Drupal 7 - some nice new stuff

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Drupal 7 - some nice new stuff

I have just been having a play with the new Drupal 7 Alpha version and it is looking very nice. For those who haven't come across Drupal it is an open source content management system built on PHP and MySQL and powers many popular sites such as Nasa, Warner Brothers, Greenpeace, Britney.com and of course Highlander.co.uk. ;-)

The first thing you will notice is that the whole install process has been given a make over and is a bit smoother (and simpler).  There are even options to include common modules with the install, and select languages at install, neither of which were there previously. Once you are logged in, the Admin interface has been redesigned completely to give a nice ajax based interface, making it a lot easier to see the options than previously (although the Admin Menu module was always a nice alternative). 

Another nice touch is the option to customise the toolbar across the top, so you can put the links you use most often there, allowing you to access them in a single click. A number of new modules have been added to core including the Image module and the Content Construction Kit which was so popular and powerful it probably should have been in there already. 

Also the Views module which is a powerful way of displaying custom content has been included into core, which again makes sense as it is often used in conjunction with CCK. Finally the update manager has been revamped, and whilst I haven't used this yet I understand it automates and improves the updating process for both Drupal and installed modules, making life easier for the system admin.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but overall it looks like version 7 of Drupal is going to be a big improvement, not least from a User Interface point of view, and should be well worth considering once it is available (the Alpha version is not recommended for production sites).