The Drupal 8 Dates You Need to Know
Yes, 1779 days after Drupal 7 arrived, we finally have a stable release of Drupal 8.
As a result of this decision, two other important dates were set:
- the end of support for Drupal 6.
- the approximate release date for Drupal 8.1.
November 19th: Drupal 8 release
Friday, November 19th was the chosen date. Dries’ birthday was also November 19th (I don’t think this is a coincidence).
If you want to know which modules are available for Drupal 8, Contribkanban.com has a useful list. The bad news is that not many themes and modules are ready for Drupal 8 yet. The good news is that the Drupal 8 core has far more features than D7, and you can build decent sites with no added modules.
February 24th, 2016: Drupal 6 support ends
The Drupal 6 core will get security updates until 3 months after Drupal 8 is released.
You can read the announcement here and an explaination of that decision here.
Can you keep using Drupal 6 if security updates stop? Yes, and you won’t be alone. There are large organizations and government bodies that will do just that. We know sites that are still running successfully on Drupal 5, so Drupal 6 sites still have a long shelf-life if well looked after.
However, it’s worth reading our article, “Should You Keep Using Unsupported Software?” to understand the pros and cons of staying with Drupal 6.
The best explanation is that without significant help from your own developers you will be putting your site into a lockdown / feature freeze mode. In addition to no more core updates, you’re unlikely to get module updates either as the module maintainers focus on Drupal 7 and 8.
Mid-April, 2016: Drupal 8.1 release
The Drupal team has made big changes were made to the Drupal release cycle. You can read full details of the changes by clicking here.
Here’s a quick overview of the new release cycle:
- New features can be added after the 8.0 release.
- Drupal 8 will have several releases, each with new features.
- New Drupal 8 releases will come out every 6 months and will be called 8.1, 8.2, 8.3 etc.
- The latest release will be the only one that’s supported.
- The end of the process will be a Long Term Support version or LTS. When that LTS arrives, no new features will be added, only security fixes.
- Close to the release of the Drupal 8 LTS, work will start on Drupal 9.
Here’s a graphical overview of how the releases will work:
- An improved migration path from Drupal 6 and 7. At the moment, the migration paths still need noticeable improvement.
- Iterative improvements on new Drupal 8 features. For example, the Contact module may get the ability to store messages.