Everything you wanted to know about Drupal 10 – Q&A with Experts
21 Dec, 2022
Have you heard yet? Drupal 10 just got released on December 15th, 2022, and we couldn’t be more thrilled! Recently, we had a chat with some of our Drupal experts where we spoke about Drupal 10 and what we can look forward to.
Use this to get familiar with the updates and out-of-the-box features brought about by Drupal 10. And if you’re still using Drupal 9/8 or an older version, maybe this will give you a bigger reason to move on that upgrade!
Here’s a little about the speakers in the discussion:
Jim Barnthouse, VP, Sales & Marketing at Specbee, exuberantly led the discussion and interviewed all the experts. He’s been working with Drupal websites for 10 years.
Jigish Chauhan, Drupal Architect at Specbee, has worked with Drupal for more than 10 years in the diversified IT industry, dealing with custom web application development. Whether it’s web development, maintenance, or testing, he has polished his expertise in every arena.
Malabya Tewari, Drupal Practice Head at Specbee, is an Acquia-certified full-stack Drupal developer having over 10 years of experience. In addition to leading the Drupal team at Specbee, he also introduces new best practices to constantly evolve the development process.
Michael Weaver, VP, Operations, comes with 20+ years of experience in the web development industry. Michael has enjoyed success working with a wide variety of clients helping them deliver better Drupal experiences.
Sagar Chauhan, Frontend Lead at Specbee, isn’t just a regular Drupal themer but a developer with 5 years of experience and driven by curiosity to explore new things to make user experience easier and cooler.
Saranya Ashokkumar, an Acquia-certified Drupal Specialist at Specbee, is a pro at handling tech queries and issues with in-depth experience implementing enterprise systems using complex back-end management systems.
Shreyal Mandot, an Acquia-certified Grand Master, is a Solution Architect at Specbee with 7+ years of experience in web and application development and specializes in developing web-based solutions in Drupal and PHP.
As you’ll be able to tell, Drupalists are thrilled now that Drupal 10 is released. We thought we’d ask the whole team about what they’re really excited about in Drupal 10. And while there are tons of new things coming up, each of the Drupal experts had different reasons for excitement.
Along with finding out what each of the experts are most excited for Drupal 10, we had specific questions to each of them. Read on to find out how it went!
Will the upgrade from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10 be an easy one?
Saranya: Upgrading from Drupal 9 to 10 is relatively easier than upgrading from Drupal 7 to 8 or 8 to 9 because we now have more tools to boost the upgrade. Modules like Upgrade status and Drupal check helps make the upgrade from Drupal 9 to 10 very easy.
Saranya is most excited about the admin theme changes from Seven to Claro and frontend theme changes from Bartik to Olivero, given how interesting it is going to make it for developers to work with the new Drupal setup.
What are some of the major interface improvements for site admins?
Michael: I think the first improvement is really the Claro admin theme. It’s such an improvement from its older versions. It’s a result of the Drupal admin design system, which is an open-source project that started years ago. It’s the best in class for CMSes. The best that I’ve heard for it is that it’s a respectful design and has an emphasis on usability and accessibility. So, it can be used by anyone on any device. And it’s such a clear and clean user interface which is a joy to use. And then, of course, CKEditor 5 is such a great improvement, and it’s going to really change the game for a lot of site editors.
Michael talks about how Drupal 10 is set to greatly improve the editorial experience and overall usabilit for our clients. That said, he also adds about how developers will find it easier to work with the new Starterkit theme, the Claro admin theme taking the Drupal experience to the next phase.
With CKEditor 5 being the default editor in D10, what can content authors look forward to?
Michael: I think it’s a vastly improved experience. CKEditor 5 is a redesign from scratch, and CKEditor 4 was released a decade ago this month. So, older guys like me know that it was great for a while, but sometimes they need to get replaced. So, there’s a more up-to-date editor for the site editors. It’ll be more like Microsoft Word or editing Google Docs. You can drag and drop images, add media easily, and links will have a contextual pop-up instead. Additionally, it has like a better plugin architecture. You can actually add in some pro plugins. Plus, there’s also the option of using collaborative editing with comments. So, for people who need to go back and forth with multiple people involved in editing, that’ll be a great addition.
How easy/difficult is it to upgrade to CKEditor 5 in D10? Is there an upgrade path at all?
Malabya: It’s easy and difficult at the same time. There’s been a huge amount of effort being put to have an upgrade path from CKEditor 4 to 5. It is also added in Drupal 9 as an experimental module so you can check out how CKEditor 5 works with Drupal 9. There is an upgrade path from CKEditor 4 to 5. You can test out your text formats which are being currently used only on your site. However, the tricky part comes in when there are a lot of plugins used in CKEditor 4. Those plugins need to be updated or made compatible to be used with D10 and CKEditor 5.
Malabya is most excited about the Recipes initiative and how it is replacing Distributions, giving users a more granular approach to adding functionalities to a Drupal site.
There’s not too much time between Drupal 10’s release and Drupal 9’s EOL. Is that going to be a challenge?
Malabya: There’s a gap of one year. By the end of November 2023, Drupal 9 will be deprecated. And that’s because D9 is heavily dependent on Symfony 4 and Symfony 4 is deprecating on November ’23. So, Drupal users or Drupal site maintainers have to move to D10. That’s a hard end of life that has to be imposed. Now the migration or upgrade to Drupal 10 is a challenge depending on how vast your custom code base is because the contributed modules will be pretty easy to upgrade, but it depends on the amount of custom code in your website.
How can website owners/site admins get ready for Drupal 10?
Jigish: As we already know, Drupal 8 reached its end of life last year and Drupal 7 and Drupal 9 are also going to reach their EOL in November 2023. So, it is recommended to upgrade the sites to Drupal 10 before Drupal 9 reaches its EOL. So, for site owners or site admins currently on Drupal 9, the good thing is that the Drupal 9.3 version is compatible with PHP 8 and the code working with Drupal 9.5 will be compatible with Drupal 10 as well. Plus, we have the Upgrade Status and Rector modules as well. Using those, we can rectify some deprecated codes in our custom modular and any contributed modules. And so, we can have the site ready for Drupal 10.
Jigish eagerly waits to have a hands-on experience using the out-of-the-box features like Symfony 6 support, CKEditor 5 and Decoupled menus.
How easy/hard is it to move custom modules to Drupal 10?
Malabya: As Jigish mentioned, there are tools available. We have the Upgrade status module and the Drupal Rector modules that actually checks the deprecations in your code. Now, if you’re working or if your site is built on the latest D9 core, it’s very important that have those checks in your development process. It will help the developers and the site owners, along with your clients, to be D10-ready whenever they want to move to D10. So, it’s fairly easy to stay upgraded for your site. It’s simply like not using the deprecated code or when some APIs are deprecated with a better alternative in D9 or the later part of D9 and D10. So, it’s fairly simple to have a custom module upgrade from D9 to D10. It’s basically the same code, excluding the deprecations.
The new themes like Claro, Olivero and Starterkit theme are what Sagar is excited to work with in Drupal 10. He talks about how the Starterkit theme generator in Drupal 10 takes the whole concept of themes to a whole new level.
Front-end developers are excited about the New Starterkit theme in Drupal 10. Why is that?
Sagar: The Starterkit theme is a good concept that the Drupal team has come up with. Instead of inheriting from a theme, we are cloning itand developing our theme from it. The advantage is that the original theme can still move on to development, adding new features if we want. So, in the future, backward compatibility with the earlier versions of the theme won’t be necessary. This way, the theme development can happen in one way and the custom code development of custom theme can happen parallelly with the developers. And that’s a great feature to have!
We’re skipping a version of Symfony and jumping straight from Version 4 to version 6. Why? What improvements does Symfony 6 bring along?
Shreyal: To understand this, we need to understand what’s driving this change. Dependencies like Symfony are pushing the Drupal upgrades forward.
Since Drupal 8, we were always one version behind Symfony’s latest release. So, the point is if we move to Symfony 5 now, in another year we have release another version of Drupal. Symfony 6 was already out in 2021 and is stable now. If we move to Symfony 6, we get another two years of life for Drupal.
There are many improvements with Symfony 6. We’re getting new components. Along with Recipes, we have a few more things coming up in terms of security, performance andcode optimization. Now if you don’t upgrade to Symfony 6 in Drupal 10, you won’t get a warning, but an error this time. The warning process was only in Symfony 5.
Shreyal is thrilled about the upgrade from Symfony 4 to Symfony 6. And of course, every developer is looking forward to Automatic updates that’s going to make security and other updates really easy with just a click!
Talk to us about the new “Recipes” functionality that Drupal 10 is going to bring in
Shreyal: Let me give you an example. If you need to create a blogging site, with recipes, all you need to do is use a pre-defined recipe for a blog. You’ll now get pre-defined recipes in Drupal core that will have the necessary modules and it will configure those modules, followed by the required permissions and some demo content. This recipe is built in a user-friendly way. So, you don’t need to know about all the details. You can simply choose the recipe, and it will be a blogger site the next time you see it.
How helpful is Drupal Rector in upgrading a website from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10?
Saranya: Drupal Rector is an open-source tool built with Rector. It helps you upgrade deprecated codes automatically. You don’t need to touch any code, it will update your code automatically. But it won’t support all deprecations. You can upgrade some sets of deprecations from Drupal 9 deprecated code.
If my website is still on Drupal 7 (or 6!), what should be my next move?
Michael: The good news is that you waited so long that most of the wrinkles have been worked out. And most contributed modules have now been moved over to 8, 9, and 10, and they have alternative upgrade paths. So, it makes it relatively easy. And if you start now, you probably go to Drupal 9 first and then go up to Drupal 10. The idea is to plan the migration, give yourself plenty of time to fully understand your own content and what your options are. You want to consult with a developer with experience in Drupal migrations, specifically from 6 or 7 to 8 plus, and work with them to fully understand those contributed module upgrade paths.
If my website is on Drupal 8, can I skip Drupal 9 and directly upgrade to Drupal 10?
Jigish: Yes, directly migrating from Drupal 8 to Drupal 10 is possible. But there may be a lot of deprecated code as there’s a major version upgrade from Drupal 8 to 10 and the PHP version is also having a major release update. So, it isn’t recommended to rush the upgrade to Drupal 10 without understanding the proper approach. The migration process from Drupal 8 to 9 and then Drupal 9 to Drupal 10 is seamless, and upgrading in a correct manner will save you a lot of time and effort.
Watch the full video now:
Drupal 10 is up and alive!
The great news about the big Drupal 10 release is that there are so many new and exciting features that we have always been looking forward to. Developers, site editors and authors can work more efficiently with greater tools to compliment their workflow.
And the best part is that with modules like Upgrade Status, Rector and Drupal check, upgrading to Drupal 10 from the older versions is very easy.
Whether you want to make an easy upgrade/migration to Drupal 10 or reap the benefits of using the new Recipes tool, along with Symfony 6, or front-end developers want to work with the New Starterkit Theme, Drupal 10 makes it 3x easier for non-code and code developments on a website.
So, are you prepared for Drupal 10? We can help you get there in the most efficient way possible. Talk to us!