Last year around New Year we had an interesting thread where I asked people to look back at 2003 and to share some predictions for 2004. Let's take a moment to look at these predictions, to reflect on 2004 and to make some predictions for 2005. What are the Drupal highlights of 2004 and what lies ahead for Druplicon in 2005?

Some of last year's predictions:

  • When I asked what would happen with Deanspace in 2004 after the US presidential elections, Neil Drumm said that he didn't know: After DeanSpace I will probably keep using and working on Drupal in my spare time and continue college. A year later, Deanspace lives on as CivicSpace and Neil is a full-time employee and Drupal developer.
  • Dries: At least one open source weblog package will try to profile itself on the 'hosted weblog services' market. By the end of 2004, hosting companies will be a key target audience for some projects. Well, Bryght is a Drupal hosted service.
  • Kjartan: More and better themes of Drupal. With every release Drupal provides more control of the layout. Hopefully 2004 will be the year when we get more themes.
  • Dries: I predict that by the end of 2004 we will see relatively more women using Drupal. At the end of 2003, 9.8% of the users on were female. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, that number dropped to 8.9%. The total number of registered users on almost trippled as it went from 5888 at the end of 2003 to 15550 at the end of 2004.
  • Moshe: I think political campaigns will setup weblog communities as automatrically as they setup web sites today. [snip] Most campaigns will probably "just do what Dean did" which points to Deanspace and Drupal.
  • Joe: The biggest differentiator between a standard content management system and a Community Publishing System is the organization. Content Management Systems typically cater to a structured, hierarchical organization, and a Community Publishing System supports both centralized, hierarchical organizations as well as decentralized, loosely managed organizations. I believe this is an important and valuable differentiator, and hope that it remains part of the vision in 2004.
  • Mathias: An ecommerce module will be developed allowing users to sell products, services or receive donations via their web sites.
  • Kjartan: Dries finally starts using Drupal for his own website. Not yet.
  • Steven: Drupal's permissions will be improved in the way that most people have been asking. The result will be an elegant, powerful but simple solution that solves 90% of the demands. The other 10% will enjoy the solid foundation and expand on it for their own needs.
  • Steven: To improve Drupal's search procedure, a magic gnome will pop-up who is an expert in this area and has fallen in love with Drupal. After a patch being rejected time after time due to imperfections (while still keeping on returning due to some weird sense of masochism), Drupal's search enters a new plane of existance which integrates seamlessly with all aspects (taxonomy, nodes, context, ...). Turns out that magic gnome would be Steven himself.
  • Ber: Druplicon will grow legs and arms, and conquer the world.
  • More predictions at ...

So, what are your Drupal highlights of 2004 and what lies ahead in 2005? Stay on topic, or your comments risk being removed.


ti’s picture


1. Better Photo Galleries: Drupal's own image related modules will be improved by the end of Q1/2005. By the end of Q2/2005 Gallery 2 will come out with out of the box integration with Drupal. Q3/2005 will be considered the golden age for all personal publishers/bloggers using Drupal and waiting forever for a decent, versatile, easy, integrated photo gallery in their Drupal site. By the end of the year all this "golden age" will end, cause the new version of Drupal will somehow become incompatible with the existing photo galleries and since Gallery's program cycle is too slow, no one will bother updating it to keep pace with Drupal.

2. Competition Amongst OS-CMS Blog Hosts: Several hosted weblog services already run OS-CMSs. I see at least three more services hosting Drupal in 2005. One benefit of this will be that multi-site configurability will improve considerably.

3. Theming Community: Now that Drupal has a lot of personal publisher users who aren't all PHP coders, by the end of Q2/2005 there will be an active theming community for Drupal. I also predict that some of the nicer themes will be kept private and never released. Many many posts on the Drupal forum will be dedicated to asking "where can I download this" regarding several of the themes with the predictable answer of "you can't." And owing to Drupal's theme-structural instability, by the end of the year (or at least by Q2/2006) some of these active themers will tire and drop out, instead of updating their themes for every new version of Drupal.

4. Automatic Path Alias and Captcha in the Core: Drupal core will incorporate automatic path alias and captcha features.

5. The Great Code and Feature Bloat Debate: So far Drupal has been a lean and useful CMS without much bloat. As users grow and features are demanded as part of the core, I see many a man-hours spent debating code/feature bloat in the developers mailing list.

6. Financial Infusion: I see some corporate sponsorships for, not just the individual developers.

Dries’s picture

People will be surprised by the lack of progress in 2005. In reality a _lot_ of progress is made but it just won't seem like it. This is due to the fact development focus will shift from Drupal core to the contributed themes and modules. It's natural and a sign of maturity. This shift will impose a number of challenges which we'll incrementally deal with throughout 2005. Example challenges are: how to encourage good coding style, how to avoid duplicated functionality, how to encourage integration, how to enforce good usability, etc.

The larger challenge for Drupal in 2005 will be to manage the growing community of both developers and users. For developers, this means making it easier to manage projects, to provide documentation or to communicate about their project in general. For users, this means better documentation and making it easier to search or track relevant or interesting information on As such, a lot of time and effort will be put in maintaining and improving our website and main tool, is what makes Drupal tick.

As the project grows, people will complain more and more about the fact Drupal is "undirected" and that Drupal needs a "long-term vision". I'll repeatedly state: "Yes, it is undericted and no, we don't need a long-term vision.". People won't understand this and it will trigger them to create their own Drupal distributions and forks.

Also in 2005, you'll see more and more corporate blogs. Unlike personal blogs, corporate blogs will typically require more advanced functionality like workflow, content versioning, fine-grained permissions, built-in RSS aggregation and so on. Drupal can and will be used for corporate blogs. In fact, this illustates a bigger trend: traditional weblog systems (like TypePad, MovableType and Wordpress) will evolve and will begin to offer more advanced functionality which was considered "too complex" or "unnecessary" in 2003 and 2004. These systems will become more Drupal-like and as a result of this closing gap, we'll find Drupal competing with them more and more.

At the same time, Drupal will continue to improve. Not just its community functionality but also its content management features. One noticable trend in 2005 is that we'll learn a lot from established content management systems resulting in better workflow, improved content versioning, extended document management and improved usability.

While the above are merely predictions, two thing are for sure:

  1. I'll continue to hammer on Drupal's usability and ease of use. It's much needed.
  2. 2005 promises to be an exciting year. Make sure to hang on tight.
rkendall’s picture

Mambo seems to have had quite a success using Gforge to run a MamboForge. Not that we need to copy Mambo, but there could be something there.

rport’s picture

I have both Mambo and Drupal web sites... I'm not a big fan of Gforge as it operates 'outside' the Mambo core... new login different look etc... Perhaps a new 'node' that offers the key features you seek should be developed. This then provides more features to the core...
Bottom line, build more features into Drupal to extend its appeal to more people.

silverwing’s picture

I only 'discovered' drupal in November, but I'm glad I did! So my personal highlight would be getting two site up and running with Drupal.

I predict that in 2005 there will be a focus/beginning development of Drupal to be used in school settings. (I.e. classroom assignments, online class notebook for students/teachers.)


ezheidtmann’s picture

I would be very happy if your prediction came true! The sooner the better!

I am running and I'm considering writing an assignment manager.

Rainy Day’s picture

DrupalEd: A Drupal Configuration for Education

judah’s picture

Someone said, "The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself." So this list could almost be a personal "To Do" list to make these predictions come true. While the first item is more a wishful prediction the second two may actually come true.

1. As drupal becomes more accessable to the masses more hosting companies will have drupal compatible hosting with free installations. Once this happens they will request easier installation for plugin's and online theme editing. Drupal developers will focus on this at the end of 2005.

2. Drupal will successfully run on top of a Flash theme (wink wink).

3. Drupal will have a flash css theme editor making drupal more software independent (wink wink).

Bèr Kessels’s picture

I continue on top of Dries' predictions about maintainability and growth. Drupal will be the name of the core, the framework. will be the name of the complete community. Modules will become smaller, more powerfull and will become organised in groups. Those groups will be formed around certain cases, or userbases, similar to the linux distributions.
Drupals installation framework (the core) will allow us to ship drupal as "nothing in particular", while these groups will provide installation profiles that will shape the websites. will become the tool to handle all these projects, people, groups and ideas, rather than be "the home of the core" will also become the name of the community at large. will become a legal entity, and donations will allow core maintainers to communicate, develop and promote in a much more efficient way.

Drupal will get an installation profile DrupalFEM that will break the high masculin rate of the developers base ;)

Drupal will be used for a couple of big projects, and drupal will be put in the spotlights in a very positive way. will get its first "panic" moment, because thousands of drupal sites are found to have a small security hole which allows spammers to place huge amounts of spam content, spam comments or other spamware on the sites. will get a certificate traject for modules. \less people will have write access to |CVS, all modules must be reviewed and certificated by a group of people.

Drupal will become much user friendlier, while maintaining its functionality.

Drupal distributed authentication combined and extedned with jabber will become a minor, but existing opponent to the MSN passport project, since it will be the OSS version of this.

I will finally install a spelling checker in my firefox and actually use it on

I will be able to continue to pay my rent, by installing drupal for people ;)

[Ber | Drupal Services]

kika’s picture

My predictions are more or less the same as "Wishlist for 2005" ;)

- Drupal gets revamped installer with much-needed profiles

- Drupal community struggles with numerous side/fork projects, separate repositories and local www.drupal.* communities, tries to integrate them to a sensible distributed network (distributed search through "sister sites", shared taxonomy, advanced "drupal sites" list) but this is mostly experiments only - too late to force strict rules to already scattered community

- Improved usability and information design, implemented partially by the help of the industry's professionals who are willing to share their time to Drupal

- Flexible and powerful wiki module, taking the best part on the wiki concept (easy page creation and /Moin/Style/Hierarchy/Links) and in the same time dropping the wiki nuisances

- finegrained authentication as standard makes commercial market (finally) turn some heads

- A mouth-watering, sex-dripping theme in the core package

- Apple replaces the Blosjom blog server with Drupal in Apple Server ;)

and finally

- Drupal gets a new cool logo

capmex’s picture

  1. Drupal will improve its place in the content management system's arena.
  2. Themes finally will be easy to modify to different user needs.
  3. Drupal's code will keep tidy and unbloated.
  4. Drupal will receive a lot of publicity and more developers will become part of
  5. After a lot of testing I will finally use drupal for my website :) and will be actively contributing.

Webmaster Resources for Business Websites

Steven’s picture

2004 was a smashing year for Drupal thanks to the improved menu system with tabs and the new theme system along with countless other improvements. However, I still feel we can do better in 2005.

My personal Drupal highlight for 2004 was starting with Drupal consulting and getting too many job offers! So I hope that in 2005, we'll see more people offering professional Drupal services, especially in the theming department as there is a lot of demand for that. There are talks of making Drupal more themer friendly (e.g. by cleaning up the XHTML and CSS) and I'm convinced this will lead more graphical talent to Drupal.

I also predict that 2005 will see the inclusion of Javascript in Drupal core. Now before you get your torches and pitchforks, let me remind you that it is no longer 1998. Today, Javascript can be used to create rich, elegant, standards-compliant and cross-browser functionality, even without having to modify the XHTML. Dynamically showing/hiding items can help unclutter the interface without sacrificing functionality. And I'm sure everyone here has heard of Google Suggest: we already have a "Live Search" module in the contributions repository which has similar functionality. Of course, all the Javascript functionality in Drupal will degrade without a problem for people who can't or don't want to use Javascript.

Finally, I'll throw in a Duvel for Dries to use Drupal on his own site before the end of 2005 (he currently uses a custom set of scripts). If the rich feature-set doesn't convince him, certainly the lure of a nice cold, quality Belgian beer will do the trick ;).

rkendall’s picture

Smart use of javascript could greatly increase the usability of the administration interface.

Incorporation of a wysiwyg would open drupal to a whole new group of users (who currently dismiss Drupal because wysiwyg editing is on their checklist)

p.s. I would install Drupal on Dries website for a Duvel!!!!

keithinstone’s picture

Someone will write a book about Drupal - a primer to help people get started

A well-respected (academic) journal will publish an article about "community blogging" and feature Drupal

A usability study will be done that will shows that breadcrumbs, tabs for global navigation, and right column modules full of links are all too difficult for most users

A fully accessibility-compliant Drupal theme will be developed - and it will be quickly reverse-engineered by other blogging systems

Links will be treated as first-class objects in Drupal - e.g. a common, optional element to all nodes instead of being specific to some modules and not in others

An early faceted browsing application based on Drupal's powerful-yet-underused taxonomy system will appear

One of the current "major" blogging / open source CM systems will disappear - and be replaced by 5 new ones

Dries will be interviewed for a TV show - the QuickTime version of it will be posted on and bring the server to its knees for 24 hours as everyone tries to download it

Someone will develop a new "killer app" for Drupal - something it does not really do today, but it will be a natural fit and leave others wondering why they did not think of it first

Steven’s picture

"A fully accessibility-compliant Drupal theme will be developed - and it will be quickly reverse-engineered by other blogging systems"

The core pushbutton theme is already accessible.

clairem’s picture

My own Drupal-based website has achieved a AAA Blobby rating, using a custom theme. It's not yet polished enough for publiaction, but it wasn't all that hard to do.

The one that does get in the way of accessibility is links without the title attribute set, and Drupal does rather easily produce some of those. That is something which needs attention -- the CMS should actively encourage accessibility.

bertboerland’s picture

So here is my 2005 prediction list for drupal

  • Drupal will be slashdotted at least 3 times in 2005. Other drupal running sites such as kerneltrap and the likes will be on slashdotalikes, for at least ten times.

  • At least once in the comming year will a module developer go wrong regarding the GPL license by making the module proprietary

  • Once a major flaw in the code will make all drupal sites vulnable to a nasty "own3d" posting on all listed drupal sites. A fix has been made availble within 2 hours yet doesnt make it to the frontpage and hence many blog sites will run some other than intended content

  • Many admins of drupal running sites will get together for an adsense google account and they will donate the money to drupal

  • Dries will in Q2 of 2005 announce to stand down as projectleader of drupal. He will start a new project doing drupal in Java called ADC (A Drupal of Coffee) for his thesis. The community will be sad indeed when this posting hist drupal in the first week of April

  • A major international newsite switches to drupal using 20+ own modules that were made by paid core developers

  • Other PHP based CMS-es will switch from being a Content Managment System towards a Content Management Framework like drupal is (at least in the slogan not in code)

  • "To Drupalise" will be a verb and can be found in the wikipedia

  • will switch to drupal

  • The killerapp for drupal will be a module that integrates voice/audio streams with drupal

  • During Q4 of 2005 people will make a sport of getting on a TV show / live sport event with the URL.




bert boerland

Dublin Drupaller’s picture

Hi Bert..

just thought I'd mention that I'm working on a module that allows voice/audio streams, conference voice chats and one-2-one voice chats.

It's work in progess and I have currently found 2 very likely candidates that could be adapted fairly simply. It's not as simple as just writing some php + designing an sql will probably end up to be something similar to html area...where a third party bunch of code handshakes with drupal using a simple module. Both of the 2 solutions I have come acrosss are open source and don't require huge downloads or subscribing to any VOIP provider.

The module will also allow integration into things like skype etc. if a community has a large amount of members that also have skype or similar.

the schedule at the moment is as follows:

a) january 2005 - post 2 "elastoplast" solutions up here to get the ball rolling...i.e. let the drupal community know about 2 open source plug-ins (not modules) that fulfill the voice chat functionality with a view of choosing one to focus on to create the final webphone.module for drupal.

b) open up a functionality wish list with other drupallers looking for specific features to develop a beta module.

b) have a test site up in feb 2005.
I will be calling for php & drupal wizards to help with the final development of the module to ensure it remains open source and isn't hijakked by someone looking to charge for it.

The webphone.module (working title for the project) discussion is here if you have any ideas or pointers:



Currently in Switzerland working as an Application Developer with UBS Investment Bank...using Drupal 7 and lots of swiss chocolate

rkendall’s picture

like the prediction, here's hoping...

Robert Castelo’s picture

Drupal will become a hit reality TV show - possible titles:

Code Swap
The Real World CMS
Code Idol
Hack Survivor
At Home With The Drupals


Drupal Specialists: Consulting, Development & Training

Robert Castelo, CTO
Code Positive
London, United Kingdom

chx’s picture

I predict that in 2005 we will have a Drupal version which just runs after you've unpacked it. I think SQLite support would be good for this (wink)...

Drupal development: making the world better, one patch at a time. | A bedroom without a teddy is like a face without a smile.

drumm’s picture

I'd have to think a bit about more predictions, but I have a start at for the metadata framework, CCK, and other ideas.

media girl’s picture

  1. More Drupal modules will implement self-contained SQL installation (as used by taxonomy_context.module), thus greatly easing installations and especially upgrades, helping administrators avoid costly errors and crashes
  2. As a result of this simple implementation, Drupal will see an increase in growth of demand as non-techies are drawn to its power and ease of use.
  3. An increase in the rate of Drupal downloads as more people move from hosted blogs to their own domains
  4. Common availability of modules employing dhtml, such as create content, commenting/trackbacks and even main page node w/ comments display
  5. An explosion of themes and "skins" for Drupal
  6. A module producing themable pages within sites (e.g., different user blogs have different looks and feels) will be contributed.
  7. Demand for more inter-linking, inter-registration, interactivity between Drupal-running sites
  8. A growing 'net-public awareness that GNU/GPL apps have real relevance to people beyond geeks
  9. A major corporate player, like Microsoft, Macromedia, will launch their own proprietary dynamic CMS software aimed at the indie user and blogger, get a whole lot of attention and buy their way into a corner of the market, but die a long death (No insider info, just intuition.)
  10. The groundhog will not see its shadow.


media girl’s picture

Six Apart buying LifeJournal?!

11. After Six Apart starts charging LifeJournal members for what had been (mostly) free blog hosting, and the Google scandal creates uncertainty as to the future of Blogger/Blogspot, droves of bloggers come to Drupal, seeking the security they lost from their gated community.


Bèr Kessels’s picture

A module producing themable pages within sites (e.g., different user blogs have different looks and feels) will be contributed.

This is already contributed, it is called sections.

[Ber | Drupal Services]

media girl’s picture

[edited] I'm so prescient, my predictions are ahead of my time. ;)



iraszl’s picture

Drupal will run a successful cyber advertising campaign in 2006. This is more of a commitment rather than a prediction... :)


bertboerland’s picture

better to post new predictions for 2006 in this post


bert boerland