In July 2008, Drupal 6.3 and 5.8 were released to fix multiple bugs and patch some recently discovered security issues in the popular open-source content management system. These fixes, which are detailed in the release notes, don't add any new functionality, because all enhancements are being saved for the release of Drupal 7.
Although no specific timeline or final list of features has been publicly announced for Drupal 7, we do know that addressing a number of the ongoing usability concerns that have dogged the system are high on the list.
Dries Buytaert, the creator and project lead for Drupal, mentioned two recent Drupal usability studies last week on his personal blog - one conducted at the University of Minnesota and another in the Interaction Design and Information Architecture program at the University of Baltimore. Both studies came to similar conclusions - although strong in many areas, certain aspects of Drupal's administration interface can be confusing and intimidating, particularly to new users.
The University of Baltimore study is available both as a PDF download and a video, which clocks in at just less than 10 minutes.
Major Drupal releases have typically been 12 or more months apart, and with Drupal 6 debuting earlier this year, it's likely to be a while before 7 sees the light of day. Fortunately, it appears that the Drupal development team has heard what the user community is asking for, and is working hard to deliver it.
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