Decoupled Drupal is quickly taking the Drupal community by storm as it challenges our longstanding impressions of what it means to be a CMS. In the days of Drupal's traditional existence, site builders, marketers, and experience assemblers only had to contend with a single end-user experience — one that could be controlled entirely through layout managers, in-place editors, and WYSIWYG interfaces.
But today, not only are channels for content multiplying by the day, they are also limiting the extent to which editors and marketers are able to accomplish their objectives. Layout managers are irrelevant in a fully decoupled web application, for instance, and in-place editors make no sense on a Roku application on your television. Some architectural approaches, however, have begun to make the transition toward decoupled site building — a compelling idea where editors and marketers have control over the experiences that developers craft. It may sound utopian, but there are techniques that are already in use and case studies that are already proliferating across our industry that begin to illuminate the possibilities.
Preston, who is Director of Research and Innovation at Acquia, talked on exactly this topic at DrupalCon Vienna. The title of his talk was: Decoupled site building: Drupal's next challenge. It's now online. Worth checking out.
In this session, Preston discussed some of the implications of decoupled Drupal on the practice of site building and how to confront some of the stickiest problems we encounter when it comes to enabling site builders and assemblers.
Here are the topics he covered:
- The widening gap between developer and marketer
- Progressive decoupling and the "black box"
- Fully decoupled front ends: Both administrative and customer-facing
- The mythical "Edit" button: The case of Prismic
- Can API-first approaches lead to duplicative solutions?
- API-first layout: The case of RESTful Panels
- Looking to other projects for inspiration (Polymer, etc.)
- Epilogue: The extremities and far reaches of site building
This session is worth watching for all site builders who may or may not have heard of decoupled Drupal and are interested in its implications on the practice of site building. Developers working on site building tools such as layout and editorial tools will also get a lot out of this session.