Drupal 8.3 Alpha Release: 4 Updates for Devs and Users

What does Drupal's latest update have in store for you?

By now, you've probably heard that Drupal's alpha release for Drupal 8.3 is available for download.  

What does the new enterprise content management system have to offer through this iteration? According to the CMS's website, 8.3.0-alpha1 is a "minor release" that features a few internal changes to APIs and experimental modules. Let's dig into what you can do with the latest alpha release:

1. CMS's Anonymous REST API Gets a Performance Boost

According to the release page, the Anonymous REST API can now perform 60 percent faster thanks to internal page caching. 

Essentially, the Drupal developers recognized that ResourceResponse contained data that it needed to serialize. This meant that every time a Dynamic Page Cache retrieved cache items, the cache system had to unserialize the data within ResourceResponse. To address this issue, Drupal moved the serialization code to a response event subscriber. 

"Quick Edit Mode now allows users to replace existing images with one click."

2. Users Can Drag and Drop Images in Quick Edit Mode

This is one of those features the folks using the enterprise CMS will love. Dubbed "Image Insane," this function allows content publishers to quickly replace title images for their articles.

Here's how they can take advantage of the feature. Go to Drupal's Article section, click "edit" under the Operations tab, and then scroll down to the "Maximum upload size" subheading.

Underneath that subheading, they should see a field that allows them to check "Enable drag and drop image replacement (Image Insane)." Once they click the field and save the settings, they should be able to drag images from their computers and place them over pictures they've already uploaded to the CMS. The company posted a link to a demo video if you want to see the process in action. 

3. REST API Now Allows You to Register Users

Whenever unauthenticated users sent POST requests, they received 403 errors. While there wasn't anything necessarily wrong with this method, Drupal wanted to enable user registration if websites permitted such actions.

To resolve this challenge, Drupal proposed implementing a user registration resource "that allows users to be registered into the system" based on the administrator settings under the /config/people/accounts directory. What this does is allow anonymous users to register accounts as if they were doing so via a normal Drupal form. 

Keep in mind that Drupal is currently reviewing any security flaws with this process. 

4. Users Can Access New Experimental Workflows

Drupal 8.3.0-alpha1 also offers an experimental workflows module for administrators. Basically, Drupal introduced a new way to supply workflows and transitions between Draft, Archived and Published states. 

According to Drupal's change record, the experimental workflows module provides "workflow type" plugins. Essentially, the plugins detail the information associated with a content state or transition. This means that if if a plugin doesn't exist for a workflow type, the user can't create workflows. Check out the code on the change record to learn more. 

There are several dozen updates associated with the alpha release. For the most part, they solve bugs associated with the REST API, and other API-related features. Check them out!