Previewing Drupal 8

Work on the next major release of Drupal is well under way and new features have been set

Drupal creator Dries Buytaert and friends have been hard at work on Drupal 8

Do you run or use a web site based on Drupal? If you do, odds are it’s built on Drupal 7. Drupal 7 was officially released in January of 2011 and in mid-February of this year the number of sites built on Drupal 7 officially surpassed those built on Drupal 6. Today it accounts for the majority of Drupal-based sites, with more than twice as many sites being based on Drupal 7 than on Drupal 6. In short, Drupal 7 now rules the Drupal world.

Naturally, then, it is time for Drupal users to turn their attentions to Drupal 8.

While you’ve been busy building or tweaking your Drupal 7 (or earlier) site, more 1,000 developers have been working on the next major revision of the popular open-source CMS. Work on Drupal 8 began in March 2011 and last weekend an important milestone in this version was reached: the Feature Freeze.

Well, actually, the Feature Freeze, which was long scheduled for December 1, 2012, was (sort of) pushed back by Drupal creator Dries Buytaert; or, rather, a new phase was introduced, called the “Feature Completion phase” and that’s due to end on February 18, 2013 (just after DrupalCon Sydney). What happens during the Feature Completion phase? Essentially what the name implies: no new features are to be introduced, but those that have shown “substantial progress” - meaning it’s either already committed or a recent patch has been posted and tested - have until that February date to be completed.

In conjunction with this new phase, Buytaert also announced last week that the Drupal 8 Code Freeze has also been pushed out from February 1 to July 1, 2013. The official release date for Drupal 8 has not been given, but given that it was originally scheduled for August 2013 (six months after the original Code Freeze date), it will now presumably be pushed out to January 2014. For most folks, then, Drupal 8 won’t be a consideration until well into 2014.

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