A month ago we started the Drupal 8 alpha cycle to encourage module developers to test out Drupal 8 and to try upgrading their modules. Today, we published the second alpha release of Drupal 8: Drupal 8.x alpha 2!

I think it is exciting that after years of hard work by many, we have now begun to post alpha releases.

The purpose of alpha releases is to allow module developers to identify API deficiencies while they can still be corrected. We want Drupal's API to be easy to learn, easy to use (even without documentation), hard to misuse, easy to read and maintain, and easy to extend. Good API design really matters and we only have one chance to get it right so please download the alpha release, try upgrading some contributed modules, and provide us feedback along with suggestions for improvement.

Time is of the essence as API changes to Drupal 8 are only allowed for a little longer. We're about to enter the polish phase of the Drupal 8 development cycle, where we will soon switch to beta releases and no longer allow API changes unless needed to fix release blocking issues. From then on, most API improvements will have to wait until Drupal 9.


drunken monkey (not verified):

Isn't it a bit late for that, one week before API freeze?
Also, links to some documentation about how to upgrade would be very useful. Currently, lack of encouraging words isn't what's stopping at least me from upgrading.

catch (not verified):

API freeze means that all major API changes need to be in (there's still lots of conversions to new APIs in progress though and some old ones marked deprecated). However if there are deficiencies in new APIs that prevent contrib modules from porting to Drupal 8, there's plenty of time to make alterations before release. The API freeze isn't to stop any change at all, it's to stop changes that will make it harder for people to port contrib modules and to concentrate on cleaning up and bugfixing all the changes that are already in.

On instructions, apart from ones in the queue to be written, every API change that's known about is documented at https://www.drupal.org/list-changes/drupal/drupal, some of those also link to broader documentation about new APIs. Also https://www.drupal.org/node/1911346 is a walkthrough for pants module.

Tom Nora (not verified):

This will be a major phase for Drupal to move into the mainstream. The combination of D8 and the SOTA of web development will make interactive real website creation accessible to giant new groups of people. I think this is a tipping point.

nick (not verified):

This is a huge point for drupal, not only with the amount of features they have been able to move into the core, but with all the insight with the SOTA! Great stuff, look forward to upgrading!

Wout (not verified):

I love the fact that you stress the API so much. It's hard to create a good API and takes a lot of effort.
I had the impression that in discussions about the Oracle vs Goole case : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oracle_v._Google this was often forgotten.
Thanks for posting and thus reaffirming the importance of API design. It never hurts when an authority like yourself speaks up on these things.