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Drupal Contrib Barn Raising

When Drupal 7 was released in 2011, the initial acceptance rate was very low initially. The general mantra was "I'm not using it until module X has a D7 release." “Module X” was typically Views, which is no longer an issue now that it's in core. Therefore, I’d like to help alleviate that issue by focusing on upgrading the contrib space now, before Drupal 8 gets released.

Now, the first thought that will pop into people's head is "But Drupal 8 is still in active development! What will I be developing against?" Although this is very true, a lot of the basic items like routing and forms are relatively stable. And, if there's a change, it's doubtful that it will be a massive overhaul, so the module upgrades can still evolve, with the benefit of the initial heavy lifting already complete. Also, by doing this, we're inadvertently helping out core by vetting the new framework. Any issues discovered during this process can quickly be raised to core, and hopefully resolved.

The effort to upgrade contrib modules will be a rather large undertaking, more than what we can expect the maintainers to handle alone. The plan of this initiative is to work with the maintainer(s) of one module per week (or longer if needed). I will post an update here with a link to the module, its current conversion state, and possibly a few notes from the maintainer(s). I’m considering possibly setting up a time every week, similar to core office hours, where the maintainer(s) and one or more of the members of this site will be available in #drupal on IRC. Suggestions for modules are gladly accepted, and I’ll work to coordinate with the respective maintainers.

To test out this new initiative, I decided to work on Andrew Riley’s module “Friendly Register” during the Drupalcamp Atlanta Code Sprint. Before the sprint, I went through the module and did my best to get the module upgraded to Drupal 8, but was missing a few key issues. I then did an hour presentation showing how the conversion process works, and what remaining issues were left. I had to leave early to make my return flight, but by the time I had landed, Mike Annello had discovered the solution. I committed the fix and we now have a dev release for Drupal 8! I’m very excited about this initial success, and am now actively looking for the next module to conquer. If you have any suggestions, please comment below.

Additional Resources

Upgrading from Drupal 5 to Drupal 7

4 Analytics Metrics that Indicate it is Time for a Website Redesign


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