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7 New Improvements You'll See in Drupal 8.2

The Beta version of Drupal 8.2 has arrived and is ready for testing.

There are many upgrades to the developer experience, but what changes will end-users see?

Here are 7 improvements that users will see in Drupal 8.2. (Update: here are 3 more!)

Improvement #1. Revisions are on by default

This is a small, but useful change. All content types now have revisions enabled by default:

Revision settings in Drupal 8.2

Improvement #2. The Place Blocks module

This is an experimental module that you'll need to enable. The module is designed to add a visual page builder element to Drupal.

  • Enable the "Place block" module.
  • You'll see a "Place block" link to the admin toolbar:
The Place block link in the Admin toolbar
  • Click the link and you'll see the theme layout with a "Place block" button in each region:
The Place block links in the region map
  • Click the button, and you'll get a choice of blocks to add:
Placing blocks in Drupal 8

Improvement #3. Link to items after saving

Whenever you save an item in Drupal 8, you'll now see a direct link to the item:

Link to items after saving in Drupal 8.2

Improvement #4. Contact forms have a redirect link

With modules like Webform still waiting for a Drupal 8 release, the focus is improving the default contact forms.

In Drupal 8.2, you can now redirect users to a thank you page, after they submit a form:

Contact forms have a redirect path in Drupal 8.2

Improvement #5. View modes for your comments

This is a feature that was left half-finished in earlier version of Drupal 8. It was possible to create view modes for your comments, but they were very hard to use. With Drupal 8.2, you can choose a view mode from inside the "Manage Display" for your content types. Here's how it works:

  • Go to Structure > Display modes > View modes.
A new comments view mode
  • Structure > Comment types > Manage display.
  • Click "Custom Display Settings".
  • You can now choose the view mode you just created, as in the image below:
Custom Display Settings in Drupal 8.2
  • Click "Save".
  • You can now re-arrange the fields for this view mode.
  • Click "Save" when you have arranged the fields.
  • Go to Structure > Content types > Manage display.
Applying a comment view mode to a field
  • You can now choose a view mode for your comments.

Improvement #6. CKEditor looks more like Drupal

If you use CKEditor's inline editing, the pop-ups will now look much more like Drupal than CKEditor.

Here's an image showing their appearance in Drupal 8.1:

CKEditor popup in Drupal 8.1

And here is the Drupal 8.2 version:

CKEditor popup in Drupal 8.2

Improvement #7. The migration path

There are three "experimental" migration modules in the Drupal 8 core still: Migrate, Migrate Drupal, and Migrate Upgrade UI.

They've been improved in Drupal 8.2, but where does that leave the migration path?

  • The Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 migration is now complete and can be used!
  • The Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 migration is still not finished. There are over a dozen critical issues left to solve before the D7 to D8 path is considered stable.

About the author

Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.