Drupal.org blog: What’s new on Drupal.org – Q4 2021

Drupal CMS

Read our roadmap to understand how this work falls into priorities set by the Drupal Association with direction and collaboration from the Board and community. You can also review the Drupal project roadmap.

This update for the fourth quarter of 2021 sums up the major accomplishments and important news from the end of last year. Our Q1 2022 update will be coming soon, to be published in April. 

Drupal Lifecycle Updates

Drupal 8 End of Life

In the last quarter of 2021, Drupal 8 reached its end of life. Modern versions of Drupal (8 and beyond) rely on third-party dependencies such as the Symfony framework, and so Drupal 8’s lifecycle was tied to the end of life of Drupal 8’s symfony version.

Upgrading Drupal from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is vastly easier than any previous Drupal version upgrade – however, the module ecosystem is still a factor.

The Drupal Association engineering team coordinated closely with the Core maintainers for Drupal 8’s end of life, notifying project maintainers, updating the automated testing system, and promoting information on updating from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 (a much easier process than the D7 to D8 upgrade). 

Drupal 6 Long-term support winding down

After 8 years of community support and an additional 6 years of long-term support, Drupal 6 will soon reach its final end of life. In PSA-2022-03-09, the Drupal Security team announced that D6 LTS will end in October of 2022, and no additional community or commercial support will be available for Drupal 6. We’re incredibly grateful to MyDropWizard and Tag1 Consulting for supporting the community for so many years. 

Drupal 7 Support extended another year 

In February, we announced a further extension of Drupal 7 support: PSA-2022-02-23

More than a decade after its first release, Drupal 7 is still widely used across the web. It can be found powering civic engagement in government installations; managing vast amounts of content for faculty, students, and staff in educational institutions; and providing the digital backbone for many businesses and non-profit organizations. Drupal 9 is well-maintained, secure, stable, and feature-rich, but many organizations still rely on Drupal 7.

Therefore, we are announcing that moving forward, the scheduled Drupal 7 End-of-Life date will be re-evaluated annually. As of today, we are extending the end-of-life by one year to November 1, 2023.

We will announce by July 2023 whether we will extend Drupal 7 community support an additional year. Factors that we will consider are community support, Drupal 7 usage, and active Drupal 7 maintainers. Current support is made possible thanks to the many Drupal 7 maintainers and companies that are paying to support Drupal 7.

Initiatives

Closer to core than ever before 

A number of active Drupal initiatives require a closer connection to Drupal Association-managed infrastructure than ever before. From managing the security of automatic updates, to modernizing the way we deliver use-case specific distributions of Drupal, to our collaboration tools; each of these efforts requires close coordination with the DA engineering team to create innovation in Drupal itself. 

The Drupal Association has been organizing regular initiative meetings in Drupal Slack for several key initiatives that are currently underway. 

The future of Distribution publishing on Drupal.org in #Distributions
Automatic Updates architecture and security in #AutoUpdates
Plans for the GitLab acceleration in #GitLab
As well as participating in other initiatives such as #D10Readiness and #ProjectBrowser

You can find the calendar of these and all other core initiative meetings in the sidebar of this page: https://drupal.org/about/core 

Collaboration features moved into GitLab

Accelerating our use of GitLab’s collaboration tools lowers the barrier to entry for new contributors to Drupal, and lets us take advantage of GitLab’s own innovation cycle in creating code collaboration tools. 

We’ve moved more aspects of the Drupal community’s code collaboration features into GitLab as part of our larger project to fully adopt GitLab as our community’s collaboration tool. 

SSH keys for Drupal.org contributors are now managed directly in GitLab, and the source code, commit log, and activity links now all point directly to GitLab as well. 

We’ve also updated the display of project maintainers to show all maintainers, not just committers, and to show user pictures to humanize each project’s maintainer team. 

These initial steps help decouple our ‘Project’ pages from the code collaboration tools, paving the way for more significant milestones like migrating testing and issues to GitLab. 

We’re now heavily focused on planning the transition from DrupalCI to GitLabCI, but more about that to come in our next update! 

Collaboration features moved into GitLab

The replacement for groups.drupal.org is nearly here. We’ve already added a community events listing feature to: drupal.org/community/events which provides a feed of data for services like Drupical. 

Providing a central location for the community to self-organize around their own local and virtual events is just one piece of the puzzle. These discussion groups help connect the community around common interests and promote collaborations that may become the seed of Drupal’s next innovation. 

Community Groups will be the last piece of the puzzle, helping the community self-organize around topics that are important to them. 

Team Augmentation

Welcoming new faces to the Engineering team

As mentioned in our last update, in Q4 we brought onboard three new members of the Drupal Association engineering team on a contract basis. 

Irina Zaks is helping us with project management for the GitLab Acceleration initiative. 
Caleb Crawley is working on Drupal.org features and helping us get ready for Drupal 9 upgrades. 
Fran Garcia-Linares has jumped straight into updating api.drupal.org to Drupal 9.
 

If you see them around Drupal.org, be sure to give them a wave!

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As always, we’d like to thank all the volunteers who work with us and the Drupal Association Supporters who make it possible for us to work on these projects. In particular, we want to thank: 

Annertech – *UPGRADE* Premium Supporting Partner
Full Fat Things – *UPGRADE* Signature Supporting Partner
Aten Design Group – Renewing Premium Supporting Partner
Centarro – Renewing Premium Supporting Partner
Cyber Duck – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
Discover – *NEW* Premium Supporting Partner
iO Digital – *NEW* Premium Supporting Partner
Kanopi Studios – Renewing Premium Supporting Partner
Specbee – Renewing Premium Supporting Partner
+Pluswerk – *NEW* Classic Supporting Partner
Arizona State University – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
Code Koalas – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
Chromatic – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
F5 Web Design – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
Inclind – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
Inviqa – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
OpenSense Labs – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
PSW Group – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
Sevaa Group – Renewing Classic Hosting Supporter
UEBERBIT GmbH – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
Unic AG – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
Urban Insight – Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
Dofinity – *UPGRADE* Classic Supporting Partner
Sigrest Co. – *NEW* Community Supporting Partner
Trigyn Technologies – Renewing Community Supporting Partner

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