The State of Drupal 8: After Feature Freeze


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

Planning for Drupal 8 started years ago, but new features were added up until this weekend when “Feature Freeze” finally arrived.

In our first update in November, we showed that the core file structure has changed, plus there were over 15 new modules including Views.

In the second update in December, we pointed out a new toolbar, inline editing, cleaner interfaces and improved multi-lingual features. Now that the feature freeze has passed, let’s take another look at the state of Drupal 8.

Creating Content

Drupal 8 has a new content creation interface. If you’ve used WordPress or Joomla before, this will feel very familiar. Whereas the Drupal 7 content settings where underneath the content, they’ve now been moved to sliders on the right-hand side.


There’s now a WYSIWYG editor in the Drupal core. CKEditor has been added.

As you can see from the screenshot above, CKEditor is not yet turned on by default. It can be enabled by going to Configuration > Text formats and editors.

Once turned on, the editor looks like this:


Only 9 buttons are turned on by default, but in the Configuration you can add many more:


There’s now an image button in the editor, although there’s still no way to access previously uploaded images:



There are five new fields available in Drupal 8:

  • Date
  • E-mail
  • Entity Reference (allows linking to other content, users and more on your site)
  • Link
  • Telephone Number

As with Drupal 7, you can add fields to content, users, comments and taxonomy. However, in Drupal 8, you can also add fields to contact forms and blocks.


With blocks, you can create block types and assign fields to them. Blocks now have revisions as well:



Over the last few blog posts we’ve covered a lot of the modules that have been added to Drupal 8.

Let’s close by showing you some small but useful extra features.

On the Modules (now called Extend) page there is a new search box. This was added because it was often hard to find a module in a large Drupal 7 site.


There’s also a Tour module that can be activated by a link in the toolbar.


At the moment the Tour module is only visible when editing a view, but it will soon be available throughout the Drupal core and 3rd party modules.

The Tour works in sequence. You click the Tour button and are then taken through a series of pop-ups which explain what’s happening on the screen.


So, when is Drupal 8 due?

Originally Drupal 8 was planned for release in September at DrupalCon Prague.
However, the feature freeze deadline slipped by 2 months and lately the talk has been that the Drupal 8 team hope for a release around the end of 2013. The most accurate current guess is that Drupal 8 will launch in or close to the fourth quarter of 2013.
Drupal 7 launched in January 2011 and so it’s not inconceivable that Drupal 8 could launch around the third anniversary of Drupal 7.
One thing that may be different with the Drupal 8 release is that it could be useable far earlier than previous versions. This because so many important 3rd party modules have been integrated into the core. Because of the lack of 3rd party modules, many people waited over year after the release of Drupal 7 before starting to use it. With Drupal 8, the uptake may be much quicker.


  • 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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Cameron Eagans

FWIW, there’s an issue open to have WYSIWYG enabled out of the box in Drupal 8. Should be landing any day now. 🙂


Typo – when is Drupal 8 due?

I think you have a small typo in your least segment about when Drupal 8 is due.

end of the 2012.


It would be great so see what didn’t make it in before the feature freeze. I know this might be a big list but for example, the media module didn’t make it in and that’s huge IMHO.

Tom Geller

Thanks for the summary!

I tried playing around with D8 a few months ago but ran into walls too quickly. Your post moved me to try it again; I found D8 is finally at a point where site builders can really start to understand it.

So my advice to all who haven’t made the leap yet is: Now’s the time! (Note that it might not work in Acquia Dev Desktop yet — use another AMP stack, such as MAMP, WAMP, or XAMPP.)


Ah yes, an “automatic core updater” still not in core is sad. While I prefer to use drush, a UI to do this owuld be nice for others.

For taking D8 for a test drive. Use [url=][/url]


DrupalCon Prague is in September and my dreams are to release two weeks after that.

Gábor Hojtsy

@tom Geller: I’m using Acquia Dev Desktop daily to develop for Drupal 8. It has settings so can switch PHP versions as needed. Settings > Config > Default PHP version

Adam Evertsson

Very nice and interesting tour around the new version. Great job on the blogpost, and great job all the rest of you who has helped with D8 so far.


Thank you so much. Loving Drupal 8 new features.

Just … Unfortunately Bartik theme still has problems on Right-to-Left pages 🙁


Nice overview, Steve. Would you mind changing the release year to 2013 to avoid confusion?

Drupal 8 will be a blast! Can’t wait to work with it. Blocks with fields… you guys know what makes me happy! 🙂

Thank you soooo much for every small & huge improvement in D8, dear Drupal 8 team. You guys truly rock!


when fully released in drupal 8


Based on the fundamental changes and our custom module development, we’re going to wait until +12 months to try D8.

So… it’s January 2015… basically.

When is D9? 😉

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x