In the days of old, long, long ago, civilization nearly came to a standstill all because of sloppy code and a lack of foresight. Geniuses promoting the impending catastrophe creatively named it Y2K (Year 2000) and in the months that preceded the impending doom that the world would reap as a result of the “millennium bug” (as it was also so aptly referred to), programmers across all industries scrambled to save the culture’s – neigh – the world’s recent and vast leaps in technology made during the dawn of the internet. Some 20+ years later, Drupal developers find themselves beset by a similar foe – Drupal 10 and the premature, planned obsolescence of CKEditor 4.
Okay…so that was all a bit hyperbolic (but there is a slice of truth to it). Drupal 10 is actually going to be a really great upgrade that is streamlined and refined, utilizing the most popular and critical modules for development while simultaneously retiring unused, underused, and non-essential modules – all the great features of Drupal 9 without any of the dead weight. Furthermore, Drupal releases are going to be performed in tandem with Symphony releases with a continuous focus on honing the core so that it is a sound infrastructure upon which modules can be used to strengthen and expand that core going forward.
But the elephants in the room are CKEditor 4 (under planned obsolescence) and CKEditor 5 (being built from scratch). The trouble with building something from scratch to replace something old (at least in the case of CKEditor 5) is that the old library is filled with “hard copy books” while the new library is “digital” – and there is no automated “module converter” available. With very few of the modules within CKEditor 4 being transferred to CKEditor 5, a large selection of plugins that are currently being used on existing modules are not yet compatible and because Drupal is an open-source community, it falls to the community to contribute patches back…which isn’t happening fast enough.
Unlike Y2K, the patches that need to be made between CKEditor 4 and 5 are not currently being backed and funded by corporations and federal agencies and by the time the urgency in doing so is realized, it may be too much of a crunch to accomplish the fix. The beauty of open-source software is that it belongs to everyone. But, as Peter Parker’s uncle said, “With power comes responsibility” and if we as a Drupal community don’t all take a little responsibility for this, we will all pay the price. For more information, the upgrade coordination can be found here and information on the deprecated and obsolete modules and themes can be found here. Within Mobomo, we pride ourselves on being thought leaders and valued contributors to this open-source community. If you have any questions, please reach out to us here and send a message directly to the Mobomo team.