Last updated July 24, 2013.

Drupal core is built and maintained by the Drupal project community. Everyone is encouraged to submit issues and changes (patches) to improve Drupal, and to contribute in other ways. To find out more, visit

There are two special types of contributors that oversee the development of Drupal core: branch maintainers and component maintainers, as described below. The list of maintainers for a particular version of Drupal is in the file MAINTAINERS.txt in the top-level Drupal directory for that version.

Branch maintainers (#)

Branch maintainers oversee the development of a major version of Drupal, by making the ultimate decisions on which patches are applied to the software, and by working with the community to set goals, priorities, and guidelines. They make a long-term commitment to the future of Drupal, and a large time commitment to the project. In the past few versions of Drupal, there has been a branch maintainer for each major version (8.x, 7.x, ...), plus Dries Buytaert as the overall maintainer of Drupal.

Component maintainers (#)

Component maintainers oversee the development of parts of Drupal (also known as "subsystems"). They can make a shorter-term commitment to maintaining a subsystem, or a longer-term commitment that spans several major Drupal versions. Responsibilities of component maintainers (which can be divided amongst the maintainers of each subsystem) include:

  • Monitoring their subsystem's issue queue (also known as "issue queue farming"). When a new issue is submitted, this involves verifying that it's a valid issue and taking appropriate action (tag as "Novice", change the status if more information is needed or if it's not really a bug, change other issue parameters, move it to a different issue queue, etc.).
  • Mentoring new contributors who are working on issues related to that subsystem.
  • Being the point of contact for that subsystem's contributors.
  • Reviewing proposed patches to that subsystem.
  • Acting as an expert on the workings of that subsystem (answering questions that come up, and being involved in discussions of major overhauls and re-architecting).
  • Translating strategic thinking about their subsystem into actionable items and issues.

Most component maintainers start out contributing to their component by triaging issues, supplying patches, and reviewing others' patches. Then once a pattern of contribution and knowledge of that component is established, they can apply to become a component maintainer by posting an issue at to recommend themselves for MAINTAINERS.txt under the relevant subsystem.

The list of component maintainers for a particular version of Drupal is in the file MAINTAINERS.txt in the top-level Drupal directory for that version.

Initiative owners (#)

Initiatives are larger projects that are intended to re-architect or otherwise improve large areas of the Drupal core code-base, and which have been approved by the branch maintainers as official projects for the currently in-development release. Initiative owners have the following responsibilities:

  • Coordinate work on the initiative.
  • Communicate the plans, progress, and needs of the initiative to the community and the branch maintainers.