So much happened at DrupalCon Austin, per usual it was a crazy week full of trainings, sessions, parties, and development. I took much of my time attending important frontend sessions and BOFs, and spent Friday at the frontend code sprints. Many exciting ideas came out of the ‘Con, and here are the most important frontend updates that I was involved in.
Aurora Base Theme
I have officially taken over as Aurora’s primary maintainer, and will be updating the theme into the future. I am working on finishing up some changes for a 7.x-3.3 release this week. Along with some bug fixes, and minor updates, we have moved over the creation of new sub-themes to a Yeoman generator. Instructions for use are already up on the project page and the online documentation. We chose Yeoman over the current Compass extension, as it is much easier to use and will not conflict with existing gem versions. Feel free to check out the source code to see how we are utilizing the power of Yeoman. One of the most exciting new features is the ability to use Gulp.js as your task automator, instead of Grunt.js.
We also have some more fixes and features coming down the pipeline for the Magic module. fubhy spent some time last year ensuring our code is as efficient as possible, and organized the code accordingly. We have also added better ways to store theme variables in your settings.php file, so you can keep your settings in code more easily. All of these changes and more are on the 7.x-2.x branch, and we will be running tests to ensure that it is all working as expected. We will announce on Drupal.org and on Twitter when we are certain our code is ready for production websites.
After a BOF session about the magic module, and the future of Drupal 8 theming, a lot of good discussions where had about how we want to approach theming in Drupal 8. A few important ideas came to play, one of the critical ones is that we need to collaborate together to show best practices for Drupal theming. We decided to start a guide for Drupal theming, with best practices, tools, and techniques to get your site as best as it can be. This doc will be a collaboration between fubhy (Omega 4), John Albin (Zen), Morten (Mothership), and me (Aurora), but we look for contributions from the Drupal frontend community as a whole. You can open a pull request on our GitHub repository, or an issue on things you would like to see.
We also discussed creating a Yeoman generator to create sub-themes for all base themes. Currently, we are working together on how this can best be achieved, but once it is done we will put it up on the Frontend United GitHub Organization so the entire community can use these amazing tools.
Drupal 8 Theming
Friday was an important day in Drupal 8 theming. Through the power of a consensus banana and conversations with the community, we created a plan forward for Drupal 8 theming. We decided that it will be best for core modules to not include any classes, unless absolutely necessary, within preprocess functions, but leave them in Twig. If you are looking for a great place to start doing some Drupal 8 contrib work, check out the issue started from that conversation where Lewis Nyman discusses the motivation for this change, and what needs to happen. There is also a great discussion there about what else was talked about in Austin.
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