Skip to main content

The Drupal 8 Patch a Day Challenge

We've entered the clean-up phase of the Drupal 8 release cycle. Drupal 8 is shaping up to be the best Drupal release to date - with a raft of new features and a less Drupal-centric developer experience.

So the question on everyone's lips is, when will Drupal 8 be released? The answer is the same as it has always been, 'When it is ready'!

We can't wait to start working with Drupal 8 on a daily basis. The new features will make our day-to-day jobs so much easier and our development workflow so much cleaner.

So to this effect, I'm aiming to work on one patch per day from now until the Drupal 8 release.

Will you join me in the Drupal 8 Patch a Day Challenge? Read on for more details.

by lee.rowlands /

The Drupal 8 #PatchADay challenge

Looking back at my tracker tab for the last few months, I noticed I was almost uploading a patch a day. So I thought, how fast would Drupal 8 be ready if everyone made an attempt at a patch a day?

We know from history that the Drupal 7 clean-up phase took far longer than planned. I wasn't involved in core development until just before 7.0 came out, so I can't comment on the process. Although I did see a footnote in a comment posted during the Drupal 7 clean-up phase that said

Only 140 criticals to go - go review some

So given the Drupal 8 thresholds have kept the number of criticals to a far more manageable number, I'm confident that we can have a fairly smooth clean-up process.

A patch a day keeps the doctor away?

So what constitutes a patch, well there are lots of important tasks involved in resolving issues in the queue, each that play a vital role - so I think any of these should qualify for the one patch per day goal

  • Uploading a patch that progresses the issue towards a resolution

  • Reviewing a patch or manual testing - reviewing is as important and as time consuming as creating the patch itself. We have great community tools to make reviewing easier - eg Dreditor for code reviews and for manual testing. Dreditor even makes it easier to test a patch with, each patch gets a '' button beside the 'review' button - allowing you to simply create a new environment to test the patch via a single click (see the screenshot).
  • Checking a patch still applies and/or re-rolling a patch - at this stage in the release cycle - HEAD moves fast - so frequent re-rolls are required to keep a patch in a state where it can be applied.
  • Writing issue summaries - issue summaries help reviewers get up to speed with the background and current state of an issue.

So there are probably three types of responses to this challenge - depending on the level of core contributions.

Regular core contributors will most likely say, 'what only 1 per day'.

Sometimes contributors will say, yeah I see your challenge, I think I can step up to one per day.

New contributors might be daunted but I assure you, it is possible. It could take as little as 30 minutes of your time each day, perhaps less. Drop in on one of the core mentoring sessions to get one-on-one help. Or come and join us in person at the Global Sprint Weekend to kick-start your Drupal 8 contribution.

There are lots of small bite-size issues in the queue at the moment, which is to be expected in the clean-up phase, these are great for making daily progress on.

So are you in?

So what do you think - will you join me in taking the patch a day challenge?

Let us know on twitter by sending us a direct tweet along these lines:

I'm taking the #Drupal8 #PatchADay challenge with @previousnext

Keep us posted on your daily progress using the #Drupal8 and #PatchADay hash tags.

Drupal 8 is going to change how you build websites for the better, let's work together to get it out there in time for Prague!

Posted by lee.rowlands
Senior Developer



Comment by fietserwin


Writing a test that shows the existence of the bug should also count.

Solving, especially long standing, bugs, should probably start with writing a test that shows the bug is still there. Because so many internals have changed, I guess there is good number of issues that don't hold any more for D8. Though, on the other hand, they should still be solved for D7.

Comment by Kevin Kaland


Oh, how timely. Just decided I'd put 10 mins a day into Drupal. Is there a "10 minutes" tag yet? :D

Comment by How about #PatchAWeek?


I'm finding I can't quite manage my own #PatchADay. (Disclaimer: my day job involves reviewing, not writing, Drupal 8 core patches.) So, I'm going to try #PatchAWeek! Maybe this will be a good alternative for folks who want to give it a try but aren't quite ready to do one every day.

This week's patch is a simple one: