While Drupal 8 has been been under development for two and a half years, I haven't talked much about it. I learned long ago that it doesn't do much good to talk about an upcoming release of a CMS until the software crosses over from what most of us would consider "vaporware."
The software needs to be close to beta, allowing for normal folks to actually be able install for testing purposes with a reasonable amount of certainty we don't need to be a developer. If you're a loyal reader of Planet Drupal, by now you should be getting a sense that the time has come to finally talk about Drupal 8.
Sitting on my desktop the past few weeks has been an eBook from the Aluent Group, Drupal and Joomla!: A Comparison of Project Processes and Costs. I probably would have not read this eBook if it wasn't for an acquaintance of mine, Justin Kerr, letting me know that he was a co-author of the book. I'm lucky to have read the book because I think in the sense Justin Kerr as well as co-authors Robert Nowak and Jet Pixel have hit a home run in their review and comparison of Drupal and Joomla.
I do not know when it exactly happened, but a number of years ago I decided to become a pacifist. I am a pacifist that is in the war of open source versus proprietary. In my opinion, the debate over licensing and software development processes is only mildly interesting as it is the quality of the end product that matters to me most. I walk the fine line of being an advocate for open source and a defender of proprietary software and admittedly I've confused a lot of people that have taken up a particular side of the argument. However, there is always room for reasonable civil discussions of any topic when new data and new perspective is given. This is perhaps why within the past week I enjoyed reading a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Acquia that shows the value of open source without necessarily attacking the value of proprietary software.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm currently playing catch-up in discussing all the good books sent my way this past year. Many of the books have been sent by the authors and publishers themselves for review and some of the books I've bought on my own dime. There should be no further evidence that I'm a procrastinator in posting book reviews than this particular review of Todd Tomlinson and John K. Vandyke's Pro Drupal 7 Development. This book was published almost a year ago, and I'm only now finding the time to blog about this book.
CMS Expo in Chicago last week gave me a great opportunity to learn about a variety of content management systems. I spent most of my time at the conference getting out of my comfort zone by visiting with those companies and open source projects that I knew the least about their products and services. Unfortunately, this strategy also prevented me from visiting with my personal favorite CMS, Drupal. By the end of the conference, I felt I needed to treat myself by attending one of the final sessions in the Drupal track, Social Drupal.
One of the coolest things about CMS Expo 2011 was the opportunity to see five open source CMS "founders" together in one room. On the conference stage were Dries Buytaert (Drupal), Andrew Eddie (Joomla), Sigurd Magnusson (SilverStripe), Shaun Walker (DotNetNuke), and Per Ploug-Hansen (Umbraco).
Most people in the content management world will acknowledge that seeing these five guys together in the same room is a rare event. What you may not know is that for many of these open source leaders this event was the first time they have ever met one another.
A couple weeks ago my family spent some vacation time at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. If you have ever been to a Disney theme park then you know full well that it takes a lot of work in those parks just to have fun. Some of the most popular rides in these parks have waiting periods of up to two hours due to the long lines of people wanting to get on board. Luckily, my wife brought a Disney tourist guidebook that gave our family the helpful hints, recommendations, and information we needed to beat those long lines. In the end, we ended up with a very enjoyable trip (so enjoyable that we got to ride Space Mountain twice!). That travel guide was a valuable asset to my family's vacation.
Mastering Drupal is very similar to visiting a theme park as it takes some effort on your part to ensure you get rewarded for your effort. If Drupal is the amusement park then consider Drupal's modules as the park's attractions you're wanting to ride. With this line of thinking, I easily recommend that you let Earl and Lynette Miles' book, Drupal's Building Blocks, be your valuable tourist guide into the wonderful world of Drupal. I only review a few books each year and this is a book I gladly invested my time reading.
Editor's Note: The following aritlce is authored by Ric Shreves and first appeared online at Open Source CMS Pro. Permission has been granted to repost the article here at CMSReport.com. Now that Drupal 7 has gone through a couple of Release Candidates, we feel confident that what we can see on the screen today represents very closely what everyone can expect in the final Drupal 7 production release. So, with some certainty at our backs and the release date just around the corner (we…