Learning by Trial and Error - Installing and Touring Drupal 8

A month or so ago the Drupalize.Me team started a discussion on how to start helping others learn Drupal 8. We knew Drupal 8 wasn't ready for our typical curriculum and video production process, but thought you would be interested to learn along with us about Drupal 8 as it continues to evolve. This blog post is the kick off to that series. As we stated in a recent podcast where we announced this idea, we need everyone to understand that the things we discuss are still in development and could change, or even be removed from D8 altogether.

"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" - Albert Einstein

As this series of blog posts progresses we will try to chat with initiative leads to get a better sense of what we are looking at, and to learn the whys of what is being done to Drupal core. We'll look at things like how WYSIWYG has been added, what is different with Views now that it is in core, and what this means. Twig, what the heck is that? Each Drupalize.Me member will pick topics and changes in D8 that interest them, research it, and let our readers know what we discover.

Where to start? I figured the best place to start would be to create a screencast of installing Drupal 8 and just touring around pointing out new and different things I see. Lots of people are interested in D8 but don't have the time to dive in, so let me be your guinea pig.

What Did I Learn?

After installing and taking a tour of Drupal 8, I can certainly say it is starting to become a mature-looking product. When I first started using Drupal I was testing to see which CMS I wanted to learn, and I played around with Drupal, Joomla, and Wordpress. Drupal by far was the least pleasing to the eye. Now, with D8, things are looking nice and polished. From my initial impression, the admin theme is smoother — not a massive change, but all the right changes in the right direction. When adding content, moving the lesser items to the side is a much needed improvement. Then, to add responsive points to the site, is just a blessing in disguise. Here is a quick list of what I discovered during this trial and error blog post:

  • The install process hasn't changed too much, but then again it didn't need much work
  • The admin tool bar can be positioned left or top
  • The admin menu is simpler, cleaner, and responsive
  • The admin theme has been cleaned up and is a bit more professional to look at
  • Adding content is much improved, and responsive as well
  • Modules are now under a menu item called "Extend"
  • The "Extend" (module administration) page now has Ajax search without the need of installing a module
  • Contextual menus have a noticeable icon now, which also has a master icon to turn them on without the need to hover over them
  • The obvious: Views is now in core

This blog post and screencast certainly did not point out everything that is new, but don't fear, as this is an ongoing series with other contributors, so we can start to see Drupal 8 through other people's learning via trial and error.

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