Excited Changes in New Drupal 8

Excited Changes in New Drupal 8

Excited Changes in New Drupal 8

Drupal is an open source content management system supported by a community of developers including Acquia. The new release builds in a lot of the most popular features used in the Drupal community as part of its core functionality instead of as add-ons. This new version will set a new standard of use. This offers countless new ways to deploy the content on the Web. Here are easily customize data structures, listings and pages, new capabilities for displaying data on mobile devices, building APIs and adapting to multilingual needs.

It gives more power for modules and themes and thanks to a modern Object Oriented Programming (OOP) approach on the backend, there is something for everyone to love in Drupal 8. Behind the scenes, Symfony2, an object-oriented application framework, will be part of Core and will provide multiple benefits like- partial page cashing, high performance and easier to maintain Drupal Core as custom code is reduced. This new version of Drupal provides a new content authoring experience including a fully responsive design capability. This also provides an API approach to content delivery, allowing content to be made available everywhere.

One of the most talked-about updates to Drupal 8 is Twig, a template engine that overhauls the way theming works. Drupal 8 mark-up is better and cleaner out of the box, while the admin interface is easier to use and provides a more consistent experience.

We are giving the changes worth getting excited about upon the release of Drupal 8:

1. OOP Concept:
Drupal 8 uses object oriented programming with the introduction of some core Symfony components, a PHP framework developed by Sensio Labs. This allows developers to create dynamic relationships between these objects and adds the advantage of not having to change modules when a new object type is added. And this means code that is more maintainable, has less issues/bugs and requires less re-development work.

2. Twig Framework - The Default Template Engine:
This will replace PHPTemplate and will be fast, secure and flexible. It allows templates to be compiled down to PHP code which is stored in RAM for superior performance as it reduces disk access. This template engine provides a greater separation between logic and display and marries well with Symfony’s class-based approach to programming. It also helps lower the barrier of entry for front-end themers trying to get into a Drupal project on the ground floor.

Drupal themer can do below with Drupal 8:

  • To create fast, flexible and secure websites.
  • To work effortlessly with template front-end languages.
  • To view easily where information is coming from with Twig debug.

3. Spark Toolbar - Inline Editing Support:
A new toolbar will be added in Drupal 8 as a product of the Spark project, this will be responsive, extensible and more concise. Using the Spark project, Drupal 8 will support inline editing. The Spark project was introduced in the last Drupal version and now acted as an ‘incubator’ for Drupal 8. This will allow content updates directly on the page via AJAX rather than the traditional edit form workflow. Furthermore, the Media module is expected to be moved to core which should make image and video development easier. But don't worry, the conventional “edit page” workflow will still be possible there.

For mobile, textual labels will be replaced with visual icons saving screen real estate and providing a cue for usage.

4. Views - The Core Module:
Another great feature of D8 is Views in Drupal Core now which is a great and long-awaited change so no need to download separately this as all knows about this most-used contributed module for the Drupal websites. Anyway, after its proven success this is finally added into the Drupal core modules.

5. Content Editor:
As we know most of the website uses editor tool so CKEditor is available as a replacement for the default Drupal 7 WYSISYG. If you’re unfamiliar with CKEditor it’s an open source application for HMTL text editing that simplifies web content creation.

6. Layout & Presentation Change:
With the growing popularity of mobile devices it is essential for Drupal to improve its support of this medium so now Drupal mobile support is improved with the Mobile Initiative. To this end, the default Stark, Bartik and Seven themes are expected to become responsive, meaning that their presentation changes based on the browser width.

7. REST & Relax RESTful Web Service:
Typically, a site receives an HTTP request from a user browser and then returns HTML. However, there are cases where data must be sent and received between sites. Drupal content entities can now be interacted with via a REST (Representational State Transfer) interface allowing for the design of more tightly networked web applications.

In Drupal 8, Drupal will become a “RESTful” interface, with the following attributes:

  • A common use-case for this, is sharing feeds between Drupal websites.
  • Frequently requested data can be cacheable for efficiency and scalability.
  • Multiple HTTP methods are used depending on the activity like- POST for creating, PUT for updating, GET for requesting data and DELETE for removing it.
  • No need to define a context for the data. Data is requested the same way each time.

8. UUIDs (Universal Unique IDs) in Data Structure:
Drupal 8 will also add more uniformity to data structures.  In previous versions of Drupal you’d have IDs for nodequeue, taxonomy terms, and many other units of content.  With universal unique IDs (UUIDs) assigned to multiple types of content, development will be more streamlined, particularly during migrations.

9. Improved Multi-lingual Support:
Building a multilingual website gets easier with improvements to language maintenance options, site translations and easier-to-customize settings. This will benefit both end users and developer and reach greater audiences on both sides.

10. Accessibility & Configuration Management:
Drupal 8 will be the most accessible version of Drupal to date, specifically benefiting visually impaired users.

And for Configuration Management Initiative, Developers will be able to take a snapshot of overall Drupal configuration at a specific point in time. This will be an invaluable tool that will help streamline development, deployments and migrations. When a setting is changed it will be saved in a configuration file as well as the DB.

At the end, Drupal 8 will provide a better user experience for developers, as well as the clients. These innovative changes are what will continue to make Drupal the best open source CMS available. With these upcoming changes, Drupal 8 will become easier to use, build, support and migrate.


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Project Manager at Rhaasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

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