Let’s get back to the keynote. As appealing as the ideal above might be, it is not yet fulfilled There were still some major problems for the platform. The way I see the outcome of the Dries’s presentation, we assume that the whole system is largely heading in the right direction. The upcoming changes are important, but focus more on improving than on radical changes. I see two main directions here. One is reorganization. One example of this kind of task is the effort to trim the Drupal core. The idea is to remove the ones that are not necessary for everyone from ‘core’ (what you get when you install the Drupal itself) to ‘contrib’ (additional modules you can add if needed). Such a change should not change anything besides the very first steps of construction of the site. If the “forum” facility gets moved from core (where it is still in D9) to contrib (where it is expected to be in D10), it should just mean that users that don’t use it won’t have it installed by default and thereby enjoy a slimmer and less error-prone system. Those who intend to use it will just have to do it manually – it’s just one ‘composer require’ away.
That is the theory, anyhow. The practice is, in fact, a bit more complex. Moving the stuff from contrib to core (like it happened with Views in D8) or the other way around (as it will happen with Forum in D10) is not just a question of tags. All sorts of questions follow – just consider that when a module is in core, its security problems are problems for the core, and its development schedule influences the releases of Drupal itself. Such projects require more care. The flip-side is then when they are “set free” and become independent contrib modules, it is necessary to provide resources, so they can be sustained and grow. Such an action requires thus a lot of structural and organizational work to make sure everything works smoothly. As such, it is a good example of one direction the whole Drupal is heading.
The other important direction Drupal is heading is integration with the outside world. It is well represented by a shift to CKEditor 5 in Drupal 10. This again can be seen as strategic change: the stake is to ease the cooperation with developers from the broader PHP world and beyond as much as the technical excellence itself.
Drupal aims to be more standard – adherent, thereby better more accessible for new developers and better documented. All Drupal developers know the so-called ‘drupalisms’ – special constructions that are Drupal-only. Getting in line with the generic tools is something that would much ease the adoption of the platform. Of course this requires direct developer work, but the goal is defined by ‘political’ factors – the ‘external’ relations with other projects and internal with the community.
My personal opinion is that this strategy is a great one. Drupal is in a pretty good state now, and needs evolution, not revolution. I think we can sum up the current state of affairs by saying it’s already a grown-up. No need to make sudden, challenging moves, cooperating with others and making oneself easy to deal factors are key factors. Still I would love to hear about some major improvements to such elements, as Form API. Those would be difficult because of the huge codebase already in place – I am sure their time will come.
If this discussion Dries’s talk got you interested, you can watch it, as were other talks and discussions, online at Drupal Association’s YouTube channel.
The fact that you can get so much of the content happening there online makes you wonder if it was really worth taking the transcontinental flight to get there? And the answer is that the most valuable thing was not so much getting the information available and hear all the great talks and discussions, but the diverse Drupal community. You saw really very different kind of people with very different backgrounds. As mentioned we are a rather small company – the stand next to ours was taken by the EPAM Systems, a multinational organization with thousands of employees. It was an obvious display of haw scalable Drupal is. Drupal goes at length to be open to anyone, independent of religion, nationality, sexual preferences, and so on (there’s also a special project that aims to promote that aspect, see . Panels were available with sign-language translations. By the entrance, you could get pins which lets you identify pronouns you want people to use when addressing you, and another set for showing if you’re willing to talk to others or rather you’d keep quiet. There was a prayer room available.