Is Drupal a CMS?

Click here to watch Is Drupal a CMS?.

Existential debates are nothing new to Drupal. Are we a framework or an application? A framlication? A platform? There are many perspectives on these questions, many of them valid.

However, as the web marketplace has evolved a new split-perspective is emerging that I believe will be critical to Drupal's future: A Content Management System (CMS) vs a Web Publishing Tool (WPT). This is not the same split as framework vs. application. A Content Management System is a tool for... managing content, and *that's it*. A Web Publishing Tool is a tool for... publishing pages, and *that's it*. Those are very different things.

In the work around Drupal 8, and especially in initiaives such as SCOTCH, WSCCI, and Spark, we have seen this underlying disconnect of CMS vs. WPT rear its head many times but never, I think, have we really understood it for what it is: Fundamentally different approaches to the type of tool Drupal should be, and what type of users we should be targeting. Neither is, necessarily, wrong. But understanding where those perspectives are coming from will be critical for us moving forward.

Is Drupal a CMS, or a WPT? Of course, the knee-jerk answer is "well both, of course!" but that's not actually a useful answer. In order to serve two product segments at the same time, we need to understand what those segments are, how they differ, what parts of Drupal will serve those different sets of expectations, and how those different parts of the system will interact with each other.

This session will not seek to answer this question but to frame it in explicit terms and provide a framework by which we can have a conversation, not a debate, about how we will handle this new dichotomy. The goal is start the conversation explicitly rather than allowing it to turn into an underlying, implicit fight that percolates into other discussions.

Can we really become a "Decoupled CMS" without understanding what we're decoupling? No. Let's come to an understanding about that together.

I strongly recommend people read this post by Mark Boulton for background before coming to this session:

I also expect Karen McGrane's keynote will provide good background for this discussion as well.

Schedule info
Time slot: 
Tuesday, May 21 - 02:00pm-03:00pm
A 105 - Pantheon
Session Info
Core Conversations
Experience level: 


Typical example (D7): Why can people upgrade core using command lines in Drush while the GUI interface only allows you to upgrade contrib. modules?

At around 27:30 in the recording, Larry puts up a slide with a list of links, and promises that the slides will be available online so that we can find those links. Has anybody found the slides? The tweet that seems to fulfill this just points back here: