Popular open source CMS refresh still isn't "done," but it's getting close with announcement of commercial support.
After over four years of development, including missed deadlines on general availability, the open source Drupal 8 content management system (CMS) finally appears to be nearing the finish line.
Drupal, one of the world's most popular CMS technologies, is used by many high-profile organizations, notably Whitehouse.gov, the flagship website of the U.S. government. While Drupal founder Dries Buytaert in 2012 announced Drupal 8 would be generally available in December 2013, that date passed with no release.
While there has been little news about Drupal 8 since then, that changed this week with a big announcement -- and this time, the big money is behind it too.
Drupal 8 Support
Acquia, the lead commercial sponsor behind Drupal, announced on July 13 that it will provide commercial support for Drupal 8. So while Drupal 8 is not yet generally available, not even at the release candidate stage, Acquia is confident it can provide commercial support for what is technically still a beta.
"We think that with our cloud platform and our d8 expertise, we can remove the normal risk of betas," Tom Wentworth, Acquia's chief marketing officer wrote in a Twitter message.
The Drupal project currently has an active page where it tracks how close the project is to being ready for GA. As of today, 14 critical bugs still need to be resolved, according to the page.
Angela Byron, director of Community Development at Acquia and a Drupal core co-maintainer, wrote on Twitter that because enterprise requirements tend to be more challenging, a recommended approach would be to allow time to start building now and launch post-GA.
Byron doesn't expect to see much change between now and Drupal 8's general availability.
"Strings/UI don't freeze until RC1, but most user-facing changes in the pipeline for 8.0.0 are minor at this point," Byron tweeted.
Drupal 8 offers a marked improvement over Drupal 7 from a features perspective, with over 200 new features being added to the open source CMS. Among the new features are performance improvements for dynamic content and a focus on responsive layouts that places an emphasis on mobile delivery.
"Drupal 8 breaks the mold for dated content management models and liberates content from the page for the post-browser era," Dries Buytaert, Drupal founder and project lead, and Acquia co-founder and CTO, said in a statement. "Now we have the power to deliver the right content, to the right audience, at the right time, on the right device."