Drupal has been criticized a lot for being "hard to install". As far back as the beginning of 2004, Adrian Rossouw began to work on the installer system (see Install system - requirements and Drupal install system) and after a lot of work by the fine CivicSpaceLabs folks (Kieran Lal, Jeremy Andrews, Nedjo Rogers, Angie Byron and others), Karoly Negyesi took over the patch this June. A month of further development (with quite some help from Jeff Eaton and, again, lots others), saw Steven Wittens taking the torch on July 12 and finally, on July 13, the biggest and most often requested improvement to Drupal core got committed!
However, this patch is more than just usability: it supports "install profiles" so that anyone can create a distribution out of Drupal core, contributed modules, and themes. This will begin a new era in Drupal's life. Without a doubt, there will be a Drupal for blogger distribution, and a forum distribution is already in the works. Also, new installations of Drupal will only contain database tables for the modules you've actually enabled.
But that's not the only thing the next version of Drupal will have:
admin/settingspage has been reworked.
- Each module has its own directory like those in the contributed modules repository. Already many have an
.installfile which contains the database script to load its tables. There are many plans on how to utilize this new directory structure, like having dependency metadata, individual help files for every module, splitting up
drupal.css, and more.
- XML-RPC extensions (System.multiCall and System.methodSignature) now work.
- You can add roles when adding a user as an admin' no need for an additional "edit" step.
- Aggregator now uses RSS 2.0's
guidif present to prevent duplicate posts being inserted.
- Cache handling has been moved to its own file. A backend which would cache to files and another which would utilize memcached is in the works.
- As forms became highly customizable in 4.7 and links already in 4.8/5.0, so do become user emails now. You can use this to add a standard site footer to all outgoing emails, add special headers, or completely HTML-ize your messages.