At the Drupal Europe conference last September, Dries Buytaert announced the release of Drupal 9. The open source CMS founder recently unveiled on its blog the official date : June 3, 2020. What does this new version hold ? Didier Lahousse, our Drupal Practice Manager, sheds light on its evolutions.
Will Drupal 9 be a technological break with Drupal 8 ?
Drupal 9 will remain accompanied by some logical layers inherited from earlier versions, mainly Drupal 8, the new features will come as tests progress.
This new version is the final step of a long rejuvenating process of the framework wanted by Dries Buytaert, with the objective of staying in the increasingly changing CMS race.
What will clients willing to migrate need to anticipate ?
Migration between the two versions will virtually require no code aditing compared to earlier versions. Indeed, Drupal 9 will be built and tested from Dupal 8. This is a real advantage compared with previous versions, which will make migration easier.
As Dries Buytaerts explains on his blog, most of the modules and themes will be preserved and compatible in the Drupal 9 ecosystem. This allow to restrict the number of tasks to be done during the migration, wich is therefore much faster. This aspect should facilitate the adoption by developers and customers.
Customers using Drupal 7 or Drupal 8 solutions don't need to panic because Drupal always keeps two active versions in terms of security updates.
Why has the Drupal 8 release cycle changed ?
In preparation for the Drupal 9 release, Dries Buytaert and his team have changed the frequency of Drupal 8 minor version updates in order to align more quickly with the Symfony PHP framework. Since version 8, Drupal integrates Symfony components allowing the CMS to get closer to market solutions and standardize code.
Release dates are now fixes in June and December. For example, the Drupal 8.8.0 version is scheduled for December 2019.
What will be the major innovations in Drupal 9 ?
All new features have not been released yet. That said, new features of Drupal 9 are being developed in Drupal 8. Once stable, each new feature will become the default feature and replace the previous one.
For example, Drupal is working on adding a media library in Drupal 8 so that content authors can select pre-existing media from a livrary and easily integrate them into their publications. This feature will ultimately replace the current file loading system.