October 4th, 2017
What’s new in Drupal 8.4.0?
This new version is an important milestone of stability for Drupal 8. It adds under-the-hood improvements to enable stable releases of key contributed modules for layouts, media, and calendaring. Many other core experimental modules have also become stable in this release, including modules for displaying form errors inline and managing workflows.
The release includes several very important fixes for content revision data integrity as well as an update to stop the deletion of orphaned files that was causing data loss for many sites, alongside numerous improvements for site builders and content authors.
Important: If you use Drush to manage Drupal, be sure to update to Drush 8.1.12 or higher before updating Drupal. Updating to Drupal 8.4.0 using Drush 8.1.11 or earlier will fail. (Always test minor version updates carefully before making them live.)
Inline Form Errors
The Inline Form Errors module provides a summary of any validation errors at the top of a form and places the individual error messages next to the form elements themselves. This helps users understand which entries need to be fixed, and how. Inline Form Errors was provided as an experimental module from Drupal 8.0.0 on, but it is now stable and polished enough for production use.
The Datetime Range module provides a field type that allows end dates to support contributed modules like Calendar. This stable release is backwards-compatible with the Drupal 8.3.x experimental version and shares a consistent API with other Datetime fields. Future releases may improve Views support, usability, Datetime Range field validation, and REST support.
Layout Discovery API
The Layout Discovery module provides an API for modules or themes to register layouts as well as five common layouts. Providing this API in core enables core and contributed layout solutions like Panels and Display Suite to be compatible with each other. This stable release is backwards-compatible with the 8.3.x experimental version and introduces support for per-region attributes.
The new core Media module provides an API for reusable media entities and references. It is based on the contributed Media Entity module.
Since there is a rich ecosystem of Drupal contributed modules built on Media Entity, the top priority for this release is to provide a stable core API and data model for a smoother transition for these modules. Developers and expert site builders can now add Media as a dependency. Work is underway to provide an update path for existing sites’ Media Entity data and to port existing contributed modules to the refined core API.
Note that the core Media module is currently marked hidden and will not appear on the ‘Extend’ (module administration) page. (Enabling a contributed module that depends on the core Media module will also enable Media automatically.) The module will be displayed to site builders normally once once related user experience issues are resolved in a future release.
Similarly, the REST API and normalizations for Media are not final and support for decoupled applications will be improved in a future release.
Content authoring and site administration experience improvements
The “Save and keep (un)published” dropbutton has been replaced with a “Published” checkbox and single “Save” button. The “Save and…” dropbutton was a new design in Drupal 8, but users found it confusing, so we have restored a design that is more similar to the user interface for Drupal 7 and earlier.
Both the “Comments” administration page at `/admin/content/comment` and the “Recent log messages” report provided by dblog are now configurable views. This allows site builders to easily customize, replace or clone these screens.
This release adds date and node reference support for Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 migrations. Core provides migrations for most Drupal 6 data and can be used for migrating Drupal 6 sites to Drupal 8, and the Drupal 6 to 8 migration path is nearing beta stability. Some gaps remain, such as for some internationalization data. The Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 migration is incomplete but is suitable for developers who would like to help improve the migration and can be used to test upgrades especially for simple Drupal 7 sites. Most high-priority migrations are available.
Moderation and workflows
The Workflows module is now also stable, however it only provides a framework for managing workflows and is not directly useful in itself. The experimental Content Moderation module allows workflows to be applied to content and is now at beta stability. Content moderation workflows can now apply to any entity types that support revisions, and numerous usability issues and critical bugs are resolved in this release.
Platform features for web services
Drupal 8.4 continues to expand Drupal’s support for web services that benefit decoupled sites and applications, including a 15% performance improvement for authenticated REST requests, expanded REST functionality, and developer-facing improvements.
Further details are available about each area in the 8.4.0 release notes.
What does this mean for me?
Drupal 8 site owners
Update to 8.4.0 to continue receiving bug and security fixes. The next bugfix release (8.4.1) is scheduled for November 1, 2017.
Updating your site from 8.3.7 to 8.4.0 with update.php is exactly the same as updating from 8.3.6 to 8.3.7. If you use Drush, be sure to update to Drush 8.1.12 or higher before using it to update Drupal 8.3.7 to 8.4.0. Drupal 8.4.0 also has major updates to several dependencies, including Symfony, jQuery, and jQuery UI. Modules, themes, and translations may need updates for these and other changes in this minor release, so test the update carefully before updating your production site.
Drupal 7 site owners
Drupal 7 is still fully supported and will continue to receive bug and security fixes throughout all minor releases of Drupal 8.
Most high-priority migrations from Drupal 7 to 8 are now available, but the migration path is still not complete, especially for multilingual sites, so you may encounter errors or missing migrations when you try to migrate. That said, since your Drupal 7 site can remain up and running while you test migrating into a new Drupal 8 site, you can help us stabilize the Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 migration path! Testing and bug reports from your real-world Drupal 7 sites will help us stabilize this functionality sooner for everyone. (Search the known issues.)
Drupal 6 site owners
Drupal 6 is not supported anymore. Create a Drupal 8 site and try migrating your data into it as soon as possible. Your Drupal 6 site can still remain up and running while you test migrating your Drupal 6 data into your new Drupal 8 site. Core now provides migrations for most Drupal 6 data, but the migrations of multilingual functionality in particular are not complete. If you find a new bug not covered by the known issues with the experimental Migrate module suite, your detailed bug report with steps to reproduce is a big help!
Translation, module, and theme contributors
Minor releases like Drupal 8.4.0 include backwards-compatible API additions for developers as well as new features. Read the 8.4.0 release notes for more details on the improvements for developers in this release.
Since minor releases are backwards-compatible, modules, themes, and translations that supported Drupal 8.3.x and earlier will be compatible with 8.4.x as well. However, the new version does include some changes to strings, user interfaces, and internal APIs (as well as more significant changes to experimental modules). This means that some small updates may be required for your translations, modules, and themes. See the announcement of the 8.4.0 release candidate for more background information.