Drupal Unveils New Community Initiatives Process

Drupal has made some big changes to the process surrounding community initiatives.

“We realized we need better tools and ways to communicate with you about our current priorities, how you can influence those priorities, and how you can help make Drupal.org and the Drupal project better than ever.”

The Drupal team haven't exactly been sitting idly for the last few months, either. Drupal 8 was released in late 2015, while more recently, the Drupal project surpassed Fifteen years of age – which is some achievement.

Let's take a look at what's new, and how it will affect the Drupal community going forward.

Learning From Hard Lessons

Drupal has admitted to learning a “hard lesson” [over the course of the past year, and that's that] we need to be involved early”.

As they have come to know, even if the community leaders putting forward an initiative are experts in their area, without Drupal's core team being invovled early on, the idea is too often slowed down by, “architectural refactoring and design decision backtracks”.

To get involved as early as possible in all initiatives, Drupal's new initiatives process now looks like this:

  1. Community members plan their contribution in an issue, and identify who (if anyone) is able to volunteer some time to make the contribution.
  2. The community members propose their initiative to the Association – so that we can evaluate it for inclusion on our roadmap. This may include a call with the community members proposing the initiative to talk it through in greater detail.
  3. Association staff evaluate the initiative: prioritize it into the roadmap, postpone it, or–if necessary– reject initiatives that are not a good fit.
  4. Prioritized community initiatives are rolled into the larger Drupal.org roadmap, and monthly or bi-monthly community initiative meetings are scheduled to ensure the work moves forward.
  5. A liaison from the Association engineering team is assigned, to help coordinate architectural decisions, to provide support and access as needed, and to coordinate with the larger team when it is time for the work to be reviewed.

This move may bring all initiatives far closer to the core Drupal team, but that also means that their attention needs to be more readily available. In response to that, Drupal stated the following:

“This process is time intensive – and so in general we expect to be able to run only one or maybe two community initiatives at a time, in parallel with our other work. We realize this may be frustrating, but the last year has shown that our most successful initiatives required this close coordination.”

This is positive news overall, though.

Sure, there may be less initiatives flying around, but it means that the ones that are selected will be focused on and honed with Drupal's core team on hand every step of the way.

To learn more about this new process, check out the Drupal blog.

Also, be sure to explore more of Drupal through our CMS Directory.