Drupal 8 API freeze

July 1st has arrived. As announced earlier, this marks the start of the Drupal 8 API freeze (formerly known as the "code freeze"). I'm very excited about how Drupal 8 is shaping up; it will be a much more powerful and easier to use Drupal. While there is a lot of work ahead of us, I feel good about moving forward with the next phase of the Drupal 8 development cycle.

The two main goals of the "API freeze" are (a) to resolve release-blocking issues known as "critical bugs" and "critical tasks" and (b) to provide developers with a stable API to port their modules from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. This means that during the API freeze we will no longer make backwards compatibility-breaking changes to public APIs except when deemed that it is necessary to resolve important bugs or where the API has already been deprecated. Changes that do not break backwards compatibility are still allowed, including API additions, at the maintainers' discretion.

During this API freeze, we're also going to do a few things differently than we did with previous release cycles. I'll explain each of those changes below.

Deprecating Drupal 7 APIs

Currently, Drupal 8 includes backwards compatibility layers that support Drupal 7 APIs while we complete conversions of core modules to the new Drupal 8 APIs. An example is the routing support in hook_menu(), which will replaced by the Drupal 8 routing system. The Drupal 7 APIs are being marked deprecated in phpDoc, and contributed module developers should not use them because they will be removed prior to the Drupal 8 release.

Deprecating Drupal 8 APIs

When appropriate, maintainers can still add new APIs to Drupal 8 that deprecate existing APIs. In this case, the deprecated APIs will continue to be supported and not be removed until Drupal 9. This is to avoid breaking contributed modules that have been upgraded to Drupal 8 already.

Adding stand-alone features

A certain class of features may get committed despite being over our commit thresholds. The main criteria are that these features have to be self contained (no follow-up tasks) and easy to roll back (limited inter-module dependencies). If a single critical or major is filed as a result of these commits, we will favour rollback over going forward. As a result, these kind of features should have almost no impact on the rest of core development, nor introduce technical debt.

The road to the first beta

During the API freeze, we will also switch from publishing alpha releases to beta releases. This will happen when there are no known critical bugs in the upgrade path from the last Drupal 7 release.

Between API freeze and beta 1, removing temporary backward compatibility layers and deprecated Drupal 7 functions is allowed and encouraged. After beta 1, we get more strict about backward compatibility breaks (temporary backward compatibility layers and deprecated functions not removed by then might not be eligible for removal any more).

Summary

After more than 2 years of non-stop work, it is pretty exciting to enter API freeze. It is a big milestone for all of us. Frankly, Drupal 8 will be our best release ever, by far, and I can't wait to get it in your hands. But we can't get Drupal 8 released without you. Please take a moment of your time to download and try out the alpha releases. If you are a module developer, make sure the things that are important to you are working, and working well so you can start upgrading your modules the day we start releasing betas. If you find a problem, please report it. Every bug you uncover is a chance to improve the experience for millions of users. Thank you, and we hope to see you in the issue queues!

Comments

xjm (not verified):

Frankly, Drupal 8 will be our best release ever, by far, and I can't wait to get it in your hands.

+100. It's so exciting to finally be at this point!

July 1, 2013 - 17:31
ckorakas (not verified):

Great news! We are really looking forward to D8.

Any idea of when you expect to have a mature D8 (incl organic groups and other key modules) ?

July 1, 2013 - 18:09
kvantomme (not verified):

Hi Christophe,

I think it's still early to make exact predictions about that, especially about Organic Groups.

July 2, 2013 - 15:57
Fahad (not verified):

Long awaiting moment. Still a long way to go. Congratulations and best of luck.

July 1, 2013 - 18:18
Yannick (not verified):

Time to convert my modules now ;)

July 1, 2013 - 18:29
hw (not verified):

It looks like a great release, particularly to us developers. Can't wait for it!

July 1, 2013 - 19:51
Navid Emami (not verified):

Road to one of the best REST-based frameworks has just begun, so let's get it out!

July 1, 2013 - 20:11
Artusamak (not verified):

I do have a question about simpletests, because we are slowly switching to symfony, the unit tests will have to be updated to PHPunit. Is it planned and integrated as a task for D8 or not part of the plan?
Thanks

July 1, 2013 - 21:37
catch (not verified):

There are already PHPUnit tests for core code, and there are people working on moving existing core unit tests over to PHPUnit.

However we don't have anywhere to move functional tests to yet (several people would like to move to behat but that's not in place yet), so SimpleTest will be sticking around for a while yet until that's all done.

July 2, 2013 - 13:30
Nick Selvaggio (not verified):

Excellent! Looking forward to testing releases... thanks!

July 1, 2013 - 22:10
rteijeiro (not verified):

Thanks to all the guys in Drupal Dev Days Dublin for their effort last week. Here we go, Drupal8 !!

July 2, 2013 - 13:17
Pancho (not verified):

While the Drupal 7 release cycle until recently was a nightmare, in D8 the community really learned their lesson:
This time I'm absolutely sure that with the D8 release schedule, we'll have a relatively fast stabilization and module conversion, even though the architectural changes are huge.

While the D7 development cycle inactivated contributors, this time the early API freeze draws them in, so module developers can start with their conversions, while in core the many remaining issues keep being solved, performance and stability improved. Even self-contained features can be added.

Of course we would have loved to do so many more API changes/cleanups/whatever, but now module developers' time really has come!

Wow! I'm extremely excited of the final release of our awesome framework, and I can't wait to see how much of an impact this will be in the CMS frameworks sphere!

July 2, 2013 - 15:09
Gábor Hojtsy (not verified):

Information about what do alpha releases mean for translators of Drupal: https://localize.drupal.org/node/5853

July 2, 2013 - 15:09

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