back to article 20 years of Drupal: Founder Dries Buytaert on API first, the end of breaking compatibility, and JavaScript bloat

Content management system Drupal is 20 years old, prompting its founder to talk about its evolving role, why it shifted from a policy of breaking compatibility with each release, and concerns about JavaScript bloat causing issues for those with poor connectivity. "When I started Drupal 20 years ago I built it for myself, for …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A very insightful article.

    I'm sure we all have our own opinions and they may not be exactly in line with his, but how many here have twenty years experience in a "household name" web project using the technologies he talks about?

    I for one know when to look like a fool and keep my mouth shut.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Thanks

      I have over 11 years experience now with Drupal and have enjoyed a fairly broad range of challenges with it.

      Have developed Visual/Digital Experience Platforms for British Council, Lloyd's Bank, UBS various WPP clients and most recently the platform which Liverpool FC use for their app - all done with Drupal 6,7 and 8. As for 'household names' that use Drupal I can say that I helped develop Drupal CMS sites for Santander UK, Nestle Waters (San Pellegrino, Perrier, Nestle Waters etc.), TK Maxx and quite a few more besides.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PR Posturing for corporate sponsors

    This sounds more like PR speak/posturing for benefit of the project's ever growing base of corporate sponsors.

    I find it hard to swallow that a long in tooth open source project that for 20 years has been the most arcane, obtuse pile of barely documented spaghettis code, coming from a culture that values new bells and whistles over actually keeping current user implementations running is going to change over night.

  3. Quentin Finknottle Again

    Sounds Accurate To Me

    Having started with v7, the thought of upgrading a v7 project to v8 is horrific. Luckily, I was able to rewrite the couple of v7s I built (and v7 is still supported until the end of this year).

    Having just moved several v8 projects to v9, it was simple, and simple tools are available to scan your code and highlight any deprecations.

    If you haven't looked at it since v5/6/7, have another look - it's a totally different beast, while retaining clear separation between the data, logic and presentation layers.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Sounds Accurate To Me

      Migrate module is your friend with this- it makes the move from any other version to 8 or 9 pretty easy.

      What there is a distinct lack of, in my opinion, is documentation that relates to the 'scaffolding' that composer installs with Drupal 8+. There are a realm of really useful tools such as Drupal Code Generator that are there to help simplify the build of form or block classes, for example, but are not mentioned anywhere. Clear guidelines on setting up PHP code sniffers would also help - it is a very simple operation which still requires some help to optimise it.

      Also some little things that are not referenced such as tweaking composer on a production site, so that you do not need to reload each class each time - it can be cached so that it is a one-time load and it drastically improves page load speed by almost 50%.

      1. stungebag

        Re: Sounds Accurate To Me

        "Migrate Module is your friend": if only.

        I've tried to migrate a very simple site many times from D7 to D8 using the migrate module. By very simple I mean just that: it uses the default themes and about four simple content types. Very few contributed modules. After each migration attempt it's a mess. The theme no longer works - despite being the same theme it looks entirely different and changing the theme options doesn't fix it, and there are other nasties such as bits of comment and author information at the bottom of the screen that don't apear on the Drupal 7 site.

        I really want to stay on Drupal but it seems inevitable that Wordpress (.org) must be the way forward for me. I welcome the new Drupal approach but it's too late.

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