Drupal user “complaints” turned into strategic battle-plans, resulting in groundbreaking improvements pushing Drupal forward. This is how Drupal 8 initiatives grow into stand-alone Drupal core features.
They signal the “sore points” for the Drupal community of developers to focus on.
And from all the “user complaints” turned into new Drupal 8 features and functionalities so far we can't but mention:
- Views, now part of Drupal core
- the plethora of multilingual capabilities
- configuration management
OK, so these ones already developed into widely-leveraged Drupal functionalities. But which are the currently work-in-progress ones?
What's going on in the backstage?
What “surprises” to expect from the Drupal core maintainers? What best practices should you get a grip on so you can use capitalize on them during your next Drupal projects?
Since we kind of anticipated your “curiosities”, we've selected 5 of the Drupal 8 initiatives that you should be particularity interested in. As they're aimed at easing your life both as a Drupal developer and as a Drupal site/app owner.
Let's dive right in:
1. The Out-of-the-Box Experience Initiative
A much-needed “promise”, I could call this initiative. The promise of an initiation for all newcomers to Drupal who, at the moment, don't get a very warm welcoming.
They're left pretty much all alone on their discovery “adventure”, where they unveil Drupal's capabilities.
Therefore, the goal that this initiative serves is that of showing off Drupal 8's true potential, all its powerful functionalities and tempting features.
And all this nicely wrapped in a visually appealing theme and enriched with example content, as well.
In short, this out-of-the-box experience is geared at welcoming new users into the Drupal 8 world!
Take this scenario for instance:
You're facing the challenge of briefly showcasing some of Drupal's functionalities (which are perfectly suited to their project's needs, needless to add) to a potential customer. With the out-of-the-box experience initiative turned into a powerful Drupal 8 core functionality at hand, you'll be able to get a demo site up and running in no time and to... “enlighten” your audience.
2. The Drupal Media Initiative: One of The Drupal 8 Initiatives Getting Loads of Attention
The Drupal 8 media initiative started as a reaction to all the content editors' complaints about:
- the cumbersome procedure of tracking down specific items from the media library
- the poorly intuitive media loading process taking place in Drupal's back-end
Moreover, this dissatisfaction risked turning into a reason for some to opt for WordPress, instead, better equipped to answer content authors' needs.
And being able to reuse file content is still one of their most pressing ones.
3. The Workflow Initiative
And this is arguably the most ambitious of all the Drupal 8 initiatives in our selection here.
That is because it targets a whole lot of content management goals: a whole lot of content creation shortcomings that editors have been signaling for some time now.
To name a few:
- the content previewing experience: in case of a content-heavy Drupal website, the preview of the site won't give you an accurate preview of how content is going to look (just an interpretation of how it would look); and with new and new devices emerging, this inconvenience might risk turning into a serious drawback for Drupal 8's adoption
- multiple publishing states (instead of just the basic published/unpublished duo): specific content creation scenarios call for specific publishing states ( e.g. “draft”, “archived”) and providing content writers with such kind of granular control is one of the goals that this Drupal initiative serves
- simultaneous workflow moderation/publishing of content items of the same group (nodes, menus, blocks): and this is when the concept of “workspaces” stepped into the spotlight
- granting different levels of role permissions when it comes to changing a content's publishing state (from draft to published or from archived to published etc.); the content creator would be granted his/her own level of permission, the editor and the content managers their own and so on
- customizable workflows: so that content managers should be able to set up and juggle with multiple workflows per content types
- the Workflow initiative in Drupal 8 means sustained effort and a huge amount of work invested in granting editors (even) more control over the content creation process
- … in enriching the editorial experience with new, much-needed content sharing, reviewing and collaboration tools
- … in improving the content workflow
- … in getting Drupal 8 equipped with content editing, stagging and deployment capabilities
- … in making it possible for content editors to stag content in a non-production environment and have it automatically moved to a production environment and get it published
4. The Migrate Initiative
Imagine a world where:
- you would no longer need to be constantly on alert, posted on all the critical patches and upgrades to quickly “grab and install”
- migrations from other platforms to Drupal would run smoothly, requiring much less of your time and of your other resources
… "time" that you could then invest in customization tasks, in creating and tailoring unique features for the site/app that you're working on.
Well, it looks like this world is no longer just a product of your imagination, but a soon to become a real one!
The Migrate initiative is geared precisely at streamlining both the migration and the upgrading processes in Drupal 8.
5. The API-First Initiative
And this initiative comes to boost, even more, Drupal's already robust capabilities to integrate with other platforms and modules.
Now since these integrations are intermediated third-party services APIs, enabling data to be transferred both ways, the need for Drupal to provide its own APIs emerged.
Then, Drupal 8 would be able to make its own content easily accessible to other devices, services, and apps, as well.
End of list! I'm particularly curious now:
Which of these 5 Drupal 8 initiatives do you think that will have the biggest impact on your work as a developer or on your Drupal user experience once it grows into a stand-alone core feature?