The release of Drupal 10 is scheduled for December 14, 2022. The end of life of Drupal 9 is not scheduled until the end of 2023 to provide some margin.
With a new release in 2022 and Drupal 9 end of life by the end of 2023, Drupal 9 is expected to have the shortest lifespan among Drupal major releases in recent history. The most important new feature for you is that user-friendliness has been increased again.
The reason is very simple. It has to do with the third-party components that Drupal depends on. Those components have their own life cycle. When a component that Drupal depends on goes end-of-life and gets a new major version that breaks backward compatibility, the Drupal team usually has to change their major version number as well. The major dependencies are Symfony, CKEditor, PHP and Composer.
Drupal 10 will be a refined version of Drupal 9. There will be some improvements but due to the short lifecycle of Drupal 9, the difference will be limited. So we expect a smooth transition from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10.
The work done to transform Drupal 9 into Drupal 10 is driven by initiatives. We go through the 3 relevant initiatives for enterprise companies to give a clear picture of the difference with Drupal 9.
- Drupal 10 Readiness Initiative
- Decoupled Menus Initiative
- "Easy out of the box" Drupal 10 Initiative
Drupal 10 will have the latest versions of third-party components - this is the main goal of the Drupal 10 Readiness Initiative. This means that Drupal 10 websites will have all the innovations and improvements of these components and will be more secure, better supported, faster, more powerful and user-friendly for non-technical users and developers alike.
Here are the major planned changes to the components:
- update CKEditor 4 to CKEditor 5
- update Symfony 4 to Symfony 5 of 6
- update Composer 1 to Composer 2
- update PHP 7 to PHP 8
In addition, old technologies are replaced or removed:
- no more support for Internet Explorer 11
So this initiative largely determines whether the originally planned release date of Drupal 10 will be met.
Through this initiative, the experience of setting up Drupal as a headless content management becomes more streamlined and less expensive.
The goal of this initiative is to improve the out of the box experience of Drupal by making it significantly easier for editors, site administrators and site builders to use the administrative interface, manage content and media, and create visually appealing page layouts.
In Drupal 9, a number of tools have already been made optionally available. These are Layout builder, Media library and Clario (admin theme). Within this initiative, these tools will be made available by default. This means that these features will be enabled by default for every new Drupal user.
These enhancements tie in with our existing no-code page builder solution already present in our DXP.
The Drupal major releases follow each other faster so Drupal 10 is coming soon, but the difference from Drupal 9 is much smaller than previous differences between major updates. In essence, Drupal 10 is an improved version of Drupal 9 where all the underlying third party components have been redesigned, the headless architecture is better supported and user friendliness is improved for non-technical users. Finally, we keep in mind the end of 2023 as the deadline to have all Drupal sites upgraded to Drupal 10.