Introducing the Drupal 8 Module of the Week Series
by Reena Leone
It’s been a little over two months since Drupal 8 went General Availability (GA), a milestone nearly five years in the making. The time between Drupal releases was well spent; Drupal 8 has an updated development framework, improved usability and authoring experiences, and better support for multilingual and mobile.
Since Drupal 8 was released in November, the Drupal community has been working tirelessly to not just migrate existing Drupal 7 modules over, but to write new ones that utilize Drupal 8’s new and improved features. Last week, Acquia announced it has both committed to and invested in the porting of 50 important Drupal modules from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8, and has already completed 25 of those modules.
But which modules have been migrated? What are some of the new Drupal 8 modules that are being used by the community? We’ve been checking in with the maintainers of the most popular Drupal 8 modules, getting up to speed on their progress, learning about their purpose, and shedding some light on why these modules were written in the first place.
Our D8 Modules of the Week have been appearing in the Acquia Developer Center, but part of what makes Drupal 8 an improvement over previous versions is that its focus on usability and experience has led to wider appeal, beyond just the hardcore Drupal developer community. If you’re new to Drupal or have been away from it for a while, we’ve created shorter, tl:dr versions to give you some quick insight into what’s going on in the module world.
Maintainer: Kyle Browning, Drupalist since 2006 and Technical Consultant at Acquia.
What Does Services Do?
Services module provides a standard way for Drupal site builders and engineers to enable and build an API, which allows external clients to communicate with Drupal. Based on Drupal.org data, Services is in use on more than 37,000 sites.
Why Does It Matter?
Services is an important module for developers because it provides a standard way to build APIs. This consistent implementation, in turn, allows them to collaborate faster and more easily across projects, and build more extensible APIs.
Maintainer: Wim Leers, Senior Software Engineer in Acquia’s Office of the CTO and Drupalist for more than nine years.
What Does BigPipe Do?
The BigPipe module speeds up page delivery times by sending unchanging parts of a page to the browser immediately, while rendering and streaming other, dynamic parts as soon as they are ready. Facebook pioneered the streaming of content in so-called “pagelets”.
Why Does it Matter?
Using BigPipe, you get significantly faster sites without any special technical investment. There is zero configuration or coding needed: install it and let it do its thing. In Drupal 7 and just about every other CMS or framework, personalization has always made things run slower.
Maintainer: Ted Bowman, core contributor to both Drupal 7 and 8 and Drupal training instructor.
What Does Scheduled Updates Do?
The Scheduled Updates module allows you to set updates to fields on your Drupal 8 site to happen at a later date and time. This can be used for many common tasks like picking a later publishing date for content, of course, but there are so many more things that are fields in Drupal 8. Scheduled Updates can also be used for things like scheduling promoted and sticky states, or updating user-configurable fields like tags. This applies to all fields in Drupal 8, and since content is not the only thing that can have fields in Drupal 8, Scheduled Updates can be used for many different purposes.
Why Does it Matter?
Instead of installing different modules for different delayed actions on your site, Scheduled Updates can act on virtually any entities you will want to schedule changes to. You can do things like schedule assigning roles to users, it already works with the Workbench Moderation modules for scheduling moderation state changes, and there are many more possibilities.
Is there a Drupal 8 module you’d like to see profiled? Let us know in the comments!