"Technical excellence, where Drupal wins, is not always the key decision factor anymore. Ease of use is becoming more important," Buytaert says. To that end, the development community is working hard to improve the user experience and, according to Buytaert, the usability of Drupal's authoring tools has improved over the last few years. "People who used it years ago and concluded that it was too hard to use should reconsider," says Buytaert. "We've come a long way."
What's coming: Going forward, Drupal's Spark project aims to improve the authoring experience in Drupal 8. "That brings more in-line editing, more WYSIWYG, streamlining the experience of creating content in Drupal 8," say Buytaert.
The community also plans to improve features ranging from configuration management to Edge Side Includes (ESI) caching strategies that Buytaert says will allow larger sites to support billions of page views.
But the biggest focus right now is on mobile, Buytaert says. "Mobile means creating great experiences on mobile Web browsers and enabling people to build native mobile apps, Android or iOS apps, on top of Drupal using Web services. We'll be outputting HTML5 out of the box." With Web services support, Drupal will function as a content repository that's accessible through an API, he adds.
IDT: More and better search options
Andrew Luchsinger, technical marketing manager at electronic component manufacturer Integrated Device Technology (IDT), knew he had to do something about an aging ColdFusion platform when he realized that it was becoming difficult for customers to find the business' growing array of products online.
IDT's product portfolio includes more than 25,000 integrated circuits and other electronic components, each offered in dozens of variations based on the electrical specifications each customer requires. Luchsinger wanted a tool that would let people easily search, filter and display the configurations they needed -- something they couldn't do easily in the firm's homegrown ColdFusion implementation. The new "parametric" search tool needed to be custom built, and the project required building many custom content types in order to manage everything.