Updates from Drupal 8 core initiatives for November 2016

Would you guess that Drupal 8 is already one year old? One of my favorite changes with the Drupal 8.0.0 release was that we also chose to turn to scheduled releases (to happen twice a year) as well as semantic versioning (to allow us to make backwards compatible additions and improvements). That meant that we don't need to wait until Drupal 9 to come out with new exciting things, and indeed, there are various exciting initiatives going on in core right now. Maybe so many that they are hard to follow. So we decided to revive regular posts about core's progress so you can see what is going on and where you may be able to help. And this is not even all the things happening, just a sampling.

Default content

The latest incarnation of efforts to get default content into core was kicked off at DrupalCon Dublin. The plan is to create an experimental install profile that contains both a new front-end theme (a separate initiative see below) and example content. It was agreed in Dublin that the theme of the example content will follow the same ‘Farmers Market’ scenario as the Drupal user guide. This creates a lot of synergies and removes both continued argument over what the example content should contain and duplication of work involved in supporting more than one content scenario.

Join the ongoing work in this initiative on the weekly example content meetings happening on Google Hangouts on Air and join the #example-content channel in Drupal Slack. Lee Rowlands has created a sandbox project for the actual Drupal code. The content itself is being iterated on by Keith Jay and several members of his team.


The plan for media management was just announced last week. We'll have a sprint in Berlin December 12-16 to kickstart development on some key parts of the initiative. Looking for funding for future sprints and sprinters to join the efforts as well. Help with adding a base entity form implementation to support revisions and implementing the file field redesign with drag and drop support would be helpful immediately though.


The multilingual initiative works closely with the migration team recently. The Drupal 7 to 8 core content translation migration is close to being committed and language negotiation settings and language types migrations for both Drupal 6 and Drupal 7 are close to landing as well. Would love to involve more people in migrating i18n and Entity translation module data.

New core theme

At DrupalCon New Orleans we kicked off an idea of adding a new theme to Drupal. To address some of the biggest concerns people had over the time about adding themes in core, we decided to work closely with the Default Content initiative.

Currently, the idea issue is in discussion, and before starting to do any further work, we are making sure we are on the same page regarding the key questions.

We created a Slack channel which you can join if you want to help or if you just want to follow our progress. Get an invite at https://drupaltwig-slack.herokuapp.com/.


The PHPUnit initiative was born out of a Drupal 9 discussion what we need to get done before we will open a Drupal 9 Git branch. One goal is to modernize our automated testing system. We are currently using and maintaining a custom version of the Simpletest library which has served as well for many years. In parallel we adopted PHPUnit for our unit tests, but we realized that we can use PHPUnit as a general test runner for our functional tests as well. That means that we do not have to maintain as much test runner code ourselves as we do now.

The goal of the PHPUnit initiative is to move all our Simpletests to browser tests and in the end deprecate Simpletest in Drupal core. Another benefit of this initiative is testing real JavaScript interactions in our functional tests instead of fake AJAX requests performed currently in Simpletest.

You can help by converting AJAX tests to JavascriptTestBase for example. If you want to convert your test in your contrib / custom module, please read https://www.drupal.org/docs/8/phpunit/phpunit-browser-test-tutorial and help out on https://www.drupal.org/node/2794285 in case you run into problems. Please follow the PHPUnit initiative meta issue for status updates. Join us in IRC in #drupal-phpunit.


The workflow initiative was one of the first approved initiatives after 8.0.0. The initiative is looking to improve the experience for content authors by improving content workflow and implementing other common patterns that editors are expecting. The plan is split up into multiple phases and in Drupal 8.2 the workflow initiative introduced Content Moderation as an experimental module. In Drupal 8.3 the initiative is planning multiple improvements, including the introduction of Trash module and possibly also components of the Workspace module.
One of the blocking issues that the initiative need help with reviewing is the upgrade between revisionable and non-revisionable entity storage. Any help on this will be much appreciated.

Stay tuned for further updates in December!

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