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Drupal Tutorials and How-to Support Articles

The State of Drupal 8: After Feature Freeze

icon-d8-100Over the last year, we've been covering the Drupal community's progress towards releasing Drupal 8.

Planning for Drupal 8 started years ago, but new features were added up until this weekend when "Feature Freeze" finally arrived.

In our first update in November, we showed that the core file structure has changed, plus there were over 15 new modules including Views.

In the second update in December, we pointed out a new toolbar, inline editing, cleaner interfaces and improved multi-lingual features. Now that the feature freeze has passed, let's take another look at the state of Drupal 8.

Creating Content

Drupal 8 has a new content creation interface. If you've used WordPress or Joomla before, this will feel very familiar. Whereas the Drupal 7 content settings where underneath the content, they've now been moved to sliders on the right-hand side.

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There's now a WYSIWYG editor in the Drupal core. CKEditor has been added.

As you can see from the screenshot above, CKEditor is not yet turned on by default. It can be enabled by going to Configuration > Text formats and editors.

Once turned on, the editor looks like this:

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Only 9 buttons are turned on by default, but in the Configuration you can add many more:

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There's now an image button in the editor, although there's still no way to access previously uploaded images:

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Fields

There are five new fields available in Drupal 8:

  • Date
  • E-mail
  • Entity Reference (allows linking to other content, users and more on your site)
  • Link
  • Telephone Number
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As with Drupal 7, you can add fields to content, users, comments and taxonomy. However, in Drupal 8, you can also add fields to contact forms and blocks.

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With blocks, you can create block types and assign fields to them. Blocks now have revisions as well:

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Modules

Over the last few blog posts we've covered a lot of the modules that have been added to Drupal 8.

Let's close by showing you some small but useful extra features.

On the Modules (now called Extend) page there is a new search box. This was added because it was often hard to find a module in a large Drupal 7 site.

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There's also a Tour module that can be activated by a link in the toolbar.

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At the moment the Tour module is only visible when editing a view, but it will soon be available throughout the Drupal core and 3rd party modules.

The Tour works in sequence. You click the Tour button and are then taken through a series of pop-ups which explain what's happening on the screen.

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So, when is Drupal 8 due?

Originally Drupal 8 was planned for release in September at DrupalCon Prague.
 
However, the feature freeze deadline slipped by 2 months and lately the talk has been that the Drupal 8 team hope for a release around the end of 2013. The most accurate current guess is that Drupal 8 will launch in or close to the fourth quarter of 2013.
 
Drupal 7 launched in January 2011 and so it's not inconceivable that Drupal 8 could launch around the third anniversary of Drupal 7.
 
One thing that may be different with the Drupal 8 release is that it could be useable far earlier than previous versions. This because so many important 3rd party modules have been integrated into the core. Because of the lack of 3rd party modules, many people waited over year after the release of Drupal 7 before starting to use it. With Drupal 8, the uptake may be much quicker.

 

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