Drupal 8 Development and Support to End 2021 November 2

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Drupal Association has announced Drupal 8 End of Life (EOL) for November 2nd, 2021. Drupal 8 version was first released in November of 2015. Drupal 8 had brought improvement on how content and configuration got stored in the database.

With Drupal 9, a lot more new exciting things are in store for Drupal users. An interesting update regarding Drupal 7, is its EOL is extended to November 28th, 2022. This is due to a large number of sites still on Drupal 7. But there is no extended support for Drupal 8 unlike Drupal 7.

Unlike previous major upgrades, the Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 upgrade is equivalent to a minor release of the Drupal 8.  This means it is not too complex. Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 was a complicated one because of the major architectural uphaul. So upgrading from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is doing update.php as long as the codebase does not contain deprecated APIs.

Since Drupal depends a lot on Symphony, Drupal 9’s end of life is predicted to coincide with Symphony 4’s end of life which is slated for November of 2023.

What does this Mean to your Drupal Site?

Any new Drupal 9 feature you want to be added to a Drupal 8 site will now be possible only by moving to Drupal 9. Also, any issue fixes related to the Drupal 8 site cannot be fixed. Another issue will be the site's vulnerability to phishing and hackers. No security patches will be available after the EOL date. Also, according to the Drupal association

“Stable migration support for core modules is a requirement of Drupal 9, and that even includes a supported migration path from Drupal 6”,

which is indicative of a complex migration plan or a complete overhaul to the newest version.

“Drupal has used third-party libraries for more than a decade (for example, the adoption of jQuery in Drupal 5), but not to the extent they are used in Drupal 8. Libraries such as Symfony, Twig, CKEditor, Guzzle are fundamental components of Drupal 8's architecture. These dependencies eventually become outdated and unsupported, and Drupal must be updated to use newer, supported versions. If the updated dependencies impact backward compatibility, they can only be added to Drupal in a new major release. For example, Drupal 8 uses Symfony 3 which will reach the end of life in November 2021, and the update to Symfony 4 breaks backward compatibility with Symfony 3.”

Drupal 9 release date and what it means, 31 July 2021, accessed August 2021.