Drupal 8 is an open source software package that is yet to be released. The actual release date for Drupal 8 is not yet finalized though it is scheduled for August, 2013 as of date. Just like other versions of Drupal it will assist you in effective management and organization of your content with improved features and options. Dries Buytaert, founder and lead developer of Drupal 8 has announced that the development process for this version is slightly different. The Drupal team of developers is speeding its ways in developing the major core initiatives planned by Dries.
Overview on the Initiatives
The Drupal team is currently working on six major initiatives. Each initiative is under the control of a lead developer, who has a group of developers working on the same lines. The major initiatives being constructed are listed below:
- Configuration Management: There are certain problems with the configuration management in Drupal 7. The information in the database is scattered due to which there is no provision to integrate between the different environments. The information is also stored in different formats, which results in lack of standardization. There is also a memory management issue as the variables table is loaded for every page request. The configuration management initiative is taken to work on all these problems.
- Web Services Context Core Initiative (WSCCI): Web Services is an emerging pattern in the recent years. Drupal is now adopting itself to the Symfony framework by opting for the open source CMS’s. After the WSCCI, Drupal will support smarter and context sensitive responses. It will use a powerful plugin mechanism to cache block-centric layouts and non-responsive pages.
- Design: Design 4 Drupal is one of the six core initiatives, which invites all the developers and themers to come together and provide beautiful designs for the upcoming Drupal 8. The design team consists of dedicated group of professionals working on the various themes, CSS and templates, expanding the design vastness of Drupal 8.
- Multilingual Initiative: Drupal 8 Multilingual Initiative aims at creating an improved Drupal multi-language support system. D8MI will work on translating the menus, processes, workflows and other coding. D8MI will bring changes in areas like Software Interface Translation; Content Language and Translation; Base Language Services; and Configuration Language and Translation. The Drupal Team is also working on developing various usability services through D8MI.
- HTML 5: Bartik is the default theme of Drupal 7. The HTML 5 initiative is progressing in converting the existing default theme to HTML 5.
- Mobile: Drupal 8 Mobile Initiative is very closely related to the HTML 5 initiative. The Drupal Team works on problems, solutions and various features and ideas to develop a mobile platform for the upcoming release.
Since Drupal is an open source software package, it is understood that the coding, development, testing and many other key functional areas are taken care by the members and volunteers from many corners of the world. Drupal always welcomes experts and professionals to help it in coming up with a highly featured and robust platform. Volunteering the work in the development of Drupal 8 is advantageous to Drupal as well as volunteers themselves in various aspects as stated below:
- Distribution of work: The more the number of volunteers the greater the option to share work. From Drupal’s perspective, the work will be delivered faster while on the other hand the workload on the volunteers is also reduced.
- Handling Drupal in a better way: The platform is being used and understood on a regular basis; the volunteers learn fast and can handle it in a better way. Drupal can also benefit from them as they can provide better support services to the users due to their high level of exposure to the technicalities of the platform.
- Introduction to similar minded people: While working in the development process of the software platform, volunteers get to meet like-minded people with similar or even higher knowledge bases. Therefore it is a chance for them to share and communicate useful information amongst themselves. The company can take advantage of choosing the best services from the vast number of options.
- Exposure to the outside markets: This is a sole advantage to all those who are contributing their work to the development of the platform as they get a chance to reach various markets like employers, developers, students, or any other site owners.
You can get involved as a volunteer by simple creating an account in the Drupal website. You can create a project or module, or simply contribute your effort to development, translation, testing, documentation, design and usability, or marketing. The Drupal Core Initiatives page gives you a chance for better access to the existing developers and designers as it has details as to updates and information of point of contact.
Though Drupal 8 is still in the development rush, you can still install it and have a better idea as to what the new version is coming up with. The installation process is similar to that of Drupal 7. After installation you can find that lot of changes have been made starting from the directory structure to the page layouts.
Foreseeing the release of Drupal 8 any time soon it is best advised to upgrade your Drupal older versions immediately. As you know, Drupal community support is extended only to the current release and the previous release. Now Drupal 7 is considered to be the current release and Drupal the previous. To get security updates and fix bugs using the community support from Drupal it is very much necessary for you to upgrade because Drupal 6 and older versions will lose community support with the release of Drupal 8. If you are still on Drupal 6 then upgrade to Drupal 7 now; while if you are on Drupal 7, then there is nothing to panic as it will be supported for another few years.
With this upcoming Drupal 8, which is highly mobile optimized, you can develop your content once and then publish it in every possible way. It supports structured content vastly and also enforces clean mark-up using the WYSIWYG editing. Drupal 8 is also working to bring improvements to the authoring experience when compared to the older versions. The release of Drupal 8 will be considered as one of the major upgrades in the history of Drupal and GreenGeeks makes it easy for you to use Drupal 8 and we offer Drupal 8 Hosting.