Drupal Starshot: Introducing the Next Generation of Drupal

Alliance  ·  May 06

Drupal, the open-source content management system used by some of the world’s leading digital experiences, is embarking on a transformative journey. Announced at DrupalCon Portland 2024 by Dries Buytaert, the founder of Drupal, the new initiative known as Drupal Starshot aims to make Drupal’s powerful features more accessible to a broader audience, including those with less technical expertise.

A New Version, More Accessible Than Ever

Twenty-three years after its inception, Drupal has powered hundreds of thousands of websites with its reliable, secure, and flexible tools. Now, with the launch of Drupal Starshot, Drupal is set to become even more user-friendly. “We built this amazing platform to power the most robust digital experiences. And now we will make it more accessible to non-developers,” said Dries Buytaert. “Drupal Starshot is an initiative that will deliver this new version of Drupal within eight months.”

Drupal Starshot is not a separate fork but a synergistic enhancement of Drupal Core. It combines the core with the best contributions from the Drupal community and the most strategic innovations to unlock Drupal’s power more easily for everyone.

Key Features of Drupal Starshot

  • Ease of Use: Starshot is designed to make starting new Drupal projects as simple as possible for users of all skill levels. It incorporates over 50,000 modules into a curated, out-of-the-box experience that allows organizations to build powerful websites quickly.
  • Innovation and Flexibility: While built on top of Drupal Core, Starshot operates under a different governance model to facilitate rapid innovation and quicker releases. This approach enables more dynamic updates and the integration of cutting-edge features.
  • Enhanced Experience: The initiative will transform the Drupal.org download page to offer two distinct experiences. While Drupal Core will cater to experts who prefer to build from the ground up, Starshot will provide a more complete product by automatically downloading core and a series of recipes that guide new users.

“The Drupal Association is excited to support the Drupal Starshot initiative and to begin marketing this version of Drupal as the first, best stop for those interested in understanding what Drupal can do,” said Owen Lansbury, Chair of the Drupal Association’s board of directors.

Bridging the Gap for Non-Developers

Drupal Starshot aims to democratize web development by making Drupal’s extensive capabilities accessible without extensive developer skills. This initiative follows the analogy of the 1960s space race, where Dries described Drupal’s need for its “Moonshot” moment. “The web is moving forward, with or without Drupal,” he emphasized, highlighting the necessity to broaden Drupal’s usability to maintain its leadership in the open web.

What to Expect from Drupal Starshot

  • Next-Generation Page Builder: An intuitive tool to create and manage website layouts.
  • Project Browser + Recipes: Simplifying the process of finding and implementing Drupal modules.
  • Automatic Updates: Keeping Drupal installations current with minimal user effort.
  • Key Contributed Modules: Integrating popular modules into the base installation.
  • Easy Configuration and Default Content: Helping users to quickly set up and prototype new sites.

Drupal Starshot promises a fundamental yet innovative approach to using Drupal, ensuring the core principles are maintained while enhancing the user experience to meet modern expectations.