New Drupal, new Platform, new PHP, new year

Submitted by Larry on 31 December 2016 - 1:19pm

OK, well, it took a while, but I've finally gotten my blog off of Drupal 6. :-) Welcome to the new and improved! My blog is unsurprisingly rather bland, as it's, well, a blog. That made updating to Drupal 8.2 using the Drupal migrate module reasonably easy. It wasn't hiccup free, and a few not-yet-updated modules got lost along the way, but it wasn't an epic struggle, either. There were only two major hiccups:

  1. My text formats were all screwed up somehow,and filtering out all content. Oops. Fortunately this was fixed by simply resaving my text format configuration and then force-clearing all caches.
  2. There's a known bug in Bartik (the Drupal 8 default theme, which I am still using) that made all comments wrap at arbitrary character boundaries rather than keep words together. There's a patch in the queue already that solved the issue, which hopefully gets committed soon.

The patch is applied automatically courtesy of Drupal Composer, which is how this site is now built. It's how, frankly, all Drupal 8 sites should be built. That of course requires a web host that will run composer, for which I had to look no farther than (Granted I work there so it wasn't a hard search...) Aside from being a generally good host, and the first major Drupal host to support fully composer-ified Drupal, its "every branch is a testing environment" architecture means it's super-easy to test out configuration changes or new ideas.

Because of that, I also felt safe in switching this site to PHP 7.1. It was a one character change to do so (changing a "0" to a "1"), and while I'm obviously not using any new syntactic features of PHP 7.1 it does have a modest but nice performance boost over PHP 7.0. Also, I just like flagging that PHP 7.1 is stable and ready-to-go.

At some point I may change the theme up, as I don't like how Bartik handles comment alignment, but knowing me I'll probably never get to it. The cobbler's kids and all that... Also, there may be other gotchas in the site that I'll spot and clean up as time goes by. If you spot one please let me know. Onwards to 2017!

Congrats on the upgrade, Larry. And interesting to hear how easy it was on I'm a big fan of Composer but I didn't know that it automatically applied patches. Very nice!

There's a composer plugin that lets you apply patches, written by cweagans.'s Drupal starter kit is just a slight modification of the standard Drupal Composer project, which includes it. See our composer.json file, in particular the require cweagans/composer-patches section and the patches section toward the end.