Heads up, beta testers! the Drupal team has released Drupal 6.0 beta 3, the latest version of their award winning open source web content management system, and they need you to help dig up those pesky bugs hidden under the surface, pronto!
The Drupal folk have been hard at work with this release, having committed over 180 fixes to the Drupal 6.x code, including usability improvements and bug fixes.
Improvements from Drupal 6 beta 2 include several code and interface documentation fixes and improvements, HTML validity fixes, performance improvements and easier to use templating.
The core system now runs without table locks and temporary tables, increasing Drupal’s friendliness in shared hosting environments and boosting performance ta boot.
This, however, is all just icing on the double chocolate Drupal cake, compared to the overall upgrades and new features Drupal 6 will offer over Drupal 5.
The most important new features in Drupal 6 will be:
* An improved installer that guides you through the initial setup steps, making it significantly easier to start up a Drupal site. Configuration parameters that had been scattered about are now consolidated into the install process.
* Localization features have been improved as well, with Right to left (RTL) languages now supported, and automatically imported interface translations.
* The OpenID client module has been added to the core, allowing your users to sign on to your site with their OpenID accounts.
* The popular Update status module is now in core, and can inform you about the latest bug fix and security updates for modules and themes enabled on your site.
* The menu system was rewritten from scratch, increasing its performance and efficiency, while maintaining its classic interface.
Drupal, which started life as a small notice board for a group of friends, has exploded into an open-source content management behemoth, powering an estimated 200,000 websites and innumerable intranets around the world. The software was downloaded around 600,000 times last year alone.
So, when can we expect to see an official Drupal 6.0 release? According to Drupal, they are planning on releasing the last beta in about a week, and then advancing to the first Drupal 6 Release Candidate. Drupal 6.0 will be released "when there are no more critical bugs" and when there has been at least one release without adding any more to the list.
How quickly this anticipated day comes depends entirely on how many people chip in and help test the latest beta! And following that, the Drupal team is looking for testers of all shapes, sizes, and abilities, from complete noobs, to “Drupal Ninjas and Ninjas-in-training”, or hackers as we would refer to them.
Download the new beta and try it out for yourself here.