It took more than 100 years of evolution for the modern photography industry to reach its current state, and there are lessons from that century that apply to the modern world of cloud and Web development too. That’s the message delivered by Dries Buytaert, founder of the open-source Drupal content management system (CMS), during his keynote address at the Drupalcon conference June 3 in Austin, Texas.
Drupal is one of the most widely deployed content management systems on the planet and counts big-name deployments including WhiteHouse.gov among its users. Buytaert (pictured) is also the CTO of Acquia, a company he helped to create that delivers commercial support and solutions based on Drupal. Acquia closed a $50 million funding round on May 27, bringing total funding to date up to $118.6 million.
While it took 100 years of evolution for the camera to reach its current state, the path to Drupal 8, isn’t likely as long. Buytaert has been talking about Drupal 8 since 2011, which is when Drupal 7 was officially released. The basic premise is that it will provide a more semantic and responsive platform for Web content and enable the experience Web. Drupal 8 is still in active development, and Buytaert noted that, as of June 2, there are still 15 beta blockers in the code preventing a beta release. His expectation is that Drupal 8 should be generally available by the middle of 2015.
In Buytaert’s view, the promise of Drupal 8 is that it is an opportunity to rethink what the experience of things online should be and how Drupal can help accomplish that.
“As we’ve shown with the camera, it’s all about simplifying the experience over time,” Buytaert said. “Under the hood, things might get more complex, but ultimately we need to think about the experience for the end user.”