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What's to Anticipate in Drupal 8?

Posted in Tech on January 27th 2014
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Vice President and Co-founder at IT Consultis

Everyone’s been waiting with bated breath for Drupal 8 which has been in development for more than two years now. It’s definitely going to be a radical shift from Drupal 7. We've come to love Drupal 7 for being a great Content Management System, but Drupal 8’s new architecture brings much-needed improvements and changes in response to the Web's ever-evolving landscape.

Now that we’ve entered 2014, a release date might be just around the corner and we’ll finally see what such a long development time was all about.

What’s New in Drupal 8?

Symfony2

Drupal shifts its architecture to accommodate modern PHP concepts as well as object-oriented application framework with Symfony2.

Customized Views in Core

In Drupal 7, Views was just a separate module, but now it will come as a built-in element in Drupal 8, so no need to download it separately. By making it part of core, D8 makes it easier to customize content such as admin pages and image galleries without needing code.

More Responsive

Like all other websites that have adopted the responsive design these days, Drupal 8 is designed to be as mobile-friendly as possible. All built-in themes and administrative pages will scale based on whatever browser width developers choose to work with.

Better Content Editing

Drupal 8 now comes with a built-in WYSWYG editor, specifically CKEditor, which is a better and more mature visual HTML editor than others. It also integrates Edit module now, which will let you edit your content in-line, making the content editing much faster, easier and better.

Content Import Tools

Better content import tools in Drupal 8 makes migration easier compared to previous versions.

Universal Unique IDs (UUIDs)

Drupal 8’s universal unique IDs for multiple types of content and more organized data structure makes for easier migration as well.

Configuration Management

The improved Configuration Management Initiative lets core developers deploy a configuration from one environment to another, replacing the need for modules such as Features, Strongarm, and Context. Again, processes such as migrations, development and deployment will be more streamlined.

RESTful Web Services

Drupal 8 uses the REST Web API for its Web Services, making external applications interact flawlessly with your Drupal website. Likewise with REST, it becomes easier to integrate HTML5 elements.

TwigTwig

Twig is Drupal 8’s new template engine as well as an easy theming engine, replacing the PHPTemplate engine. The result is faster and more secure performance that’s friendly to your RAM.

So Should You Make the Switch to Drupal 8?

Since this is a fresh new version, inevitable bugs and security issues are to be expected, so it’s best to let the Drupal team iron them out first before venturing out to build client websites. Waiting for the stable version will avoid any unnecessary mishaps that comes with early adoption.

Specifically, if you’re on Drupal 7, there’s no need to hurry making the switch to 8 since you would still be getting security updates from the Drupal community.

If you’re on Drupal 6 however, migrating to either Drupal 7 or 8 is in your website’s best interests because the launch of Drupal 8 would automatically bump Drupal 6, and security patches might not come to the older version anymore.

As you can see, Drupal 8 is loaded with lots of cool new features which are aimed at newbies and pros alike. The learning curve might be a steep one, but it’s going to be a fun challenge eventually. These architectural changes are necessary, as this article points out. Let’s bring on the change!

Interested in making a Drupal website? Check out some of our previous Drupal projects!