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Powerful, full-featured media handling in Drupal. This has been your, our, and all the content authors and Drupal site builders' wish for a decade now. And it has just become reality: Drupal 8 Media Library is now a stable core module shipping with... WYSIWYG embedding support.

You just click that shiny and new button added to your CKEditor and add your media. As simple as that!

And there's more:

You can embed media assets in your content in a... finger snap. No mouse needed.

A bit overwhelmed? 

Now, let's see how we got this far. How was the life of an editor before Media in Drupal 8 core and how it came to improve?

And, of course, how these 2 major media improvements in Drupal 8.8 impact your content creation experience.

1. Drupal 8 Media Library: Why Was It Necessary in the First Place?  

Since we already had the Drupal 8 Media module in core, right?

Yes, but it lacked an UI... 

So, any time an editor needed to add/reuse media file to a... blog post, let's say, he/she had to type in that file's name in the entity referenced field, triggering its auto-complete functionality. He could not visualize those media items before selecting them. There were just plain-boring forms, a table for all the media files and administrative views...

Therefore, the team behind the Media Module in Drupal 8 created Media Library, which was meant to provide precisely that visual experience that was missing.

Drupal 8 Media Library: Why Was Media Library Needed in the First Place?


In short: Drupal 8 Media Library was meant to add a nice UI to Media.

Editors could browse though all their media assets, then quickly select and upload, right from their media libraries, the ones they wanted to reuse across their websites.

It would open up a visual grid display of all their media items, with built-in filters to narrow down their options. 

The result? A far better editorial experience.

2. Media Management in Drupal 8: From None to... a Full-Featured System

How did we get this far? From almost no media support to a modern ecosystem of powerful media handling features?

It all started in 2007, when Dries first outlined the need for “Drupal’s core features for file management and media handling... generic media management module with pluggable media types” in his “State of Drupal” talk.

Since then, decent media handling support in Drupal has been one of the most requested features:

Drupal 8 Media Library: media management support in Drupal- the most requested feature


Now, putting the whole “Media in Core Drupal 8” process on high-speed we get to:

  • the release of Drupal 8.4, when the Media module was first added to core
  • Drupal 8.5 with Media working right out of the box
  • Drupal 8.6, when the Drupal 8 Media Library module “stepped into the spotlight” as an experimental module
  • Drupal 8.7 with significant improvements to the Media Library visual interface (e.g. bulk uploads)
  • Drupal 8.8 with WYSIWYG embedding support 

Now, can you imagine the life of a Drupal site builder/content author, back in those days? The “before Media” days?

Whenever he needed to reuse an image media, previously uploaded on the website, but on a different page, he had to... re-upload it.

There was no way of reusing and embedding it into the text, quick and easy. And no way of using remote media, either (Instagram, Youtube...)

Now, back to the present, when we (finally) have Media and Media Library in Drupal Core:

You get to add different types of media items — audio files, remote video, images, documents —  store them in your library and reuse them in your content whenever you need. 

Furthermore, you get to bulk upload media files, filter them by specific criteria, display them in a table or a grid view, you name it.
Managing and reusing your media resources in Drupal has never been easier.

3. Media Library in Drupal 8.8: The New “Add Media” Button 

Drupal 8.8 came to “seal” a whole decade of efforts put into building and implementing a robust media handling system in Drupal.

And the last improvements that it brings to the entire core media in Drupal 8 ecosystem are just... mind-blowing:

  • Media Library is officially a stable module in core
  • it comes with an “Add Media” button added to the CKEditor panel
  • keyboard accessibility: entity embed is possible without using a mouse

Drupal 8 Media Library: Keyboard Accessibility

Source: The Drop is Always Moving

And there you have it! The last “roadblock” on Drupal 8 Media Library's roadmap to the status of a stable core module has been overcome:

You have WYSIWYG integration in Drupal 8.

Meaning that now you can embed media in your content types by simply clicking on a button, right in your editor. And all that with a... finger snap. No mouse needed.

Drupal 8 Media Library: Add Media Button in CKEditor


In other words, Drupal 8 Media Library means, since Drupal 8.8's got released:

A quicker, simpler way for everyone to add media from the media library directly to the text editor.

The END!

We're a bit curious:

With powerful media handling now in Drupal core, what's the next “nice to have” improvement on your wishlist?

What other critical feature, that Drupal currently lacks, would significantly improve your developer/site builder/admin/editor experience?

Image by Pettycon from Pixabay 


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