Is there a general overview for Drupal end-users about planned differences between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8? If I go to the Drupal Core page the links are to Drupal 8 Updates and How to Help and to the Drupal 8 Initiatives group, my impression is that both of these get very specific and technical very quickly.

However, a Google search on any of the following for gets no exact-phrase results, implying there is no basic overview page for Drupal 8

overview of Drupal 8
overview of Drupal 8.x
Drupal 8 overview
Drupal 8.x overview

(of course, once I post this, this thread will turn up on Google in response to such a search)

Is there a general-language overview about Drupal 8 on a single page that is aimed at someone who has a basic understanding of Drupal general concepts, has create a small Drupal 6 or 7 site, but does not necessarily know all the buzzwords or technical intricacies of Drupal.

I'm looking for a page that gathers everything together in near-plain English, something like:

Views are a module in Drupal 7, but planned for core in Drupal 8.
Blah is a new feature of Drupal 8.
Blah blah is a feature that might make it into Drupal 8.
Webmasters migrating from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 are expected to have pain points in the area of blah blah blah.
Module developers migrating from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 are expected to have pain points in the area of blah blah blah blah.

and so on.

Does such a page exist?


VM’s picture

The information you seek isn't usually available until code freeze and dev's know what exactly is going in and staying in. As far as what new features MAY be going in, that's what the initiatives group is. Each of those initiatives are trying to get their code stabilized and finalized to be part of D8.

for updating modules to D8 see: which links to to see changes going into D8. However, if you thought the groups were too technical the changelogs are likely also going to be too technical.

I couldn't find any updating themes to D8 docs, but that doesn't surprise me as there is a great deal of work going into HTML5 and mobile which may be holding up docs at this point.

mewren’s picture

Watch DrupalCon Portland 2013: DRIES BUYTAERT - THE CURRENT STATE OF DRUPAL 8 KEYNOTE starting at around 45 minute mark (rest of presentation is good too)

My notes from watching:

  • Easier installer - Retrieves list of 100 languages for core
  • Better user experience for adding content
  • Drag-Drop file upload
  • Copy from MS Word
  • True preview
  • In-place editing (entities, nodes, blocks, views)
  • Multilingual
    • Translate in one UI, bigger bundles of translations
    • Better UI for translating content
    • Better RTL support
    • Easier to translate content
    • Blocks for some languages only
  • Views
    • Now in core
    • More default lists
    • Admin pages use views
  • Can export entities as JSON or XML
  • Configuration now stored in YML files - not DB!!! Easier to push configuration changes from staging to production (file based instead of DB based)
  • Mobile
    • REST API supports editing content on mobile
    • Responsive is everywhere
    • Themes that ship with core are responsive
    • Views use responsive tables


Charles Belov’s picture

*** updated Duh! I reread your notes. You answered my question about configuration and versioning. Thanks, and a very welcome improvement. ***

Thanks, Jen, not sure how I missed your post. I'll check out the video when I get a chance.

I had heard that content data and configuration data were being split into two different databases, a major improvement in my book, but one I haven't explicitly seen in print or pixels.

I suppose it's too late, but:

I'd love to see people (users) split into a third database. This is because if we delete a user because they were terminated, then restore the database, they get reactivated, which is a human security issue. I realize this is an edge case, but it's a potentially impactful edge case.

I'd also like to have configuration versionable via git tags, as configuration changes are often coordinated with code changes.

Charles Belov
SFMTA Webmaster

imensosoftware’s picture

Good thing and links you mentioned in your this post, Appreciated! I just came across with the Google when i finding out about difference b/w Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 then i got some good information from this URL. After the long research i wrote a one topic of Drupal 7 Vs. Drupal 8. I hope you love it!

I have mentioned below link of our writeup which totally based on Drupal 7 Vs. Drupal 8. You will get there Reasons for choosing Drupal 8 with some functionalists also gave some views of Drupal 7.

Jimmy Kamboj

John_B’s picture

Best thing is to install it on your laptop and have a look. Layout initiative is not happening. UX is improved. There are more or less built tools for web services. Configuration is separate from database and in code.

On the surface D8 currently looks pretty similar to D7 and this is not likely to change in a major way before the full release. Under the surface it is radically different. It will be somewhat easier for end users. It will IMO be a significantly larger challenge for new developers or for people who need to maintain and debug a site without being professional developers. The reasons for rewriting Drupal using far more object oriented code, with major changes in structure, and with relatively small change from the point of view of an end user familiar with D7 + Views would be interesting to discuss. One thing is plain, for D8 the core devs have maintained the 'break everything with each new major version' tradition, so if you are thinking of an upgrade from D7 you can look forward to some serious pain. This might well change for the D8 > D9 upgrade path.

Charles Belov’s picture

Thanks, that's the most important thing I need to know. So:

1) No upgrading until there's a migration path. Period.
2) We are likely to lose some functionality on an upgrade until contributed modules are upgraded, if ever.
3) We'll need to budget significant time for an upgrade.
4) We probably don't want to be the first folks to upgrade. We don't want to wait for Drupal 9, either.

That said, the things that Jen posted about configuration being split out of the database is, imo, worth an upgrade just for the version control and migration between dev, staging and production benefits.

Charles Belov
SFMTA Webmaster

John_B’s picture

We do not absolutely know that D8 will be a total pain to upgrade and a major challenge for inexperienced developers to develop for or maintain, but a quick look around the code sure makes that seems likely. There are good reasons for this reinvention of Drupal but it is a reinvention which makes it a very different animal IMO and Dries's nice keynote presentation of features predicted for D8, which we now know will only partly come true, leaves out the far-reaching significance of the 'philosophical' changes under the surface.

In future Drupal will continue to attract good professional developers. I think it is becoming pretty inaccessible for those who start as hobbyists with lots of enthusiasm and teach themselves. Arguably Drupal's move into the entrerprise space (with the stated aim of taking on the big and extremely expensive commercial CMSs, which is of course already happening) makes sense because Wordpress and other smaller CMSs such as Concrete5 are increasingly capable of doing things they could not do so not well back when Drupal 6 was released the most powerful free CMS on the block.