Drupal 8 to a non-technical

“I’ve installed that Drupal 8. Yes, that went easy, but not much easier than Drupal 7. What’s that ado about Drupal 8 anyway? For two years you people have been building that CMS intensely - and what gives? A slightly better version of Drupal 7? Except that modules and themes don’t work with it, and there is a complete mess in the folder, I checked!” A Concerned User.

Dear Concerned User,

To explain it simply, let me compare. The first working locomotive was built in 1804. It ran on coal and was powered by steam. Now compare it to one of those luxurious trains of today. Now, If all you did were to enjoy a short ride in a coupe, you could say something like “The interior looked a bit more modern, but overall, just the same”. Still a locomotive up front. Still a car where you travel. But if you open the panel, you will see a ‘mess’ of wires. And what have they been doing all these 110 years!

But if you looked closer, you’d see more changes, some of a radical type. The modern train runs on diesel fuel or electricity. The engine underwent a drastic rebuilt. The brakes, the navigation system, the conditioning, all that electronics under the hood... The philosophies of rail transport, of comfort, of security - all have been strongly revisited in all aspects. Same is true of Drupal 8.

The transition between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 is as important, as transition from coal and steam to diesel once was. It is an almost complete reworking of it’s engine. It’s about what new Drupal can do, and how. To put it simply, it’s the difference between the coal and diesel, the script and the software.

What is a script? You know scripts from movies. Scripts are sets of instructions that run from A to Z. Modern software is an object-oriented set of libraries, controllers, and objects, rather than a script. Modern software has certain philosophies in architecture and security, structure and function. In this sense, Drupal 7 was the script, and Drupal 8 is a software.