A Drupal 7 preview

A quick overview of what's to come in Drupal 7; very much from a Drupal user's point of view, I would imagine a fresh encounter with Drupal in its v 7 manifestation would be quite different.

Drupal 7 (alpha 2) was released on February 21, 2010 (http://drupal.org/download). Interested to see what's coming down the line (I'm predicting Drupal 7 official release to be ~6 months away based on the 5 month gap between Drupal 6 (beta 1) and Drupal 6 official release). So far, it's looking pretty swish!

The install process hasn't changed much, it's an easy to follow 6 step procedure:

The admin dashboard is the first significantly different UI:

Core modules are mostly familiar, with a few intriguing new names (hello Field UI) scattered in:

Reused, but far from tired: Interestingly, the default front end theme is still Garland. I recall thinking Steven Wittens' had delivered a classic (in a many faceted sense) when I first experienced Garland in Drupal 5.x.

Using the dashboard is a lovely balance of feature administration we're familiar with (e.g. Content Types) reshuffled under far more intuitive navigation terms (e.g. Structure):

I then dived straight into Content Types to investigate the Fields UI module I had spotted earlier:

So, what's the UI like for adding content? Sleek, unintimidating (unlike the earlier authoring interface) and a huge boost to Drupal's usability:

Overall, at first glance Drupal 7 looks very promising. I'm interested to know what, if any, the under-the-hood improvements are: performance? extensibility? database compatibility?