Backdrop Is Family; They Taught Us Valuable Lessons: Dries

Dries Buytaert pre-recorded interview still from DrupalCamp Colorado
Twitter Matthew Saunders

Backdrop, a longtime fork of Drupal 7, got an unprecedented ally when Dries Buytaert, the original creator and project lead of Drupal, came openly embracing it. 

Backdrop is part of the family. I am comfortable with them around. We embrace them. We like what they do. What they are doing is valuable. They made people stay in Drupal 7, Buytaert said. 

Dries Buytaert was talking to Rachel Lawson, senior manager (community strategy) at the United Nations Digital Impact Alliance, in a pre-recorded interview, webcasted as the first session for DrupalCamp Colorado 2022. The camp organizers are expected to upload the interview to youtube in a short while. 

“Backdrop is a fork of Drupal 7. The spin-around has been here for a long term, and it will be there. But the path both of us are taking is different. 

It was created out of frustration with the lack of backward compatibility. Back then, when we decided to adopt Symfony and change how we worked, we didn’t care much about breaking APIs. We moved forward and introduced the composer. The decision made it harder for people with a nontechnical background to work around Drupal. It was easier for them before. We made it easier for developers. I stand by that decision. 

There were issues. Backdrop helped us realize some of the problems. 

We have started to address those issues. We added backward compatibility. From D8, upgrading each incremental revision from the previous version is straightforward. We introduced automated updates. Project browser made it easy to find modules. Site Recipes (previously Starter Templates) were presented, helping even nontechnical people fiddle around. Thus we have come around to recognizing non-developer experience too. 

We are glad that we introduced Symfony. Drupal probably has more momentum than Backdrop. I am happy where Drupal is going. I am not aware of what is happening in Backdrop right now. I haven’t been following them thoroughly. But I am also for keeping people in the family. 

Many people would have moved entirely away from Drupal if Backdrop weren’t there. That is a plus,” Buytaert said. 

Note: The reproduction of the answer is not verbatim. Kindly wait for the interview to be uploaded to find the words he chose to speak - Editor

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