Drupal, We Need To Talk

Update 21 April: I've published a followup post with details of the BoF to be held at DrupalCon Baltimore on Tuesday 25 April. I hope to see you there so we can continue the conversation.

Drupal has a problem. No, not that problem.

We live in a post peak Drupal world. Drupal peaked some time during the Drupal 8 development cycle. I’ve had conversations with quite a few people who feel that we’ve lost momentum. DrupalCon attendances peaked in 2014, Google search impressions haven’t returned to their 2009 level, core downloads have trended down since 2015. We need to accept this and talk about what it means for the future of Drupal.

Technically Drupal 8 is impressive. Unfortunately the uptake has been very slow. A factor in this slow uptake is that from a developer's perspective, Drupal 8 is a new application. The upgrade path from Drupal 7 to 8 is another factor.

In the five years Drupal 8 was being developed there was a fundamental shift in software architecture. During this time we witnessed the rise of microservices. Drupal is a monolithic application that tries to do everything. Don't worry this isn't trying to rekindle the smallcore debate from last decade.

Today it is more common to see an application that is built using a handful of Laravel micro services, a couple of golang services and one built with nodejs. These applications often have multiple frontends; web (react, vuejs etc), mobile apps and an API. This is more effort to build out, but it likely to be less effort maintaining it long term.

I have heard so many excuses for why Drupal 8 adoption is so slow. After a year I think it is safe to say the community is in denial. Drupal 8 won't be as popular as D7.

Why isn't this being talked about publicly? Is it because there is a commercial interest in perpetuating the myth? Are the businesses built on offering Drupal services worried about scaring away customers? Adobe, Sitecore and others would point to such blog posts to attack Drupal. Sure, admitting we have a problem could cause some short term pain. But if we don't have the conversation we will go the way of Joomla; an irrelevant product that continues its slow decline.

Drupal needs to decide what is its future. The community is full of smart people, we should be talking about the future. This needs to be a public conversation, not something that is discussed in small groups in dark corners.

I don't think we will ever see Drupal become a collection of microservices, but I do think we need to become more modular. It is time for Drupal to pivot. I think we need to cut features and decouple the components. I think it is time for us to get back to our roots, but modernise at the same time.

Drupal has always been a content management system. It does not need to be a content delivery system. This goes beyond "Decoupled (Headless) Drupal". Drupal should become a "content hub" with pluggable workflows for creating and managing that content.

We should adopt the unix approach, do one thing and do it well. This approach would allow Drupal to be "just another service" that compliments the application.

What do you think is needed to arrest the decline of Drupal? What should Drupal 9 look like? Let's have the conversation.

I would love to join this

Lucas Arruda wrote:

I would love to join this conversation at DrupalCon Baltimore. Dave, are you going to attend? If yes, any plans to run a BoF about it? Please let me know. Great post and reflection btw!

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 00:54

D8 Broke the Community

Eric Aitala wrote:

Simple.

D8 broke the community.

Pretty much all the 'benefits' were for enterprise; none were really for the EDU space, medium to small non-profits, small dev shop, or hobbyists. And even if they were benefits, they were communicated poorly. This takes some of the 'life' out of the community - people creating small projects and modules that enhance the ecosystem. Not everyone will need to build a giant commerce site, but I can bet that there are a number of people who'd want an integration with a decent Forum app, for example.

Add in the inability to upgrade from D6/D7 to D8 and then having the data migration path delayed / incomplete hurt a lot.

E

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 00:56

I don't believe the everything is for enterprise as an excuse

Rene Bakx wrote:

I don't believe the everything is for enterprise, so we smaller dev shops are left behind excuses are the real reason behind the slow exception. One the things we need to acknowledge, there are other products on the market that tailor those needs different or even better. We see a shift towards products like Wordpress, Bolt, Craft CMS and to more developer centric platforms like Laravel, YII2 etc or even other languages. And that's not just because of the complexity of the code. Every self respecting PHP developer should be able to learn the OO style of coding, or simply use the Drupal Console to generate boilerplate code and adapt that.

In the glory days Drupal was the only platform that could do a lot of things out of the box, but yet in a very developer based admin experience. Other products copy some of those features (Views, CCK etc), but are not bound to a legacy interface like Drupal is so it like way more shiny out the box and that glitter sells. More competition is healthy, but Drupal is a very slow ship to steer in a different direction and smallers vessels are everywhere circling around out mothership.

Then there is the fact, that even with not so shiny OO code, Drupal 7 is still a very functional product with a vibrant ecosystem. So why would a internal developer team within a non profit burn resources to do the same but with a different engine? There is no real gain for them.

I strongly believe that working together with peers in the same field on specialised distributions is the key for Drupal 8 adaptation, Projects like Open Social, Thunder and Lightning are the future. Think of Drupal as the Linux kernel, all linux distro's add their value upon that same kernel. Some adapt the kernel, some change that kernel but in the end it's the core of all their foundations. So yeah, a smaller core with more features that can be bolted on when needed sounds like a more solid plan that just keep adding features to core. And we must look at other products, and make the admin experience reflect that of this era, instead of the windows XP era. (essentially wat MortenDK is doing now, but I think he needs our help)

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 02:11

Non tech perspective

Luca Macis wrote:

For me it's Not consumer focused enough. Hate to say it but where is the pretty part? It looks the same as D7 so the people holding the money or the smaller institutions find it difficult to convince others to adopt an expensive and painful upgrade path when they see enterprise or WordPress as "easy to use".

I'm hindsight thenapproach should have been a new UI to sell D8 as the revolutionary upgrade it is and the community could build a separate installable theme that looks like D7 for the few users that perhaps want a simpler UI transition.

It's a real shame but looking at the community at the moment this looks to be planned for future D8 releases which is promising.

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 02:18

Totally agree with Micro services part

Vijay wrote:

Totally agree with you on micro services and Unix approach part. IMHO, We've been on unix approach, but technology has been changed or at least how we look at a single functionality has been changed. I still think Drupal >= 8 can adopt this space as we are not far from different modern framework/language approaches. There has been so many different approaches introduced in Drupal 8 (and even Drupal 7) for component based development. 1. Druponent based on core https://www.drupal.org/node/2702061 2. UI Patterns https://www.drupal.org/project/ui_patterns 3. Atom https://www.drupal.org/project/atomium

These are the few I am aware of. This is still an evolving space and we would get to a stable distribution/approach.

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 02:31

I've been a very active

Anonymous wrote:

I've been a very active contributor for a few years now. Drupal 8 has failed to fit in any place. It does not have developer centric corporate tools / components, neither a rich and cheap ecosystem of modules to compete with Wordpress. It just positioned itself nowhere.

For small (and not so small) projects, Wordpress is extremely cost-effective.

For e-commerce, Shopify and the like are canibalizing low budget (and not so low budget with their premium offerings).

The only way for Drupal 8 to survive is to fully move to corporate space, and start creating a revenue based ecosystem of components and extensions (in the same way Wordpress does).

The problem with Drupal is that it has become too expensive to fit nowhere. It really does nothing decent out-of-the-box due to the poor quality of contrib, neither it provides proper developer components to make building applications on top of Drupal cost effective.

Did no one notice that the database abstraction layer, the form API and most of KEY-LOW-LEVEL components remained UNTOUCHED in Drupal 8? Some of the key leading technical decision makers really spoiled it. Decoupling entity management from the underlying storage has severe performance and scaling implications, making Drupal 8 NOT scalable (sorry, sites that are not fully dynamic and user centric head to the graveyard).

They just turned Drupal 8 into a very complex, unscalable and unperformant... blogging platform. They DID not address the issues that really mater in HUGE dynamic applications.

Drupal is about to go the way of Joomla, and the only solution to this is NOT technical but economical. It needs to build the right business ecosystem around it, or it WILL die.

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 02:57

WordPress works, as huge as it is...

Eugen Kraft wrote:

Nope, don't see the problem in the same place as you do.

Wordpress works and didn't lose popularity, despite all the development with small modular systems.

Drupal is just still hard as fuck to learn and use, but it becomes better with every release. Anyway Drupal stands for an overly complex system that nobody should learn if he does not have to.

It takes much time to fix a bad reputation, one year is nothing. It's the same for joomla, don't know what they did the last 4 years, maybe it's actually great tool to work with, but it feels like it's still an ugly piece of software, just from the reputation it got years ago.

On the other hand, when D7 came out, it took like forever to be fully usable. I remember, even the very basic core functionality "Entity Translation" had still huge problems after years.

Another thing with Drupal is, that it always was old when it came out. All the concepts for the new major version of Drupal were already old when it finally came out, so hopefully the new release strategy will fix this.

Another thing is the still missing, good working media handling in core - one of the best and stable working features of WordPress. I'm sure that even this feature would bring (and it's on a good way) many people back to Drupal.

From my point, Drupal has to serve a good and stable basic functionality in advance to get trust and popularity back.

But I believe in the new system and the new strategies.

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 03:17

Extending Drupal

IPE wrote:

As well as the many pertinent arguments above, many plugins have not been imported into Drupal 8 from 6 or 7. (I don't think that D7 uptake was this slow.) Some of the modules won't be ported and are being replaced by larger scale projects that attempt to do many thing but not particularly well or are being moved at any pace. This doesn't particularly inspire confidence in the project anymore.

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 03:36

Developer-centric

michael wrote:

There are 2 places where I see Drupal 8 being problematic:

1) Drupal 7 was good enough. Drupal 8 adds a lot from the dev perspective, but little from the site-builder perspective. Until 7 is close to being deprecated, I don't see any need to "upgrade." It's not unlike the Windows 7 -> Windows 10 upgrade path. Windows 7 works fine, so why bother?

2) Drupal itself is dev-focused by design. Anyone can use Page Builder/Visual Composer in Wordpress to make a decent website with a fair amount of eye-candy using drag-and-drop components. There is nothing in Drupal that even comes close, and there likely never will be.

I build websites in Drupal, but when people ask me what to use for their smallish or basic website, I don't even hesitate: Wordpress.

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 04:40

I need your help.

Anonymous Coward wrote:

Hi. I am a core contributor, have spoken at multiple DrupalCamps. I've found many lasting friends from this community. I've organized a monthly meetup for years and helped coordinate several camps. I've traveled overseas just to help host a DruaplCamp. I've been retweeted by @Dries. I'm not trying to toot my own horn; only attempting to demonstrate that I've been committed. Drupal would have done just fine without me; I'm not important to Drupal, but Drupal is important to me.

This is the first year in many which I am not attending a DrupalCon. It's not a protest or a lack of interest, it is that I can simply not afford it. I can not find Drupal work anymore.

Is the Drupal project dying? Is the work being completed overseas? Spun up from archived configurations? It is a problem with me? Am I lazy or stupid or outdated? Are there newer developers who are better qualified and/or less expensive? Is it the natural process of a maturing system where smaller projects better fill the void left after our added complexity? Can I ever spool up again? What do I focus on? If I do, is there work to be completed? How will I provide for my kids?

I can't answer any of these questions, and worse, I won't be able to gain insights from any of you in Baltimore. Please discuss. Please, everyone, get your ideas out there. Post, Tweet, screencast. I need your help.

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 05:30

Yep, this is right on

Matt Davis wrote:

I've been thinking about this problem a lot recently. The approach taken by the Ember community in developing CardStack (http://cardstack.io/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DsBHKj90EY) offers one way to approach this issue, but the bigger question is how can Drupal adapt to these realities.

For those who are attending DrupalCon, there will be discussion along these lines, starting chiefly in the Core Conversation here: https://events.drupal.org/baltimore2017/sessions/decoupled-inside-out

I would encourage anyone interested who will be in Baltimore next week to attend that session.

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 05:42

The world can still use the in-between thing that Drupal is

benjamin melançon wrote:

With configuration management in particular, Drupal 8 offers real advantages for sitebuilding. But Drupal has long risking being outflanked by easier-to-use products on one side and better-to-build-with tools on the other, and it does appear to be increasingly happening.

Drupal still has a ton to offer non-enterprise sites in terms of easily extending a site's capabilities, in supporting a good development and testing workflow, in giving designers and content editors ways to amicably share control over how a site looks. Most of all we need to make Drupal ever easier for people to get started with site configuration, with enough power to take people willing to get deeper into development whereever they want to go (which does mean making Drupal core more about and compatible with microservices). We need offerings and business models that match this audience of people getting started, which today means a Software as a Service offering. This also provides business models that support specialized distributions and installation profiles. This is why i'm all in with https://drutopia.org which is going to do this for cause-based organizations that don't have tons of cash floating around, but are nonetheless potential beneficiaries of Drupal which can be part of what supports an expanded Drupal ecosystem.

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 06:22

Drupal 8 Contrib

Bob wrote:

We're often stuck with tough decisions on how to build the next website... stick with D7 or hope D8 has everything we need. From the clients' perspective, they want the latest/greatest and want to future-proof as must as possible, so that leaves us in a tough space.

If a client wants ecommerce functionality, I can't with good conscious even recommend Drupal anymore because of the D7/D8 Dev/Beta minefield, some functionality may be available in Ubercart but not Commerce or vice-versa.

I know the slow adoption of D8 on our end has been due to the usual "contrib-catchup" which seems to be happening a lot slower than the previous versions. I think this is what hurts Drupal adoption the most because there isn't stability in contrib. With every major version release it seems like a full rebuild of the wheel for every contrib module. Many modules never made it out of Dev or Beta in D7, and now they have to do a full rebuild in D8. It's kind of demotivating from a developer's point of view.

Looking at Wordpress, it has a thriving contrib space which has been allowed to grow and mature and not be set back to full rebuilds upon new major version releases.

The Drupal contrib space needs to be built on solid rock, not sinking sand. Maybe D8 could be that rock...

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 07:01

Upgrade Path

Fernando Conceição wrote:

There is more than one reason: each time you upgrade drupal is almost like doing a new site, so no reason to upgrade until you have to. Modules need help to update and people do not help. I maitains some modules and i have about no help in updating they do drupal 8, and many modules still do not have a usable drupal 8 version, and some of then make a bad decision: lets make everything hyper oo and new padrons. Result? See linkchecker and backup_migrade. No drupal 8 version or very simple with almost everything missing. They could just make a drupal 8 version that works and after this make a new version that is better. My personal site is drupal 8 but i really think in comming back to drupal 7. As people said, drupal 8 is 100% big enterprise update and 0% simple user.

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 07:55

Switching to WP, eventually

Eugene wrote:

Drupal work is going pretty good for me right now, but I need to keep my eyes on the prize and the prize is revenue. Look at Pantheon. From all accounts their WP sales are doing amazingly well. I can't tell you what percentage WP is of their many many clients, but look at the blogs and the value they keep adding to the WP project I would say that is is pretty clear that Pantheon is betting on a serious growth of WP hosting sales. You might ask, So what? Well if WP growth is worth banking on for Pantheon, then it is certainly worth banking on for me! Why wouldn't I want to go fishing where I know the fish are? And With Drupal going moving more and more into the Enterprise, it leaves more room than ever before for WP to sweep in and add value to the kinds of clients that Drupal is leaving behind or to whom Drupal appeals less today than it did years ago. In short... Everything Dave says is right on as far as I'm concerned. I don't fault Drupal for pivoting like it did. I know Drupal developers who were making good money. They never really enjoyed coding the way Drupal 7 code worked. Now Drupal 8 has tried to leave the past behind. These same developers are pretty excited to be doing some pretty cool $#!^ with web services, decouple Drupal, and the like. Drupal was built for THEM and for the high $ clients that need those services. Basically.. I'd rather become a big dog in the WP community than drown in this new ecosystem that seems to be struggling to find its identity and purpose. I won't be attending in Baltimore. I just didn't see the value in investing in Drupal 8 knowledge. I'm thinking of using the saved $ to further my knowledge of WP.

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 08:34

Drupal "The New Normal"

DougVann wrote:

Right on Dave! Love this post! you have wrapped many of our thoughts into a single, cohesive, well written piece of prose! In my mind, what Dave is saying, and what many seem to be echoing, is that we're struggling to get used to "the new normal." We may define this New Normal differently but tell me if you agree with the following: A} Fewer sites but with bigger prices Drupal isn't such a good fit these days for the one-off site. Yes there are exceptions, but I see a very clear drive to go after agencies and organizations who need many dozens of sites blowing past 100 or way higher. Great! Go for it. Those aren't the kind of sites that come my way and I couldn't deliver on them if they did. B} Bigger and bigger Drupal shops and fewer lone-rangers or mini-shops. This is pure conjecture and I must be honest about that, but with my 4 eyes [don't qualify for lasek] I see excellently run shops with the best of the best Drupalers delivering amazing D8 sites even while contrib is not where we really want it to be. IMO that's the result of the New Normal. And, so be it. I'm not complaining, just describing it! :-) C} A move towards "Drupal PLUS" And by this I mean, Drupal + an Acquia service or 2, OR Drupal + some unique value add service that a specific Drupal shop may offer. Again... So Be It. Not complaining. Things like Acquia Cloud Site Factory, Acquia Content Hub, Acquia Context DB, etc are amazing services built on top of Drupal. Expect more shops to add their own services as this lucrative trend grows.

What about me? Dunno. Still riding the D7 boat for now. The engines are good and the seas are mostly calm... until they're not... Thanks again, Dave. this post was right on time! :-)

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 08:53

Developer fatigue

Adrian Simmons wrote:

Some rambling thoughts:

Faced once again with a partial or full site rebuild just to upgrade It's not surprising people hesitate and look around at other products. It may well be that Drupal 8 has solved a lot of these problems, but who wants to invest the time to find out?

The main 'enterprise' feature about Drupal is that only enterprise sized organisations can now afford to work with it ;)

Venture capital arrived in some Drupal shops and because 'code is gold' that capital pushed Drupal in a direction that suited those shops. It didn't have to be that way, firm leadership and vision would have been required, but somehow the most visionary devs always seemed to end up leaving...

I really thought I would get back into Drupal with 8 after a bit of a break but after trying the 'automatic' upgrade from D6 and D7 I'm beginning to change my mind (it works so badly its pointless, might just as well do a ground up rebuild).

Even the site developer toolset seems poor and poorly documented. Again, it seems to be that the best developer tooling and documentation has moved behind paywalls. It's not unreasonable that people want to get paid for doing the work but it inevitably has a chilling effect on community, partly because a lot of best practice and knowledge is no longer shared and partly because people can start thinking 'why should I work for free if those other guys are getting paid?'.

PHP. I don't really think it can keep up with the likes of Golang for performance, the next few years are going to be interesting.

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 09:01

FUD

Josh Miller wrote:

Hello :) I've been with the project making small impacts where I can since 2008. Doug Vann was speaking at one of the first meetups I went to in 2008, CCK was all the rage, and everyone thought Drupal 6 was too much, too soon, and still not enough to drive more adoption. The community is the reason I dug deeply into the CMS.

I've since seen Drupal 6 get replaced by Drupal 7. I was holding the ethernet cable that Dries cut in Paris in 2009, celebrating the code freeze period for Drupal 7 that thawed and froze back during the next year in fits and starts.

Have we forgotten what moving from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 was like? Tons of fear about modules that wouldn't migrate over. Lots of uncertainty about the new idea of Entities (not just nodes anymore) and fields were in core! Lots of doubt about the design process that Acquia was leading that led to a cleaner Administrative interface, and the pop over of doom that I still disable when I can.

I was in a meeting many years ago when the leaders of the Drupal Commerce project seriously considered building the next commerce project entirely on Symfony. Ultimately, it was decided that as much as possible should be built at Symfony components (currently sitting at 6 Symfony-based libraries) and those components should be marketed to the wider eCommerce community.

Drupal 8 is about getting off our island. And ultimately, we're trying to do that in many ways, even considering gitlab as a replacement for our issue queues and git interface (#bikeshed anyone?).

But what no one is talking about is the business of helping our customers tell their story. Forget the technology for a minute, what does your customer need? Listen to them, they want to tell you. Here at Acro Media, Inc, we can't seem to find enough developers to help make our customer's dreams a reality. Do we use Drupal 8 for new builds? Yes, exclusively since January, 2017. Have we launched a few? Yeah, we've launched 3, and have another 5-6 in the pipeline. Do we hear griping and complaining from our bank of 35 developers? All. The. Damn. Time. But there's nothing new in that.

We're learning and teaching ourselves the "composer way" of developing PHP applications. We're implementing automated testing, automated deployments, and working on doing merge request (pull request for github folks) for every major feature branch. We're improving our skills at an alarming rate, all because Drupal 8 has kicked us in the pants. All because our clients demand more flexibility and in a way that Wordpress, Magento, Shopify, and even bigger platforms from Adobe and others, just can't touch.

To the core contributor who said they can't find work, we're hiring.

In short, are we worried about the future of Drupal? Absolutely not. We're trying to catch up, and we find ourselves for the first time in a long while challenged and excited about Drupal 8, more than we thought we could be even a year ago when it went stable.

Imagine a world of Drupal where great ideas get worked into core and old, tired ideas can be deprecated. Imagine a world where upgrading Drupal is challenging enough to keep your clients around asking for managed services. This is Drupal 8, and I for one, am super excited about these prospects. We have a bright future, and most of our clients don't really care or know about Drupal, they just have a dream and we have a tool we know really well.

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 13:08

We built it. They didn't come. Now what?

Kevin Reynen wrote:

The contraction in the community is real and only going to get more painful if we don't start making changes. The DA leveraged its future to get D8 to where it is today. The hope was the D8 would be so wildly successful the DA would recoup that investment. Unfortunately the slow adoption and drop in DrupalCon attendance mean there are fewer resources at a time when the community desperately needs more. Many new contributors felt the impact of the contraction with the Project Application Review (PAR) backlog. While well intended, no one bothered to ask what will we do when we don't have enough community members willing to review projects from new contributors? Anyone working with distributions feels the impact when trying to get new libraries whitelisted. There just aren't enough people familiar with GPL-2.0 compatibility left on the island. Off of the island, the world has moved on distributing combinations of GPL-3.0 with Apache 2 and MIT libraries that use SIL-OFL fonts and Creative Commons images. Back on the island, we're still telling the kids to stay off our lawn with their crazy new fangled licenses and shaking our fists at the sky.

I don't have the answers, but I'm tired of hearing about the army of Symfony and Composer savvy developers who are going to be drawn to a modernized Drupal project to show up.

We built it. They didn't come. Now what?

I don't think the project is doomed, but I am worried. The community and DA need to have a coming to Jesus talk about who D8 is really for and focus on being the best Drupal can be for those users. Everyone using D8 needs to step up and have the tough talk with some members of the community.

Hey [tech savvy person working at a non-profit who dabbles in PHP], did you ever install drush like we talked about? No. Heh. We need to talk. Look it's not you. It's us. We've changed and want room to grow. You are smothering us with your needs... but can we can still be friends?

This is going to be a very painful breakup, but in the end everyone will be healthier and happier for it.

Did you hear the one about Alex Pott, Derek Wright and a dozen other developers trying to update sites using Drupal's composer best practices and failing? No? That's probably because it isn't very funny.

Continuing to try to be everything to everyone is what is going to kill the project.

Added Thu, 2017-04-20 15:43

Long, Slow Decline

Anonymous wrote:

Drupal has been experiencing a long, slow decline for many years. It's hard for most people to understand the ways in which this happens, but the charts on the following pages usually make the conversations easier.

https://makeawebsitehub.com/content-management-system-cms-comparison/

https://websitesetup.org/cms-comparison-wordpress-vs-joomla-drupal/

Look at the bottom line numbers about installs and active websites using each platform. Numbers like these don't define the success of a platform or the worth to an organization in some specific sector. But they are an indicator of something, and many people are arguing right now about what they actually mean.

Drupal 8 was an attempt to revolutionize the architecture of the platform. One of the challenges many organizations have with it is the fact you can't do as much with it as you could with Drupal 7. Drupal has always been billed as an innovation platform, meaning there is a promise of 'something better' coming with adoption of each new version. The idea that you can't do as much with Drupal 8 as you could with Drupal 7 is not a deal-killer for most people, but it does make one want to hold their breath in anticipation of something better coming along.

Meanwhile, WordPress continues to grow, and the way people think about web applications is changing. Websites themselves are becoming a bit of an oddity, considering the increased engagement levels that can be achieved with mobile apps and other Internet enabled binge mediums. Web services seems to be the most important factor in that space, and Drupal's performance in this area is a serious concern to anyone who has ever worked with Rails or Express.

Some of the decision makers I speak to see Drupal 8 as an attempt to solve 2012 problems in 2017 while positioning itself for the future. Something I hear often is the thought it's hard for a platform to walk in two different directions at the same time. No one really thinks Drupal is going away, but there are other platforms that solve some problems better than Drupal ever will be able to. Whether those needs are going to continue to evolve, and whether Drupal is going to be able to solve them a few years from now, is the real mystery.

Added Fri, 2017-04-21 00:26

Real quick clarification so

Ryan Szrama wrote:

Real quick clarification so folks don't get the wrong idea: we never considered making Drupal Commerce a Symfony application and our libraries aren't Symfony components. However, we did make a few standalone PHP libraries so we could export our experiential knowledge off the Drupal island. (y)

(And as a result, we're heavily invested in continuing to improve Composer support for Drupal modules / sites.)

Added Fri, 2017-04-21 01:06

Barrier to entry

Another Anonymous Coward wrote:

In Denver we were told about the Composer changes and not to worry, only core developers will need to use Composer. Fast forward, and now there is a push to force all Drupal installs to require Composer to just install. I have been trying to follow all the best practice advice and use Composer to manage my projects, and it has been a huge pain in the ass!

I don't do core dev, nor module development. I am a site builder, and front end dev. I love Drush and use the command line all the time; I am not afraid to use new things. But every time I start a new D8 install it is a mess of jumping through dependency issues, which have changed from the last time.

I do fear Acquia and the enterprise have had too much influence. It is frustrating to see projects like Workflow going into core before Pathauto.

While I am not a fan of WordPress or Squarespace, I have sent more potential work that way than I have taken on for Drupal in the last year. Smaller sites I used to be able to bust out in D7, just don't make sense to bother with D8. I could still build in D7, but that feels like doing a disservice to clients, rolling out old tech to just cash a check.

Added Fri, 2017-04-21 04:16

Barrier to entry

Another Anonymous Coward wrote:

In Denver we were told about the Composer changes and not to worry, only core developers will need to use Composer. Fast forward, and now there is a push to force all Drupal installs to require Composer to just install. I have been trying to follow all the best practice advice and use Composer to manage my projects, and it has been a huge pain in the ass!

I don't do core dev, nor module development. I am a site builder, and front end dev. I love Drush and use the command line all the time; I am not afraid to use new things. But every time I start a new D8 install it is a mess of jumping through dependency issues, which have changed from the last time.

I do fear Acquia and the enterprise have had too much influence. It is frustrating to see projects like Workflow going into core before Pathauto.

While I am not a fan of WordPress or Squarespace, I have sent more potential work that way than I have taken on for Drupal in the last year. Smaller sites I used to be able to bust out in Drupal 7, just don't make sense to bother with Drupal 8. I could still build in Drupal 7, but that feels like doing a disservice to clients, rolling out old tech to just cash a check.

Added Fri, 2017-04-21 04:18

Did you hear the one about

Anonymous wrote:

Did you hear the one about Alex Pott, Derek Wright and a dozen other developers trying to update sites using Drupal's composer best practices and failing?

I was wondering what on Earth they were doing to land themselves in that mess, then I realised they're not using the Drupal Composer project.

Basically, if you're not treating Drupal Core as just another dependency of your project, you're doing it wrong.

See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpdnfPqlvB0 This guy does it right.

Added Fri, 2017-04-21 05:36

> The problem with Drupal is

Anonymous wrote:

> The problem with Drupal is that it has become too expensive to fit nowhere. It really does nothing decent out-of-the-box due to the poor quality of contrib, neither it provides proper developer components to make building applications on top of Drupal cost effective.

> Did no one notice that the database abstraction layer, the form API and most of KEY-LOW-LEVEL components remained UNTOUCHED in Drupal 8? Some of the key leading technical decision makers really spoiled it

Couldn't agree more. With d8 and its mostly alpha/beta/nonexistent modules and frequent breaking changes, you don't get an easy-to-point-and-click-modules-together ecosystem that can offer a decent, stable CMS (almost) out of the box.

And it's now so 'sophisticated' you can't develop on it without being a "proper" developer - but very unappealing for "proper" developers because of all the stuff they DIDN'T change.

What's the point in replacing drupal_get_form() with FormBuilder::getForm if you're not also replacing $form['#magic_value']['arbitrary']['#more_magic']['more_nesting_than_a_bird_reserve'] with $form->addfield(name, type, default...) or $form->setWhateverBehaviourMode(true)?

Who wants to give up the simplicity and convenience of global functions for the more rigorous OOP best practices of namespacing, traits, interfaces etc, but also wants to continue slinging all-powerful, ill-documented, god-object-in-disguise, no-IDE-intellisense-available, mega arrays of doom around the whole time?

Not a rhetorical question! really, which developers do they think would embrace that?

None. By the time you've learnt composer, symfony etc you might as well just build your own leaner, saner system. If you can't/won't, then you'll go to wordpress or maybe backdrop. d8 is left in the middle, appealing to almost nobody

Added Fri, 2017-04-21 06:31

Heal from Dries-itis... outvote the BDFL!

develCuy wrote:

I'm afraid to have this discussion that late. Yet we are still on time for taking things back on track. Everyone who has Drupal skills should care about making Drupal more productive so we can still compete, win and get good wages! Those who don't care go jump into the next boat.

People is proposing UNIX model, cool! Let's fix some stuff first. Drupal has a leadership issue: Dries-itis, not easy to fix! Look at Backdrop CMS (Drupal fork), they have a better leadership model, it scales and people loves it, so they can focus on growing the project, pretty productive!

We have lots of smart people within the Drupal community, yet we have lots of zealots, they poison tech leadership with politics and stuff that are hurting the project and the community, we can't afford that!

How about outvoting Dries? Decentralize Drupal starting from the head. We can "stay and not stay", let's use a fork, let's influence with code like the old times, let's contribute code rather than feeding drupaldrama.

My 2c.

Added Fri, 2017-04-21 09:23

so much to say

DougVann wrote:

A response to Josh Miller, Congrats on {A} your new leadership position at Acro! {B} on switching solely to D8 in 2017 {C} on having launched 3 sites already {D} on having another 5-6 in the pipeline. {E} on having a bank of 35 developers

Your organization and similar organizations are definitely doing D8 right and reaping the benefits. In as much as you are currently the beneficiary of the current state of D8, you were also the intended target for D8 when it was still just an egg. AND THAT"S FINE... I certainly hope no one is honestly upset at the big shops making bank and crankin' out d8 sites even while, by many standards, Contrib is not in the best condition.

More general statements follow here: While there ARE some tones of complaint in these responses, [And yes a lil' FUD here and there] I personally see more statements like. "#NotReallySureItIsMyCMSAnymore" which, of course, no one wants to hear or enjoys it when they do hear it. It's still MY CMS and I have been blessed with opportunities to lead teams, architect, consult, etc. I still do dev, but definitely finding it hard to keep up with everything. It applies to me to a lesser extent, but it is nonetheless true that many ppl who were humming along in D7 have seen a bumpy road complete different from the lil' bumps of 5to6 or 6to7. Still, many say the bumps were no different. I don't see how any reasonable person can equate the "Category 1 hurricane" of foundational change in D8 to the D7 changes which could be more softly equated to severe damaging winds. What you build in the aftermath is what's important, but many are trying to find all of the tools and connect them properly while at the same time shopping new customers and servicing old ones. Yah.. the punch to the gut [METAPHOR-SWITCH] that is D8 is taking a tole and that toll is real and the numbers reflect it.

It will be interesting to see where this goes. I suspect that continued innovation will pull the numbers up and we will all look back at the brief aftershocks that caused issues for the 1st 2yrs after D8 was released. And if you haven't guessed, I believe that success of D8 is directly tied to what big shops are going to do with it and what direction they take it.

Added Sat, 2017-04-22 02:55

Last large long dev cycle

kerby70 wrote:

Long dev cycles carry large risk, and transition costs. Pair that with alternative technological progress, more competition, & competition improvements; see what I see. Long cycles wear smaller voices out leaving the bigger players to make the changes that are logical to those left in the room. Getting off the island also comes with some culture shock.

All that said, this is not Windows 8, or PHP 6. Drupal 8 core is stable and moving forward.

  • I genuinely believe the evergreen development process is the first step forward. This should avoid the cliff jumping major releases that leave builders, developers, and modules behind. This process should allow refining of specialized modules rather than slash, burn, and wait.
  • Opening the contrib full project promotion, might be step two.

  • Perhaps restructured governance, will be step three.

  • Maybe contrib initiatives need a more prominent platform.

New tools mean new problems, when push comes to shove part of development is working around issues to deliver for your client with the best value possible. Though as a developer you can only work around a problem so many times before you demand a solution. The contrib space is the next step.

The contrib space could use some TLC. There are probably as many reasons for it's current state as there are D.o users. For good or ill we all have a reason or not contributing more. One question to keep in mind as this discussion moves forward, "What will I do to help?". The process has room for everyone: initiatives (& leads) / bugs / ideas -> issue queueing -> bike shedding -> mockups -> development -> rework -> test -> automated test writing -> documenting -> teaching -> promoting solutions.

Added Sat, 2017-04-22 16:34

Last large long dev cycle hopefully

kerby70 wrote:

Long dev cycles carry large risk, and transition costs. Pair that with alternative technological progress, more competition, & competition improvements; see what I see. Long cycles wear smaller voices out leaving the bigger players to make the changes that are logical to those left in the room. Getting off the island also comes with some culture shock.

All that said, this is not Windows 8, or PHP 6. Drupal 8 core is stable and moving forward.

  • I genuinely believe the evergreen development process is the first step forward. This should avoid the cliff jumping major releases that leave builders, developers, and modules behind. This process should allow refining of specialized modules rather than slash, burn, and wait.
  • Opening the contrib full project promotion, might be step two.

  • Perhaps restructured governance, will be step three.

  • Maybe contrib initiatives need a more prominent platform.

New tools mean new problems, when push comes to shove part of development is working around issues to deliver for your client with the best value possible. Though as a developer you can only work around a problem so many times before you demand a solution. The contrib space is the next step.

The contrib space could use some TLC. There are probably as many reasons for it's current state as there are D.o users. For good or ill we all have a reason or not contributing more. One question to keep in mind as this discussion moves forward, "What will I do to help?". The process has room for everyone: initiatives (& leads) / bugs / ideas -> issue queueing -> bike shedding -> mockups -> development -> rework -> test -> automated test writing -> documenting -> teaching -> promoting solutions.

Added Sat, 2017-04-22 16:35

Frankly, it's too late to

Anonymous wrote:

Frankly, it's too late to make any changes now.

Acquia and a few selected big Drupal agencies at the helm have a vested interest to complete with other CMS companies in the Enterprise market. When these Drupal companies starts to throw money into developing Drupal, they will make sure it goes their way They have also put many of their developers on the core team. So if it becomes more developer-centric, that will be the way it will go and if you cannot keep up, then adapt. Now i not saying it is wrong. If your company puts in a lot of resources (time or money) into a project, sure these few dictates the direction of the project. That is just the way it works as they are keeping the product alive. But does that not mean, it's really owned by selected few companies, not community?

Many small businesses would love to adapt but you need the investment to hire more developers with OOP skills that demands a higher salary. Sadly, it's beyond what most small agencies can afford.

We need to let go of this mentality that d.o is serving the larger community and not just for a few selected big agencies to excel their personal aims and goals. You may have a voice but are they listening to the little guys anymore?

Rather than wasting your time bickering and complaining, the beauty of open source is 'choice'. We now have backdropcms.org which i like to call it 'Drupal 7s +' (it's the beloved D7 but more enhanced and improved version). Updating from D7 to Backdrop is easier and doesn't require years of coding experience. Part of the aim was to make it easy for site builders to upgrade. But that's not so important, the point is, if you don't have the means or resources to adapt to D8, there are other solutions. Most of you will mentioned WP but hardly anyone will mention Backdrop, why? when you don't really want to go down that WP route in the first place? Is it because most of your customers have heard of Drupal and WP so it's going to an easy sell? which is fair enough. But Backdrop was precisely build for Drupal shops that cannot afford the D8 development.

Here's the thing, most of your customers don't really know much about CMS, they have only heard of a few big names as recommendations but at the end, they just want something that does the job within their budget. So a little education and marketing goes a long way. Sure, there are hardly any credible brands' website built using Backdrop so not easy to convince clients. But if your existing clients are already using D7 and want to upgrade, it is an affordable choice.

I'm sure Drupal will continue to grow and flourish in the enterprise market but if this is not your market, why stick around? your long term loyalty means nothing unless you have the means to invest.

My question is, what is holding anyone back from using Backdrop?

Added Sun, 2017-04-23 12:36

The boat has probably

Giorgio wrote:

The boat has probably shipped. I work at a multinational and our Drupal 6 based docs portal was ditched in favor of Confluence. Even wordpress is integrating their editorial workflow with Google Docs that Matt Mullenweg called a superior experience. The low hanging fruits are gone...Hosted services will slaughter Drupal since you dont need a hosting account, you dont need sysadmin skills, you dont need to touch linux, you dont need to touch virtualmin etc. etc.

Added Sun, 2017-04-23 16:34

Drupal as central integration point and CMS

Steve Graham wrote:

I feel like Drupal made some very good changes in Drupal 8, primarily in aligning with good and best practices in more advanced PHP frameworks.

As a Web based solution, and a primary solution, it still makes sense.

The decoupled solution, a very good option for projects that are trying to remove the dependency on the underlying implementation, is an interesting approach. Very probably where things will land next for larger projects and ones that need to span multiple CMSs and microservices.

So does it make sense to tackle more complex projects from a front end build? It makes a lot of sense to me, although it certainly imperils the larger players in the back end space. That relegates larger projects like Drupal to API functionality, and that is something they are rather inefficient with when they approach things as an "all in" framework that loads everything in a very desktop like way.

So we are stuck in the "build a better mousetrap" scenario. Which isn't good. We definitely need to approach code modularity in an effort to stay relevant. I would love to see Drupal entertain a bootstrap that only loads what is needed to create the response for any given request, but would also like to see it approach greater efficiency in data structure and management in SQL. In the latest builds this has shifted toward ease of management for web site managers and away from best practices in data management generally.

Added Mon, 2017-04-24 00:18

What's the point in replacing

Anonymous wrote:

What's the point in replacing drupal_get_form() with FormBuilder::getForm if you're not also replacing $form['#magic_value']['arbitrary']['#more_magic']['more_nesting_than_a_bird_reserve'] with $form->addfield(name, type, default...) or $form->setWhateverBehaviourMode(true)?

I almost spit my coffee all over the screen when I read that one, lol. Couldn't have said it better myself.

We didn't 'get off the island'-- we created a man made island in a sea for which there are no navigation charts. Then wonder why we're on it alone.

From the same post:

By the time you've learnt composer, symfony etc you might as well just build your own leaner, saner system. If you can't/won't, then you'll go to wordpress or maybe backdrop. d8 is left in the middle, appealing to almost nobody

Yep, what s/he said.

Actually it's worse, if you learn composer and symfony you can build a complete site.

For Drupal, you have to learn which pieces of composer or symfony were implemented and how they were frankensteined into Drupal and what best practices they encourage that can't be used with the Drupal implementation because, oops, they'll break it. Unless you use this off-site-hosted-unpublicized-but-oh-how-did-you-not-know-you-were-doing-it-wrong module.

And still may not be able to build a site.

Why bother. Just build it with symfony or laravel.

I'm a professional Drupal developer. My degree is in CS and I'm in the process of getting my Master's. I'm fully able to code OO. I'm also a fully certified Acquia Grand Master. And build sites with D8-- except when I can't convince a site owner to ignore the seizure inducing toolbar flicker.

I tried at various points over the years to get into core development and gave up in utter frustration. Everyone was so convinced of the utter 'rightness' of 'getting off the island' they never bothered to think about where that would leave us (except chx of course, but oh well, that's a topic for another post i guess).

I'm now working on getting both the symfony and laravel certs.

Whistling past the graveyard won't help Drupal.

Added Tue, 2017-04-25 02:08

Seems like the stuff of nightmares, tbh

Anonymous wrote:

Forget the technology for a minute, what does your customer need? [...] we can't seem to find enough developers to help make our customer's dreams a reality.

[...]

Imagine a world where upgrading Drupal is challenging enough to keep your clients around asking for managed services. This is Drupal 8

So, you're excited that you can keep customers on the hook on a system that you can't find enough developers for?

Added Tue, 2017-04-25 07:07

A responsibility to teach

Justin Winter wrote:

Great post and definitely a much needed discussion. . I've been developing with Drupal for almost a decade now and have been developing software for over 20 years.

I read through each response and there are some really good points. What I was really surprised to not see more discussion about is the lack of documentation and strategy around teaching. I feel strongly that it's in the best interest of the Drupal organization and Acquia to prioritize documentation above development. Teach before you put your head down and code a new feature.

Drupal 8 was a monumental shift and I think there was a responsibility to try and keep people on the giant ship as it changed course. Ensuring resources are there, and well organized, to keep people on board is critical despite the direction.

I feel strongly about the whole notion that Drupal needs to pick something and do it extremely well, then move out from there.

I would like to see the Drupal organization, Acquia, and the community focus on the following: - Decoupled Drupal : Scaleable APIs - A rock solid solution for all things Media (Start with images) - Content workflow

Added Thu, 2017-04-27 23:21

Get off the island?

cdmo wrote:

"Get off the island?" Right?

Well, people have talked about WP as being Drupal's competition, but, by getting off the island, we have a whole new set of competitors. Those who are already off the island. Those using robust frameworks like RoR, Django and the like. I think the Drupal project, especially the most advanced developers, had a serious distaste for all the "drupalisms" and legacy nonsense. PHP 7 came out, all these other MVC frameworks grew in popularity, and there was quaint old Drupal, code smells and all. At DrupalCon Denver, Dries spoke about attracting more developers to the community as a high (number 1?) priority. So, this to me is why D8 came about. The other problem with this move is that the hobbyists don't have incentive to move up. They could care less about glorious test coverage and PSR-4.

This is the crux then to me: 1) Start to actually attract new super serious developers and 2) make the upgrade path to 8 easy for those in 7 who are more hobbyists just trying to make some views with custom content types.

It's definitely crunch time for this project and community!

I for one am a fan of the shifts being brought about in getting off the island, and I welcome the challenge of learning new things, like PHPUnit. I find this learning re-invigorating.

I like the idea of shifting more and more to micro-services. And the more we can continue to follow "Modern PHP" practices the better. Like, the ability to take a chunk of code out of Drupal and use it for something else would be really interesting.

Thanks for bringing this up, sorry I couldn't be in Baltimore with you all.

Added Thu, 2017-04-27 23:45

Mixing concepts

Håvard Pedersen wrote:

Even in this post you are comparing Drupal to how multi-service applications works. I would never use the same technology for a real-time application as a content management system, just as a huge enterprise never would use the same technology as I would use for my personal blog. Drupal needs to realize this, and stop trying to be everything.

When it comes to the CMS vs webapps scale, Drupal has been all over the place. And a system that tries to accomplish everything ends up never being focused and good at anything.

On the "business with several IT guys" vs private user scale, Drupal has steadily drifted towards the larger end of the spectrum. This will affect number of installs heavily.

Added Fri, 2017-04-28 00:11

drupal 8

Chris Brown wrote:

I've done drupal for about 10 years. I did the first CLF CSS for Drupal to demonstrate that it could be used for open source.

Since Drupal 8 and Acquia, there is a tendency towards amazing systems that don't fit on the servers my clients use. People are gung ho about drupal 8. but issues between Commerce and Entity Translation have not been resolved in Drupal 7, can break sites. Silly arguments continue about the presence of brackets in .info files. I did a huge amount of volunteer work for Drupalcon Ottawa that was shit on by the organizers.

My enthusiasm for Drupal has dropped due to the increased and unhelpful complexity of 8, the failure of the community to resolve issues in 7, and a huge drop in helpful discussion on drupal.org. Everybody now seems to be in it for their own game. While wordpress is coming together, Drupal is flying as close as possible to the sun.

Added Fri, 2017-04-28 00:35

Not for me.

That Guy wrote:

I wanted to be a D8 fan but I'm simply not. Too few "good" modules stacked up against the hassles of symphony/composer, etc.

I believe the measure of success of any CMS, or any software for that matter, is not how complicated it is, but rather how quickly and easily it helps developers build a great product while allowing a great UX for the end user / client.

I remember when I was a kid and if an electronic gadget i received for Christmas had an instruction manual that was 2 feet thick, then the gadget had to be great, right?? More often than not... wrong.

Drupal 8 reminds me of this.

On that note, I'm very, very interested to see where BackdropCMS (the D7 fork) is headed. I just spun up my first backdrop site recently and so far.. pretty impressed. I think they're onto to something.

Added Fri, 2017-04-28 01:16

Really good to have this

Anonymous Rich wrote:

Really good to have this discussion, some great points above. I got sick of my Drupal Users Group because it didn't allow critical voices.

I've worked with D7 since it launched. I still work with it. I tried to implement a site in D8 but it was a nightmare to theme the thing (theme a link with some extra fields? Sure, just rewrite the link service provider class...) and the UI has managed to get extra clunky (e.g. blockreference module allowed an author to bring in any block into a page - what great functionality!, then in D8 it's soo complex because a block is configuration not content and you need an entity ref, but you need a different type of reference if you want a views block than any other type of block and...give up!).

After months of development I gave up and went back to D7. I'm not a PHP noob by any means, nor am I afraid of newer concepts like IOC. I've created sites and services in Laravel, Slim, Wordpress etc. I just could not create anything anyone would have wanted to use.

What's more, the whole 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 ... thing with a continually deprecating but still resident API made me feel like I was continually writing old code.

I work for small charities, NGOs; D7 was (is) amazing for these people, offered so much more than Wordpress could, but I cannot justify D8 to my clients.

As soon as the Paragraphs module and one or two others get ported to Backdrop I'm probably going there.

Added Fri, 2017-04-28 02:22

Create a "Small Drupal" initiative!

Mark wrote:

An orthogonal viewpoint: I'm disappointed that people keep parroting the view that D8 is only for large/enterprise sites, when it contains much more out-of-the box for small sites than D7 did. The glaring problem is Media support, and I personally am waiting for better Media before creating some D8 small sites. What I would like to see is for the Drupal community to --not-- give up on smaller sites, and to create something like a "small Drupal" initiative, on a par with other initiatives. Drupal install should optionally have a working small website—so everything it needs should be in core. There should be a well-written getting-started guide for small websites. Drupal is mainly hard because of bad documentation and delayed/missing functionality (like Media :-/) You'd get a lot of developers back to DrupalCon! The functionality is almost all there for great "small Drupal"—if the Drupal project can be disciplined enough to put the missing pieces and importantly, user guides, together.

Added Fri, 2017-04-28 02:24

From what Mark said...

Megan wrote:

Following from what Mark said above: Drupal is marketing itself towards large/enterprise sites. If you look at what's on the Drupal.org home page, and the About page, there's a lot about all the big companies that use it, the focus on the government/higher ed/publishing industries. It makes it seem like Drupal is just for large organizations with big budgets. The blurb on the home page even mentions "ambitious digital experiences".

If you're looking for something to run a community site, or a nonprofit, or even a medium sized client site this will probably seem like it's not for you.

So maybe this is a marketing problem too: Drupal is great for a wider range of projects than what is being presented.

And then, if you're targeting more complex, enterprise, big budget sites then the audience is going to get smaller and the adoption rate will be lower. There are fewer sites that this is suitable for now.

I agree with Mark that it would be good to provide more of a bridge for those types of sites. Drupal is a better fit for a lot of them than other projects but it's not being presented as such anymore. I'm one of those people who started using Drupal for a community site and built a career out of it from there. Are we leaving that audience behind?

You could say that Drupal is allowing Wordpress (and others) to eat more market share by focusing too much on a narrower range of bigger, more expensive sites. I've always thought that Drupal has done a bad job of marketing itself vs. Wordpress.

I also agree that Drupal 8 didn't improve the user experience enough to make it a compelling choice. Media handling is still a problem. Theme selection and customisation hasn't improved for a long time. Documentation and help need a lot of improvement as well.

Added Fri, 2017-04-28 03:20

Drupal is for unsolved problems

Josh Waihi wrote:

Drupal, IMO, has always been good as a starting point for bespoke problem solving. Regardless of whether it was CMS related or not. My first ever Drupal project (D5) was building an admin UI for a telco's SMS gateway. No content was ever created, we really just used the user authentication and form API capabilities.

Services like Square Space now provide better starting points for SMB CMS solutions than Drupal IMO. They're much cheaper than paying for a D5,6 or 7 site ever was.

The reality is that SaaS services have consumed much of the markets Drupal reigned in. But Enterprise is one that SaaS struggles (at least for now). Thats why Drupal works there, because its a better starting point then anything else on the market.

"Proudly found elsewhere" was a good move for Drupal 8 and one the community should continue to travel down. I'd love to see Drupal's strengths decoupled such as the entity system, form building and authentication into composer libraries so devs feel more comfortable with using just what they need rather than having to composer require drupal/drupal:^8.3 the kitchen sink and the steak knives they'll never use.

"Proudly found elsewhere" is also a culture change, one that I think strikes at the heart of this conversation. Its not about growing Drupal community, Drupal downloads, popularity or % use across the internet. Its about becoming more apart of other communities. We should be looking to learn from communities like Guzzle on to be more compatible with other projects. We should be broadening our contributions to other communities and advocating use of Drupal in those communities while advocating compatibility with those communities here in our own.

Times change

  • I use pure symfony for things I use to use Drupal for
  • I use AWS lambda functions for things rather than buying servers
  • I run nodejs for things because its a better fit
  • I run complex tasks client side because that space is a whole more performant and reliable than it once was

But I dont' think that any of that means that Drupal is a fading project but it does mean that Drupal can narrow its focus.

Added Fri, 2017-04-28 07:46

MEDIA module

digitaldonkey wrote:

As soon as we provide a media solution able to compete with Wordpress in core, we gonna hit the ball.

Many people I spoke to in Baltimore don't seem to recognize the real benefits of D8: Config management speeds up deployment using VCS by 50% compared to Features hell. Frontend and multilingual doesn't require you to install 5+ modules anymore.

Another point to emphasize has been mentioned before: People want to SEE advance. We did a great job keeping the UI like before AND improving it responsible. But the backend UI was't really Drupal's strength. Put 100% energy in a out-of-the box media solution (even if corporate doesn't need it) and add some new UX ideas.

It was TERRIBLE that UX people were not explicitly welcomed in the looong sprint invitation job list!

Added Fri, 2017-04-28 10:05

Drupal reached its peak

Steve wrote:

Drupal reached its peak usefulness from mid 00s to early 10s when you needed a CMS that was more than a blogging platform and could act as a framework. It was a great general purpose tool, the swiss army knife of web site creation tools. It was a lot better than using DreamWeaver and FrontPage and a lot more powerful than WordPress.

But WordPress ended up beating Drupal at its own game. Powered by the interest in simple blogging tools, WordPress accumulated a huge user base allowing it to hurdle past Drupal in many areas (not all). It was enough to attract more competent developers who saw a market with Wordpress and could make WP jump through hoops it was never meant to jump through.

Drupal was a fantastic tool at the time. But WordPress sucked a lot of the oxygen in the big market for basic sites for small businesses and non-profits. And while Drupal focused on becoming the ultimate Swiss Army knife, WordPress was the cheap butter knife that was good enough for 90% of the jobs out there which required spreading butter. Good luck spreading butter with a Swiss Army knife.

Added Fri, 2017-04-28 19:51

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