Drupal 8.1: BigPipe as an experimental module

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Today, Drupal 8.1 has been released and it includes BigPipe as an experimental module.

Six months ago, on the day of the release of Drupal 8, the BigPipe contrib module was released.

So BigPipe was first prototyped in contrib, then moved into core as an experimental module.

Experimental module?

Quoting d.o/core/experimental:

Experimental modules allow core contributors to iterate quickly on functionality that may be supported in an upcoming minor release and receive feedback, without needing to conform to the rigorous requirements for production versions of Drupal core.

Experimental modules allow site builders and contributed project authors to test out functionality that might eventually be included as a stable part of Drupal core.

With your help (in other words: by testing), we can help BigPipe “graduate” as a stable module in Drupal 8.2. This is the sort of module that needs wider testing because it changes how pages are delivered, so before it can be considered stable, it must be tested in as many circumstances as possible, including the most exotic ones.

(If your site offers personalization to end users, you are encouraged to enable BigPipe and report issues. There is zero risk of data loss. And when the environment — i.e. web server or (reverse) proxy — doesn’t support streaming, then BigPipe-delivered responses behave as if BigPipe was not installed. Nothing breaks, you just go back to the same perceived performance as before.)

About 500 sites are currently using the contrib module. With the release of Drupal 8.1, hopefully thousands of sites will test it.

Please report any issues you encounter! Hopefully there won’t be many. I’d be very grateful to hear about success stories too — feel free to share those as issues too!

Documentation

Of course, documentation is ready too:

What about the contrib module?

The BigPipe contrib module is still available for Drupal 8.0, and will remain available.

  • 1.0-beta1 was released on the same day as Drupal 8.0.0
  • 1.0-beta2 was released on the same day as Drupal 8.0.1, and made it feature-complete
  • 1.0-beta3 contained only improved documentation
  • 1.0-rc1 brought comprehensive test coverage, which was the last thing necessary for BigPipe to become a core-worthy module — the same day as the work continued on the core issue: https://www.drupal.org/node/2469431#comment-10899308
  • 1.0 was tagged today, on the same day as Drupal 8.1.0

Going forward, I’ll make sure to tag releases of the BigPipe contrib module matching Drupal 8.1 patch releases, if they contain BigPipe fixes/improvements. So, when Drupal 8.1.3 is released, BigPipe 1.3 for Drupal 8.0 will be released also. That makes it easy to keep things in sync.

Upgrading?

When you upgrade from Drupal 8.0 to Drupal 8.1, and you were using the BigPipe module on your 8.0 site, then follow the instructions in the 8.1.0 release notes:

If you previously installed the BigPipe contributed module, you must uninstall and remove it before upgrading from Drupal 8.0.x to 8.1.x.

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