Drupal 7 Release Candidate 1

Last Wednesday, RC1 of Drupal 7 was released. I wrote about the early version in Sams Teach Yourself Drupal in 24 Hours, and I'm happy to report that the released version is even better. The two biggest goals of D7 (in my opinion, of course), were internal structural changed including moving CCK fields to Core and improving the user experience -- "user" in this case means site developers, not end-users who visit the site.

The new Bartik theme is elegant and powerful, reflecting new ideas about interface design that have emerged over the last few years. In my first tests of RC1, things are going well with the exception of one cron-job issue that may not even have anything to do with D7. I've done an off-line test of my site, and things seem to go well. In part, that's because I have always stuck to a small group of modules, and in that group I specifically watched for those that would be released early.

The only major structural change that I'm thinking of making is to take advantage of some of the new theme features and to bring over some of the interface considerations from iPad. Apple reminds developers over and over to "flatten your interface structure" on apps for iPad, and this flattening of data navigation fits in very nicely with the Bartik layout. (This isn't a Drupal or iPad issue -- it's floating around in the design-o-sphere.) The navigation structures that we use today are really too complex for easy navigation, so presenting more information in a more usable format is good for everyone.