A little over a year ago, Acquia announced the release of Lightning, an open source starter kit and framework that helps expedite building and authoring Drupal 8 sites and experiences.
Also affectionately known as “Drupal Core with afterburners,” Acquia Lightning was designed to make developers’ lives easier. Lightning includes more than 100 automated tests covering its major functionality, giving developers a much more solid module base to work on and extend.
By combining Layout, Media, and Workflow capabilities into a single distribution, we’re able to offer a simplified, consistent authoring experience. By making choices about how these features are implemented, commitments to maintaining the distro, upgradability, and a suite of automated tests, we also offer an easier build and a reduced maintenance burden for developers. - John Kennedy, Open Source Product Manager at Acquia
When Lightning 1.0 went GA in June, 2016, there were around 400 sites running Lightning. As of this week, Lightning has been downloaded more than 115,000 times.
Customers using Lightning include Princeton, Oregon State, Abbvie, and AMD. As an open source project, over the last year we’ve continue to improve and expand Lightning:
- We migrated to the new D.O packagist
- We had our first (and more importantly, seamless) transition from contrib to core
- We added core components: search, contact, smartroles
- We enabled developers to extend Lightning. First via Lightning Extend and ultimately via true profile inheritance.
Our partners have also been busy building on top of Lightning. In May, Acquia and ImageX partnered on OpenEDU, a pre-configured Drupal 8 implementation that is specifically built for higher education institutions.
And at least two of our partners, Xeno Media and Phase2, have used Lightning as a base for their own distributions. So what’s next for Lightning? In addition to the usual functional improvements, we are working on:
- Migration to Content Moderation
- Migration to Core Media module
- Support delivery of content as JSON
- Inline, revisionable block entities
Here’s to another year.