Where We’ve Come From, and Where We’re Going


Drupal 1.0 first launched in 2001, during a much simpler era of web publishing. Indeed, it wasn’t until 2011 that Drupal no longer provided table-based themes by default. In the years since, web development has increasingly become more complex, and our tools, techniques and expectations have expanded massively. Though much has changed, Drupal 8 still bears many vestiges of its history. 

From powering simple blogs to decoupled application backends and decentralized publishing networks we see today, we’re now bending, squeezing and yes breaking Drupal into shapes we couldn’t even imagine just five years ago. Front end development has moved ever deeper into the stack, subsuming more and more capability away from the CMS, but introducing new complexity as well. 

Let’s look back at the last 14 years of web development history and examine the kinds of things we’ve built with Drupal, survey the present landscape of web publishing/web application development, and consider alternative/competing solutions, particularly from the Javascript world, which may offer peeks into where the future is headed. 

What kind of things are we building now? In an ever-diversifying world of web publishing options, why use Drupal? Where does it fit? What might competing tools offer? And what part will Drupal play in the sites we build next year, and the years after that? 

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