The worldwide Drupal community, along with the Drupal Association, has announced the availability of Drupal 7, the latest version of the open-source content-management system.
Drupal is used to power millions of Websites and applications, including WhiteHouse.gov and the many top music artists' sites of Warner Media Group. Drupal version 7 (D7) features the latest Web technologies and improvements to the user experience (UX). Drupal 7 is already in production use by sites such as Examiner.com, which is among the top 100 in the United States. After relaunching in Drupal 7, Examiner's traffic grew 19 percent in a single month, attracting more than 22.4 million unique visitors.
"New Drupal 7 features such as the field API, pluggable storage and cache, enabled us to use Mongo as a 'NoSQL' solution for high performance and scalability," said Jim Davidson, president of Examiner.com, "while the new unit testing framework ensures a very stable core, even over several large core-merge efforts throughout the project. Examiner.com, with its high-traffic volume and instant publishing capabilities, would have been very difficult or impossible to implement on earlier versions of Drupal."
The Drupal 7 development program used a combination of contracted professional guidance and community-sourced feedback to arrive at best-in-class solutions for the Drupal 7 UX, which now offers easier administration, update management, accessibility, and content creation.
Angie Byron (aka Webchick), Drupal 7 core maintainer, said, "Drupal 7 sports an improved new user interface, accessibility improvements, better image handling capabilities, support for rich content metadata, security features, scalability and database interoperability enhancements, a suite of 30,000 automated tests to ensure stability, and more. In short: it's a tremendous leap forward for the project and for Website builders everywhere. We are thrilled to formally release Drupal 7 to the world."
Drupal is an open-source software project powered by more than half a million people in more than 200 countries, who speak more than 180 languages. Nearly 1000 members of the Drupal community are direct contributors to the Drupal 7 core, and thousands more contributed modules. The Drupal Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the Drupal project flourish. The association helps the Drupal community with funding, infrastructure, events, promotion and distribution, and it is incorporated in Belgium.
"Drupal's phenomenal growth arose from Drupal 6; Drupal 7 represents a major leap forward in terms of usability, performance and capability," said Dries Buytaert, founder and project lead of Drupal, in a statement. "We welcome the world to a new chapter of developing for the Web and celebrate with worldwide Drupal 7 launch parties on January 7, 2011."
Drupal is open to the world with multi-lingual support and accessibility for people with disabilities. Drupal was recently used by the Dutch government for a project that required 100-percent compliance with the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).
Drupal 7 also is pioneering the rollout of Resource Description Framework in attributes (RDFa) for broad adoption of the Semantic Web. Increasingly, Google and Bing will rely on machine-readable structured data from the Websites they crawl. The design of Drupal 7 embeds semantic metadata that makes machine-to-machine (M2M) search native for a Drupal 7 Website. RDFa can add value by giving search engines more details not visible to humans, such as the latitude and longitude of a venue for display on a map, or providing the ISO date format for localization and proper display in the search results for different countries.
Buytaert said, "Adding semantic technology to Drupal core will make a notable contribution to the future of the web."
Meanwhile, following the launch of Drupal 7, Drupal users can learn more about the technology and meet with other users at the upcoming DrupalCon Chicago conference in March.