Drupal 8.8 released: What's new?

  • Articles
  • December 13 2019
  • 3 min read

A number of significant improvements have been introduced with Drupal 8.8. The update was released in December 2019 and significantly deprecated a lot of elements in the process of preparing the codebase for Drupal 9. The release has mostly focused on improving the management and contribution that will aid the impending update.

Let’s take a tour of updates introduced in Drupal 8.8.0

a woman typing on a laptop keyboard

#1 Media embedding in Drupal 8.8!

Like a final nail in the coffin, we have received the much-awaited media embedding update in this release. With the WYSIWYG integration, Drupal 8.8 completed the decade long wait for the site builders.  

The poorly handled media embedding is now easier for the content creators who wish to develop and integrate media embedding. 

#2 Claro is now a contributed project

The responsive theme, Claro is the new Drupal admin theme with an improved look and enjoyable perspective. As a new administration theme, it will bring a fresh design perspective to Drupal. Here’s a before and after screenshot for comparison. 

Clearly, the clean, concise, and enhanced look adds to the web accessibility factor, too. In Dries Buytaert’s feedback, the Claro theme has never looked this better or more accessible. 

#3 Composer in Drupal core initiative

With multiple composer plugins and templates launched in this release, Drupal development will become more in line with the PHP standards. The PHP dependency management tool will have Drupal/core-composer-scaffold, Drupal/core-vendor-hardening, and Drupal/legacy-project as the new components that will support an easy transition path for sites. 

#4 JSON:API module to be prompt and fast

The Drupal 8.8 update empowered and resolved these issues:

  • The include paths are now resolved for every resource in a resource collection. 
  • The resource normalization is no more leveraged or shared
  • And the resourceTypeRepository computes ResourceType value objects on every request

These changes prompted a growing ecosystem of contributed modules and thus, the JSON:API can create faster working and communication by eliminating the need for an ad-hoc code. Additionally, this update opened gates for an API-first future for Drupal websites with improved capabilities. 

#5 The Content Moderation and Workspaces modules are now compatible to be used together! 

This is an update for the two core modules for content workflows: Content Moderation (D8.3) and Workspaces (D8.6)

Earlier the two modules used to create a clash in the latest revision and showed only the latest workspace-specific revision. Now, the workspace can be published to Live now without entities requiring to reach a publishable moderation state for entities in draft (non-default/unpublished) moderation states in a workspace. They both can work in sync and create custom workflows too with interesting capabilities.

#6 End of life for jQuery UI from the Drupal core

In the process of switching to JavaScript solutions only phase, the Drupal core is doing away with jQuery UI which allowed developers to add experience components to their code. This collection of widgets is being deprecated for now and will be permanently removed in the upcoming Drupal 9. For modules and themes dependent on it will have to find a replacement contributed to the project. 

#7 Configuration Management improvements

If your settings are still on $config_directories, you need to make a move. Either to $settings or another storage option. This change began with Drupal Configuration Initiative 2.0 implemented in the release of Drupal 8.6. 

Now, the Drupal 8.8 configuration management will see new improvements starting with relief for developers who had to rely on contrib solutions such as Config Split for separating the development configuration.

#8 Path aliases have been converted to revisionable entities

A new path_alias revisionable content entity type will now provide custom URL aliases in Drupal 8.8. Its hook is deprecated and it recommends code changes for the new system that will be launched with Drupal 9. 

#9 Help topics are now searchable with Experimental Module

As a new Experimental module, plugin-based help topics can now be added, along with a few new help topics. Developers can provision helpful instructions in Twig files, the topics can be categorized according to complexity and tasks, and you can add help topics from the browser.


These updates are surely a huge shift from the existing Drupal 8 version. More than being a way of advancing, it is a wake-up call for many who are still on Drupal 7. 

The next Drupal 8.9 release will give closure to Drupal 8 updates and give way to Drupal 9. It will not make Drupal 8 insignificant but will surely affect the current workings. We are super excited to welcome the all-new Drupal 9!

Drop us a line at [email protected] to know more about Drupal 9 and our plans. 


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