Drupal, an open source Content Management System, boasts an extremely active user community, which gathers periodically at conferences all over the world. Los Angeles recently hosted DrupalCamp and the global conference in Copenhagen opens in late August. More importantly, users contribute modules to add features and capabilities to the Drupal core. Because these modules are user driven, they appear on no set schedule. However, the Drupal community currently awaits the latest update to the Drupal core, Drupal 7, due in Beta any time.
The core committers of Drupal.org, who maintain the Drupal core, released the alpha of Drupal 7 last month, which is still available for download. The committers encourage users to help identify bugs, which they’ve been fixing. That list of critical bugs has been whittled down to 30 and when they get it to 0, they’ll release the Beta.
In keeping with Drupal’s principles, the new release will increase ease of use and strengthen security, while maintaining the low resource demands of previous releases. As a warning, Drupal 7 users will observe a longer list of system requirements than earlier versions. Further, the new core offers more robust security features to protect web site content and control. Administrative functions have undergone significant revisions, adding flexibility and ease of use. Finally, database and file handling improvements should dramatically increase performance.
True to the open source ideal, the core committers invite all current and potential users to download Drupal 7 and offer comments and bug fixes. Drupal began, and remains, a user driven CMS in every sense. While Drupal.org hasn’t revealed a release date for the Beta, they have posted the complete change log, as well as the critical bugs, so you can track Drupal 7 toward its release for yourself.