Mobile for Drupal 8

In my State of Drupal keynote in Chicago I said: "If I were to start Drupal from scratch today, I'd build it for mobile experiences first, and desktop experience second.". I believe in that more than ever.

We already have a number of initiatives under way that will make Drupal a great platform for building native mobile applications (e.g. the Web services initiative) as well for building mobile web experiences (e.g. the HTML5 initiative and the Design initiative).

However, there is more that needs to be done to make Drupal a go to platform in a mobile world. For example, a couple of weeks ago I talked to a number of big media companies, each employing hundreds of editorial staff. They all believed that in less than two years, most of their editors that report from the field will be using tablets instead of laptops. Applied to Drupal, this means we need to make the Drupal administration back-end and the editorial experience mobile-friendly, something that isn't covered by the existing Drupal 8 initiatives. Another example would be responsive web design.

The mobile internet is coming at us fast and furious. We need to move fast and we might only get one shot at this. I want to make mobile the big theme for Drupal 8. That is why I decided to launch another initiative related to mobile.

I've asked John Albin Wilkins to be the Initiative Owner for the Drupal 8 Mobile Initiative, and to work with the existing initiatives to fill the remaining gaps. To learn what that means, please consult John's announcement blog post, which includes an overview of the initiatives' goals. Like with any of these initiatives, they don't actually materialize unless people decide to help. To get involved, please join the discussions in the Mobile group on groups.drupal.org and help work on Mobile issues on drupal.org.

Comments

Laura (not verified):

This is great news! It's an absolutely critical development to make Drupal admin function on multiple platforms, and touch-screen UI is the biggie.

October 24, 2011
Serge (not verified):

Of course mobile is more than just a screen size or limited feature set. It is also a myriad of different means of inputting and contributing content.

It is also, at least at the moment, having to deal with flaky connections when out in the field.

Supplementing the back-end with either native or HTML5 offline applications will help offset some of these hurdles.

Hmmz Saté!

October 24, 2011
Christopher Pelham (not verified):

This was one of the hot topics at the Do It With Drupal conference a couple of weeks ago. Lullabot provided good leadership in organizing a whole track on mobile, but I still couldn't help feeling that Drupal (because the adoption of mobile platforms is happening so fast) was way behind. For instance, if MANY more people access the web from mobile devices than from desktops and laptops, then why did Drupal 7 focus on new desktop-directed themes and not include one single mobile or mobile-friendly theme?

Thank you, Dries, for making this a priority! It will be a huge help to me and my customers (a majority of whom we have found are on mobile primarily or exclusively) and I'm sure to everyone else.

October 24, 2011
Thomas Svenson (not verified):

Excellent choice. Drupal is for sure getting it right when it comes to selecting important initiatives.

I hope a lot of what these initiatives brings for Drupal 8, will trickle through as contrib projects for Drupal 7 as well.

October 24, 2011
Christopher Pelham (not verified):

This was one of the hot topics at the Do It With Drupal conference a couple of weeks ago. Lullabot provided good leadership in organizing a whole track on mobile, but I still couldn't help feeling that Drupal (because the adoption of mobile platforms is happening so fast) was way behind. For instance, if MANY more people access the web from mobile devices than from desktops and laptops, then why did Drupal 7 focus on new desktop-directed themes and not include one single mobile or mobile-friendly theme?

Thank you, Dries, for making this a priority!! It will be a huge help to me and my customers (a majority of whom we have found are on mobile primarily or exclusively) and I'm sure to everyone else.

October 24, 2011
mazze.ch (not verified):

Thank you Dries, good to see things moving forward. My only concern is that D8 is years away, not to mention a healthy D8 module ecosystem. Time is a very critical point here, and we also need to focus on D7 mobile solutions.

October 25, 2011
dddave (not verified):

Now we just have to make sure that this release cycle doesn't take as long as the last. Else the mobile revolution will be a thing of the past at the time D8 is released.

October 25, 2011
John Coonen (not verified):

Glad to see Drupal tackling mobility as a high priority. It's critically important for businesses & organizations to be competitive, while maintaining their own independence as well as the privacy of their own users.

October 25, 2011
Anonymous (not verified):

Congrats John !!

October 25, 2011
Sam Richard (not verified):

Over the weekend at BADcamp, I wrote a little module to allow for different themes based on role called Themes by Role (TBR) that, as of the current build, allows custom admin themes by role. Combining this module with the Mobile Tools module would allow for a custom mobile-optimized admin theme for mobile users which would be one way to solve the problem of the needs of mobile editors now in Drupal 7 and potentially a way to do it for Drupal 8.

October 26, 2011

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