After almost three years of work, Drupal 7 is only days away from release. The latest version of the popular content management software platform is set to be made available on January 5, 2011. The focus with this release has been on usability and simplicity which is noticeable from the UI to the way new modules can be installed.
"Drupal 7 has been a multi-year effort on behalf of over 1,000 contributors. Since February 2008, we've manged to make enormous improvements," Dries Buytaert, the creator and project leader of Drupal, wrote.
"We decided that we will try to release Drupal 7.0 on January 5th, 2011 -- unless we run into outstanding critical bugs that are absolute showstoppers," he announced
late last year.
Drupal 6.0 was released in February 2008. Since then, while there have been several stability updates to the 6.x branch - Drupal 6.20 landed last month, the active development has focused on the upcoming Drupal 7.0.
"The last months we've seen Drupal 7 getting steadily closer to its release and critical issues dealt with one by one. Release management is not always easy, and I've always based my decisions part on data, and part on my 'gut.' Both are indicating that it is time to release Drupal 7," Buytaert explained.
For the past year, Drupal 7.0 has been in testing ensuring that it will be one of the most stable initial major releases to date. Buytaert says there are over 28,000 automated tests for Drupal 7.0 and thousands of sites are already using the version.
The first Drupal 7.0 beta landed in early October 2010. Since then there have been a couple more beta versions and four release candidates. The very latest version, Drupal 7.0 RC4 was released just a few days ago, on December 30. If everything goes smoothly, the final release should be on schedule.
If you can't wait for a few more days, Drupal 7.0 RC4
is available for download here