Drupal, recent winner of a Webware Top 100 place is at it again. The open source Web Content Management powerhouse has created a new addition to their framework. It’s going to mean either more frequent releases or (ideally) better releases. Drupal, the open source CMS that is highly utilized by the music industry has created a testing framework and added it to the Drupal 7 core. This occurred recently at a code sprint held in Paris.
The addition of a test framework will help to shorten code freezes during the release process -- which occurs frequently and is usually why release dates are pushed back. The framework allow for two things:
* More Frequent Releases – Having a test framework will allow for the developers to work continually on the project testing as they go as opposed to cramming code and then running test sessions. They can now test on the fly.
* Better Quality Releases – The addition to the core also allows for better releases. Being that they can test on the fly, developers now have the ability to work out bugs well before the release happens and they will be able to stick to published release dates better.
According to Seth G. of blog.contenthere.net:
“Drupal has had a fast and loose development style that has been both productive and chaotic…” which may be the reason for hold on the Drupal 6 release. “…Drupal 6 was developed for 5 months and was in code freeze to fix bugs for 7. By shortening the code freeze period, Drupal can either release more often or get more functionality into each release.”
4 Ways Testing Benefits the Drupal Community
# Developers, it is easier to update and release your modules meaning less beta testing, shorter code freeze periods and more frequent releases.
# End users, it means more updates, more and better modules and added confidence in the platform you are using.
# Patch reviewers, tests facilitate better focus on the changes that the patch introduces. With a quality testing ground, they can discover any unwanted side-effects.
# New Drupal Users, a test ground allows those who don't necessarily understand the code to give input based on what they see in a test ground and encourages additional collaboration and innovation.
Will Other CMS's Respond in Kind?
This is a major item that many and more open source (and non-open source) CMS’s are missing. This goes way beyond the idea of a test server for a site. It allows all the developers to test their items before releasing. Not just for major Drupal releases, but for widgets, plugins, etc. that are being developed by third parties around the world.
The end result should be an overall better CMS with better additions, themes, customization and functionality.
With their recent Webware achievement, it will be interesting to see what their competitors do in response to this. We at CMSWire will be keeping tabs for you to see if others like Joomla, Pligg, WordPress and other open source CMS’s follow suit.