Cliff Edge or Path To The Summit


Scaling Langdale Pikes in The Lake District made me think of the peaks Drupal has to scale in the near future. Luckily @missymelliott and I had expert guidance climbing the peaks in the form of @tomstannard and having watched the recent keynote speeches I feel we also have a good leader in Dries.

There are many pitfalls in both walking in The Lakes and developing the core Drupal system but here are a few I've picked out:

  • Trusting in your leader and their expertise leads to a quicker ascent
  • Working as a team will make the journey more enjoyable and have better results
  • Taking time out to stop and review the situation makes you appreciate how far you've come and how far you have to go
  • Taking short cuts may be tempting but could prove fateful in the long run
  • Reviewing all possible options and taking feedback from your team before attempting something is a must.

Drupal 8 is coming to fruition and thanks to Dries and our great community we'll have a powerful system to rival a lot of enterprise software out there. 

A few of the main highlights for the next release of Drupal will be better HTML5 and mobile support, improved handling of multilingual features and integration with the Symfony framework.

I've read a number of posts that err on the negative side when it comes to the amount of changes in Drupal 8 but instead of being part of the problem we should come together to be the solution to make sure it works.

I'm still confident Drupal is heading in the right direction, what's your take, is Dries doing the right thing? Is Drupal 8 really going to take us forward or divide the community?


John_B's picture


Interesting to see your site. I grew up in Bromley. Now I make a living largely from Drupal support for clients who were sold (sometimes badly made) Drupal sites by others without fully appreciating the likely ongoing costs. I am not really not sure how much D8 will do for my clients, or even for many of the smaller types clients I see on your portfolio. These days I put many such clients on Wordpress just because of the costs of Drupal maintenance and hosting and I feel that despite the inclusive vision in Dries's London keynote, these small and SME users are being abandoned (not least because debugging D8 is likely to be even more challenging than D7).

But for those of us who are already in the Drupal industry, these developments may increase our income even they are not really making life easier for the majority of Drupal site owners who are small. My feeling (as someone who also provides support to the mass of Drupal users on d.o. who are too small even to hire competent freelance support) is that D8 has worked hard for the big money users, but has done nothing for the majority of small site owners (many of whom have never heard of dev sites, version control, web services, or even drush), People who may have come on board in D5 days and who are still being recruited via Drupal Gardens, who have made sites for self or friends, for small charities or small businesses, with Drupal, and who have embarked on a path of headaches with hosting, debugging, and major version upgrades, which D8 will do nothing to ease. D8's improved UX will help them, though the one they would have loved, the layout initiative, has now been formally abandoned.

Richard Dewick's picture

Drupal8 for enterprise market

Hi John, yours is a common response I've heard recently that the amateur or SME market is being left behind in favour of the enterprise level business which is a shame as, from my understanding, that's where it all started out.

Like yourself we provide support and I can only see this increasing with the next release of Drupal. We've come across many poorly built sites and had to fix or rebuild them altogether and like you say D8 is probably going to cause more headaches especially when it comes to major version upgrades.

From a business perspective I'm happy with the root D8 is taking but not sure everyone's in agreement, although you can't please them all!