this year: Thunder (815 credits) and Pfizer (201 credits). Many end users contribute though: European Commission (290 credits), bio.logis (219 credits), Google (144), University of Waterloo (111 credits), Johnson & Johnson (93 credits), University of British Columbia (91 credits), University of Texas at Austin (74 credits), NBCUniversal (48 credits), Workday (38 credits), PayPal (17 credits), and many more.
A graph showing that Acquia is by far the number one contributing hosting company.A graph showing that CI&T is by far the number one contributing system integrator.

I often recommend end users to mandate contributions from their partners. Pfizer, for example, only works with agencies that contribute back to Drupal. The State of Georgia started doing the same; they made Open Source contribution a vendor selection criteria. If more end users took this stance, it could have a big impact on Drupal. We'd see many more digital agencies, hosting companies, and system integrators contribute to Drupal.

While we should encourage more organizations to sponsor Drupal contributions, we should also understand and respect that some organizations can give more than others — and that some might not be able to give back at all. Our goal is not to foster an environment that demands what and how others should give back. Instead, we need to help foster an environment worthy of contribution. This is clearly laid out in Drupal's Values and Principles.

How diverse is Drupal?

Supporting diversity and inclusion is essential to the health and success of Drupal. The people who work on Drupal should reflect the diversity of people who use the web.

I looked at both the gender and geographic diversity of Drupal.org contributors.

Gender diversity

Only 10-11% of the recorded contributions were made by contributors who do not identify as men. This is a very small improvement compared to last year. The gender imbalance in Drupal is profound. We need to continue fostering diversity and inclusion in our community.

A graph showing contributions by gender: 72% of the contributions come from people who identify as male.

Two years ago I wrote a post about the privilege of free time in Open Source. It made the case that Open Source is not a meritocracy. Not everyone has equal amounts of free time to contribute. For example, research shows that women still spend more than double the time as men doing unpaid domestic work, such as housework or childcare. This makes it more difficult for women to contribute to Open Source on an unpaid, volunteer basis. Organizations capable of giving back should consider financially sponsoring individuals from underrepresented groups to contribute to Open Source.

A graph that shows that compared to males, female contributors do more sponsored work, and less volunteer work.Compared to men, women do more sponsored work, and less volunteer work. We believe this is because men have the privilege of more free time.

Free time being a privilege is just one of the reasons why Open Source projects suffer from a lack of diversity. Other reasons include hostile environments and unconscious biases. We should consider collecting data on other systemic issues beyond gender. The Drupal Association is currently working to update demographic data collected at DrupalCon, and beyond, with the goal of better understanding our community. Knowing more about these trends could help us close existing gaps.

Geographic diversity

We saw individual contributors from six continents and 117 countries. The top countries:

A graph showing the top 20 contributing countries in 2020.The top 20 countries from which contributions originate. The data is compiled by aggregating the countries of all individual contributors behind each issue. Note that the geographical location of contributors doesn't always correspond with the origin of their sponsorship. Wim Leers, for example, works from Belgium, but his funding comes from Acquia, which has the majority of its customers in North America. Wim's contributions count towards Belgium as that is his country of residence.

Europe contributes more than North America in both absolute and relative terms.

A graph that shows most contributions in 2020 come from Europe and North America.A graph showing which continent contributes the most by looking at the number of inhabitants.Contribution credits per capita calculated as the amount of contributions per continent divided by the population of each continent. 0.001% means that one in 100,000 people contribute to Drupal. In North America, almost 4 in 100,000 people contributed to Drupal the last year.

Asia, South America, and Africa remain big opportunities for Drupal; their combined population accounts for 6.3 billion out of 7.5 billion people in the world.

Limitations of the credit system

It is important to note a few of the current limitations of Drupal.org's credit system:

  • The credit system doesn't capture all code contributions. Parts of Drupal are developed on GitHub rather than Drupal.org. Contributions on GitHub usually aren't credited on Drupal.org. For example, Drush is maintained on GitHub instead of Drupal.org, and companies like Pantheon don't get credit for that work.
  • The credit system is not used by everyone. There are many ways to contribute to Drupal that are still not captured in the credit system. Technically, that work can be captured. But because using the credit system is optional, many contributors don't. For example, not all event organizers and speakers capture their work in the credit system. As a result, contributions often have incomplete or no contribution credits. Where possible, we should automatically capture credits. For example, translation efforts on https://localize.drupal.org are not currently captured in the credit system, but could be automatically.
  • The credit system doesn't accurately value complexity and quality. One person might have worked several weeks for just one credit, while another person might receive a credit for 10 minutes of work. Each year we see a few individuals and organizations trying to game the credit system. In this post, I used a basic weighting system based on project adoption. In future, we should consider refining that by looking at issue priority, patch size, number of reviews, etc. This could help incentivize people to work on larger and more important problems and save smaller issues such as coding standards improvements for new contributor sprints.

Because of these limitations, the actual number of contributions and contributors could be much higher than what we report.

Like Drupal itself, the Drupal.org credit system needs to continue to evolve. Starting this year, the Drupal Association, with the direction of the newly formed Contribution Recognition Committee, will start to evolve and leverage the credit system in new ways.

Conclusions

Our data confirms that Drupal is a vibrant community full of contributors who are constantly evolving and improving the software. It's amazing to see that just in the last year, Drupal welcomed more than 8,000 individual contributors and over 1,200 corporate contributors. It's especially nice to see the growing number of contributions year over year.

To grow and sustain Drupal, we should support those that contribute to Drupal and find ways to get those that are not contributing involved in our community. Improving diversity within Drupal is critical, and we should welcome any suggestions that encourage participation from a broader range of individuals and organizations.

Oct 27 2020
Oct 27

Acquia Engage took place last week. For the first time in seven years, it was an all-virtual event.

Dries standing in a virtual conference lobby.The virtual conference lobby of Acquia Engage, modeled after our Boston office's lobby.

The best way to learn about what Acquia has been up to, is to watch the recording of my opening keynote. In 30 minutes, I cover 10 major updates to Acquia's Digital Experience Platform. We packed the presentation with short product demos. You can also download a copy of my slides (65 MB), but you won't get to see the demos.

Acquia Drupal Cloud updates

First, I talked about new features for Acqiua's Drupal Cloud. All features are focused on helping developers migrate, develop, design and launch Drupal sites faster.

I covered the following new features for Acquia's Drupal Cloud:

  • Acquia Migrate: A family of products that help you migrate to Drupal 9 five times faster and easier.
  • Acquia Cloud IDE: A cloud-based development environment optimized for Drupal and Acquia.
  • Acquia CMS: An easy, out-of-the-box distribution of Drupal 9. It comes pre-integrated with Acquia's products.
  • Acquia Site Studio Page Builder: A new page builder for Acquia's low-code/no-code website building tool. It's optimized for marketers and content creators.
  • Acquia Cloud Next: A container-based cloud hosting environment optimized for speed, scale and security.

Acquia Marketing Cloud updates

Next, I covered new Marketing Cloud features. Marketers today are using more and more tools to get their jobs done. Unfortunately, many of these tools are not well-integrated. This lack of integration results in siloed customer information and inefficient marketing. Ultimately these silos lead to poor customer experiences. Acquia Marketing Cloud solves these problems by eliminating these silos. We combine or unify customer data profiles, segments, analytics, and machine learning capabilities into a single, easy-to-use platform.

Dries delivering his presentation in front of a virtual audience

New announcements for Acquia's Marketing Cloud include:

  • Unified real-time user profiles: Aggregates customer actions across platforms into profiles in real-time. Use them instantly in marketing campaigns.
  • Universal segments: Use consistent segments across every tool within Acquia Marketing Cloud. A segment created in our Customer Data Platform (CDP) automatically becomes available in our website personalization product and multi-channel marketing automation solution.
  • 360º marketing analytics: Measures marketing campaign effectiveness across the Acquia Marketing Cloud.
  • "Predictive sends" machine learning model: Uses machine learning to predict the best time to send campaign emails.
  • COVID-19 dashboard: Helps you understand your customers' shift from offline to online, as well as changes in channel preferences, product preferences and opportunities for growth.

Closing words

I'm proud that Acquia is innovating faster than ever before. I want to thank our product and engineering teams for working incredibly hard in the midst of a pandemic.

Sep 18 2020
Sep 18

Yesterday I wrote about why software funded with tax dollars should be Open Source. Based on the feedback in email and social media, lots of people seem to agree.

Today, I want to highlight how this could be a game changer for Open Source sustainability.

Using Drupal as an example, let's do some quick math. Imagine if:

  • 1,000 government agencies around the world (federal, state, or local) spend an average of $300,000 a year on their Drupal sites.
  • 5% of that investment results in Open Source contributions.

Even if these numbers are conservative, it would lead to $15 million in annual contributions to Drupal: 1,000 x $300,000 x 0.05 = $15,000,000. That could be 150 full-time contributors each year.

In other words, requiring public code in government could be Open Source's best funding mechanism.

Aug 12 2020
Aug 12

I'm on vacation this week, and was catching up on my RSS feed. I read that the Australian government content management system GovCMS has reported record traffic spikes this year due to COVID-19.

This caught my attention because GovCMS is a Drupal distribution — a version of Drupal developed as a cost-effective option for building government websites.

Today, 91 Australian government agencies use GovCMS. At the peak of the pandemic, the platform saw 2 billion hits per month, 100,000 pageviews per minute, and 187,000 concurrent users.

When I read that, I felt proud that Drupal is scalable, secure and accessible. I hope other Drupalists feel that way as well. One of the best ways to get more people to contribute to Drupal is by building software that people can be proud of.

The GovCMS numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. Drupal is not just being used by the Australian government – it's being used by thousands of federal, state and local governments around the world. Many of these government agencies are providing essential health information and other digital services during these trying times.

It's a powerful reminder of Drupal's impact, and why it's non-negotiable that we build Drupal so everyone can use it, and use it reliably.

Jul 20 2020
Jul 20

Last week, Drupalists from around the world gathered for DrupalCon Global. This DrupalCon was the first ever virtual event of this scale for the Drupal community.

As a matter of tradition, I delivered the opening keynote. You can watch a video recording of my keynote, download a copy of my slides (212 MB), or read the brief summary below.

The online conference web application showing my slides, my webcam, and real-time chat.A screenshot of the first ever virtual DriesNote. The virtual conference tool showed my slides, my webcam, and real-time chat.

I announced that we are targeting the release of Drupal 10 around June 2022.

Next, I spent the majority of my presentation proposing five strategic initiatives for Drupal 10. While it seems early to speak about Drupal 10, we need to start working on these strategic goals now to have them ready by the time Drupal 10 is released.

A slide from the DriesNote showing that the goal of the presentation is to propose five well-balanced initiatives for Drupal 10.The goal of my presentation was to propose five well-balanced initiatives for Drupal 10.

We decided to go with just five initiatives so we're more focused and because the Drupal 10 release cycle will be shorter than Drupal 9's. Selecting only five initiatives was hard. I spent 35 minutes walking the audience through the selection process. The five proposed initiatives:

  1. Drupal 10 readiness
  2. An easier out-of-the-box experience
  3. A new front-end theme (Olivero)
  4. Automated updates for security releases
  5. An official JS menu component for React and Vue

1. Drupal 10 readiness

Drupal depends on third-party software components, many of which will go end-of-life (EOL) in the next few years. When a component goes EOL, it will no longer receive security support.

The "Drupal 10 Readiness" initiative will focus on upgrading these third-party components. Not only does this keep Drupal secure, it also allows us to take advantage of any new capabilities that come with these updated components.

A slide from the DriesNote with a table that lists jQuery 3, CKEditor 4, jQuery UI, PHPUnit 8, Symfony 4, PHP 7, Composer 1, etcSome of the third-party components that need to be updated in preparation for Drupal 10.

2. Easy out-of-the-box

Improving Drupal's ease-of-use remains the number one most impactful item for the community to work on.

Drupal 9 dramatically improved Drupal's ease-of-use. Several of our most promising improvements made it very far, but still need some finishing touches. Specifically, our new Media Library, Layout Builder and Administration Theme (Claro) are not yet enabled by default.

I proposed the "Easy out-of-the-box" initiative to work towards enabling these features by default. I believe this initiative will be very impactful in terms of attracting new users to Drupal.

A slide from the DriesNote visualizing the 'Easy out of the box' as the sum of Media, Layout Builder and Claro.The 'Easy out of the box' initiative consists of finishing Media, Layout Builder and Claro.

3. Front end theme

One of the most important features to complete is our modern front end theme, Olivero. While there has been a lot of progress in this area, Olivero does not ship with Drupal yet. We want to make sure this beautiful front end theme is available by default.

A screenshot of the upcoming front-end theme called Olivero. It looks clean, modern and light.A screenshot of the upcoming front-end theme called Olivero.

4. Automatic updates

As shown by the Drupal 2020 Product Survey, by far the most requested feature is automated updates.

Fortunately, it's something we have been working on for some time. Our first milestone will be to automate security updates so all site owners can sleep well at night, no matter when security releases are taking place.

Beyond security, automated updates help us work towards our long-term vision of building a composable — or Assembed Web — architecture for Drupal.

The Automated Updates initiative requires integrity checks for Drupal core, Composer 2, package signing and a custom bootloader.The four major architectural building blocks of the Automated Updates initiative.

5. JavaScript menu component

As I have been saying for years now, many websites are evolving into personalized, omnichannel digital experiences. It's a multi-decade trend, and one of the most powerful ones in our industry.

Drupal needs to keep evolving with this trend in mind. On the back end, we need to continue to make Drupal the best structured data engine and web service platform. On the front end, JavaScript continues to grow fast. While Drupal is recognized as a capable headless or decoupled CMS, there is still more we can do.

Furthermore, the second most requested feature in the Drupal 2020 Product Survey was a more modern administration UI. These kinds of UIs are typically built using JavaScript and web service APIs. When done well, a JavaScript UI can offer major usability improvements.

Clearly, there is more than one reason to invest in web service APIs and to embrace more JavaScript in Drupal:

  1. Many of Drupal's end users are focused on building decoupled front ends and omnichannel digital experiences.
  2. Drupal could improve its own administration UI with more WYSIWYG, drag-and-drop, and other ease-of-use features.

To make a start toward improving Drupal's headless capabilities and administration UI, I proposed we start to add official Drupal JavaScript components to Drupal Core.

As a first step, I recommended implementing a JavaScript menu component in Vue and React. This would mark the first official JavaScript component in Drupal.

A slide from the DriesNote that shows a flag with the text 'Decoupled menu components' waving on the top of a mountain.'Planting the flag' for providing official JavaScript menu components for Drupal.

Developing a JavaScript menu component solves a very real problem that many front end developers face. This menu component would render a menu and could be placed in a front end JavaScript application. The content of the menu comes from Drupal. This would allow content authors and non-developers to make simple menu changes without the need for custom code.

Releasing a first official JavaScript component will require us to set up the tools and processes to manage and release JavaScript components. This will establish a pattern or recipe for more components. Once we build one component, it will be easier to add many more in parallel.

A slide from the DriesNote that shows the long path to the flag at the top of the mountain.The path to having a first official JavaScript component is longer than it may appear.

Let's do this!

A slide from the DriesNote that shows a fictitious Drupal 10 press release dated June 2022.A fictitious or forward-looking press release for Drupal 10 in June 2022.

With the release of Drupal 10 targeted for June 2022, our community has a big opportunity to make the beginner and non-developer experiences much simpler, while still keeping Drupal's power as strong as ever for experts. I believe the proposed strategic initiatives will help achieve that.

For more details, I recommend you watch the recording of my presentation.

Whether you're just getting started with Drupal or have been here for years, we want you to contribute to Drupal 10! The best way to get involved in any of these initiatives is to join their discussion channels on Drupal Slack:

  • Drupal 10 readiness: #d10readiness
  • Claro: #admin-ui
  • Olivero: #d9-theme
  • Automated updates: #autoupdates
  • JS Menu Component: #js-menu-component

Thank you to everyone who attended the very first Drupalcon Global and contributed to the event's success. Even though we were unable to meet in person, I was blown away by the energy of everyone involved, and grateful for the time to connect with old and new friends.

Jul 15 2020
Jul 15
We are targeting to release Drupal 10 around June 2022. That is less than two years from the day of this post. A timeline showing that Drupal 10 is targeted for June 2022 because Symfony 4 is end-of-life in November 2023.

Why June 2022, you ask?

Drupal 9's biggest dependency is Symfony 4, which has an end-of-life date in November 2023. This means that after November 2023, security bugs in Symfony 4 will not get fixed. Drupal has to adopt Symfony 5 (or later) and end-of-life Drupal 9 no later than November 2023.

For security purposes, all Drupal 9 users will need to upgrade to Drupal 10 by November 2023. We like to give site owners at least one year to upgrade from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10, therefore we are targeting Drupal 10 to be released in June 2022.

Will the upgrade to Drupal 10 be easy?

Yes, it will be easy, and here is why.

New functionality for Drupal 10 is actually added to Drupal 9 releases. This means module developers can start adopting any new APIs right away. Along the way, we deprecate old functionality but keep backwards compatibility. Once we are ready to release Drupal 10, we remove all deprecated code. Removing deprecated code breaks backwards compatibility, but because module developers had a chance to stay up to date with API changes, the upgrade to Drupal 10 should be easy.

If that makes your head spin, think of it this way: Drupal 10 is identical to the last version of Drupal 9, with its deprecations removed. Because of that, there should be no last-minute, big or unexpected changes.

We used this approach for Drupal 9, and it was successful: 95 of the top 100 contributed modules were ready the day Drupal 9.0.0 was released. We know from Drupal 9 that this approach to upgrades works, and we'll continue to refine it going forward.

Jul 10 2020
Jul 10

I remember the first gathering of Drupal contributors back in 2005. At the time, there were less than 50 people in attendance. In the 15 years since that first gathering, DrupalCon has become the heartbeat of the Drupal community. With each new DrupalCon, we introduce new people to our community, demonstrate the best that Drupal has to offer, and reconnect with our Drupal family.

Next week's DrupalCon Global is going to be no different.

Because of COVID-19, it is the first DrupalCon that will be 100% virtual. But as much as we may miss seeing each other in person, the switch to virtual has opened opportunities to bring in speakers and attendees who never would have been able to attend otherwise.

There are a few moments I'm particularly excited about:

  • Mitchell Baker, CEO and Chair of the Mozilla Foundation, is joining us to talk about the future of the Open Web, and the importance of Open Source software.
  • Jacqueline Gibson, Digital Equity Advocate and Software Engineer from Microsoft, will be talking about Digital Inequity for the Black community – a topic I believe is deeply important for our community and the world.
  • Leaders of current Drupal strategic initiatives will be presenting their progress and their calls for action to keep Drupal the leading CMS on the web.
  • And of course, I'll be giving my keynote presentation to celebrate the community's accomplishment in releasing Drupal 9, and to talk about Drupal's future.

Beyond the sessions, I look forward to the human element of the conference. The side conversations and reunions with old friends make attending DrupalCon so much more powerful than simply watching the recordings after the fact. I hope to see you at DrupalCon Global next week!

Jun 25 2020
Jun 25

Given the impact of COVID-19 on organizations' budgets, we extended Drupal 7's end-of-life date by one year. Drupal 7 will receive security updates until November 2022, instead of November 2021. For more information, see the official announcement.

Extending the lifetime of Drupal 7 felt like the right thing to do. It's aligned with Drupal's goal to build software that is safe for everyone to use.

I wish more software was well-maintained like Drupal is. We released Drupal 7 almost a decade ago and continue to care for it.

We often recognize those who help innovate or introduce new features. But maintaining existing Open Source software also relies on the contributions of individuals and organizations. Today, I'd like us to praise those who maintain and improve Drupal 7. Thank you!

Jun 03 2020
Jun 03

Today, we released Drupal 9.0.0! This is a big milestone because we have been working on Drupal 9 for almost five years.

I updated my site to run Drupal 9 earlier today. It was easy!

As I write this, I'm overwhelmed by feelings of excitement and pride. There is something very special about building and releasing software with thousands of people around the world.

However, I find myself conflicted between today's successful launch and the tragic events in the United States. I can't go about business as usual. Discrimination is the greatest threat to any community, Drupal included.

I have always believed that Drupal is a force for good in the world. People point to our community as one of the largest, most diverse and most supportive Open Source projects in the world. While we make mistakes and can always be better, it's important that we lead by example. That starts with me. I am committing to the community that I will continue to learn more, and fight for equality and justice. I can and will do more. Above all else, it's important to stand in solidarity with Black members of the Drupal community — and the Black community at large.

During this somber time, I remain incredibly proud of our community for delivering Drupal 9. We did this together, as a global community made up of people from different races, ethnicities, genders, and national origins. It gives me some needed positivity.

If you haven't looked at Drupal in a while, I recommend you look again. Compared to Drupal 8.0.0, Drupal 9 is more usable, accessible, inclusive, flexible, and scalable than previous versions. We made so much progress on such important things:

  • Drupal 9 is dramatically easier to use for marketers
  • Drupal 9 is easier to maintain and upgrade for developers
  • Drupal is innovating with its headless or decoupled capabilities

It's hard to describe the amount of innovation and care that went into Drupal since the first release of Drupal 8 almost five years ago. To try and grasp the scale, consider this: more than 4,500 individuals contributed to Drupal core during the past 4.5 years. During that time, the number of active contributors increased by almost 50%. Together, we created the most author-friendly and powerful version of Drupal to date.

Thank you to everyone who made Drupal 9 happen.

May 11 2020
May 11
Blue hearts

I'm excited to announce that the Drupal Association has reached its 60-day fundraising goal of $500,000. We also reached it in record time; in just over 30 days instead of the planned 60!

It has been really inspiring to see how the community rallied to help. With this behind us, we can look forward to the planned launch of Drupal 9 on June 3rd and our first virtual DrupalCon in July.

I'd like to thank all of the individuals and organizations who contributed to the #DrupalCares fundraising campaign. The Drupal community is stronger than ever! Thank you!

About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web