Drupal Versions History

Dries Buytaert, a Master’s student at the University of Antwerp, created Drupal as a way for him and his dorm mates to easily communicate online while working on their degrees. It began as a simple message board.

Timeline of Drupal Versions

  • January 15, 2001
    Drupal 1
    The initial release of Drupal introduced the core framework and basic content management functionalities. It laid the foundation for subsequent versions and the community-driven development model.
  • March 15, 2001
    Drupal 2
    Drupal 2.0.0 comprised support for multiple virtual hosts and directories, a user rating system akin to SlashCode’s Karma, and enhanced search infrastructure integrated into the administration pages. The release also brought translation, localization, and internationalization support, enabling multi-lingual websites.

    Key improvements included a complete overhaul of the comment and discussion system, making navigation simpler and offering various display and order methods. Modules can now integrate the comment system without creating their own.

    The update also introduced sections and a section manager, allowing for adaptive open submissions with customizable post, dump, and expiration thresholds based on story type and urgency.
  • September 15, 2001
    Drupal 3
    Drupal 3 brought a significant overhaul to its underlying design, with the introduction of the node-based system as its core, simplifying content management and improving long-term stability.

    Several new modules were introduced, including caching support for scalability, access.module for role-based permissions, blog.module, poll.module, system.module, statistics.module, moderate.module, page.module for creating static and dynamic pages, help.module for centralized documentation, forum.module for integrated forums, and book.module for collaborative handbook writing.

    Various enhancements were made, such as preview functionality for new content, improved scheduler, enhanced account module with access control, improved locale module for translations, and refined themes with W3C validation efforts.
  • June 15, 2002
    Drupal 4
    Drupal 4 was a major update focusing on scalability and security, setting the stage for large-scale sites and enterprise use. One of the most significant changes was the overhaul of the theme system, where the PHPTemplate theme engine was introduced, replacing the Xtemplate engine. This transition involved converting existing themes like bluemarine and pushbutton to the new PHPTemplate engine, enhancing the flexibility and performance of theme customization.

    By laying the groundwork for improved scalability and security, Drupal 4 aimed to meet the demands of larger, enterprise-level sites. The update ensured that Drupal could handle more extensive and complex site requirements, making it a robust choice for high-traffic and secure web environments.
  • January 15, 2007
    Drupal 5

    Drupal 5 marked a significant milestone with a revamped administration interface and improved performance. This version introduced a more flexible system for content types, making it easier for node access modules to work together seamlessly and adding configurable content types. Node rendering was enhanced to work with structured arrays, providing more control and flexibility in content management.

    The update also brought a new web-based installer capable of checking installation and runtime requirements, automatically generating the database configuration file, and installing pre-made installation profiles or distributions.
  • February 13, 2008
    Drupal 6
    This release focused on usability improvements and introduced new features like the actions and triggers system. It also enhanced support for multiple languages.

    Performance enhancements in Drupal 6 included block-level caching, a JavaScript aggregator, and better handling when running behind a reverse proxy. File handling was improved with better validation functions and temporary file management during cron jobs.

    The update also introduced OpenID support and a system for triggering configurable actions, making Drupal 6 a more robust and flexible platform for diverse web development needs.
  • January 5, 2011
    Drupal 7
    Drupal 7 brought a major overhaul to the user interface and added numerous features, such as improved security, better scalability, and a more flexible field system.

    Administratively, Drupal 7 introduces a new content menu with administrative links that remain accessible while scrolling, as well as an overlay feature that allows users to access admin functions without leaving the current page.

    For content creation and design, Drupal 7 integrates the powerful Content Construction Kit (CCK) as a core module, now known as “Fields,” allowing users to attach various types of information to content types for easier theming.
  • November 19, 2015
    Drupal 8
    Drupal 8 marks a major advancement for developers compared to Drupal 7. Here are some key improvements:

    Modern UI & Responsive Design: Featuring a fresh, modern user interface, Drupal 8 enhances the development experience with built-in responsive design capabilities for mobile-first development.

    Theming Enhancements: A new theme engine provides greater flexibility and control for creating custom themes.

    Content Editing Boost: Enhanced content editing features streamline the content creation and management workflows.

    Multilingual Powerhouse: Drupal 8 offers robust multilingual support with built-in language switching and advanced translation capabilities.

    Views Revamp: The popular Views module has been updated, making it easier to create and customize content displays.

    API Integration Simplified: Web services, including RESTful APIs, allow for seamless integration with external applications.

    Git & Subversion Friendly: The new configuration system integrates smoothly with popular version control systems like Git and Subversion, improving the development workflow.
  • June 3, 2020
    Drupal 9
    Drupal 9 built on the foundation of Drupal 8, focusing on clean code, improved performance, and seamless upgrades. It deprecated older code to ensure future compatibility.

    Drupal 9.0 retains all the features of Drupal 8.9, aside from updates brought by dependencies.
  • December 14, 2022
    Drupal 10
    Drupal 10 introduces the Olivero default theme, a significant upgrade aimed at enhancing the visual appeal of websites. This theme has been in development for some time and was also available in Drupal 9. Drupal 10 also comes with the Claro administration theme, which replaces the older ‘Seven’ theme.

    CKEditor 5, a leader in text data management, has been integrated as the default editor in Drupal 10. This modernized editor offers a seamless text editing experience, with many plugins upgraded to ensure compatibility.

    In line with the broader JavaScript community, Drupal 10 is moving away from jQuery in favor of modern JavaScript standards like ES6. Drupal 10 introduces the Starterkit theme, providing developers with commands to generate themes with all necessary files and configurations easily.

    Drupal 10 leverages Symfony 6, requiring a minimum of PHP 8.1. This upgrade brings improvements in routing, services, locales, and multilingual support, ensuring that backend processing is more robust and efficient.

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