Drupal 8 – The New Stuff

After attending the recent Drupaldelphia camp in April, I wanted to revisit the recent changes that came about with the Drupal 8 release.

Many new features and changes

  • Core has many additions, including Views, a breakpoint module, multilingual content, CKEditor, and inline editing of blocks.
  • Drupal 8 now uses many parts of the Symfony 2.7 framework – HttpFoundation, HttpKernal, Routing, EventDispatcher, DependencyInjection, and ClassLoader. It also now uses a new templating framework called Twig. ex. http://cgit.drupalcode.org/drupal/plain/core/modules/node/templates/node.html.twig?id=refs/heads/8.0.x
  • The new version has improved responsive design where images can now be resized based on breakpoints and the Admin has been redisned to work on mobile devices.
  • Configuration data is now stored in files, which makes managing configuration with git much easier, and that data can now be imported and exported.
  • The REST and Serialization webservices are now supported.
  • All Core modules can now be found in the Core folder. The modules folder can now contain modules instead of needing to access sites/all/modules.
  • New Fields are now available for Date, Email, Link, Reference, and Telephone.
  • Fields can now be added to Nodes, Blocks, Comments, Contact Forms, Taxonomy terms, and Users.

Drupal 8 also includes updates to Module development.

  • Modules are now a mash-up of old Drupal conventions and Symfony conventions. Porting modules from D6/D7 to D8 is possible but will take a decent bit of effort.
  • .info files are now .info.yml ex. https://www.drupal.org/node/1935708
  • Module development now follows an MVC pattern and is more object-oriented. The General Controllers are placed in the lib/Drupal/[module]/Controller folder following Symfony guidelines so that autoloaders will work. Form Controllers are placed in the lib/Drupal/[module]/form folder.
  • Routing is now done by a routing.yml file.
  • Hooks still remain, such as hook_menu.

Additional information on modules can be found here:

  • https://github.com/iwhitcomb/foobar
  • https://getlevelten.com/blog/ian-whitcomb/drupal-8-module-development-part-1-getting-started
  • https://www.drupal.org/developing/modules/8

Upgrading to Drupal 8

The suggested method for upgrading a D6 or D7 site to Drupal 8 is to set up a Drupal 8 site, then import the configuration and content, with some caveats. The supported migrations focused on D6 since it is now end of life. Drupal 6 supported migrations are Core, CCK, Link, Email, Phone, and ImageCache modules. Drupal 7 currently only supports migration of content, users, taxonomy, blocks, menus, and filter formats.

Upgrade Requirements:

  • Fresh install of Drupal 8 with the Migrate Drupal module enabled
  • Access to the Drupal 6 or 7 database from the host where your new Drupal 8 site is located.
  • Access to the source site’s files.
  • The Migrate Upgrade module installed and enabled on the Drupal 8 site.
  • Drush 8 (recommended)
  • If migrating private files from Drupal 7, configure the Drupal 8 file_private_path path in settings.php before running the upgrade.

Upgrade Outline

  1. Download and install the required modules. Remember not all modules have been ported to D8 and some have been split – for example, Block has been split into Block and Custom Block.
  2. Run the upgrade
  • UI-based via /upgrade URL is good for lightweight sites. This is useful for small site migrations, you fill in the fields and let the magic happen. You’re rewarded with a pretty report at the end.
  • Drush (preferred) is the only option for large datasets.
  • Drush migrate-upgrade to generate the migrations. You can configure for more control over individual migrations.
  • Drush migrate-import to run migrations for individual items, after migrate-upgrade has been used with –configure-only.

There are some gotchas to look out for when upgrading:

  • Views do not migrate and must be recreated.
  • PHP filtering has been dropped.
  • Many contrib modules have not been ported to D8.
  • A good bit of stuff is still missing from the D7 upgrade system.
  • D8 requires PHP 5.5.9, so older systems may require a PHP update.
  • A full list of known issues (many related to D6) can be found here: https://www.drupal.org/node/2167633

If you’ve found other tricks or tips or gotchas with your Drupal 8 upgrade, let us know in the comments.

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