Drupal 8, why upgrade?

dec 2013
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Pascal Noppe

Drupal 8 is coming out in 2014, but is the upgrade relevant for me and when should I upgrade? What role can XIO play in all this? We provide explanations from a non-technical point of view. 

Drupal 8 is coming out in 2014, but is the upgrade relevant for me and when should I upgrade? What role can XIO play in all this? We provide explanations from a non-technical point of view. 

First: What does Drupal 8 mean for you?

Drupal 8 is an opportunity. Not only for any organization thinking about (re-)building their website in 2014, but also for any organization running a Drupal website for a couple of years. 

Drupal 6 7 8 (copyright )
 
For Drupal 6 website owners: once Drupal 8 is out, your websites will no longer be supported by the Drupal community. So this is your wake up call!
Drupal 7 websites will be supported by the Drupal community until Drupal 9 is released, so you're OK until 2016, maybe 2017.
 
Drupal 8 development has been organized in six Drupal 8 Initiatives, resulting in hundreds of new features. Our favourite initiatives are:
  1. Configuration management: a must have for an enterprise level Drupal content management system. Separating content from configuration will result in easy content staging and faster release cycles!
  2. Multilingual improvements: no more searching endlessly for that one piece of text you just can't seem to translate.
  3. Mobile/Responsive features built-in: at last!
  4. Web Services: enabling Drupal to leverage all kinds of enterprise platforms and cloud tools by integrating seamlessly over any kind of API. Read more on integrating with Drupal in our coming blog post in the next weeks.
 
Drupal 8 will contain over 200 new features in core, such as accessibility improvements, better SEO, HTML5 semantic fields and many more. All features have been engineered and designed for both enterprise level companies and small to medium businesses, for both technical and non-technical people to meet all of their current needs today and tomorrow. 
 

Drupal 8 is coming, OK, but when? 

In his keynote on DrupalCon Prague in September this year, Dries Buytaert stated: It's ready when it's ready. Dries has a point, but we try to give you a little more insight.

To give you an idea on the complexity of the large community Drupal is: more than 1600 contributed to Drupal 8 so far, and this is expected to go over 3000 people! When Drupal 8 will be launched, once again we will say: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to the community!
 
Now, Drupal 7 was released in January 2010 and took about 3 years. Drupal 8 is expected to take a little longer:
  • Currently Drupal 8 is at Alpha version 6. This means features have been completed and a code cleanup has taken place 
  • Beta versions will hopefully start this year (3 years after Drupal 7)
  • First release candidates (RC) are expected in spring 2014

So, release time? At the moment, late summer 2014 is the most reasonable target date. But don't shoot us if it's not there :-)

 

What does XIO do for Drupal 8?

Not only do we sponsor the Drupal community financially, we encourage our team to continiously contribute to and learn from Drupal.
 
Since 2013 we have had a program in place encouraging our developers to participate in the Drupal community. By contributing to Drupal core or modules in their free time, developers earn time and money to take training courses during business hours. This allows developers to attend one of the yearly DrupalCon conferences around the world, and more. 

Next to our community program we will be training all developers in the Drupal 8 specifics. The most important to get into developer's brains and fingers is the Symfony framework, which is the core technology framework Drupal 8 is built on, promising even more flexibility and solid enterprise development. 
 

Migrating to Drupal 8 - do you have to start all over again?

Up to Drupal 7 the only reasonable migration path to get away from Drupal 5 or 6 was to start over again. Drupal 8 promises to be different. 

Drupal 8 will include content import tools to enable you to import content from Drupal 6 or Drupal 7 sites into the new version.


You want to know how you can plan to move to Drupal 8? 

Contact us and we will show you the way.

 

 

 

References: 

Read  more on Drupal 8: https://drupal.org/drupal-8.0 

Dries Buytaert's keynote on Drupal 8, Prague, September 2013: http://buytaert.net/state-of-drupal-presentation-september-2013

More about the Drupal Release Cycle: https://drupal.org/core/release-cycle

Graphic on Drupal 8 issue queue: http://www.ostraining.com/blog/drupal/drupal-8-november-2013/

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