This is the overall roadmap issue for the "Out of the box" initiative which will add an experimental installation profile with demo content for a food magazine, presented in a new theme designed specifically for this demo use case.

Main planning issues

These 3 main planning issues will each have the breakdown of actionable tasks, so have a look at those if you want to get involved.

Get in touch

Below is more info and context on why we want to do this.


Drupal out of the box doesn't demonstrate how powerful it is for creating beautiful websites for real life use cases. Currently, when a user first installs Drupal, they are welcomed by a "No front page content has been created yet." text on a 6 years old design which is behind expectations of our users.


Users who install/try Drupal are faced with a theme that looks outdated and bland, which is not up-to-date anymore with today's standards in typography, layout, and overall styling. The current design has been made overly generic and doesn’t demonstrate what kind of end solutions could be built using Drupal. The current design is built on top of a site that doesn’t contain any content which makes it difficult to make the design look appealing.

The fact that Drupal lacks these features, it makes Drupal seem like a less modern system than competitors which thrive on beautiful out-of-the-box themes and content.

First impressions are extremely important, to consider Drupal as a worthy solution to both a technical and communication/branding challenge they would be looking to tackle.

Usecases we are targeting to improve:

  • To convince a technical evaluator that Drupal allows them to build modern and beautiful websites
    • IT department inside a big company
    • A self starter inside a smaller company or smaller Drupal agency

Usecases we are not targeting to improve:

  • Big companies demonstrating big wow features (but it could eventually become the starting point for such a thing)
  • As a starting point for production sites

Proposed resolution

To solve these problems, we are proposing to create new installation profile that ships with default content and new design. The new installation profile works as a site for a food publisher company. That will demonstrate how Drupal would perform in a real use case. All Drupalisms will be left out of the demo. This is done to make sure that there is a separation between branding of Drupal and demonstrating Drupal.

Process and where to find it

Discussions will mainly happen outside of, but issues will be updated while decisions are being made.

Proposal roadmap

We will work in parallel on both, the default content and adding a new theme. The roadmaps for each of these see the specific issues.

Team and resources

  • tkoleary
  • ckrina
  • lauriii
  • kjay


Signoffs needed

Product management needs to be involved closely to the process. Next up to be signed off is the user stores for the demo which can be worked on here.

Signoffs given

The idea of building a demo using a food publishing company as a use case has been signed off by webchick and Dries.

#2 cheers.gif524.1 KBphenaproxima


lauriii created an issue. See original summary.

phenaproxima’s picture

524.1 KB

About damn time we did something like this. I will be watching the progress of this issue with great interest.


brantwynn’s picture

I understand this is not the use case. And I am glad to hear that, because the scope is way out of the league of Drupal core.

Big companies demonstrating big wow features (but it could eventually become the starting point for such a thing)

If anyone is interested in that use case, something for this exists. Its a full-time job for 4 of us at Acquia to work on this. Its open source too, as a distro. -- we'd love to get more companies contributing to the Drupal demo that's been landing deals with massive companies. Trust that if Acquia has released press about any major clients, this distro was used to show them Drupal.

Back to the issue at hand

As someone who has spent the last four years working on Drupal demos, I am very glad to see this initiative taken up. I do worry about projects like this though, because they tend to start very strong - everyone has content ideas, everyone has design ideas. The actual work of making things deployable for an install profile is much easier now than before. That said, it will at times prove difficult to do all of this with just Drupal core.

The one thing I have to try to block for this is usage of the default_content module. I believe it would be a mistake to include that module with Drupal core. Default content can be handled with migrations by simply folding migrate_source_csv (a single class) into migrate module in core. My argument against default_content being used here is:

We'd be setting a poor example for how to do scalable default content for install profiles. Why? Because unless you only have 5 or 6 "demo" nodes, it becomes unruly to edit json exports for all the different pieces of content. If you add or remove a field from a content type, then potentially hundreds of these default_content exports will need to be edited and updated. Its not a scalable system and this demo profile would certainly be one to point to best practices. With CSV, you add or remove a column and all the default data can be added in a single worksheet.

The kind of persona that would work on default content (content editor, BA, PM) can definitely handle a CSV. Yes, JSON is *somewhat* accessible but it still involves understanding the underlying structure of Drupal and understanding complex array structures as represented in JSON.

I implore you to use Migrate for this demo profile. Not only will this help stabilize migrate, but it will also prevent us from having to fold even more experimental contrib into core.

Aside from that, I am excited to see what types of things this initiative brings to the table.

Finally, welcome to the world of Drupal demos! Feels good to not be such a snowflake in the community anymore.

tkoleary’s picture

The one thing I have to try to block for this is usage of the default_content module.

I think even @larowlan is not suggesting we put default content module in core. IIRC what he suggested in Dublin was a more hard-coded solution specific to this profile.

yoroy’s picture

Component: Plan » Proposed Plan

The idea has been approved during one of the product management meetings, lets move forward and get the necessary plan(s) together!

This initiative has (at least :-) four parts to it:

- Show off new (experimental) features
- Introduce sample content to improve discoverability of core concepts and features
- Make all of the above look and feel good with a theme that supports the sample content
- Create a space inside core where all this can live: the experimental installation profile

Though all interlinked, we probably want to eventually create a plan for each of these.

Besides continue to plan all these things, the most concrete and actionable step would be to start working on getting the actual environment where all this happens in place: the experimental "Demo" installation profile. How is it presented in the installer, how can you tell that this is an experimental Demo that you should not use as a starterkit for something you want to use in production, etc.

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cosmicdreams’s picture

Is a secondary effect of this initiative: (optionally) expose a web service and allow folks to create reference apps showing how to integrate other frameworks using Drupal's data? (ex: React, Angular, Web Components)

yoroy’s picture

No. :)

Check out #2873748: Contenta CMS: An API-first Distribution which might share in the default content part of this.

yoroy’s picture

@cosmicdreams but! in the mean time the folks working on the API-first distribution did connect with the work here and decided to work off of the content model we're proposing here for any decoupled demo apps they might want to make, so that "no" might well become a "yes" sooner or later :)

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Component: Proposed Plan » Active Initiative