The epic story of the last week of how Drupal's frontend and backend look changed after 11 years at DrupalCon PortlandSubmitted by Gábor Hojtsy on Thu, 05/05/2022 - 13:28
Last week was DrupalCon Portland, our first in-person big DrupalCon back together with 1300+ attendees. I was fortunately one of the attendees along with leaders of in-the works Drupal admin theme Claro and frontend theme Olivero. Both Claro and Olivero have been in the works for years, and both were quite close to get done, yet we did not even dream of getting both be the new defaults in Drupal within the week. But we did it!
Claro replaces Seven as the default administration theme and Olivero relaces Bartik as the default frontend theme in both Drupal 9.4.0 and Drupal 10.0.0. Both prior themes have been the Drupal defaults for 11 years, ever since Drupal 7 was released. Both themes received a lot of key contributions throughout the years, so many to even attempt to recount here. This is a guest post by Lauri Eskola (with additions by myself) on the story of how the final week went. Read on to peek into how we worked at DrupalCon to makes these historic changes happen.
Claro became stable and the default administration theme
#Drupal Admin UI / Claro BoF at @drupalcon #DrupalCon pic.twitter.com/49lMTqCj4c
— Mike Herchel (@mikeherchel) April 25, 2022
First Cristina Chumillas (ckrina) organized a BoF discussion about Claro on Monday morning. We promoted the BoF on social media and on the contribution page on the DrupalCon site.
The focus of the BoF was to discuss the remaining scope for getting Claro stable and default in the Standard profile and if there is anything in the scope that could be reduced. We were able to descope a few issues from the roadmap, which got a sign-off from Gábor Hojtsy later that day as a product manager onsite. We also created a battle plan for the remaining issues to make sure that everyone involved knew what needs to happen and who should take action on each of the issues.
After the BoF, we met Matthew Grasmick during lunch, and he half jokingly suggested that we should try to finish the roadmap by Dries’ keynote on Wednesday so that he could announce the good news there. This inspired the team to do the unthinkable; to try to finish the remaining part of the roadmap by Wednesday morning.
On Monday Lauri Eskola worked on the roadmap with Cristina, Emilie Nouveau, Mike Herchel and Kat Shaw. We also received support from Angie Byron and Gábor on making sure that we are on the right track with the solution for the last stable blocking issue that required code changes.
Hace you heard? Just one more a11y META issue to go and we can mark Claro as stable!! #DrupalCon @laurii1 go go! pic.twitter.com/gRIEYT8PBL
— Cristina (@chumillas) April 27, 2022
Gábor also did the vast majority of the actual code patches required for marking Claro stable and the default theme.
We were able to land the last stable blocking issue on Tuesday morning. Now all that was left was finishing up on the accessibility assessments. Some of the assessments were done and could be closed, but forced colors mode and focus visibility still needed some more assessment.
We received help from Ben Mullins who was offsite, and in the meanwhile Lauri was able to collaborate with Cristina, Emilie, Mike, Kat, Adam Bergstein, Baddý Breidert, and Ted Bowman onsite at the event.
All of the assessments were done by the evening. This was after we had already left the venue. Angie, Cristina, Lauri and Gábor headed for dinner and Lauri was still trying to file follow-up issues for the problems discovered as part of the assessment from Angie’s car, but he found that Ben already submitted them.
Once we got to the restaurant, all of the issues had been closed and all that was left was for someone to commit the patch that marked Claro stable.
Angie was one of the people who were involved in starting the whole project, so she was the perfect person to commit the issue.
Wohoooooo congratulations to the team working to get Claro stable and default! @chumillas @laurii1 @webchick Thank you for all your hard work!! That picture is sooo cute #DrupalCon #DrupalConPortland pic.twitter.com/cuBISEyh9m
— Fatima (@sugaroverflow) April 27, 2022
We requeued the issue to mark Claro the default theme in Standard for testing with Claro being stable and went on with our dinner. It was great vegan food by the way, we suggest you check out Blossoming Lotus if you are in Portland.
Afterwards we moved to Gábor’s hotel lobby and Angie committed the Standard profile patch too.
In the meantime, Benji Fischer, who was at the conference but not with us in person noticed that Claro became stable and restarted work on making it the administration theme of the Umami demo profile as well. Since we were at it already, Cristina reviewed and tested this patch and she committed that from the hotel lobby as well.
Twelve hours later, Dries announced the huge milestone at the Driesnote with a photo of Angie's commit from the hotel. Years of work suddenly becoming real in a couple days!
Olivero became the default frontend theme
We are getting closer to make #Olivero default in #Drupal. @gaborhojtsy @laurii1 @mikeherchel are preparing it now at #DrupalConPortland #DrupalCon pic.twitter.com/aX5V6iTOmw
— Baddy Sonja Breidert (@baddysonja) April 28, 2022
Inspired by the success of Claro, people started working on the remaining blockers to make Olivero the default theme after the Driesnote. Olivero was already stable, and all that was left was to do quality assurance checks, which was done by Mike Herchel, and to get tests to pass with Olivero being the default theme.
Getting all of the tests to pass with Olivero being the default theme in Standard profile was much more complex than we had anticipated. This had been worked on for months before the event through various spin-off issues by several contributors, but numerous details remained to solve.
The work was finished during the event by Joe Shindelar onsite with the help of Spokje, Lee Rowlands and Amber Himes Matz offsite.
We got sign-offs by Thursday morning from Nathaniel Catchpole (release manager) offsite and Gábor (product manager) onsite that Olivero could also be made the default theme of Standard.
We got all of the work done by Thursday afternoon, which raised an idea that we could commit the patch live at the beginning of trivia night. We were anxiously working on this up until the last minute, because DrupalCI was having a very rough day with most test runs across various issues running into random failures.
We were literally watching multiple DrupalCI runs live at the event so that we could start researching any test failures as soon as they appeared.
The final push to make Olivero the new default Drupal 9/10 theme landed in a live commit at @DrupalConNA trivia night! Joined on zoom were @shadow4611 @jponch @putrabon @andy__blum, while the crowd cheered on! Thanks @lullabot and all the contributors. #ContributeAtDrupalCon pic.twitter.com/Be3ACCeSnP
— Gábor Hojtsy (@gaborhojtsy) April 29, 2022
Final fixes were put in place by Joe Shindelar in the afternoon. Luckily we managed to get green test runs and had a successful live commit at the beginning of trivia to 9.4.x.
Mike got on stage to explain what is going on and offsite Olivero team members Jen Witkowski, Putra Bonaccorsi, Jared Ponchot and Andy Blum all called in via a Zoom meeting. The 10.x clean test result came back a bit later, but we merged to 10.x as well before trivia started.
This was extremely rewarding and a perfect way to end this very successful event! It felt like a full circle as Olivero got started as an idea at the last in-person DrupalCon and got to land at this in-person DrupalCon.
While getting these two themes be the new Drupal defaults was a highlight for us, this DrupalCon was notable for many other reasons. It was great to see our friends again after several years only on video calls. Want to be in the next epic story moving the drop? DrupalCon Europe is coming back to Prague in September, ticket sales are about to start. We plan to be there as well working on the next major things for Drupal!