Why you SHOULDN'T upgrade from Drupal 6!

by David Snopek on April 12, 2016 - 2:00pm

Ever since Drupal 6's End-of-Life on February 24th, there have been countless blogs and articles about why you should upgrade to Drupal 7 or 8 as quickly as possible.

But this may be the only article arguing that you SHOULDN'T upgrade from Drupal 6! ;-)

If you have a complex Drupal 6 site, and you haven't started the upgrade process yet - contrary to conventional wisdom - the best answer may be: keep waiting.

No, this isn't an April Fools joke, and we're not being sarcastic. :-)

Want to know why? Keep reading!

Getting accurate 'Available updates' for Drupal 6

by David Snopek on March 4, 2016 - 8:20am

If you still have a Drupal 6 site and use the 'update' module, you probably noticed that you're no longer getting accurate information about security updates on the "Available updates" report. In fact, it's telling you to disable all your modules, which isn't very helpful. :-)

This is because after February 24th, Drupal 6's End-of-Life date, all Drupal 6 modules on Drupal.org were marked as unsupported. This was always part of the plan, because the Drupal community wants to stop supporting Drupal 6, and leave that work to the Drupal 6 Long-Term Support (LTS) vendors.

However, it had an interesting side-effect!

If a module is marked as unsupported, the 'update' module won't tell you about available security updates for that module!

This is particularly problematic because there were 2 big security releases on February 24th as well: Drupal 6.38 and FileField 3.14. If you didn't update right away on February 24th, then on February 25th, there was already no mention of those security releases on the "Available updates" report. (Those two in particular are temporarily marked as supported, so you should actually see them now.)

And if you only do security updates every few weeks or months, then you could be unaware of even more security releases made before the update status information become unreliable.

(Note: While it's NOT recommended to wait that long, the reality is that people with small budgets can only pay someone to perform updates once a month, or every few months. We apply security updates same day for our customers, but not everyone can afford that.)

However, we've created an alternative to the 'update' module which will allow you to get accurate information about security updates, both past, and going into the future with releases from the Drupal 6 LTS vendors!

First Drupal 6 LTS patch released (for Prepopulate module)!

by David Snopek on March 2, 2016 - 8:49pm

On last week Wednesday, Drupal 6 finally reached End-of-Life (EOL). This means that security for Drupal 6 (both core and select contrib modules) is up to the official Drupal 6 Long-Term-Support vendors -- and we're one of those vendors!

The whole idea of a commercial Long-Term Support (LTS) period is untested (this is a first in the Drupal community) and there's understandably some uncertainty in the community about how this process will work (and if it will work).

Well, it's only a week in, and we've already published our first Drupal 6 LTS patch!

We've Reached the Drupal 6 End Of Life Date - What Does That Mean?

by Elliot Christenson on February 25, 2016 - 12:56pm

Yesterday was February 24th, 2016!

If you are reading this, you probably already know what that signifies. It is the official End-Of-Life for Drupal 6. The world didn't end!

This week, myDropWizard is working to onboard dozens of Drupal 6 websites that need to maintain uptime, security, and are not yet updated. How is this even possible? Wasn’t Drupal 6.0 released back on February 13th of 2008? That was EIGHT years ago! It was unleashed to a world mostly absent of smartphones - only coming a few months after the release of the original iPhone.

It’s possible because Drupal 6 was a great platform.

Drupal 6 Upgrade PhotoWhen you think about the growth of the Drupal community, Drupal 6 was one of those crucial inflection points. Lots of things came together at once to help make Drupal what it is today in 2016. The explosion of modules, the constant updates for security measures, and the cultivation of people in the Drupal community allowed for something really sophisticated, secure, and exciting. Hundreds of thousands of websites were built using Drupal 6. This is no small success.

In fact, there are still over 100,000 active websites running Drupal 6 TODAY!

This look forward is accompanied by a cautious look forward. The End-Of-Life status isn’t going to result in a "fiery, apocalyptic end for Drupal 6” - a quote often used by myDropWizard founder David Snopek. It’s not like the “Y2K” bug. It’s not even like the end of support for Microsoft Windows XP.

It’s one step in a process:

  • For many, this signals the beginning of a timeline to dedicate resources to move to Drupal 8.
  • For others, they can put the remaining pieces into a Drupal 7 deployment.
  • Many need to keep their Drupal 6 website running: That’s OK!

What version of PHP does Drupal 6 need?

by Elliot Christenson on February 12, 2016 - 8:36am

The short answer is: Drupal 6 officially supports only PHP 5.2, but you should use the highest version of PHP that doesn't break your site!

For the longer answer:

PHP 5.2.17 is the latest version of PHP in the 5.2.x branch of the popular programming language. While there are several newer versions, it's a safe bet that legacy code will operate under 5.2.17. However, there are potential security holes with earlier versions of PHP.

When was Drupal 6 released?

by Elliot Christenson on January 25, 2016 - 2:18pm

February 13, 2008

Like Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 after it, Drupal 6 included more "core" modules to enhance the basic installation experience. It featured upgraded base jQuery functionality. The effort of Drupal 6 took about a year coming after the release of Drupal 5 on January 15, 2007.

Drupal 5 was "end of lifed" in January of 2011 with the release of Drupal 7.0.

Similarly, we are approaching the Termination of development focus of Drupal 6 on February 24, 2016.

Drupal 6 Long-Term Support ... for after official support ends!

by Elliot Christenson on November 12, 2015 - 8:19pm

In case you haven't heard, the Drupal project is discontinuing "official support" for Drupal 6!

Typically, only two major versions of Drupal are supported at once: the latest version, and the previous one. Right now, that means Drupal 7 and 6 are supported.

But when Drupal 8 is released on November 19th, 2015, Drupal 6 will only be officially supported for an additional 3 months (until February 24th, 2016).

Of course, you'll need to update to Drupal 7 or 8 eventually!

But what if 3 months isn't enough time for you to upgrade?

We're happy to announce Long-Term Support (LTS) for Drupal 6, in order to keep your site going long after the end of official support!

Read more to learn what the end of official support means, and the details of our Drupal 6 LTS.

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