Here at EtonDigital we eagerly welcomed the recent announcement that the new version of Drupal would incorporate various major Symfony components. Now, as the August release date for this new Drupal release (#8) approaches, there’s a steadily increasing buzz building on various development blogs about the implications for how we will design and build websites after the release – what these sites will be able to do – and how well they will be able to perform.
In short, it seems this new version will offer developers the best of both worlds – CMS and frameworks. As a PHP framework, one of Symfony’s biggest strengths is that it is built around independent modules which can be activated separately, without needing to interact with eachother – meaning that it is a superb tool if you prize good performance from websites (who doesn’t?).
For Drupal 8, the Symfony modules which are being integrated at far from minor – according to the Symfony blog, the new Drupal will incorporate HttpFoundation, HttpKernel, Routing, EventDispatcher, DependencyInjection and ClassLoader. It will now also be much easier to include custom Symfony applications into Drupal – and vice versa.
All in all, the development is excellent news for those who regularly employ both Drupal and Symfony. For more detailed insight into the motivations behind the integration, check out this great audio recording from a recent DrupalCon in Denver when the changes were discussed with Larry Garfield, lead on Web Services and Context Core Initiative for Drupal 8. For some more detailed coverage from DrupalCon Denver regarding the Symfony updates, see the videos and slides posted over at the Symfony blog.
Finally, there’s also a superb in-depth blog post from Drupal founder Dries Buytaert covering some of the more general changes in the forthcoming Drupal release – mainly how they plan to deal with the problem of ever-increasing complexity as the CMS matures and expands and how to maintain a reasonable level of accessibility for users. Very exciting times are ahead for Drupal/Symfony developers!