Drupal 11: What to expect

19 Oct 2022

Hello dear colleagues and friends! Although Drupal 10 will be released just on December 14, 2022, the entire Drupal community is already actively discussing the next version of Drupal. There are so many guesses and assumptions about Drupal 11! There were simply no indifferent people left. 
We explain what is true and what is just a rumor. Dries Buytaert's quotations will be used directly in the text.
And furthermore, we want to thank Dries for supporting Ukraine. Here is what he said about it at DrupalCon:

“I couldn't begin my presentation without acknowledging the loss of life and destruction in Ukraine. It's impacting many in the Drupal community, which is heartbreaking.
Both myself and the Drupal Association strongly condemn the Russian attacks on Ukraine. Many of us might want to know how to help. The Drupal Association has compiled a list of organizations that are accepting charitable donations."

Now let's take a look at the upcoming Drupal 11:

  • What to expect?
  • What will happen with other versions?
  • What are the new features?

New from Driesnote, DrupalCon Portland 2022

This year's DrupalCon in Portland opened the curtain on Drupal 11. Dries Bytaert, Drupal's creator and co-founder and Acquia's CTO, had this to say:

"Let`s talk a little bit about Drupal 11. And what I liked to do is actually talk about our purpose, vision, and propose a strategy for Drupal 11 and then from there go to some initial proposed initiatives for Drupal 11."

He also noted that for most developers and people who deal with Drupal, it is strange to talk about the next version even before the Drupal 10 release. Both he and we think that this is normal. Drupal 10 is already in its final stages, and we need to develop an even better product.

Drupal 11: Purpose, vision, strategy, initiatives

Let`s consider this topic from the same aspect as Dries did: purpose, vision, strategy, and initiatives. 

  1. Purpose
    Dries said:
    "...purpose is a big part of that for me."

    Twenty years ago, when the first version of Drupal was launched, it was a revolution in web development. Drupal has made the web better and more powerful.

    "...Drupal is much bigger than just being a CMS."

    Drupal is well positioned to create the new digital reality and even the future. This is very important because behind Drupal website development and web innovation is the future.

    "...we as a Drupal community we can help make sure we are building the best version of it."

    "I want to see an open web where people can express themselves, they can be creative. It should be a web with millions of unique experiences and serendipity."

    Essentially, Dries' last quote reflects the purpose of Drupal 11 and Drupal in general. In addition, it was also said that his global dream is a secure digital future in which he can trust and where his children will be safe.
  2. Vision
    "Drupal is for ambitious digital experiences." 

    To date, Drupal has already become an expanding and flexible CMS. Maybe the ideal has already been achieved? If this were implemented, no version 11 would be in the plans.

    “Could we do more? Yes, of course…” Dries said.

    In addition, it was noted that now is the time to develop the vision and drive our impact on development. And it is quite possible to do this with Drupal because it has no restrictions and allows you to do what you want and not what is possible. Today its time to change it to 
    "Drupal is for ambitious site builders." 
  3. Strategy
    Their focus will be on short-term strategy. This is convenient because we can see how Drupal 11 is progressing and the results. Below are the plans for the next two years. 
    As it was said:

    "They discover, install, configure, update modules."

    The coolest thing about Drupal is that it develops independently from one center, and everyone can contribute. To date, there are more than 8,000 contributed modules for Drupal 9. Among the most famous are:

    1. Tome 
    2. Gin 
    3. Webform 
    4. Next.js for Drupal
    5. and many other useful modules 

    Dries suggested:

    "...once they installed drupal core (he means someone who installed Drupal first time), they don't know where to go next…We have an opportunity to make this a lot easier…The solution obviously is the project browser."

    The project browser was first mentioned a year ago. The point is to host functional modules from within Drupal. You will not need to go to Drupal.org or the composer mechanism to install them. Install them with one click. But,

    "At the same time, we still want to use composer under the hood. So that people can upgrade with the composer."

    So, module installation will be simplified. Don't forget about their settings, however. Updates will also be made here:

    "...You need to configure them all, one by one. We had the solution for that as well. We are calling it Starter templates. An example Starter template could be a product site template." 

    To sum up, what Dries said at the time, the Starter templates will provide all the necessary modules to run a product site or any other smoothly in one place. All of these Starter templates will be on drupal.org. There will be a lot of them. Additionally, it will be possible to combine these starters. Doesn't that sound great?
    One more speech part was dedicated to making Drupal 11 core smaller.

    "The idea is to responsibly move modules out of the drupal core to contrib. The reason why it may be a good idea or why we believe this is a good idea is because if we have less code to maintain in the core we can focus more on innovation, on the things that people are, you know, really askingus to work on."

  4. Initiatives
    Dries sees the proposed initiatives for Drupal 11 in these 6 components:
    1. Project browser
    2. Smarter templates
    3. Automated updates
    4. GitLab
    5. The great module migration
    6. Drupal 11 readiness

    "Many of them are actually continuations of things we`ve already started. There are a few new things in here. But for the most part, it just continued to do what we were already doing… "

To sum up

The release of Drupal 10 and 11 will bring many exciting updates. We have what to look forward to! The Golems team is ready for new releases and will be happy to prepare you for them. Are you ready for Drupal 11? Let's discuss it!