Drupal development cycles are speeding up. A year has gone by after the Drupal 9 release, and an upgrade to Drupal 9 is still on the to-do list of many businesses. However, the next major release has already emerged as an exciting topic for discussion — the web is buzzing with talks about Drupal 10 readiness. Let’s take a look at the upcoming Drupal 10 to see when to expect it, what will happen to other versions, what new features will be included, and what is needed to prepare for Drupal 10.
When will Drupal 10 be released?
The tenth version of the CMS is targeted for release in the middle of 2022. The exact dates are yet unknown but the timeline has been agreed upon long ago. Back in 2020, Gábor Hojtsy, the Drupal 10 Readiness Strategic Initiative coordinator, announced in his DrupalCon speech that we can expect D10 to be out in June 2022.
If something does not go quite as planned, the fallback dates will be in August 2022 and the final fallback in December 2022. Gábor Hojtsy confirmed that D9 should have the shortest major release lifetime in all the recent history.
What will happen to Drupal 9, 8, and 7?
All previous versions will be end-of-life, which means stop of official support for them. They will no longer receive updates meant to provide the stability, security, performance, and new functionality for websites. That’s why you will need to plan your upgrade and we will discuss later in this post what you need to do to provide D10 readiness for your website. Let’s now see in more detail what’s the timeline for each version.
D9 is planned for end-of-life by the end of 2023. This is influenced by the end-of-life of a major dependency — Symfony 4 — that comes by the end of 2023 as well. In addition, PHP 7 will only be supported by the end of 2021 and jQuery UI is already unsupported.
D8 will only be supported by the end of 2021. Similarly, a major reason is end-of-life for Symfony 3 coming in November 2021.
D7 will be supported by the end of 2022. Yes, its support is longer than for D8, which is surprising to many people. This decision was made because too many websites are still on D7 and they need more time to upgrade.
D10 readiness and more: what to expect in Drupal 10?
Major releases are no longer the overhauls of the previous version’s codebase. Just like D9 is built on D8, D10 will be built on D9, will all dependencies updated and deprecated code removed. So we shouldn’t expect revolutionary changes like those that we saw in version 8 compared to version 7.
Still, great features are coming! To begin with, there are currently 5 major initiatives being worked on in the preparation for D10 — the Decoupled menus, the Easy out of the box, the Automated updates, the Drupal 10 readiness, and the New front-end theme initiatives. The Drupal creator and project lead Dries Buytaert said at his DrupalCon North America 2021’s keynote that each of the initiatives was chosen for a good reason. This choice was based on surveys, feedback, and things the team just know they have to do.
One of these 5 initiatives, the Drupal 10 readiness initiative, is meant to identify the required tasks for the release, with a big focus on updating dependencies and removing the deprecated APIs. The ambassadors of the Drupal 10 readiness initiative — Gábor Hojtsy, Lauri Escola, and Kristen Pol — gave a keynote speech at DrupalCon North America 2021 discussing the future release.
“Drupal 10 will be a refined version of Drupal 9 including all the goodies from all initiatives. It will include Olivero, Claro, all the work from the Automated Updates Initiative, Bug Smash, Easy Out-of-the-box, Decoupled Menus, and the Project Browser if we have one in time. So it will include all of the results of all the work that the community put in.”