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UT Drupal Kit

UT Drupal Kit 2.1 Release

ITS is happy to announce the immediate availability of UT Drupal Kit 2.1, the first maintenance release for our University distribution since the inclusion of the Forty Acres theme and the Page Builder module.

The most visible changes in this release are primarily CSS fixes/updates in the Forty Acres theme, but there are a few other goodies that we’ve thrown in based on feedback from early adopters. Additionally, since this is the first time that most site owners will be updating their UT Drupal Kit installations, we want to remind you about the documentation for updating, as well as tell you about a new update path that we’re rolling out for UT Web users.

First let’s walk through the most notable changes…

CSS Fixes

UT Drupal Kit 2.1 includes a number of minor fixes to the Forty Acres theme, most of which deal with CSS for specific Page Builder widgets, such as Flex Content Areas and Promo Units, when they are placed in particular page regions. Many of these widgets were originally designed to only be used in the main content region, so we are catching up with a few edge cases as they appear.

The main change that Forty Acres theme users will notice is the behavior of the “University Brand Bar” when the screen is in a narrow, or “mobile” resolution. The original behavior in Forty Acres as it was released in November was for both the burnt orange bar featuring the University logo, as well as the white header containing the site logo and hamburger menu, to scroll off the top of the screen as a user scrolled down the page. Starting with this release, the burnt orange bar still scrolls off the top, but the white header with site logo and hamburger menu stay fixed at the top of the screen. This provides mobile users with consistent menu availability, as well as a link back to the site homepage, no matter where they are on a page.

Animation of the University Brand bar scrolling
Updated scrolling behavior of the University Brand Bar at a mobile resolution.

Enabling Optional Foundation Classes

The Forty Acres theme uses the Foundation front-end framework to implement its grid system and responsive design behavior. Foundation also includes support for a number of UI components, such as accordions, tabs, and modal dialogs, which were included in the source code for the Forty Acres theme but without an easy way to activate them.

With UT Drupal Kit 2.1, we have included an “experimental” feature in the Theme Settings of the “STARTERKIT” subtheme to allow site owners to activate the CSS and JavaScript¬†for these extra components just by checking the appropriate boxes.

Screenshot of supplemental Foundation component configuration in STARTERKIT theme settings.

Please note that these extra settings are not available in the base Forty Acres theme. For this feature, and any site that will be making theme customizations, we recommend following Drupal best practices by starting a subtheme using the provided STARTERKIT theme.

Potpourri

A few other items of note:

  • We’ve added a “Tags” taxonomy term reference field to both the Standard Page and Landing Page content types
  • Updated the Drupal Kit’s responsive tables feature to use the latest version of the Tablesaw library
  • Standard Drupal blocks are now available for use in the Page Builder layout editor
  • The Global Redirect module is now enabled by default for enhanced SEO
  • The Google Tag Manager module now includes options to control whether the GTM code is included on unpublished pages or for authenticated users.

Full release notes for version 2.1 are available on the Drupal Kit wiki.

How to Update the UT Drupal Kit

Complete instructions for updating a UT Drupal Kit site are available on the documentation wiki. We will also be updating the wiki soon with instructions for a new, patchfile-based approach to updating sites hosted on UT Web. This will allow site owners who are comfortable on the Linux command line to patch all of the files changed between UT Drupal Kit releases with a single command.

We will be exploring the differences between the “anatomy” of the UT Drupal Kit and a regular Drupal 7 installation, and the implications for installing updates, in a forthcoming blog post.

By Paul Grotevant

Paul Grotevant is the Senior IT Manager of Web Content Management Solutions for Information Technology Services at the University of Texas at Austin.