So, where is it all headed? You often hear that Drupal 7 will be "The One." Drupal 6, as you have seen, represented a huge gain in functionality compared to Drupal 5, which also represented a huge gain in contrast to the previous major release, Drupal 4.7.
In this chapter, you will become acquainted with exactly what changed with the presentation of the Drupal 6 release, and some of the underlying principles guiding Drupal development as it has progressed from one Drupal release to the next, including Drupal 7. A Drupal 7 feature list will be presented, and the architectural style of this release will be analyzed. The battle plans of the various contributed module authors will be reviewed. Finally, you will gain hands-on experience installing Drupal 7 and look toward a minimalist implementation for the On-Line Literary Workshop.
Every Drupal release comes with a CHANGELOG.txt gleaned from the commit logs, including new features and bug fixes, all the way back to Drupal 1.0.0., "Initial release," on January 1, 2001. The log for each of the Drupal 6.x releases (6.1, 6.2, etc.) brought the following major new features:
A new Schema API, to make it easier to work with databases other than MySQL
jQuery upgrading to jQuery 1.2.6
The Update Status module, which continually checks for core and module updates, was added to the core
Triggers and actions were added to the core to allow custom workflow development