Direct Drupal 5 to Drupal 7 Migration in 24hrs

With Drupal 7 around the corner, a lot of Drupal developers and users are surely looking at their lingering still-on-Drupal-5 sites and thinking, "surely I might be able to skip Drupal 6 and upgrade directly to Drupal 7?"

Most all experienced Drupal developers would say (to end-users), "not possible". This is because modules only provide upgrade paths from one major version to the next, and just about all Drupal modules received large rewrites between Drupal 5 and Drupal 6. Without help from module developers, it's not extraordinarily difficult to do a direct Drupal 5 to Drupal 7 migration, but you are going to be building out a lot more things manually.

Of all the projects I'm working on, only my personal blog was still on Drupal 5. As this is rather embarrassing, I figured at least it would be a good experience with direct migration from D5 to D7. Here are my experiences and the approach I used in this upgrade.

An Event Apart New Orleans

An Event Apart Banner
Originally uploaded by sdierdorf.

Last week I attended An Event Apart in New Orleans. The event is hosted by the good folks at A List Apart. I haven't attended web conferences outside of the Drupal community, so it was quite an experience just to see what there is to talk about in a conference made for the entire web community.

Great people there. Jeffrey Veen, Jeffrey Zeldman, Eric Myers, and many many others. A lot of really smart cookies. I realized I'm actually shockingly out of touch with the "real" web community. You know, the people who fight for standards and accessibility, build our browsers, and teach us how to effectively use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

So here's to you web community: W3C, WaSP, the Zen Garden, the folks at A List Apart, and hundreds of others. Thank you for making our internet a pleasure, even if it isn't always easy.