Drupal 8.5 FeaturesAt the end of last week, Drupal announced the release dates for version 8.5 (March 7, 2018). With the alpha1 version coming out on Jan 17, 2018, and the beta 1 version being released in the second week of February 2018.

Finally, the release candidate phase will begin the week of February 21.

Our team of Drupal developers spent some time going through all the new changes that you can expect to find in the new minor release for Drupal.

Changes in the Migrate Module

Stabilise the Migrate Module (Migration API) and resolve all the related issues with Migrate. This also includes making enhancements to the UI that can allow Drupal developers to perform major Drupal version upgrades.

Changes in the Media Module

Some of the changes you can expect to find in the media module include,

  • Upgrade contrib ecosystem to use the new Media API (contrib). This will allow the site’s media functionality to be compatible with the core media functionality.
  • The User Interface will include an option to turn on the media module.
  • Ability to add video from third-party video content using the oEmbed format. This will allow web administrators to embed videos from third-party providers such as Vimeo and YouTube within their posts.

Changes within the Drupal API First Initiative 

The Drupal First API initiative concentrates on making data stored by Drupal available so that integration with third-party software is made possible to extend functionalities beyond the core. You can expect to see a number of changes here as well these include, 

  • Working on serialization gaps thus providing access to more data held within Drupal through the REST API.
  • Improved documentation for the REST API.
  • Allowing file uploads through REST API and JSON API and GraphQL.

Layout Builder to be added to the Core for Better UI Design Capabilities

If you are a Drupal developer then you are well aware of this problem- the lack of control when it comes to arranging different elements ((nodes, views, comments, user data etc.)) on a page. At the moment web designers have to use modules such as Display Suite to define and control the layout of web-pages.

Drupal 8.5 aims to solve this problem by introducing new experimental functionalities to the core. These include;

  • Custom Landing Pages- Giving the web developer the ability to choose from a list pre-defined layouts to create landing pages.
  • Sections based UI for fields- Allows a developer to choose a default layout for content types.

Improvements in Workflow 

Some of the changes you can expect to see in Drupal 8.5 from a developer/backend-user workflow perspective include:

  • Content Moderation- Ability to create and moderate drafts of content and undertake content moderation during the website build phase.
  • Workspaces- This is an experimental feature that will allow backend users to move content from one environment to another.
  • More Revisionable Entities- Allowing users to create more revisionable content on the website. This includes menu items, path aliases.

Out-side in Functionality Changes 

The outside-in functionality was first introduced with the aim of improving the user-experience of web developers and website administrators especially if you were new to the platform. There are some further changes to the functionality that will be added to the new core version, these include:

  • Stabilising the settings tray module in order to undertake editing and building tasks more efficiently.
  • Generic off-canvas tray.
  • Place blocks from front-end of the website.

Out-0f-The-Box Experience 

A brand new initiative that will aim to improve the first time experience that users have when they install Drupal. Drupal will now come well presented with an active demo theme in the form of a food magazine website (Umami) with content in the form of food recipes and images. This would give a first-time user a good idea of Drupal as a CMS and its functionalities and an opportunity to evaluate whether this is the right choice for them or not.

Other Active Initiatives 

There are plenty of other active initiatives that the Drupal community is currently working on. A list of these initiatives can be found at the following link.