The Olivero Theme Releases Its First Alpha

Screenshot of code

This past Friday, the Olivero project reached a major milestone and tagged our first alpha release. You can download it on the Olivero project page. This release marks a point in time where the code is stable(ish!), looks good amazing, and is ready for additional testing!

What is Olivero?

Olivero is a new theme that is slated to make it into Drupal core in version 9.1 as the new default theme (replacing Bartik). It’s named after Rachel Olivero, who was a valued community member and accessibility advocate. 

Olivero theme showing form styles

About this release

This release has been a long time coming (read about the origin here) and has countless hours from dedicated volunteers poured into it with love. 

This release is not perfect, in fact, we’ve stated that “perfect is the enemy of good” for our alpha releases! That being said, we’ve done extensive testing with various devices, and browsers (yes — this theme supports Internet Explorer 11), and have done lots of accessibility work, although more still needs to be done!

Olivero theme being tested in Microsoft Edge using Windows High Contrast mode
Olivero theme being tested in Microsoft Edge using Windows High Contrast mode

You get a feature! You get a feature! Everyone gets a feature!

Olivero theme settings
Olivero theme settings

Well… almost. Besides cross browser and accessibility work, we’ve included some common features in this initial release.

  • Dropdown menu support — this is self-explanatory, but until Drupal 9.1, core themes did not support multi-level menus. 
  • Option for “always-on” mobile navigation — This is intended for the use case where the page has more top-level menu items than can fit within the header.
  • Background color options for site branding — You can change the site branding (logo) background to suit your needs. The current options are white, gray, and blue (which is the default). 

As of this release, we’re not including support for dark mode or changing the color of the theme (via color module, or anything else). However, this is on the horizon (likely after the initial core inclusion). 

How you can help

We’re at the point now where we can use some real-world testing. Please find things that break, we know they’re there!

For example, I loaded up Lullabot.com with the new theme and discovered various default styling that can be tightened up (e.g., links within headers).

The Olivero theme running on a local install of Lullabot.com
The Olivero theme running on a local install of Lullabot.com


We’re also at the point where we can use additional accessibility testing. Please fire up your screen readers, and decrease (or increase) your contrast and take a look!

As with all free open source projects, please take a look at the issue queue to make sure that the issue isn’t already created.

Tugboat helps save the day!

Olivero project within the Tugboat dashboard
Olivero project within the Tugboat dashboard

We also want to give out a huge shoutout to the Tugboat team. If you aren’t familiar with Tugboat,  it’s a pull request builder that generates live, working websites from every PR, branch or tag.

Through the Tugboat service, we worked to set up a Drupal multisite install that has deploy previews with content, without content, and using the minimal profile (note this is currently broken). 

Check out the Tugboat preview here! Note that the “working” status of this Tugboat preview will be in flux, as we commit code, rebuild the preview, etc.

Next steps

We’re off to the races! The next step is incremental alpha releases (either weekly or biweekly). We’re also going to make a list of features that are necessary to tag our first beta and work toward that. 

We hope to create our first Drupal core path in a month or so. This will give core committers the opportunity to put an eye on the codebase, so it can be included in version 9.1. We’re aiming to get this committed into core in late July-ish.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

We have so many people helping out, and we wouldn’t be here without them. Here is the full list of committers (16 as of today), and this does not even count the people who are doing testing, etc! 
 

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Mike Herchel

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A senior front-end developer, Mike is also a lead of the Drupal 9 core "Olivero" theme initiative, organizer for Florida DrupalCamp, maintainer for the Drupal Quicklink module, and an expert hammocker

Putra Bonaccorsi

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Putra Bonaccorsi is a Senior Front-end Developer with a flair for creative uses of CMS and a dedication to finding unique solutions to tough problems.