The development of Drupal 8 is being focused in 7 major "core initiatives":
- + Configuration management: In Drupal 8 configuration lives in files and the database is used only for caching. This allows developers to track changes, put configuration under version control amd update a production site cleanly.
- + HTML5: This is one of the top 5 initiatives for Drupal 8; switch Drupal's default doctype from XHTML to HTML5 adding support for the new form elements to Drupal’s Form API and other features.
- + Blocks & Layouts: Drupal 8 provides a standardized mechanism of output components (blocks, page callbacks, menus, theme settings, and more) and new tools for placing content on a page.
- + Mobile-friendly features: enablement of administrative task management from a mobile device, a mobile responsive design, and an improved front-end performance.
- + Multilingual: New functionality and tools in Drupal 8 core will make building a site with multiple languages in mind a much easier experience
- + Views in core: The Views module which is installed on 70% of all Drupal sites, will be part of the Drupal 8 core.
- + Web Services: With Drupal 8, Drupal evolves from a web CMS into a REST server that includes a web CMS. Drupal doesn't just support web services: Drupal is a web service.
The development phase for Drupal 8 started two years ago and after the feature completion phase, Alpha releases are already available. API changes may still be accepted, and it is time to provide early API feedback before starting updgrading contributed modules and themes once the API is stable. More details about the Drupal release cycle can be found on the Drupal official site.
At BitNami one of our goals is to simplify the testing of the latest versions of open source web applications. BitNami Drupal is completly self-contained and it will not conflict with your current development environment. You can download it, give a try and safely remove it when you are done.
Drupal thrives on developer contributions, and you are encouraged to get involved by testing and provide feedback.