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Greg "klonos" Netsas (not verified), 22 Oct 2020 - 10:12am
@Duvien, thanks for taking the time to revisit and test Backdrop, and also for the effort to put this article together 🙏 ...also thanks for updating the improvements section to include a bullet point about config management, but there's still a point in the article mentioning the following (which I find unfair to say by the way):

> After 5 years in the making, nothing has really changed. ... I was left feeling a little disappointed that no new features except for layouts has been included in core.

Besides config management that Matthias mentioned in his comment, I would also like to mention the ability to update Backdrop core through the admin UI. That feature, as well as the Project Browser/Installer are both totally new features that do not exist in Drupal yet. These were no small goals to achieve, especially given the size of our community (4300+ registered members in, with only ~100 or so actively contributing) compared to the greater Drupal community (according to wikipedia, 1.39 million members, with 117,000 users actively contributing). So perhaps you want to reconsider those bits in your article, but perhaps you still feel disappointed even after the addition of all the features/improvements that have gone into Backdrop core, which is fine.

I would also like to point that blocks in the Dashboard CAN be enabled/disabled. To be exact, they can be added/removed, or hidden via visibility conditions (based for example on user ID/role/permissions or language). Was there something else you were after?

Another thing you mention is the lack of block types (i.e. fieldable blocks). I am not sure what your use case is, but Backdrop core has 2 very handy features that can help you out:
1) There is a block type of "Existing content", which allows you to add any piece of content as a block in any region/layout. You just start typing the title of the content in the block settings, and a list of available nodes comes up for you to choose from (what is saved in the block configuration is the node ID actually). This block type also allows you to select which display/view mode to use for that content (as well as visibility conditions, and CSS style/class etc. that come standard for all blocks in Backdrop).
2) Each content type has a setting called "Hide path display", which is basically the same functionality as the Rabbit Hole contrib module used to provide in D7.
Combining those 2 features that exist in Backdrop core out of the box, you could use a "hidden" content type + the "Existing content" block type to achieve what you would otherwise would be doing with custom block types in Drupal 8/9. Right? And since what you are using is a content type, that is fieldable 😉

Another feature that comes out of the box with Backdrop core when it comes to blocks is that you can place individual fields of content as blocks to any region you like, and set their visibility conditions and CSS classes etc. (you need to set the context of your layout to be "node/%" in order to be able to do that) ...or is there another use case you were after?

I would like to close by saying that there are more than 1400 sites already built in Backdrop (see, and that number is growing (we expect more as the D7 EoL date is closing). Are these numbers impressive? Certainly not if compared to the Drupal or Wordpress numbers. But I have to say that at the same time it saddens me to see that the Drupal usage rates have been decreasing over the last 5-6 years (ever since Drupal 8 was announced - see On the contrary, there is already a healthy amount of contributors in the Backdrop community, and the project is progressing steadily. Would we want the numbers and the growth rate to be higher? Of course yes! We are continuously working on that, but as you said we are still a small community when compared to Drupal. We would actually love it if people such as yourself joined and started contributing (even by writing this article you are doing just that 😁, so thank you once again). ...anyway, when the Backdrop fork was announced back in 2013, as well as after the release of 1.0.0 in 2015, many people were making predictions of the project slowly dying and fading away. Well, after more than 5 years, and 17 on-schedule minor releases every 4 months, it is clear that we are still here to stay. We have long-term plans for actively supporting the software and the community for many years to come. Come join us! ❤️
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