Installing Drupal 8
Custom Theming: Take One
Adding JS, CSS and Font Files and Libraries
Because I had a number of CSS and JS files, I followed the advice (from d.o. maybe?) to break them into two groups—global-styling and global-scripts,. These will now be available to every page.
My scripts.js is actually just a teeny few lines to handle the navigation bar, but surprisingly, Drupal 8 doesn’t load JQuery on every page automatically like D7 did. You have to add it as a dependency, as well as any other js you want to run on every page.
One thing I never figured out was how to add my custom fonts. I use Google's PT Serif and Inconsolata in this theme, and the only way I could get the fonts to load was by adding an @import to my main CSS file:
It works, and that'll have to do for now.
The Classy theme was a godsend for me when it came to creating custom templates. Whether you create a subtheme of Classy or not, you can look at the slew of templates it includes to get an idea of how to create your own.
For this theme, I needed a custom block--search-form-block.html.twig and changes to page.html.twig and node.html.twig. For instance, like Matt Korostoff, I don't much like the default "submitted by" line. To tweak it, I copied the node.html.twig from Classy, plopped it in my theme's template folder, and changed the line: I still haven't figured out how to get my custom date/time format to print, but I'll keep working on it. :)
Custom Modules and More
I enabled a few contrib modules (Prepopulate, Youtube Field, Captcha and Recaptcha) that were absolutely required before going live. All worked beautifully out-of-the-box. However, the other contrib modules I tried gave me either a WSOD or that ghastly pink error message.
At this time I'd recommend enabling contrib modules cautiously, if at all. Most are still in dev for a reason. Maybe try them on a test install first and see what blows up.
Luckily this is a simple site that can run without many contrib modules. If you have a complex site that requires a number of them, you may have to wait a bit before they're all ported to 8. Bluespark publishes a helpful live list of the current status of the top 100 Drupal modules. Check it out to see if your modules are listed.
I'm know you're waiting on tenterhooks for your favorite modules, but remember that most of the people who create and maintain contrib modules do so on their own time and without pay. That's pretty darn generous of them, and I'm grateful for all the vacation time and off hours they spend creating modules that make my life easier. Unless I'm able to jump in alongside and start slinging code, I'm happy to wait patiently for contrib modules to be ported.
(Note to self: Patience you must have, my young padawan.)
The (sort of) bad news: Not everyone is crazy enough to spend two days and nights building a D8 site. It still isn't easy. You may get discouraged. You will lose sleep. I still can't get drush 7 (required for D8) to rebuild caches. Importing and exporting a database between dev and live without at least a few WSODs is nigh on impossible. I encountered a number of alien requirements and strange error messages that took time to track down and debug.
The good news: Smarter people than me are working on those problems. Yay!
More good news: I'm no longer afraid of WSODs or error screens that fill three screens. Also, I busted my local dev site and had to rebuild it so many times, I now know a great deal about installing, enabling and configuring Drupal 8.
Was it worth it? You betcha! I'm no programmer, so I was nervous about Drupal 8 coming down the pike. I'm not nervous anymore. In fact, I'm looking forward eagerly to a release candidate.
Thanks to all the people who put so much time and effort into Drupal 8. It's really spectacular, and we thank you for generously sharing your code with us.
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This is usually a main problem on longer jobs that need one person in charge who is accountable for the project's success.