What Does the Drupal 8 Release Candidate Mean?

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It's finally here. Or close, at least. The Drupal 8 release candidate is here after a long wait. But does that mean everyone can start using it? What does a "release candidate" mean exactly?

What "release candidate" means, exactly.

What RC1 means is that the core functionality of Drupal is set—no more architecture changes or API tweaks. The object-oriented Symfony components are in place, as well as the new WYSIWYG editor and Twig templating engine. These large components (the real guts of Drupal) are locked in and no longer subject to change. That does not, however, mean that Drupal 8 is bug-free. Far from it. What it does mean is the underlying code is stable enough for developers to start using Drupal 8 to build new production sites and as a foundation to begin migrating Drupal 7 modules or building new ones for Drupal 8.

So can we Drupal 8 now, for real?

Yes! And no, which is to say it really depends. For new production sites that are more or less using Drupal 8 out of the box with limited reliance on contributed modules, yes, Drupal 8 is now a viable option. With features like Views, Date and Entity Reference built into Drupal 8 Core, as well as native multi-lingual capability, Drupal 8 is a good choice for simple, content-driven websites that don't require a lot of add-ons.

For larger projects, the development timeline for a new Drupal 8 site is likely to align with the port of existing Drupal 7 modules to Drupal 8. Much of widely-used modules will be migrating to Drupal 8 within a few months. For really big or highly specialized projects, capable development teams (such as ours) can port modules as part of the development process to speed up the adoption rate. To read more about Drupal 8's adoption rate, check out our blog post about it here.

What's next?

As development teams start putting on their OOP hats (that's object-oriented programming to us non-devs) and diving into Drupal 8, there are going to be a lot of bugs and some getting used to new ways of doing things. If you're wondering about the changes between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8, check out our downloadable comparison here. And if you're ready to dive in, contact us to see how we can help you get started with Drupal 8.