‘Building Modules with Drupal 8:’ The First Chapter Released from the Drupal 8 Anatomy Textbook Project.

This started out as a very modest project, and then it grew. Like Drupal 8 itself (to a much lesser extent, of course).

The Drupal 8 Anatomy Project began back in late 2013 as a small, independent team’s attempt at starting a learning initiative for our support staff here at Acquia. Initially, the idea wasn’t to create a sprawling, comprehensive guide to Drupal 8. Rather, the genesis of the idea hatched when two "Supportians" (this is how we in Support refer to ourselves) realized that we’d need to proactively learn about the wonderful, though complex, changes being introduced with D8.

We (Aurelien Navarre was my co-conspirator) knew from experience that we would have a limited amount of time. We needed to start immediately to ensure that the largest possible number of people could learn this information. We started writing this guide because we knew we had to support -- and buy into supporting -- Drupal 8. This would be a strong way to be prepared ahead of our customers on a product that was still viewed at that time as being in its infancy.

The goal was to avoid, or at least minimize, the knowledge gulf that had infected the two of us with fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

First, we focused on porting modules from D7 to D8. We called it “migrating modules,” but as we learned, the Drupalverse has multiple uses for many terms, and “porting” is the proper term to use. Our expertise, however, was not in building custom and contributed modules: we are much more well-versed in site building and troubleshooting bugs.

So we decided to gather the D8-related information already available on the Web and build lessons with it. Since that time, many Supportians and Acquians have contributed to this living textbook. Even more have mined bits and pieces of information and instruction to create their own projects.

And now we are proud to publish (under an open source-style license from Creative Commons) our first completed chapter: Building Modules with Drupal 8.

This chapter (which contains 11 lessons) is intended to be one potential starting point for current and future Drupalists who are making the transition to Drupal 8. It is actually from the middle of the potential textbook and is listed as Chapter 5 in our working outline. Our hope is that interest in this chapter will jumpstart the completion and publication of its sibling chapters.

Who is our audience?

Right now, it is two-fold:

  • Drupal developers who have worked in Drupal 6 and 7 and are looking to make the transition to Drupal 8. This chapter will help them transition to many of the object-oriented programming practices D8 embraces.
  • Developers with experience in object-oriented programming who have yet to make the leap to Drupal 8. This chapter will help explain the anatomy of a Drupal module.

As with our larger project, we’re hoping that “Building Modules with Drupal 8” will create a core upon which other Drupalists can build. That’s why it’s licensed using creative commons for share and share alike.

Please take a look, and share with friends, associates, and fellow Drupalists. We hope you find it valuable. If you find something that we can improve upon, leave a comment.

We’re looking forward to publishing more chapters in the near future.