Posted to Erik Wagner's blog on September 26th, 2013

Drupal 8 Fork, BackDrop, and What it Means For Marketers

What is BackDrop
A portion of the Drupal community have decided that they are not happy with the direction that Drupal 8 is going. The result of this controversy is a Drupal fork called BackDrop

This is not the first time that a fork has occurred in Drupal, but it is certainly creating the most amount of buzz in the Drupal community that I have heard over the last six and a half years.

Why BackDrop?
BackDrop is being created by a group of Drupal developers who assert that Drupal 7 was too difficult to learn and that Drupal 8 will be even more difficult because it is more complex. Over time, Drupal has become more and more focused on the enterprise community, which means that it may no longer be quite as accessible for amateur developers. There are some in the Drupal community that are unwilling to make the jump from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 due to the amount of time it will take to learn the new platform. 

According to its developers, BackDrop will be a simpler and more intuitive alternative to Drupal 8 for both end users and developers. It will be built to be easy to use and maintain without having a large team at your disposal. 

How Will it Affect Marketers
Truth to be told, no one knows for certain. Personally, I think software forks are a good thing. Competition spurs innovation. Usually software forks result in better software even if one version is a failure. My hope is that the developers on either side will play nicely and learn from each other as the projects progress. 

Many doubters believe that there are too many obstacles in the way to make BackDrop successful. And, yes, there do seem to be an insurmountable number of potential problems that could arise. Being a late entrant into the CMS market means that there is a steep hill to climb. That doesn't mean that it is not worth trying though. 

Marketers have long complained about the difficulties using Drupal. Drupal does come with a steep learning curve. According to Dries Buyaert and the Drupal 8 developers, Drupal 8 will be far more intuitive then Drupal 7. If that's the case and BackDrop is a success, then marketers may have two phenomenal choices to debate. 

From a marketer's perspective, I think that anytime that software can be improved and become more intuitive is a great achievement.  I'm looking forward to the future of Drupal and BackDrop.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to BackDrop? Do you think it will be successful?

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