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Spark is an initiative led by Acquia's Office of the CTO under Dries Buytaert, the Drupal project lead. We take a holistic look at Drupal's competition and design and implement features to help close the gaps.
One big gap that has consistently held Drupal adoption back is that of the out-of-the-box content authoring experience. Hand-typing HTML like it's 1994, previews that aren't actually previews, and interfaces that are unusable on a mobile device all present big challenges for those coming to Drupal. While all of these problems have numerous workarounds in contrib, Spark's goal is to improve the Drupal product itself to eliminate this friction innately, so site builders can spend less time smoothing out rough edges and more easily focus on what they came to Drupal to do: build their actual sites. :)
Spark is both a Drupal distribution and a set of discrete modules for both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 (in many cases, Drupal 8 core) which can enhance the user experience for your site's content authors, including:
Mobile Friendly Navigation Toolbar
Redesigned Administration Theme
This talk will focus on demonstrating these new features and explain how site builders can take advantage of them, as well as talk about what the next areas of focus for the Spark team will be for Drupal 9 and beyond.