This year at the Twin Cities Drupal Camp there was a full-day Backdrop CMS training workshop to kick off the event. As opposed to previous workshops on Backdrop, the students in this class were primarily decision makers - those responsible for deciding whether Backdrop was suitable for their new projects, existing sites, entire departments, or website development shops. It would appear that it is finally time to start making decisions about the future!
Backdrop CMS also proudly held down the last session slot on the last day of the camp. Talking about Backdrop at the close of Drupal camp seemed to reinvigorate the attendees, who's brains and hearts were almost already at maximum with new ideas and passions.
One of my favorite things about attending camps is talking to people, listening to their concerns, contemplating their great ideas, and then putting what we learn into action. This year's Twin Cities camp was an excellent example of exactly that happening.
Mike Baynton from the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute was in the audience, and he brought up a great point about how affordability can be hugely affected by how Security updates are handled. After the camp he did a bunch of thinking on the subject and started by writing up a fantastic blog post on the matter.
This blog post sparked a conversation about what more Backdrop CMS can do to help its users. Keeping Backdrop affordable is key to our mission, but we haven't yet addressed making security updates easier on site owners.
We've started rethinking the problem space, and agreed that even without automatic updates (yet) Backdrop can do better. For starters, when a security release comes out, we'll publish not only the complete updated core package, but also a patch file containing only the security fixes. Additionally, these releases will be provided for every minor version of Backdrop going back 2 years. (We'll have more on this later!)
We've had a long standing issue in the Backdrop queue about automatic updates, but most of the discussion there had been theoretical. Fortunately, Mike has been doing some thinking about automatic updates too, and has started on a Technical Design Plan to help both Backdrop and Drupal take our ideas from theory to reality.
Big changes are afoot, and it's mostly thanks to the perseverance of one passionate community member! Thanks Mike, you have done us all a huge favor, and we are grateful.