The State of Drupal 8: Before the Feature Freeze


Over the last few months, we’ve been covering the Drupal community’s progress towards releasing Drupal 8.

Now that the first major deadline is only a week away, it’s time to provide another update.

What’s the state of Drupal 8?

Decemeber 1st is the feature freeze. What does that mean in practice? According to Dries, “No new features are allowed (unless specifically exempted), focus turns instead to API and UI clean-ups and polishing of existing features.”


Here’s the situation the seven official initiatives:

Of the original six initiatives for Drupal 8, five are nearing completion. One initative (Design) was dropped and two new ones (Layouts) and (Views in Core) were added. All seven current initiatives are making good progress.


The File Structure

You can download and test Drupal 8 from

When you extract the package, the first thing you might notice is that the file system has been altered.

Here’s the current file and folder structure for Drupal 7:


And here’s the file and folder structure for Drupal 8.


What happened is that as many of the core files as possible were moved into the /core/ folder.

With previous Drupal versions, the folder system was confusing. Many people uploaded modules and themes directly to the /modules/ and /themes/ folder, not knowing that those were core files.

Here’s the content of the /core/ folder. You can see the similarities between this and the main Drupal 7 folder.



People who have installed Drupal 7 won’t notice any difference with the Drupal 8 installation process.

However, both the requirements for running Drupal have changed with version 8. Drupal 8 requires PHP 5.3.5 and also that PHP magic quotes be turned off. Click here for the solution to that problem and click here for a full list of requirements.


Hello New Modules, Goodbye Old

The Modules link in the toolbar has been renamed to Extend, but the changes to much deeper than that. There have been widespread changes to the default modules. Many of those changes were made by the initiative teams.


Here are the new modues in Drupal 8:

  • Actions: Perform tasks on specific events triggered within the system.
  • Ban: Enables banning of IP addresses.
  • Breakpoint: Manage breakpoints and breakpoint groups for responsive designs.
  • Configuration manager: Allows administrators to manage configuration changes.
  • E-mail: Defines a field type for e-mail addresses.
  • Entity Translation: Allows entities to be translated into different languages.
  • History: Records which user has read which content.
  • JSON-LD: Serializes entities using JSON-LD format.
  • Language: Lets you configure a number of languages to be used on your website and provides language negotiation functionality.
  • Layout: Makes it possible to swap different page layouts.
  • Picture: Provides an image formatter and breakpoint mappings to output responsive images using the HTML5 picture tag.
  • RESTful Web Services: Exposes entities and other resources as RESTful web API.
  • Views: Create customized lists and queries from your database.
  • Views UI: Administrative interface for Views.
  • XML-RPC: Provides XML-RPC functionality.

And here are the Drupal 7 modules that haven’t made the move to Drupal 8:

  • Blog: this was dropped.
  • Content translation: this was modified into Entity Translation.
  • Trigger: this was modified into Actions.

Views in Core

Out of all the new modules listed above, one has caused the most excitment. Views is here already! If you’ve used Views in Drupal 7, you’ll feel at home and won’t notice much of a difference in design or features.



Three of the default themes from Drupal 7 have been ported to Drupal 8: Bartik, Stark and the admin theme Seven. Garland has been dropped.


Going Forward

Look for another Drupal 8 update early next year. By that time, more radical improvements will probably be in the core, perhaps including a WYSIWYG editor, the Pathauto module, in-place editing and a new administrator toolbar.

Here are our previous Drupal 8 recaps:


  • Steve Burge

    Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.

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11 years ago

rdf and xml-rpc were already in D7 🙂

11 years ago

Yes it’s worth pointing out that some of the new modules are existing core functionality from Drupal 7 which has been factored out into a module to make it optional. xml-rpc, actions, history and ban are the main ones I think.

Trigger was completely removed from core, it’s not been combined into the actions module.

Also profile was removed from Drupal 8 (it was in the Drupal 7 code base but hidden from new installs).

11 years ago

Thanks for the Drupal 8 overview! I wanted to add that folks might as well start planning on upgrading their systems to php 5.3.5 or later now; there are bugs in earlier versions that can affect node_save() on D6 and D7. Haven’t experienced this myself, but since I wouldn’t want to, I have upgraded my older servers. Also, the current dev version of Drush now also requires php 5.3.5 or later.

11 years ago

Why was the Blog module removed?

Will there be a 3rd party Blog module?


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