With just 30 critical bugs to go Drupal 7 is nearing completion and is shaping up to be the most elegant (powerful yet simple) version yet.  While not officially released just yet and possibly a few months to go until we see a solid release candidate, Drupal 7 is already looking very good.

Here is a quick video on my first impressions of the Drupal 7 alpha 6 release:

Here are some points from the video:

  • AHAH driven (faster!) administration user interface – Probably the largest noticeable change is that the admin interface is now overlaid via AHAH (a form of ajax) on top of the current page that you were on.  AHAH loads faster than a full page load since only the basic elements are requested from the web server, so the snappy-ness factor is pretty high in version 7.
     
  • CCK merged into core – Apparently now CCK lives in core so that we can create custom fields for any given content type without installing new modules, nice.  We can also now add fields to users or taxonomy terms, where before we had to install modules like content profile and leverage cck, etc.
     
  • Comment fields – One item I didn’t put in to the video is the ability to now assign custom fields to comment objects, which we couldn’t do natively before in Drupal 6.
     
  • Image handling out of the box – This is another one that makes a lot of sense to me.  Without any additional modules Drupal now allows us to set image size presets for scaling, cropping, etc. and just handles image thumbnail generation right out of the box.
     
  • Node creation is more intuitive – When creating a node there is now a nicely formatted menu near the bottom half of the page that lets the user choose things like which menu the page should appear in, what the URL of the page should be, etc.  Things like specifying the URL used to require installing path auto but now Drupal 7 makes that much easier!
     
  • Developer enhancements – There are actually more updates that are developer related in Drupal 7 but I haven’t had the chance to really dive into the code and sample the benefits just yet, although I’m sure that will happen sooner or later.

Drupal 7 looks pretty amazing and will be a welcomed upgrade for developers everywhere, it’s faster, more intuitive and easier to set up than ever before.  Now we just need the module developers to catch up to the number available for Drupal 6!

Also of note, I would suspect that since this new version is down right easy to use it will help push Drupal’s market share within the CMS space a little higher.

I’m likely missing a few added features at this point but you will get the gist of it by watching the video.  So that’s it for now, catch you all next time!

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