Drupal 7 was a big step forward for Drupal developers. It addressed a number of user experience issues in Drupal 6, and a flexible architecture was added to the Drupal 7 core including fields in core as well as other improvements.
Drupal 8 has just been rolled out over the last few months and the suite of new features has the Drupal development community from Austin to San Francisco excited. But it’s not just the new features that have everybody so excited — it’s also about fully embracing the PHP ecosystem and the improved developer experience Drupal 8 offers.
New Drupal 8 Features
Drupal 8 is finally becoming a full-fledged member of the PHP ecosystem. Third-party components, such as Symfony, Backbone and Twig , are incorporated into this release, providing the Drupal development community with a raft of sweet new tools. This kind of platform cross-pollination will both stimulate further improvements in Drupal and inevitably lead to greater adoption of Drupal as both a CMS and a web-services platform.
Views in Drupal Core — Views in Drupal Core is another fantastic addition to Drupal 8. Using Views makes everything much easier when clients need to customize pages such as the content list page. Developers no longer have to create a fresh view or come up with another workaround, now they can just modify the view.
New Configuration API – Drupal 8 offers developers a new configuration API. Configuration and content are both stored in database tables in Drupal 7, which makes migrating and versioning difficult, time-consuming tasks. In Drupal 8, however, all configuration data is stored in YAML files. This, together with the use of universal unique IDs, means Drupal development issues such as copying, versioning and migrating site settings can be handled much easier and faster.
Conversion to HTML5 — Conversion to HTML5 was one of the major initiatives for Drupal 8. The conversion process requires recreating most of the templates and theme functions as well as implementing new form input types and elements. The Drupal development community in Austin, Texas is actively participating in this ongoing initiative.
In-Line Editing — In-line editing has been given glowing reviews by almost everyone in the Drupal development community. This new feature permits content updates directly on the page using AJAX instead of the traditional edit form workflow. The media module is also being moved to core, which should save time and effort in image and video development.
Austin-based Pixeldust Interactive uses Drupal exclusively, and are active members of the development community. They are enthusiastically awaiting the full release of Drupal 8.