"Media Essentials" Begins Its Journey to Drupal Core

January 9, 2017
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Last month, eight companies collaborated in Berlin to bring media to Drupal core during a week-long code sprint. The work done was part of the Media Initiative, which is an effort to support advanced media use cases in Drupal core. This encompasses many features including external embeds from YouTube and Twitter, native video support, and an interface to re-use and manage media assets.

In the short term, the initiative’s goal is to deliver a minimally viable version of media capabilities, similar to those available in Acquia Lightning, to Drupal Core in 8.3 as a way to bring new contributors to the initiative. This will enable all Drupal authors to use the advanced media handling capabilities of the Media module eco-system as early as this spring. The base set of media functionality, known as “Media Essentials,” will provide a stable data model and API that users can trust in production site builds.

Looking past 8.3, Drupal’s new release cycle allows the community to add additional media features in the form of experimental modules. What makes this exciting is that minor updates are going to continue improving the media experience, without a strict “feature freeze.”

One example of an experimental feature that should also make it into 8.3 is the Media Library, which is a user interface for managing and reusing media assets. While Media Essentials should be stable in 8.3, the Media Library can be iterated on in later minor releases until it’s ready for production. This pattern has been extremely successful for core, which already has eleven experimental modules in its development branch.

The work the media team is doing is ambitious, but so far they’re on track to land Media Essentials as a part of Drupal 8.3, which should release in April. The event in Berlin was the first core media sprint since Drupalcon Dublin, and was critical for getting media to a candidate state for inclusion in core. Janez Urevc, the main organizer of the Initiative, recorded a screencast showcasing the progress of the sprint:

There is a lot of work left to be done, and if you want to help I would recommend contributing to Drupal.org issues tagged with “D8Media” and attending the next code sprint when it’s announced on the official Drupal Media twitter feed. At the last sprint we saw contributors at all skill levels, and everyone found a place to help out - don’t be afraid to join in.

In Berlin, the Thunder team, from Hubert Burda Media, hosted representatives from Acquia (Lightning & Demo teams), MDSystems, Lullabot, Finalist, Chapter Three, Ueberbit, and Reinblau. All eight companies sponsored employees to attend the sprint.

If your organization relies on Drupal’s media functionality, or you’re just looking to help out, please consider funding, hosting, or sending your team to future media sprints!

For more information on contributing, feel free to reach out to me at samuel.mortenson@acquia.com, or Janez Urevc at https://janezurevc.name/contact.

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