Testing the waters with Drupal 6

Drupal 6.0 Beta 3 was released just before the Thanksgiving holiday. As in the past, I wanted to use CMSReport.com as a "live" test site for the beta/release candidates of Drupal as I did with Drupal 4.7 and Drupal 5. However, as this site has matured, so has my reliance on too many contributed modules currently not supporting Drupal 6. So for now, I've decided to place Drupal 6 in a subdomain, drupal6.cmsreport.com.

I am excited with what I have already seen in Drupal 6. I consider version 6 to be Drupal on steroids. Drupal 6 has a lot of performance and power improvements that are already apparent even in the Beta. Put it this way, the day the Views module is ready for Drupal 6, is the day I go live with running CMS Report on Drupal 6.

One specific new feature added since Drupal 6 Beta 2 does address what I long considered a negative for this CMS.

The core system now also runs without table locks and temporary tables, making Drupal usable in more shared hosting environments, and also improving performance at the same time.

Since many budget hosts don't provide MySQL database permissions for table locking and temporary tables, the fact that Drupal no longer requires them is a very big plus for Drupal users. Also, I think this change should also improve performance for sites hosted on a Web server with "remote" databases (database is not localhost). I don't quite have a grasp on all the changes since Drupal 5, but I plan to work my way through to learning about them!

The Drupal 6 Beta install will allow me to finally begin testing the software and perhaps help out with resolving some issues. For a number of professional and personal reasons I've been absent from doing much in the Drupal community. One of those professional reasons included needing to be as unbiased as possible while playing judge for this year's Packt Publishing Open Source CMS Award. The time spent reviewing the five finalist CMS also took more time than I had anticipated (though not required, I made sure I personally installed each CMS myself before reviewing them).

If you are a Drupal user, I'd also encourage you to begin testing the beta and release candidates yourself. Drupal, like many open source projects, suffers from too many users asking for new features, but not enough people testing the features and improvements already being added by the developers.

Testers

Do people often congratulate you on your ability to break things? Are you a creative individual who likes to experiment with things in unconventional ways to see what happens? Do you enjoy looking over other peoples' work and picking nits in order to make it as good as it possibly can be? If any of these apply to you, you could make a great tester! We need testers both to try out different aspects of Drupal itself, as well as take a look at the issue queue to check bugs to see if they're valid, and also test patches to see if they work properly. Read more on setting up a testing environment and how to apply patches.

Let me be clear, I'm pointing the finger back at myself just as much as I'm pointing it to others. However, isn't it time you and I stop being the poster child of the open source non-contributor?