“We agreed that today, React would be the most promising option given its expansive adoption by developers, its unopinionated and component-based nature, and its well-suitedness to building new Drupal interfaces in an incremental way,” Buytaert said. “Today, I’m formally proposing that the Drupal community adopt React, after discussion and experimentation has taken place.”
The discussion on the proposal is an interesting read with many similarities to the recent discussions in the WordPress community regarding React. Several Drupal developers expressed concerns about how difficult it may be for those with a PHP background to learn React, as it adds more complexity to the development process.
Others, who had previously become disillusioned by a perception of Drupal being unable to keep up with modern web development, welcome the proposal to experiment with React. A few advocated for their frameworks of choice and said they would like to see the experimentation expanded to include other frameworks as well.
“Is there an issue yet for the React prototype of the watchdog page?” Drupal core committer Angie Byron said. “When that’s created, folks interested in alternative frameworks (I’m hearing both ‘vanilla’ web components and Vue.js come up a lot, both here and in the WP discussions) could start an alternate implementation in a duplicate issue and we could compare/contrast, which would be very helpful in my opinion.”
Drupal is aiming to have enough real-world testing done to make a final decision before the upcoming 8.6.0 development period slated for the first part of 2018. Buytaert said that after deciding on a framework, Drupal’s leadership plans to begin adoption in a limited and incremental way “so that the decision is easily reversible if better approaches come later on.”