Drupal 10 is scheduled for release in December 2022. This latest version of the popular CMS promises a better user experience and an easy upgrade from Drupal 9. However, there are still pitfalls regarding upgrades from previous versions. Of these, web operators should be aware of. In this article we clarify the situation by listing the main novelties of Drupal 10 and deepening the criticalities that are encountered coming from previous versions.
END OF SUPPORT FOR DRUPAL 7, 8 AND 9
At the date of writing this article - September 2022 - two different Drupal versions coexist: Drupal 7 and Drupal 9.
Drupal 8 was in fact supported until November 2021. Most of the Drupal 8 installations have been updated to version 9 also thanks to the fluidity of this upgrade. If your site still uses Drupal 8 you should plan to upgrade to version 9 as soon as possible to be able to keep up with the upcoming news.
Since January 2011 - the date of the first official release - Drupal 7 has been used globally to create many extremely complex web applications. This significant number of installations has in fact convinced the Security Team and the founder Dries Buytaert to postpone the Drupal 7 support term to November 2023, extending previously set deadlines. For this reason, it is difficult to think of a further postponement.
Drupal 9 will also be supported until November 2023, depending on the Symfony version 4 used. For those who want an upgrade to the Drupal 10 version without any delays, it is therefore time to plan.
WHY WILL THE NEW VERSION ARRIVE IN 2022?
Anyone who follows Drupal knows that version 7 will be supported much longer than expected, and certainly longer than Drupal 9. Why?
The biggest difference between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 and later is the use of the PHP Symfony framework, which allows for modern and flexible object-oriented programming, which previously did not exist in Drupal 7. The extensive use of Symfony ensures quality and simplicity , but it requires version alignment. Drupal 9 requires for example Symfony 4, which will no longer be supported from November 2023. So Drupal 10 must be released at least one year before Symfony 4 is phased out to give insiders time to upgrade. Drupal Core developers will likely continue to follow a 2 year cycle as this aligns with the Symfony cycle. The Symfony release cycle includes support for version 5.4 through November 2025. Drupal 10 is based on Symfony version 6. This therefore makes it future-proof. The managers of the Drupal 7 systems still in service are now called to make a qualitative leap that will guarantee greater investment value.
WHY IS UPDATING SO EASY?
As with the upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9, the first version of Drupal 10 will be the same as the latest version of Drupal 9, but without the deprecated code. This approach has proven to be valid, since almost all the first 100 (official) "contrib" modules were already compatible on the first day of Drupal 9. The working staff and project managers will also be able to monitor the progress of the update thanks to the "Upgrade status" module, specifically designed to keep track of version transition activities.
WHAT'S NEW IN DRUPAL 10?
The most noticeable innovations in Drupal 10 are the new predefined themes Claro for administration and Olivero for web pages. The layout generator and media have also been improved. Content authors will find the reliable CKEditor in version 5, with which it will be easier to create links, upload images and manage formatting styles, for a better overall editorial experience. Behind the scenes, other significant steps forward for the management of updates, which become automatic. Version 6 of the Symfony framework takes Drupal 10 into the future by raising the minimum scripting interpreter requirements to PHP 8.1. Here is the list of news by points:
- For User
- New graphic themes, both for the frontend and the backend, respectively Olivero and Claro;
- Better publishing experience thanks to version 5 of CKEditor;
- Integrated search for additional modules;
- For Developer
- Removal of obsolete code;
- Automatic updates;
- Using Symfony 6, with PHP 8.1;
- Headless functionality progress with “decoupled menus”;
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO NOW?
The path that takes your Drupal installation to version 10 changes depending on your starting point.
Are you at Drupal 7? Update to Drupal 9 as soon as possible as this update may take some time.
Are you starting from Drupal 8? Upgrade to Drupal 9 now. The security of your website is not guaranteed. This update should be quick and easy.
Are you already at Drupal 9? Well, at this point you can act without rushing. See which official modules support Drupal 10. Within a few months of the release of Drupal 10, most modules should be compatible. However, carefully evaluate the use of modules that are rarely updated.
Is the version 9.3 or later? Update your server's PHP version to 8.1.
Do you need support for this move? Contact me! Happy to quote your task