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Roadmap for media in Sector D8

Sector Starter kit
Media management

Media is incredibly important to Sector. It is a core part of Sector D7 - maybe even the heart and soul of it. 

In early Sector D8 prototypes, we tried to rebuild the Sector D7 media features with early versions of the non-core media D8 modules. The outcome was nowhere near what we wanted, but in early 2018 this changed and will improve significantly over the year. 

Update (2018)

Since the alpha2 release in May 2018, the Sector 8 Starter Kit ships with media types for files and images. The alpha5 release in July 2018 added the media video file type


Sector D7 has a very advanced media solution using both media and file entity modules.

The main features include:

  • Four preconfigured media file types with additional metadata fields - captions, transcripts, etc 
  • WYSIWYG embed via the media view modes and the option to overwrite metadata for embedded media
  • oEmbed solution for external video and audio files (again, with full WYSIWYG embed via the media view modes)
  • A fully tested publication process for embargoed content (files in the private file structure) that also works via WYSIWYG embeds.

The Sector D7 media solution is also fully integrated with Sector media collections, and can be hooked up with SolR Search (allowing the creation of a SolR search view for larger image archives).

This is important for sites with a:

  • Longer publication roadmap and a long content lifecycle within the same DB
  • Large amount of media content

Media in Drupal 8

Though not part of the initial Drupal 8 release, Drupal has launched an initiative to integrate media in core. At the beginning of 2018, neither the non-core media modules nor the media-in-core solution have caught up with the Drupal 7 media solution, but the basic features will be available as part of Drupal core in the second half of 2018.

What does that mean for Sector D8 

We had two choices:

  1. Push ahead with a custom solution for Sector D8 (using what is in core and relying on extra modules that may or may not make it into core) and risk upgrade issues later.
  2. Work in line with the Drupal 8 media roadmap and only use non-core media modules that have a scheduled migration path into the Drupal core. 

In early 2018, we decided that the second option would be the more stable upgrade path going forward. 

Timeline so far

  • May 2018 - Sector D8 alpha2 included a basic media solution, including WYSIWYG embeds on a save upgrade path. 
  • July 2018 - Sector D8 alpha5  added video support

Over 2019, we plan to extend the media solution with media galleries, slideshows and further WYSIWYG embeds. 

We are also working on an approach to replicate our Drupal 7 solution for embargoed content - content including attachments that are embargoed prior to publication. The access rules for private files and media changed significantly with the introduction of a publication status on the media entities. 

Staff image

Heike Theis

Heike is part of the Sector team at Sparks Interactive and, together with Dave Sparks, the project owner for the Sector Drupal Distribution. 

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