As a Drupal developer, you may believe your spirit animal burrows somewhere between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8. Mine resides in Backdrop. Let me tell you how I discovered it there. I saw Jen Lampton give a great session on Backdrop for the first time at Florida DrupalCamp 2014 and I really didn’t give it much thought. People were still yammering on about Drupal 8 and no one was adopting anything at the time. We were still trying to get people on Drupal 7. Flash forward to Spring 2016: Kalamuna won a small project through a nonprofit client in the San Francisco Bay Area. My dilemma: build the tiny site in Drupal 8, or do it with Drupal 7 (Panopoly and Kalatheme) — or go with Backdrop. I thought about it for a week and I landed on Backdrop. Here’s why:
As many in the Drupal-verse know, we love using Pantheon to build and run our clients' websites. We’ve built our internal workflow around it, systematizing the process of migrating sites into the Pantheon system and creating Kalabox to allow developers to quickly download Pantheon-hosted sites onto their local work environments.
Once upon a time, a Drupal shop owner hired a contractor for a project. The contractor signed papers, met the team, and then started work.
On the first day, the contractor’s invoice listed “local environment setup” as a line item.
On the second day, the contractor’s invoice listed “problems refreshing local environment” as a line item.
On the third day, the contractor’s invoice listed “fixing PHP version-related error” as a line item.
Are you a character in this story? Does it have a happy ending?
I’m proud to announce that we’re broadening access to Drupal development tools by creating Kalabox 2.0 -- now in the works. The new version, supported by a Kickstarter campaign (and hopefully, you!) will include technologies that will make it faster, easier to use, and accessible to a much wider user base.
As Drupal continues to become more complex and hyperspecialization produces significant gains in efficiency we need to ask ourselves: are we leaving people behind?
While it's true remarkable technologies like Vagrant, SASS/COMPASS, Drush, et al. have enabled professional services companies and experienced freelancers to provide higher quality goods at lower prices, it's equally true that in doing so we've erected even more daunting barriers to the newcomers and novices that are Drupal's current lifeblood and, ultimately, its future.
This is a tale of empowerment. I promise. But first...
Am I the only one that is perpetually frustrated by the tradeoff between functionality and beauty that seems ubiquitous in the Drupal.org hellscape? Why is it that modules so often rife with visual promise and loud verbage end up being naught but vaporware? Why is it that the most powerful and useful tools lack any meaningful documentation and/or look like someone threw up all over themselves?
At Kalamuna, we believe that everyone should have easy access to the powerful technologies that deliver websites to audiences, so that professionals and hobbyists alike can participate in building the internet of tomorrow.
A Typical Conversation
HUMAN: I downloaded Drupal. How do I try this thing out…
DEVELOPER: Is your computer running a web server?
HUMAN: I don’t have a server, I have a laptop…
DEVELOPER: Sigh. Nevermind.
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