Drupal 11 - An Exciting New Future for Drupal

Drupal StarShot

John Doyle
John Doyle
CEO, Technical Architect, Drupal SME, Open Source Champion
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DrupalCon Portland 2024 is officially in the record books and it was a great event. I left Portland with a renewed energy for Drupal and the future of the platform. This year felt different than last year for a number of reasons, one of which being a stronger feeling of focus to the future of Drupal. From the Driesnote to the birds of a feather sessions on StarShot and a revamped Drupal documentation portal, the energy was powerful. 

Today we are going to talk about some of these focus areas as they relate to Drupal 11. Drupal 11 is slated to launch later this year, tentatively July 29th 2024. Drupal 11 will bring with it significant improvements to Drupal Core, along with initial work for the new initiatives. Lets look at a few of the key initiatives that will be showcased in the Drupal 11 launch:

  1. Experimental Navigation Module - The new experimental navigation in Drupal 11 looks awesome. It moves the admin UI to the left sidebar and provides a more modern Drupal admin experience. 

    Drupal 11 Experimental Navigation Modernization

  2. Experimental Recipes API - The Recipes API provides a standardized method for defining and sharing sets of configurations and modules, simplifying the process of setting up and replicating site functionalities.
  3. Workspaces will finally hit stable! - The Workspaces module, which allows for creating and managing multiple workspaces for different stages of content (such as draft, staging, and live), will reach stable release, enhancing content staging workflows.
  4. New Access Policy APIs - The new Access Policy APIs offer more granular and customizable control over access permissions, enabling developers to implement complex access control requirements with greater ease.
  5. Moderation and Revisions for Taxonomy -  This feature brings content moderation and revision capabilities to taxonomy terms, allowing for more precise control and tracking of changes to categorization structures.

As Drupal 11 continues on, we are going to see some of the most innovative features to hit Drupal in years and this is what has me excited. Drupal 11.1 aims to introduce an ambitious set of features that will augment the content authoring experience and greatly extend the capabilities of Drupal for editors. 

  1. Project Browser - Project browser aims to provide an in-app way to search and discover new features in the Drupal Ecosystem. Think of this as an extension of the contributed marketplace on Drupal.org making it easier than ever to research and vet new contributed functionalities. 
  2. Experience Builder - Experience builder is a game changer. From everything I have seen and heard at DrupalCon (and I can confirm I was skeptical at first) I believe the team is moving in the right direction. Real research and planning has been done here, including spending days with the Gutenberg team from WordPress. The results: a reimagined structured content approach to next-gen page builders. This is one I will be following very closely as it should finally bring Drupal up to par from a content editing experience. Check out Lauriii’s post for more information.
  3. Recipes Improvements - Recipes is another game changer for Drupal. Install profiles and distributions had their problems. Recipes aims to fix them. Recipes will provide a way for pre-packaged functionality to be built into a recipe and applied to a website. Think starter kits like eCommerce, Blogging, or resource library. Recipes enables you to install a feature set and its dependencies and then build on top of it. Recipes will remove the “Update” part of the equation, simplifying the upkeep and inevitable dependency black hole that its predecessors struggled with. 

You will most likely hear a lot about “StarShot”, a codename for these initiatives to drive Drupal forward, faster than ever before. The mission statement for Drupal StarShot emphasizes rapid development cycles with frequent releases in order to decrease the barriers of entry into Drupal while extending core with more pre-built capabilities. 

I am leaving DrupalCon with a renewed sense of excitement and passion for Drupal and I look forward to being a key player in contributing back to this vision over the next year. 

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