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Drupal 7 Now Available Worldwide

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New version of innovative platform for social and semantic websites is easier to use than ever.

Drupal's worldwide community, along with the Drupal Association, has announced general availability of Drupal 7. Drupal is an open source content management platform powering millions of websites and applications. Notable websites are WhiteHouse.gov and the many top music artist sites of Warner Media Group. Drupal V7 (D7) features the latest Web technologies and remarkable improvements to user experience. Drupal 7 is already in production use by sites such as Examiner.com, which is among the top 100 in the United States. After relaunching in Drupal 7, Examiner’s traffic grew 19 percent in a single month, attracting more than 22.4 million monthly unique visitors.

"New Drupal 7 features such as the field API, pluggable storage and cache, enabled us to use Mongo as a "NoSQL" solution for high performance and scalability, while the new unit testing framework ensures a very stable core, even over several large core-merge efforts throughout the project," said Jim Davidson, president of Examiner.com. "Examiner.com, with its high traffic volume and instant publishing capabilities, would have been very difficult or impossible to implement on earlier versions of Drupal,” Davidson said.

The Drupal 7 development program used a combination of contracted professional guidance and community-sourced feedback to arrive at best-in-class solutions for the Drupal 7 user experience (UX). UX enhancements provide easier administration, update management, accessibility, and content creation.

Angie Byron (aka Webchick), Drupal 7 core maintainer, says, "Drupal 7 sports an improved new user interface, accessibility improvements, better image handling capabilities, support for rich content metadata, security features, scalability and database interoperability enhancements, a suite of 30,000 automated tests to ensure stability, and more. In short: it's a tremendous leap forward for the project and for website builders everywhere; we are thrilled to formally release Drupal 7 to the world."

Drupal is an open-source software project powered by more than half a million people in more than 200 countries, who speak more than 180 languages. Nearly 1,000 members of the Drupal community are direct contributors to Drupal 7 core, and thousands more develop contributed modules.

"Drupal's phenomenal growth arose from Drupal 6; Drupal 7 represents a major leap forward in terms of usability, performance and capability," says Dries Buytaert, founder and project lead of Drupal. "We welcome the world to a new chapter of developing for the Web and celebrate with worldwide Drupal 7 launch parties on January 7, 2011.

Important new capabilities in Drupal 7

  • UX enhancements in a design for 80 percent of users that makes common tasks easy,
    default settings smart, privileges the content creator, and simplifies administration.
  • Image handling out-of-the-box, resize, crop, etc.
  • Built-in, automated test environment featuring a continuous integration test suite
    running against every patch for long-term stability of the project
  • Version upgrade manager and migration from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7
  • Performance and scalability improvements that serve web visitors faster via advanced
    caching, content delivery networks (CDN), and master-slave replication
  • Custom fields in core, native data item fields for any content type, but also for users,
    taxonomy, and other entities, plus support for translations
  • Database abstraction layer, enabling the use of many databases, such as Maria
    DB
    , Microsoft SQL Server, MongoDB, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, or SQLite
  • "NPR Public Interactive has been using Drupal 7 since the early alpha releases to build and pilot our next generation CMS platform for public radio and television stations," said Doug Gaff, director of Technology at NPR. "Our customers are thrilled with D7's polished OOB experience, and we're excited with the many architectural and functional enhancements of the D7 platform."

Drupal is open to the world with multi-lingual support and accessibility for people with disabilities. Drupal was recently used by the Dutch government for a project that required 100 percent compliance with the World Wide Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).

Native RDFa Semantic Web Technology In Core Drupal 7

Drupal 7 is pioneering the rollout of RDFa for broad adoption of the Semantic Web. Increasingly, Google and Bing will rely on machine-readable structured data from websites they crawl. The design of Drupal 7 embeds semantic metadata that makes machine-to-machine (M2M) search native for a Drupal 7 website. RDFa can add value by giving search engines more detail, details not visible to humans, such as the latitude and longitude of a venue for display on a map; or providing the ISO date format for localization and proper display in the search results for different countries.

The Drupal Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the Drupal project flourish. The Association helps the Drupal community with funding, infrastructure, events, promotion and distribution. The Drupal Association is incorporated in Belgium. Learn more or download Drupal at Drupal.org.

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