Why Drupal 8 entering Release Candidate phase matters
We're really excited to see that Drupal 8 has officially passed Beta and entered the Release Candidate phase on schedule.
What does this mean for Drupal 8?
Drupal 8 has been a long-time coming (development started in early 2011!) but a lot has changed in that time. Fortunately the Drupal community has done an admirable job of keeping pace with advances in the web and supporting technologies, and have made numerous improvements over Drupal 7, but this has meant a lot of ongoing churn within Drupal 8's internals.
The Release Candidate phase marks the beginning of guaranteed backwards compatibility between releases, and means that the Drupal 8 community are now focussing on stabilisation and bug-fixes ahead of the official 8.0 launch rather than new features and improvements.
The recent announcement at DrupalCon Barcelona and subsequently meeting their target release date for Drupal 8 RC1 stands to highlight changes within the Drupal 8 roadmap and project planning mechanisms which are taking place throughout the Drupal community and the Drupal Association. This shows just how rapidly Drupal and the Drupal community are growing up to become a truly enterprise-grade system.
And most importantly of all it means that the wider Drupal community, including agencies, businesses and end-users, are readying for Drupal 8's widespread adoption.
How does this affect Drupal 8 adopters?
The most obvious benefit is for Drupal 8 developers, who can now be confident that when they next update Drupal 8 they won't be caught out having to fix their own custom work or wait for module maintainters to release an update. This will help spur adoption within the community as more and more developers can be confident that their hard work won't be wasted the next time a new version of Drupal 8 is released.
Perhaps less obvious, but arguably more important, is that it means businesses can push forward with adopting Drupal 8 as an enterprise-ready product, without fear of compatibility issues or feature regressions down the line. Now that Drupal 8 is entering the final stabilisation phase you can be confident that this means only bug fixes and incremental improvements - no one is thrashing around under the hood anymore.
What does this mean for Drupal agencies?
We've been working internally with Drupal 8 for a while now, but this latest announcement has triggered a shift in our own perceptions of Drupal 8 from 'cool new toy' to enterprise-ready product.
We're already starting to see growing interest in Drupal 8 amongst our existing customer base and from new business, and only expect this to grow even faster now that Drupal 8 is approaching final release.
You can find more information about Drupal 8's features and benefits in the official release announcement.
If you're interested in a Drupal 8 project or want to know more about how Drupal 8 can help your business, please get in touch.