Drupal 6 opens new content management doors

After months of testing, Drupal 6 was officially released today, and I've already upgraded. There are a number of improvements and enhancements that will be of interest to news sites.

One of them is core support for user-configurable workflow through an interesting system of triggers and actions. For example, I quickly created a set that sends me an email any time anyone posts a comment on my website so that I can review it.

I previously had a special-purpose module that did that. With the new core support for triggers and actions, I can easily create my own sets that meet unforeseen needs by just filling out a couple of forms and pressing "enter." For example, I might choose to promote an item to the top of a page if it's getting comments, or change the publication status at a particular time, or block a bot that might succumb to a "honeypot" form.

Setup is radically improved, especially if you're installing from scratch, which is a breeze. If you're upgrading an existing system that has been heavily modified -- which generally is the case for large news sites -- there can be "gotchas," as there are major changes in some of the Drupal internals.

Theme development (page templating) is greatly improved, especially with the devel module, which is a separate module. It demystifies some obscure points of Drupal theming, much as Firebug does for HTML developers.

Other improvements affect large-scale site performance, usability, Ajax enhancements, permissions and scripted events.

All in, it's a greatly strengthened foundation and I know a lot of our tech guys are chomping at the bit to start migrating sites to the new platform. However, some critically important modules such as Views are still in a state of flux, so don't expect to see large-scale sites launching or migrating overnight.

As usual, the core developers are already hard at work on the next big version.

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I am a big fan of drupal too, it was funny to see your post after all this time, waiting for the next release too. Here is my page hope you like it too.