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    Categories: Drupal 8 Tutorials, Tips and GuidesDrupal Tutorials, Tips and Guides

First Look at Drupal 8.4

The guys at Drupal have moved on over to a new upgrade process. Now a major Drupal version update is released every six months. Keeping up with this idea, Drupal users have just been treated with a major version update, Drupal 8.4.

The release of the stable version of Drupal 8.4 was announced during DrupalCon Vienna last month. In this post, I will go through the notable improvements introduced with this latest version update.

New Stable Modules

A total of 5 major modules have been moved from experimental status to stable in this version. This is a big move and adds quite a lot of functionality to Drupal Core. The modules which have been made stable are:

  • Workflows
  • Layout Discovery
  • Media
  • DateTime Range
  • Inline Form Errors

Note that although these modules themselves are marked stable, some of them depend on experimental modules to function correctly.

Workflows Module

The module provides a framework for managing workflows. The workflows are implemented through the Content Moderation module. These workflows are applicable to all entity types that support revisions.

Layout Discovery Module

This module provides an API which lets modules as well as themes to implement layouts.

Media Module

This module is probably the most requested and the biggest feature of this release. The media module enables better handling of all media types. While Drupal already had very capable support for handling images and files, it was quite behind in terms of handling other media/ content types. This module provides the API for reusable media entities and types. Thanks to the media module, you can now easily embed external media such as YouTube videos and tweets. While there is still some work to be done to perfect the media capabilities, it is already a huge step forward and will only keep improving with time.

DateTime Range Module

This module enables support for end dates to be compatible with contributed modules like Calendar.

Inline Form Errors Module

This module further enhances the usability experience of Drupal by displaying form validation errors right next to the field where it occurred.

Other Improvements

Apart from the modules, many more minor improvements have been made under the hood as well as in the UI for an enhanced Drupal experience. For example, decoupled Drupal sites are now 15% faster in their communication.

How to Update to the Latest Version

You can update to the latest version quite easily through the usual methods i.e manually (using update.php), Composer or Drush. Note that if you use Drush, you should first upgrade Drush to the latest available version before proceeding with the Drupal update. If you’re confused about the process or need help with it, check out this how to update Drupal 8 core article.

Wrapping Up!

All in all, Drupal 8.4 is an important update, bringing a lot of useful functionalities and improving the overall  Drupal 8 experience. Thanks to the new update cycle, effective and useful features will be added to Drupal every six months.

Hamza Zia: Hamza is a Drupal Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed Drupal Hosting Platform. He loves to write about Drupal and related topics. During his free time, he can be seen obsessing over Football, Cars, Android and Gaming.