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?
This proposal is hopelessly late and without any prospects for implementation.
The principles and values of the Drupal and Backdrop CMS communities are incompatible so that the two teams can come together.
Much can be written on this topic, but I will give only two examples:
In point 8 in Backdrop's philosophy it is written: "Freedom: Remain Free and Open Source. Open Source has the ability to change the world for the better."
In the meantime in 2007 Dries Buytart created Acquia, a firm focused on commercial support for projects and services based on Drupal, inspired by the success of Canonical and RedHat, which built a business on supporting open source projects.
I emphasize: "commercial support for projects and services based on Drupal".
After this comparison, is it any wonder why the development and support of Drupal 8 and later versions is becoming more and more (many timers more) expensive?
Drupal has become a rather greedy business project, Backdrop has retained its Free and Open Source character, whose goals are "to change the world for the better".
That's why Drupal's business goal become "ambitious projects" (that means with a budget of at least $ 50,000), but Backdrop CMS - "is for small to medium-sized businesses, non-profits, educational institutions, and companies or organizations who are in need of a comprehensive website for a reasonable price."
How to combine these two incompatible philosophies into some imaginary Classic Drupal? And why? Classic Drupal already exists and it's called Backdrop CMS. With existing upgrade path of Drupal 7 and much, much better and more convenient.
Is it a coincidence or something very important about the values of free software that in the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) Backdrop CMS is "passing" with a score of 124%:
while Drupal is at the "in progress 13%" stage?
I recently posted a blog post on this topic that outlines one possible scenario for future collaboration. At a minimum, I'd like official recognition of Backdrop CMS at Drupal events, such as DrupalCon.
I welcome feedback.
I was just looking to post exactly the same topic, and then I found this topic.
I have been thinking what makes the drupal team not willing to have a so call "Drupal Classic" version. because most of their users prefer stay in drupal7 for clear, its been few years now, those D7 website stay in d7 won't change. I believe at the beginning drupal team will expect those D7 users upgrade to D8 to continue the drupal legend, but now its pretty clear, most of the D7 user won't follow, if they continue to wait for this, those d7 users will continue to leave ,the market usage of the drupal will drop dramatically, it has dropped 10% already since last year ( https://www.drupal.org/project/usage/drupal ) I can see it may drop 30-60% totally in few years time. the current drupal9 website only occupying 20% of the total drupal website, the rest 80% I will guess they are not so "serious" to follow the drupal latest upgrade.
so its a time now to have the so call "Drupal Classic" for the users.
I guess there are few issues :
1: Drupal don't want to lose their user nums to other system ( but its happening now)
2: If drupal lose 50% users to other system, then Drupal kind of dead, their community will leave, no more development for modules.
3: From the post above mentioned both system has different "philosophy", one is for free, another is for commercial. I guess both side should sit down together to talk humbly now, otherwise drupal for sure will lose 30-50% of the users and backdrop is struggling for very few users for several years.
4: merge backdrop with drupal7 if possible, even call it " Drupal - Backdrop" or "Backdrop - Drupal" if both side agree, its win-win-win situation ( drupal, backdrop and users ). my understanding is on the drupal side, they only need the user nums, they can't afford to lose 50% of the user nums which I can see its start to happening. as long as the nums still belong to "drupal", Backdrop can run an independent free open source system under this title.