The following comment was posted to Twitter yesterday:
@drupal should team up with @backdropcms and turn Backdrop into Drupal Classic: a new LTS version of Drupal with a direct migration path from D7. Drupal has the existing user base. Backdrop has a way to keep that userbase around. Better together than apart.
The quick answer to this is that there already is an upgrade path from Drupal 7 to Backdrop CMS and that the Backdrop community continues to invest time and effort (as we are able) to improve upon that process. For many Drupal 7 sites the upgrade to Backdrop CMS is easier than it would be to Drupal 8/9/10. However, upgrading from Drupal 7 to Backdrop is not trivial and most Drupal 7 sites will likely require at least a new theme or finding a contrib theme that will work with their site. I believe that the author of the above Twitter post is looking for an even simpler upgrade path.
But, this got me thinking about what might be possible if the Backdrop and Drupal communities worked together, to make this upgrade option easier?
Currently, the assumption/perception in the Backdrop community is that officially the Drupal project really wants all Drupal 7 sites to upgrade to a more recent version of Drupal and are not really interested in making it easier to upgrade to Backdrop CMS or to even talking about Backdrop CMS as a possibility. What if that wasn't true?
This got me thinking, that maybe there are things we could do on the Drupal side that would make upgrading to Backdrop CMS easier or a more realistic option for some sites, if we had cooperation of the Drupal community?
First of all, I'm not sure if that is true. I don't have the technical knowledge or expertise to determine whether or not the basic assumption is even valid. Are there technical things that could be implemented in Drupal 7 core (with the cooperation of Backdrop developers) that might make this easier?
Second of all, I don't know if this kind of cooperation is really possible, let alone likely. Backdrop CMS is it's own project with it's own structures and a developing culture. I believe that there would be strong resistance in the Backdrop community to any attempt to fully absorb Backdrop back into the Drupal community. That is not what I am suggesting. However, I would like to think it is possible that the Backdrop CMS and Drupal communities think of each other as siblings or at least relatives in a larger family and collaborate on keeping as many Drupal 7 sites in the family as possible with both Backdrop CMS and Drupal 8/9/10 as options. Even if that means encouraging some Drupal 7 sites to move to Backdrop CMS? (See blog post on this topic).
I opened this topic in the forum to discuss the following?
1) Are there things that could be done on the Drupal side that would make an upgrade to Backdrop CMS easier, especially for sites that aren't likely to ever move to Drupal 8/9/10?
2) Am I misguided for even thinking that this type of collaboration might be possible?