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How Acquia keeps aHEAD of Drupal 7

When we (Acquia) started planning our hosted Drupal service (Drupal Gardens) a year ago we had to take the call of developing in Drupal 7 or Drupal 6.  I don't think this was ever really in doubt, but the decision to try to build a product on Drupal 7 core at that stage was certainly a risky one. Why? there were almost no contributed modules or themes and the architecture and APIs were changing daily. Acquia's business is squarely Drupal.  Drupal support, Drupal promotion, Drupal migrations, Drupal polish, Drupal architecture, Drupal Drupal Drupal (you know the song).  So even though this was a risk, we knew that the benefits to Drupal and Acquia would be too great to back down from it.

There is a saying open source software: 

Q: When will it be done?

A: When it is done.

One of the things the Drupal community prides itself on is a dogged dedication to quality irrespective of commercial or social pressures.  This means that we have to be prepared to stay up to date with new developments and adapt our product to the movement of the many thousands of developers who drive Drupal forward. 

In other words, everyone on the Gardens engineering team has to be aware of what's going on with

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