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Can You Use Drupal 8 Yet?

Hi, I’m Robyn and I’ve been a Drupal Developer Apprentice at Catch for three months. 

As developers, modules are crucial to everything we do. They help manage media and content across complex sites, they simplify back-end processes and PHP development, and they help implement complex components and features across sites in a matter of minutes where they’d normally take hours. They are the bread-and-butter of Drupal development, and without stable modules available our job would be very, very difficult.

As such, when Drupal 8 was released we took a special interest in the state of module development. Because Drupal 7 has benefitted from more than 5 years of contribution and development from the Drupal community, Drupal 7 is an incredibly stable and powerful platform. 

We’ve been a bit spoiled, and despite the really amazing changes and improvements that we’ve been promised with Drupal 8, we were hesitant to jump on the bandwagon until we’d done a bit more research on what modules were really available for use. 

So, back in early December (shortly after Drupal 8 was released) I started to track the development status of modules in Drupal 8. I put together a list of the most-used Drupal modules and examined each module’s development status. 

Here's what I found: 

 

Status of Drupal’s top 25 most-used modules (Dec 2015): 

In Core: 7

Stable: 5

Percent Usable: 48%

In Alpha & Beta: 3

Unstable: 7

Unavailable: 3

Percent Unusable: 52%

 

If I’m 100% honest, I was pretty stunned at these numbers. With only 48% of Drupal’s most-used modules available at the time, it seemed that developing a complex site in Drupal 8 would have been a worrying prospect, given the inherent stability of Drupal 7. 

This was a disappointing outcome - we really wanted to start building in Drupal 8 but it just wasn’t ready for us!  

Given the dedicated and active Drupal community, I was curious to see how quickly things would improve. I figured it was just a matter of time before more people started getting involved. 

And so, three months have passed since that initial review and now, with Drupal Camp London just around the corner (Mar 4th - 6th), I thought it would be a good time to take another look. 

 

Status of Drupal’s top 25 most-used modules (Feb 2016):

In Core: 11

Stable: 6

Percent Usable: 68%

In Alpha & Beta: 4

Unstable: 4

Unavailable: 0

Percent Unusable: 32%

 

These results represent a 20% increase in the availability of Drupal’s top-modules within just a three month time frame. 

While that number may not sound terribly impressive at first glance, it represents a significant effort on behalf of the Drupal community to get Drupal 8 up-and-running. 

As Drupal is completely open-source and dependent on the unpaid contributions of its members, that 20% improvement is 100% fueled by the voluntary efforts and pure dedication of people throughout the community. And that’s just downright impressive. Plus, pathauto and admin toolbar work now!

But, don't just take my word for it. Feel free to take a look at my research and let me know your thoughts at r.gamm@catchdigital.com!