Update: Drupal 7.0 Alpha 2 is available now!
After nearly two years of development, we are proud to announce the release of the first alpha version of the Drupal 7.x family. This alpha includes a tremendous number of new features and new under-the-hood improvements for both users and developers.
We revamped Drupal's user interface, added key contributed modules including CCK and ImageField, introduced a new object-oriented database layer, revamped file handling capabilities, and an automated testing framework based on SimpleTest, among literally hundreds of other improvements. Drupal 7.0 alpha 1 is the collective work of over 800 core contributors.
It is important to note that this alpha version should not be used for production sites. We've resolved most errors reported so far, but there are outstanding known issues (including security issues) and most likely some problems that have not been reported as of yet. It is expected that there will be at least one more alpha version followed by a few beta versions and at least one release candidate before Drupal 7.0 is finalized. You can help us reach the final release date sooner by testing this alpha and providing feedback.
What's new, what's changed?
- Revamped User Interface
An incredible amount of work has gone into improving the user experience and administration interface. The new administration theme "Seven", the overlay module, the dashboard and the configurable shortcut bar, all lead to a much more user-friendly interface. In-place editing is enabled for blocks and nodes by default, so modifying the content of a site becomes much simpler.
- Custom Fields
Drupal 7 bundles in the ability to add custom fields, similar in functionality to the Content Construction Kit (CCK) module. However, fields are no longer limited only to content types; they can be added to users, taxonomy terms, and other entities. Fields also have support for translations.
- Image Handling
Drupal 7 brings native image handling to core. Image fields may be added to content, and have image styles applied to them, such as scaling, cropping, and other effects.
- Update Manager
Building on Drupal 6's Update module, which keeps site administrators informed when new module and theme releases are available, the new Update Manger module can also install and upgrade modules and themes.
- Front-end "under-the-hood" improvements
A new render API allows for highly granular theming, core template files have been revamped to provide more semantic markup, Drupal 7 now has built-in RDFa support, includes jQuery UI and a new AJAX framework, and a new core theme "Stark" which exposes Drupal's markup directly for those who want to dive in and start theming.
In addition, Drupal 7 has several major accessibility enhancements, making it the most accessible release of Drupal to date!
- Back-end "under-the-hood" improvements
A revamped database layer resolving nearly all limitations in the Drupal 6 database layer, automated testing framework, new PHP stream-based file API that supports private and public files simultaneously, revamped node access system, new hooks for more flexible system interaction, an Entity API, a job queue API, and many, many, many more improvements.
Drupal 7 is also the most scalable release to date, with features such as built-in proxy server support, advanced caching techniques, and Content Delivery Network support for static files.
More information about changes in this alpha version is available in the CHANGELOG.txt file.
Contributed modules and themes
Contributed module and theme authors should start porting their modules and porting their themes to Drupal 7. As some of the authors are waiting for the release to stabilize, you might not find a Drupal 7 version of the contributed module(s) you would like to test with this new Drupal alpha. Likewise, many translators have not even started the porting process, because the exact Drupal interface string might still change (to improve usability). Also note that during the alpha cycle there may still be API changes and additions if critical bugs are uncovered.
Updating from previous versions
The upgrade path does not work yet. If you would like to help resolve this, see. Upgrades will also not be supported between Drupal 7 versions until later in the release cycle, so alpha should be installed for testing only.
Always make backups of your data and never do testing on your live site to make sure you keep all of your information intact even if something goes wrong.
When testing this alpha version you might find issues, but most of the time these issues have already been reported. Please search for existing issues first before submitting a new bug report and post additional details as a comment on any existing issue. If you can't find the exact issue you experience in the issue queue, then feel free to open a new report and provide us as much information as possible to fix the issue. Include the exact error message, anything you have done which may lead to the issue and so on. Drupal 7 bugs can be submitted in our issue tracker.
When does Drupal 7.0 come out?
When it's ready. Which is when the list of critical issues gets down to zero. You can help Drupal 7.0 come out faster by finding, reporting, and fixing bugs.
Download the alpha
Download the Drupal 7.0 alpha 1 package. Installation instructions are included in the package; see the INSTALL.txt file for more information.
We hope you enjoy testing this new alpha, and await the final release with as much anticipation as we do.