Is Drupal 8 Ready for Primetime Yet?
Drupal 8 launched in November, 2015 and boasts an impressive list of new features and goals as a content management system (CMS):
- Simplified content authoring experience
- API-driven content approach
- Rest-first native web services
- Seamless integration with existing technologies
- Multilingual features and capabilities
- Responsive by nature and mobile-first
From an end-user and site administration perspective, the updates in Drupal 8 check a ton of boxes and presents a welcome overall change, especially in responsive/mobile-first approach and expanded support for multiple languages.
Drupal 8 Development
With the update, the Drupal platform has come a long way in catching up with other major PHP software applications in streamlining the development process. One of the most anticipated adaptations of the new Drupal 8 is the Symfony PHP framework. It is a PHP-based web application framework that follows the MVC architecture.
Moreover, it is an open source project that has been released under the MIT license. This gives Drupal 8 a desirable Object Oriented structure, making module development much more powerful while extending the Drupal platform.
Expansion of the Drupal 8 Ecosystem
While architectural and technical changes abound, Drupal 8 has also brought social changes with more than 4,500 developers, companies, and organizations collaborating to launch the most significant software update to Drupal ever. The broad reach and diversity of the folks working together is a testament to the unwavering stability of the Drupal community. The full impact of these efforts have yet to be seen, but with time the implications of this new direction will have an undeniably positive impact.
Another welcome addition is that Drupal 8 has out-of-the-box support for the Composer dependency manager. You can also install your whole Drupal project using Composer:
composer create-project drupal-composer/drupal-project:8.x-dev name_of_my_project --stability dev --no-interaction
This is extremely powerful and quite simple if you’re a command line savvy developer. Once your project is set up you can then manage your dependencies via composer.
You can then begin installing modules via Drush or Composer, thereby making rapid Drupal 8 module installation a relatively simple task.
Wrapping it All Up
Overall, the Drupal 8 platform is not equipped for novices just yet, but if you’re familiar with the Symfony framework and object oriented principles, you can create powerful web solutions for your customers. and while many of the modules are still in transition, others are currently in an "alpha-state” even after the April 2016 release of Drupal 8.1.
Depending on your level of involvement within the Drupal community this could be ideal or could present challenges during the development process. Whether you consider yourself an early adopter or a bit more conservative, it’s probably best to choose Drupal 8 when its maturity aligns with your sense of investment and your project’s life cycle.
Object Oriented Programming