Drupal 8 is Here!

The Drupal community is truly incredible. Drupal 8.0.0 officially launched on November 19, 2015 after roughly 5 years of development! 3,300+ contributors committed 16,000+ core commits to bring 8 to life. And less than two months after the launch of 8, 40,000+ installations already exist. Wow, what an accomplishment by this amazing community!

The new software comes with 200+ new features and enhancements. Drupal 8 represents, in a big way, the best Drupal yet. So, yes, get excited.

Some of 8’s improvements include:

  • Significantly improved authoring experience with in-context WYSIWYG Editor
  • Responsive, mobile-first HTML 5 output
  • 4 web services modules built directly into core: RESTful web services, Hypertext Application Language (HAL), Serialization and HTTP Basic Authentication
  • Language Translation capabilities completely out-of-the-box (including localization)
  • Views built directly into Core, enabling enhanced customization of lists, image galleries and admin pages through the administrative interface
  • Integration of popular libraries included such as Symfony2, Composer, Twig and Guzzle
  • Latest PHP 5.5.9 (or higher) required, which offers compatibility with Guzzle 6 and Symfony 3.0 and improved security
  • Enhanced front-end theming experience with Twig. Twig replaces PHPTemplate as the default templating engine for D8.
  • Improved performance and caching

Many additional features and enhancements exist beyond this list. In addition, core contributor Angela Byron, or ‘webchick’, created this helpful slideshare with further details on the eight biggest enhancements to Drupal 8.

Moreover, this link shows the usage statistics for Drupal core on a weekly basis.

This new version of Drupal also means that unfortunately Drupal 6 will no longer receive community support as of February 24, 2016. Drupal.org posted a Drupal 6 end-of-life announcement, which includes further details.

It wouldn’t be recommended for new projects to be built on Drupal 6 at this time. New builds can absolutely leverage Drupal 8 moving forward.

As for existing Drupal 7 sites, migrations may depend on your feature set and functional requirements. 7 Core will continue to be supported for a number of years by the community and so organizations should not feel rushed or hurried to complete a migration until the time is right. The decision to proceed with a migration may depend on how 8’s updated feature set can support your organization’s digital marketing goals or business requirements.

Finally, this nifty Drupal 8 Contrib Porting tracker shows developers the status of contrib projects transitioning to 8.

And, of course, you can download Drupal 8 here :)