Drupal's Path to Easier Development and Adoption

In an interview with Business Insider published just a day after DrupalCon 2012, Dries Buytaert discussed Drupal and the huge following it has. Almost 800,000 people in 228 countries contribute to the open source CMS platform. It also is the platform of choice for the White House, NASA and Twitter. While in most surveys Drupal ranks third in market share to Joomla and Wordpress, it claims to power over 1 million websites.

Those numbers aren’t too shabby. But at DrupalCon Buytaert talked about how to make Drupal more widely used by overcoming some of its current weaknesses.

Even among developers Drupal is often noted for being complex with a steep learning curve. To combat the complexity and the small pool of Drupal developers, the next release, version 8 will work with the Symfony PHP framework. Symfony is a popular framework that claims to “Speed up the creation and maintenance of your PHP web applications. Replace the repetitive coding tasks by power, control and pleasure.” Sounds like heaven for PHP developers, especially those that have wondered whether they should move to Symfony after finding certain tasks difficult to achieve with Drupal.

The focus on apps these days also isn’t being overlooked for the next release. In Drupal 8 RESTful web services will be added and HTML5 will be the standard output. Developers have said that Drupal is slow to adopt new technologies. It appears that in Drupal 8 they are looking to change that sentiment. Set for final release in August of 2013, time will tell if the new version is enough to lure developers that may have been put off due to the perception of its complexity.

Do you Drupal? If so how do you feel about the new direction?