So, a contributed module you like has not been updated to the latest version of Drupal. What now?
The best place to start is the project page for the module to see if there is a more current version packaged and ready to go.
You can also check the pending patches list for your module. Look to see if there are any patches that are labeled for the version of Drupal you are using. If there are:
- You can wait until it's tested and committed by others.
- You can setup a test site, download and apply the patch yourself, test and report the results in a thread. In other words, participate and help out.
- If you've never patched something you may want to wait, or you may want to just take a shot at it on your test site. If you give it a shot and can't make it work, well you've learned something and may succeed next time. If you take a shot and get it to work, you have a better understanding on how an element of your site that's important to you works and how to participate in it's maintenance and upkeep.
- For more info on rolling a patch, see the tutorial by Addison Berry (add1sun): Mini-lesson: Patch rolling!
If no patch exists, check the Issues queue for the module.
- Look for any issues already opened for porting to the next version. If it exists check, then join in and help. If you are unable to contribute code, contribute testing. If no one is able or willing to port the module for free, then give it a shot. People are more likely to assist you if you really give it a try (again, no guarantees)
- If no open issues, feature or support requests exist for porting the module to the next version, then open one. Here we come to the strength and weakness of Open Source software. People work on what interests them. So if no one wants to work on it, then you and others can try and get together a bounty to get the module ported.
A consideration is also that the features in that module have been rolled into another module. As Drupal core advances things become possible that may not have been in the past. Contributed module developers may have joined forces to collaborate on a better module api that helps reduce the work on one person. If this happens it is usually noted inthe modules project page description.
On a last note, if you are currently using Drupal, you may consider staying with the version of Drupal you are on. As long as there are security releases for it and it is supported by the community. The downside to this is that upgrading multiple versions may be more difficult, but that is something that needs to be evaluated on a site by site basis.
If, for some reason, your module does not exist you can also have a look at alternative modules doing the same thing. One simple way of doing this is to go to the modules page at drupalmodules.com and have a look in the 'Related Modules'.