Let me give credit where credit is due. The Drupal community is really getting organized in 2018.
In years gone by, Drupal has succeeded despite not having a clear direction. Everything was done in a stereotypically "open source" way with loose roadmaps. The apex of this was the development of Drupal 8 which dragged on for over 5 years.
This disorganizaton continued even after the release of Drupal 8. Early last year, I wrote a post asking, "When is Drupal 7 End-of-Life?" Unfortunately, no-one knew the answer. The deeper I looked, the more messy and confusing Drupal's plans became. The release cycles for Drupal 7, 8 and 9 were all vague and undefined.
Now in 2018, the future looks much clearer.
Back in April, Drupal got a product roadmap for the first time.
Then, at Drupal Europe this year, Dries gave the keynote and provided a clear roadmap for future Drupal versions:
- Drupal 7 will be end-of-life when Drupal 9 releases in 2020, but there will be commercial support options for at least another year.
- Drupal 8 will be end-of-life by November 2021.
- Drupal 9 will be released in 2020, and "it will be an easy upgrade".
Dries has a post called "Drupal 7, 8 and 9" which explains these timelines in detail. He includes this image which sums up Drupal's plans:
Perhaps, in restrospect, the increased discipline started with the release of Drupal 8. This image below is taken from Dries's talk at Drupal Europe:
Yes, I've been criticial of Drupal's previous project management, but the community is making great strides.
I don't know the story behind this shift (if you do, please contact me or leave a comment), but Drupal now has a whole new approach to product management.
Drupal 8.6 was a great release. There are real roadmaps, clear plans, and logical explanations. Kudos to the Drupal team.