Contributions to Drupal 8 and Feature Freeze
Drupal 8Recently, I have been working on Drupal 8 core. It is an exciting time with a lot going on at many levels including: UI and usability, API and developer experience, content authoring, and mobile support. Some work on Drupal 8 is organic, but there are some "official" initiatives where the community is focusing their efforts to improve Drupal out of the box. When I want to see an overview I go to the Drupal.org core initiatives page.
Drupal 8 Multilingual InitiativeMy focus has been the Drupal 8 Multilingual Initiative (d8mi). The initiative includes aspects like: installing Drupal in a language of your choice, easier imports of provided translations for the user interface, translating content, and more. In the past, these things were possible, but complicated, with contributed modules. d8mi strives to simplify and integrate them into core! Building sites with multiple languages will be easier. With languages built in to core, developers will be able to support languages in their contributed modules, giving big gains in the crontrib space too. Gábor Hojtsy gives a great big picture overview of d8mi.
What is exciting about getting features from contrib into core?Some things in Drupal 8 are brand new... some new things were in contrib before and are moving into core. What is the big deal about getting something into core? The process of including features from the contributed space and incorporating them into core results in several advantages for users of Drupal, site builders, and developers. Initially it yields simplification: less site setup choosing and installing modules. Getting something into core also involves scrutinizing and improving the code, re-wording documentation, and reviewing the user experience by people fresh to the projects. This process improves the end product and yeilds a better result efficiently utilizing project resources that are available.
What is happening in Drupal 8 as the deadline of Feature Freeze approaches?It is dangerous to write about specifics at this time because things are moving so quickly! There is a frenzy of work with the Feature Freeze deadline approaching December 1 2012. It is an exciting and also stressful time, as for some people, months and years of work are leading up to concentrated effort. Many initiatives, official and unofficial, are working intensely to get their improvements to Drupal core in.
Follow-upSome big changes, like translating content in core, have been committed before the deadline and are "in"! (It is an example fresh in my memory as translation was just committed at BADCamp) Getting a feature committed is a great relief for the people devoted to it. But it also means months of work ahead for them (me too) as the follow-up tasks are identified and addressed. The follow-ups are really important in terms of getting the best user experience, picking exact wordings and defining just the right terminology so others can understand things easily without long explanations, improving underlying algorithms and performance, writing good developer and user documentation. Getting features in before Feature Freeze is exciting; following up on all the remaining details will really make these features shine.
New Features squeezing in before the deadlineOnce something is in core, it can be easier to reuse by other pieces of core. For example, Configuration Management is in core. There is an effort by many people to get translation and CMI working together. This is my focus this week: helping how ever I can with the integration of configuration and translation. I'm impressed with how well people from many different areas are coming together to see this integration happen.
Currently in Drupal 8In summary, between now and December 1 2012, people are trying to get new features into core, they are identifying and working on follow-ups to new features, they are getting features to work together and they are implementing any further new features that are needed to allow the integration to take place. Some resources: Dries's update regarding the Drupal 8 release cycle has more info about Feature Freeze. There is a handy (if somewhat stressful) count down clock too. A reminder that the core initiatives page is a good resource. And it sometimes it's interesting to see all the issues tagged with "feature freeze".
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