2 Things You Need to Know about Drupal 9
You're probably thinking, “But I don’t want to think about Drupal 9 yet!”
Well, adulting sometimes means doing things we don’t want to do, like thinking about CMS version upgrades.
We can make this easy.
For now, here’s what you need to know about Drupal 9.
1. Drupal 9 is targeted for a June 2020 release.
Eighteen months following the release of Drupal 9, in November of 2021, Drupal 7 and 8 will both hit EOL status. This means that you will have a little more than a year to move your site from Drupal 7 or 8, following the June 2020 release date of Drupal 9.
The normal schedule would dictate that Drupal 7 hit EOL shortly after the Drupal 9 launch. However, because so many sites are still on D7, and at this point, many may just skip D8 completely, the decision has been made to extend D7 support for an additional year. As a result, D7 and D8 will both lose support at the same time.
The November 2021 date is significant because that is also when Symfony 3, which is a major dependency for Drupal 8, will lose support.
What this means for you as a D7 or D8 site owner is that you should have a plan to be on Drupal 9 by the summer of 2021.
2. The transition from Drupal 8 will not be painful.
Unlike Drupal 8, which for practical purposes was a new CMS sharing the Drupal name, Drupal 9 is being developed on Drupal 8. That means if you are up to date with Drupal 8.9 the move to Drupal 9 should be relatively easy. It probably won’t be Drupal 8.4 to 8.5 easy, but it should be nothing close to the level of effort of moving from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. In a lot of ways, Drupal 9 is just the next six-month update that comes after Drupal 8.9, with the added complication of being the version that we use to move deprecated code and APIs out of the codebase.
My recommendation if you are still on Drupal 7: migrate to Drupal 8 when it's convenient. As stated above Drupal 9 is really just Drupal 8.10.1. So you are kind of migrating to Drupal 8, even though it’s called Drupal 9 at that point. You won’t save any effort by waiting until Drupal 9 is out, you’ll just be on the outdated D7 codebase longer.
Concerning modules: as long as modules aren’t depending on any APIs that are being deprecated in D9, contributed modules should continue to work with both D8 and D9.
The good news is, if you are on an updated version of D8 the transition to D9 should be smooth. If you are on D7 you are essentially doing the same thing whether you migrate to Drupal 8 or Drupal 9.
We’re here to help! If you want to talk in more depth about what Drupal 9 has in store, and start to make a plan for the transition, contact us for information.