Becoming a Part of the Drupal Open-Source Development Team

Drupal is an immensely popular open source content management platform. True to its name, Drupal makes it easy to contribute to the ongoing updating and improving of the platform.  This is in stark contrast to Microsoft SharePoint, a proprietary software in which users can feel no sense of community accomplishment.  This difference between these platforms is becoming one of the defining factors of the digital technology world, with more and more users finding open source programs to be the better choice in terms of price and functionality.

Currently, the Drupal community is hard at work developing the latest major iteration, Drupal 8. The Drupal 8 project is being categorized into Core Initiatives, individual development projects that aim to upgrade the Drupal core in several key areas.  Some of these are:

Multilingual Capabilities

Although Drupal already has an extensive multilingual toolset, this ability is being extended to more modules and services.  Currently, developers are needed to help convert every entity type to the new Entity Field API.  Tasks left to be done include converting nodes, users, taxonomy, files, and menu links.

The Multilingual development project page can be found here.

Web Services

Web services provide data, in response to a user request, instead of an HTML page.  Drupal 8 will bring web service functionality to the Drupal core, instead of having it as an add-on.  One of the current tasks to be done in this category is updating the menu link access check. 

The Web Services Core Initiative information can be found here.


Switching the default doctype to HTML5 from XHTML is one of the biggest improvements being done.  The primary goals for this initiative are to give contributed themes and models the ability to evolve, give theme developers an enhanced ability to control new semantic elements, and enhance the overall experience of end users.

The current tasks to be done for this initiative include re-factoring theme functions and templates to make use of the new HTML5 elements and adding WAI-AIA roles in markup.

The main project page for the HTML5 initiative can be found here.

Contributing to Drupal 8

To help with this project, you must first obtain and run a git development environment.  For a walk-through of how to do this, see this guide.

Next, follow the steps to learn to create, test, and review patches.

For help with these steps, check in on the weekly core contribution mentoring or spend some time in the #drupal-community IRC channel.

Most of the necessary information, such as a program timeline and a schedule of IRC chat meetings for developers, can be found on the Community Initiatives page of the Drupal website.