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8 Things I Love About Drupal 8

Do millennials read their direct mail?

Sanky has now launched two websites using Drupal 8Citymeals on Wheels in November and Covenant House in June. Since working with the newest software of this open source website development platform is so new, I wanted to give you some of my favorite new features as a developer.

The Views module is now integrated in the core

Views is a user interface that's used to compose database queries to easily display lists of content. Historically, it was not part of the Drupal core and had to be installed as a module, but it's such a vitally useful tool that it would most likely be one of the first contributed modules that any Drupal developer would install. With Drupal 8, there is no longer any need to install Views as a contributed module since this most essential tool is now included in the Drupal 8 core.

CKEditor WYSIWYG is now in the core

CKEditor used to be another one of those "must include" contributed modules that developers would typically install on Drupal 7 and below. Now that's one less thing to worry about as CKEditor is included in the core — and it's better than ever. Also introduced in Drupal 8 is a "quick edit" feature that allows content authors to make edits directly on a page without having to go to the admin edit mode.

Custom block types

This is one of my favorite new features of Drupal 8. Now blocks are way more powerful than before by allowing users to both create block types and customize each block type with fields. It's very much like the way Content Types work in Drupal but specifically associated with blocks.

New theme engine: twig templating system

Twig is a template framework that replaces the old PHPTemplate theme engine that was used from Drupal 4.7 through Drupal 7. The Twig templating system brings a much cleaner, more concise and readable syntax, while simultaneously improving security.

Asset library updates

Drupal 8 now has a way of managing assets such as CSS and Javascript files using asset libraries that can be configured to load specific assets only on specific pages. The great thing about this is that you can avoid loading CSS and Javascript that isn't needed for certain pages, speeding up page load time. Furthermore, although jQuery is included in the core, it is no longer loaded by default, which allows the developer to choose exactly when and where it will be loaded if needed.

You can use Composer to update the core and contributed modules

For the Drupal 7 and below, updating the core and contributed modules has always been a big chore, as it had to be done manually (not fun). Drupal 8 saves developers a gigantic headache by now automating the core and module updates using Composer.

There are more field types and HTML5 forms

Drupal 8 now sports new field types in the core such as Date, Email, Link, Telephone and more, which improves user experience (especially on mobile devices). Plus, you can now add fields in many more places than before, such as nodes, blocks and taxonomy terms, just to name a few.

Modern object oriented PHP

Drupal 8 is built on the Symfony2 Framework and is focused on modern best practices for PHP. This allows developers to utilize modern PHP best practices including Classes and Interfaces, Namespaces and Dependency Injection.

Have questions about web development or Drupal 8? Reach out to us to schedule a phone call.

 Clay Baucom

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Clay Baucom

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