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I know to right now Drupal 7 is stable since almost a year but the truth is Drupal needs third party modules for satisfy the requirements of almost any site

Yesterday i tried jump to drupal 7 but the first thing to i see is to many of modules are betas, releases candidates and a lot haven't a version for D7.

and many of this modules are essentials, modules like Ctools, panels, references, context, all of these modules are pretty useful and none of them have a stable version for drupal 7

So my question is, Drupal 7 is ready for a bigger site than a blog? how many of you use drupal 7 with unstable modules for a client's sites?

How risky is use non stable modules in drupal 7?

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4 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Q: "How risky is use non stable modules in Drupal 7?"

A: "Depends."

Without wanting to be obtuse, in late 2011 this is a question only you can answer, based on your abilities, needs and experience.

The simple answer is: Betas are usually fine, Alphas should usually be avoided, RCs are almost certainly OK.

If you're happy to hit a bug and help fix it or apply patches, you'll be mostly fine and able to really help the Drupal community. If not, the risk for you is higher and could become a show-stopper.

If you're using one of the 'biggies' with tens of thousands of users (CTools, Panels, Views etc) you can probably use alphas/betas without hitting many major issues -- or you'll be one of thousands with the same problem which means it'll get fixed quicker... But if you're using less common (but still complex) modules, or it's critical you have complete reliability in your site, then you'll need to think twice - and maybe stick with D6 for a while.

A safer approach if you're worried and don't have the expertise to get your hands dirty in code or patches is probably: use Drupal 6 but choose your modules carefully so there's always a D7 upgrade path. Upgrade when you're happy it's right for you.

Ultimately you might have to use Drupal 7 because it provides certain features you cannot get in D6.

To close I would say that, for the most part, Drupal 7 and its ecosystem of modules is ready for most people/sites/projects. But things are changing by the day, so if you don't feel comfortable now you might in do a month or two.

Do your research and if you have doubts or hit snags, Drupal 6 is generally still an excellent choice and will be for many more months.

Good luck!

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Nice answer. To be mentioned is that it's the decision of the maintainer to decide what's alpha, beta, stable and so on. Meaning, an alpha module from a responsible, experienced maintainer with many users can easily be more "stable" than a new module that is declared as stable. –  Berdir Dec 23 '11 at 8:58
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We have recently launched a large government site re-written using drupal 7 (> 3000 nodes, high traffic). Having gone through this development, we had to learn a few things:

  • due to views only recently being made stable, a lot of modules that depend on views are still unstable. Even so, the more popular ones work okay
  • we had to port some modules that we use a lot, that had no D7 branch. An example was Apache Solr Panels
  • features in D7 was shaky for a while, but now is fairly stable

All in all though, Drupal 7 has awesome new features, a whole new database abstraction layer, a wicked states API, image handling in core. As time goes on contrib will keep getting better and better for D7, whilst you will find shortly I would imagine that none wants to make new features for D6 contrib.

If you want to check the site out, visit health.govt.nz

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Nice site @wiifm! Out of curiousity, how did you implement the menu under "our work"? –  Malks Dec 23 '11 at 3:36
    
Custom menu theming essentially, the rendered mega-menu gets inserted and set to 'display:none', and then javascript is used to show/hide the <div> –  wiifm Dec 23 '11 at 9:50
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Absolutely, Drupal 7 is ready for big sites; even though many modules are in beta, the essential ones are stable, and you can start building with Drupal 7.

On other hand, there is no need to hurry up, since Drupal 8 will be, most probably, released between 2 years.

For your reference, read this article too.

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We launched a truly huge Drupal 7 site (www.examiner.com) before Drupal 7 was launched. Then, it required a good number of people very, very familiar with core. Now? It's so ready and easy.

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