Last week, we were proud to announce the launch of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s enterprise Drupal 8 site, one of the first major Drupal 8 implementations in the U.S. One of the awesome benefits of working on this project was the opportunity to move Drupal 8 forward from beta to official release. Phase2 has been instrumental in accelerating Drupal 8, and we were excited that Memorial Sloan Kettering was equally invested in giving back to the community.
Benefits of starting early
Getting started during the beta phase of Drupal 8 meant that it wasn’t too late to fix bugs and tasks. Even feature requests can make their way in if the benefits outweigh the necessary changes to core.
Similarly, if other agencies and shops starting to use Drupal 8 are going through many of the same issues, there is more of an opportunity for collaboration (both on core issues and on contrib upgrades) than on a typical Drupal 7 project.
By the numbers
As of this writing, 57 patches have been directly contributed and committed to Drupal 8 as part of this project. Additionally, nearly 100 issues have been reviewed, marked RTBC, and committed. Hundreds of old and long neglected issues have been reviewed and moved closer to being ready.
Often, to take a break on a particularly tricky issue, I’d switch to “Issue Queue Triage” mode, and dive into some of the oldest, most neglected corners of the queue. This work brought the oldest Needs Review bugs from ~4 years to less than 4 months (the oldest crept back up to 6 months once I started circling back on myself).
This activity is a great way to learn about all the various parts of Drupal 8. Older issues stuck at Needs Review usually need, at minimum, a substantial reroll. I found that once tagging something with Needs Reroll, there were legions of folks that swooped in and did just that, increasing activity on most issues and getting many eventually committed.
One of my favorite but uncommitted patches is adding Views integration for the Date module. It’s still qualified as Needs Review, so go forth and review! Another patch, which is too late for 8.0.0, adds a very basic draft/moderation workflow to core. This patch is another amazing example of how powerful core has become–it is essentially just UI work on top of APIs already in Drupal 8.
Porting contrib modules to Drupal 8
This project has contributed patches and pull requests for Drupal 8 versions of Redirect, Global Redirect, Login Security, Masquerade, Diff, Redis, Memcache, and Node Order.
One of the remarkable things about this project, and a testament to the power of Drupal 8, is how few contributed modules were needed. Compare some 114 contrib modules on the Drupal 6 site, to only 10 on the Drupal 8 site.