An update on Drupal 8.6 pre-feature freeze
Greetings, folks! As we head into feature freeze for Drupal 8.6 (the week of July 18), here's a run-down of the various initiatives, and a hit-list of what they're trying to accomplish in the next two weeks. Patch reviews, testing, design, docs, and many more skills are very welcomed!
A couple of caveats here:
1) This is my own personal best understanding of where this stuff is all at, based on reading issue comments, attending meetings, overhearing things from other people who attended meetings, catching the odd Slack snippet of conversation, carrier piegon, etc. And therefore may not be 100% accurate, or even 80% accurate — there's a lot going on! (please clarify in the comments if you see any errors/omissions)
2) Just because something is listed here, there is absolutely no guarantee that it gets reviewed + (truly) RTBCed + committed in time for feature freeze and makes it into 8.6. As you can see, there are lots of issues in the list below, and we're all doing our best to stay on top of them. Worst-case, there's always 8.7. :)
3) This post gets into nitty-gritty "technical audience" details; if you're interested in a more broad overview of initiatives and their aims for 8.6 and beyond, there's the strategic initiatives overview on Drupal.org. I was also recently on a Lullbabot podcast to that effect.
OK, here we go! These are listed in alphabetical order.
Here are the issues this team has surfaced as important for 8.6:
Make Nightwatch testing more generally useful
- Add login/logout commands to nightwatch [#2973879]
- Create nightwatch command to install modules [#2974619]
Seriously, check out the five-digit node IDs on these bad boys! :P
- ajax.js insert command sometimes wraps content in a div, potentially producing invalid HTML and other bugs [#736066]
Bring JS code up to modern standards
This team's 8.6 goals are two-fold: 1) stabilizing and filling gaps in the existing REST API, and 2) attempting to add JSON API to core.
TONS of work has been going on in the JSON API contributed module queue to fix a number of outstanding issues to make it core-worthy. So even if this module doesn't make it in time for 8.6, the entire ecosystem will benefit throughout 8.6's lifecycle by using a much more robust and well-tested contributed module. Additionally, a long-standing gap of file upload support has been added. Huzzah!
For the remainder of 8.6, the team would like to focus on the following:
Unblockers to API-First in general
- Add DateTimeNormalizer+TimestampNormalizer, deprecate TimestampItemNormalizer: @DataType-level normalizers are reusable by JSON API [#2926508]
- @DataType=map cannot be normalized, affects @FieldType=link, @FieldType=map [#2895532]
Unblockers to REST
- EntityResource should add _entity_access requirement to REST routes [#2869426]
- PATCHing entities validates the entire entity, also unmodified fields, so unmodified fields can throw validation errors [#2821077]
Unblockers to JSON API
- [PP-1] Work around core's ill-designed @FieldType-level TimestampItemNormalizer normalization until #2926508 lands [#2929932]
- JSON API indicates it supports POST/PATCH/DELETE of config entity types, but that's impossible [#2887313]
- Needs Issue: Module name conflict between contrib/core (what happens when we bring a same-named contrib module to core that sites are actively using?)
- [>=8.5] Remove JSON API's "file URL" field work-around now that Drupal core 8.5 fixed it [#2926463] - Fixed!
These two initiatives overlap in that we're aiming to build the automatic update functionality around improving core's underlying Composer support.
The Composer team has compiled an excellent plan of attack for how to provide Composer support without jeopardizing the site builder experience. Most of that work will take place in 8.7.
However, one of the pre-requisites for Composer to work well, is adding semantic versioning support for contrib. Support for this would also be tremendously helpful to contrib module authors and site builders, regardless if they use Composer to manage their dependencies or not.
Unblockers to semver for contrib
- Core version key in module's .info.yml doesn't respect core semantic versioning [#2313917]
- Module version dependency in .info.yml is ineffective for patch releases [#2641658]
This team spent most of the 8.6 cycle forming, brainstorming a list of blockers to configuration awesomeness, and prioritizing those efforts. The hope is for a roadmap to get published after the sprint next week at Drupal Developer Days Lisbon.
One major win in 8.6 is the ability to Allow a site-specific profile to be installed from existing config, which is part of the aim to Allow a site to be installed from existing configuration (basically, moving the capabilities of the Config Installer module into core.)
Unblockers of install from existing configuration
- Install a site from config if the config directory is set in settings.php [#2980670]
The Documentation initiative has a lot on the go right now, from designing a top-level landing page for the new docs system, to taking a holistic look at the existing docs and how to refactor the IA around them, and finally creating a repository around "quick start" guides. None of these have a particular deadline around 8.6, because they're happening independently of core.
On the core side, there's work being done on a new experimental module for overhauling the in-app help system and this work has an 8.6 deadline.
New topic-based core help system
For the plan around this initiative to happen, we need to make several adjustments to core's Update Status module, which currently makes several hard-coded assumptions about the last minor release of Drupal expiring immediately once a new minor release is available.
Update Status Improvements
- If the next minor version of core has a security release, status still says "Security update required!" even if the site is on an equivalent, secure release already [#2804155]
- Status report should indicate next minor release date (needs issue)
- (other issues TBD)
The Layout team has been hard at work improving upon the experimental Layout Builder functionality that was added to 8.5. The main goal of the team for 8.6 is to gather real-world testing feedback from end users, which they are accomplishing by adding Layout Builder to a new branch of the Lightning distribution. Doing this has uncovered a few holes in the implementation relative to what's possible in contrib right now, and filling those gaps is the focus of the remaining 8.6 time for the team.
Layout Builder gaps
- Allow the inline creation of non-reusable Custom Blocks in the layout builder [#2957425]
- Add a validation constraint to check if an entity has a field [#2976356]
- Determine if Layout Builder should replace entity_view_display for all Entity Types [#2936358]
- No ability to control "extra fields" with Layout Builder [#2953656]
- Allow Custom blocks to be set as non-reusable adding access restriction based on where it was used. [#2976334]
Integration with other subsysytems/modules
- [PP-1] LayoutBuilderEntityViewDisplay::getRuntimeSections() does not delegate to plugins [#2976148]
- Add EntityContextDefinition for the 80% use case [#2932462]
- [meta] Decide how Layout Builder should function with Content Moderation and Workspaces modules [#2973382]
- Layout Builder does not respect translations [#2946333]
- Track Layout override revisions on entities which support revisioning [#2937199]
Next, we need to integrate that media library into the node form, and ideally allow people to add from there as well in a more streamlined fashion.
Blockers to media awesomeness
- Create a field widget for the Media library module [#2962525]
- (needs issue) Mark Media Library as beta
- [PP-1] Allow media to be uploaded with the Media Library field widget [#2938116]
- Any AJAX call disregards machine name verification when AJAX is used and leads to a fatal error [#2557299]
- Provide a media library display for "Remote video" [#2982279]
The goal of this initiative for 8.6 is to stabilize the migration system which means marking the experimental Migrate Drupal + Migrate UI modules stable. This was also the goal for 8.5. What's making it tricky is multilingual migrations, which are themselves tricky because there are a multitude of ways one might have set up multilingual functionality prior to it being included in core in Drupal 8, which introduces lots of edge cases around making IDs line up and whatnot.
The team is taking a two-pronged approach here:
1) Attempt to close all of the remaining i18n-related issues.
2) Worst-case, split off multilingual migrations to an experimental module, so that the rest of the system that works for 80%+ of sites can be marked stable.
Make Migrate Stable
- [policy, no patch] Mark Migrate Drupal as stable [#2905736]
- [policy, no patch] Mark Migrate Drupal UI as stable [#2905491]
- [META] Multilingual migrations meta issue [#2208401]
- Experimental migrate_drupal_multilingual module [#2953360]
The Umami profile was committed (albeit marked hidden) in 8.5, and major efforts have been going on to remove all of the "beta blockers" preventing it from being visible in the UI. The last of these—Install profile in settings.php and mismatch check makes re-installs of Drupal hard [#2975328]—just landed earlier this week!
From here to 8.6, the team is working on stability and accessibility improvements.
- Un-hide Umami in 8.5 to vastly improve Drupal's evaluator experience [#2957464]
- Improve Umami demo's support for managing field display settings [#2980029]
- Improve Umami Demo's header layout and responsive behaviour [#2980528]
- Umami missing some Media "plumbing" found in Standard profile [#2939594]
Last, but certainly not least, is the Workflow initiative, which aims to add the Workspace contributed module to core in 8.6 to facilitate content staging and full-site previews. The module was already committed to 8.6 awhile back, but must be brought up to "beta" level stability to remain in the tagged + shipped release.
Because Workspaces can only stage content that's revisionable, there's also a parallel effort to add revision-ability to more types of data in Drupal core.
Blockers to Workspaces Stability
- WI: Workspace module roadmap [#2732071]
- Add workspace UI in top dialog [#2949991]
- Remove the automatic entity update system [#2976035]
MOAR revisionable thingies
- Convert taxonomy terms to be revisionable [#2880149]
- Convert custom menu links to be revisionable [#2880152]
- Convert comments to be revisionable [#2880154]
Whew! That's QUITE a lot. Are there any issues out there that we're missing that you feel are mission-critical to get into Drupal 8.6? Feel free to suggest them, with the caveat that the longer the list is, the more distributed the community's and core committers' focus is.
Thanks for reading!