Current status of Media in Drupal 8 core and next steps

The Media team concluded the exciting and successful year 2016 with a Drupal 8 core media sprint in Berlin. As a long time media contributor we were part of it of course.

Media team in the Lindenbräu pub.

Reinblau organized a social evening at the Lindenbräu pub for us. (photo by: Dietmar Gigler)

Why is Media in Core important?

We’ve invested quite a lot of energy into contrib media solutions. They are widely adopted and working fine. So why do we need improvements in core? One would argue that this is an unnecessary investment and we could agree to that to some extent. Solutions that already exist in contrib solve many most common use cases. One example is the NP8 distribution that we helped to create. It comes with relatively powerful media handling and wouldn’t really benefit from the same solutions being part of core. Same is probably true also for Lightning and Thunder distributions.

But there are also problems. Contrib solutions often lack good documentation. This means that experienced solution providers, such as MD Systems, can easily build applications with them. But less experienced individuals and teams can have some issues when initially exploring the ecosystem. Core would, on the other hand, remove many of those barriers and make this solutions much more accessible and easier to use.

Another problem is standardization. Due to core’s lack of “leadership” in the media field a few competing approaches exist in contrib. This is true for many, but the most problematic are architectural and UI/UX aspects. This could be solved by core as well as patterns would eventually spill over to contrib.

That said, the biggest winners from better media support in core would be not-so-experienced users who currently struggle with contrib solutions. Another winner would be big and complex websites which would be able to get rid of a lot of complexity due to this change. We also think that this would help driving Drupal 8 adoption in the long run. The entire community would benefit and even more those individuals and companies that are invested in Drupal.

A lot has been achieved...

Janez published a blog post where he summarizes the results that were achieved at the sprint.

… but a lot still needs to be done

A lot of great progress, but we’re not even closely done yet. In order to realize all the goals that the Media team set for themselves a lot more time and resources will need to be invested - at least few months, as it was mentioned in the video above. Such an effort can’t be done solely by the team of volunteers. We also need professional support and engagement to be really successful.

Berlin sprint was made possible mostly because of a few companies stepping up, allowing their employees to attend the sprint as part of their work time and covering expenses. While that is a quite successful model it definitely isn’t a long term solution to fund the initiative for Media in Core. Specially considering the fact that the entities that enabled last sprint mostly can live with the contrib solutions and already invested a lot of resources in those in the past few years.

Team’s desire is to organize at least 2 or 3 similar (focused week-long) sprints in 2017 since the past experience shows that we achieve greatest results on them. At this point there are no funds secured for that and it is absolutely necessary for more companies to step up and contribute significant financial and other resources to the initiative. It is hard to imagine how Media in Core could see significant improvements without that.

Based on our “20% goes back to the community” rule you can help solving this problem by hiring MD Systems to help you with the next Drupal (media) project.

Next sprinting opportunity is Mountain camp

Drupal Mountain camp, which will happen in February in Davos, Switzerland, will also include four days of focused sprints. This is the next opportunity to sprint with and learn from the most experienced contributors from the Drupal Media Initiative.

See you there?

Eager to read more? Check related projects!