Menu

What’s new on Drupal.org? – April 2016

May 5th, 2016

Read our Roadmap to understand how this work falls into priorities set by the Drupal Association with direction and collaboration from the Board and community.

We'll see you at DrupalCon!

DrupalCon New Orleans is about to get underway next week, and the Drupal Association will be there to talk about some of our recent work, to collaborate with the community, and to present some exciting things that are coming soon. We'll be giving a variety of presentations as part of the Drupal.org track, so if you'll be attending DrupalCon in New Orleans, please join us!

Laissez les bon temps roulez!

Drupal 8.1.0 released

On April 20th, the Drupal core maintainers released Drupal 8.1.0. This is the first release of the new Drupal release cycle in which new features of Drupal will be released much more rapidly than during the Drupal 7 cycle. The Drupal 8.1 release includes: an experimental UI for the Migration module for migrating from Drupal 6 or 7, BigPipe for improving the perceived rendering time of Drupal 8 sites, support for JavaScript automated testing, improved support for Composer, and much more.

The Drupal Association supported the release in several ways. We updated Drupal.org to use Composer to package Drupal Core's dependencies. We updated api.drupal.org to reflect the new point release, and the development branch for 8.2.x. We also bulk updated issues opened against Drupal Core 8.1.x to be open against 8.2.x moving forward. Finally, we updated DrupalCI to support JavaScript testing with PhantomJS. As this new, faster Drupal release cycle continues, we'll continue to refine the process and tools that the core developers use to make this process more efficient.

Drupal.org updates

Composer repository alpha

We're very happy to announce the alpha release of Drupal.org's Composer repositories. One of our Community Initiatives for 2016, adding Composer repositories to Drupal.org, has been a concerted effort here at the Association for the past several months. Composer is the tool for dependency management in PHP, and by using Drupal.org's Composer endpoints you can use Composer to manage Drupal modules and themes.

The Drupal.org Composer façade also handles the translation of Drupal.org versioning into the semver format that Composer needs, which should also allow the community to move forward choosing a semver format for contrib. For example, we could now fairly easily support a Platform.Major.Minor.Patch versioning scheme until the semver standard itself supports the same.

As the current release is an alpha, we don’t recommend relying on the Drupal.org Composer repositories in a production environment quite yet. If you would like to help us test the system, you can start with our documentation for the Drupal.org Composer repositories, and then leave us feedback in the Project Composer issue queue.

Our work on Composer specifically, like many of the initiatives we undertake, was made possible through the support of our generous sponsors. If you would like to sponsor our work on Drupal.org, please consider our Supporting Partner Program.

PhantomJS testing in DrupalCI

A key milestone for core developers in Drupal 8.1 was adding the ability to test the front end, by using PhantomJS for JavaScript testing. After some concerted work by dawehner, pfrenssen, alexpott, and several others on the Drupal core side, isntall here at the Drupal Association was able to get PhantomJS properly running on the DrupalCI testbots.

More work will continue to improve our ability to test the front-end, and Drupal 8 continues to be among the most thoroughly tested open source projects in the ecosystem today.

Visual design system for Drupal.org

In April, our lead designer, DyanneNova, outlined the new design system and principles we’re using in all of our work to improve Drupal.org. Our most significant undertaking is the long term restructuring of Drupal.org, which will be implemented in an iterative way as we work through the many different content areas of Drupal.org. The next area of Drupal.org to receive updates, as previewed in the post above, will be Documentation.

Documentation

In our March update, we teased some of the upcoming Documentation features, and talked about the usability testing we performed at DrupalCamp London, and in the Drupal Association office here in Portland. In April, we took our observations from the usability testing, and began implementing these new features. We'll be previewing these upcoming changes in more detail at DrupalCon New Orleans next week, so stay tuned!

Sustaining support and maintenance

Infrastructure

In April, we began the build-out of a new staging infrastructure for Drupal.org, part of the continual process of upgrading and refining the tools we use to develop Drupal.org. At the same time, we've updated several of our management and automation tools to keep our stack running smoothly. Work refining our pre-production environments will continue into May.

Maintenance and Bug Fixes

No month is complete without a bit of time spent on maintenance and bug fixes. In April, we spent some time cleaning up spam on archived sites of past DrupalCons, removed unneeded comment render cache code, fixed some bugs with featured job credits on Drupal Jobs, and worked on our payment processor implementation for our European DrupalCons.

———

As always, we’d like to say thanks to all the volunteers who work with us, and to the Drupal Association Supporters, who made it possible for us to work on these projects.

Follow us on Twitter for regular updates: @drupal_org, @drupal_infra