UT Drupal Kit 3 – Beta 10/10.1 Release

ITS has posted the tenth beta release of UT Drupal Kit 3.0 (UTDK 3).

Release 3.0.0-beta.10 is the first version of the UT Drupal Kit based on Drupal 9, and also replaces the previous default Adminimal administration theme with the new Claro theme.

Read on for more details.

Same day patch-level update

On the same day that the 3.0.0-beta.10 release was made available as a Composer package, a second patch-level release (3.0.0-beta.10.1) was posted to address a bug identified in the process of updating existing sites hosted on Pantheon.

Owners of Pantheon-hosted sites who may have attempted to update an existing pre-beta.10 site in the brief window between the 3.0.0-beta.10 and 3.0.0-beta.10.1 releases on Tuesday, March 9 would have received an error stating that the site cannot be updated because the database server version is less than the minimum required versions.

The 3.0.0-beta.10.1 release includes a patch which overrides the minimum required database version and will allow new sites to be installed and existing sites updated.

If you are concerned about an update problem, please email drupal-kit-support@utlists.utexas.edu with details about your site.

Drupal 9

In 2017, Drupal founder Dries Buytaert announced a major shift for the Drupal project — instead of Drupal’s historical pattern of major releases that made big, forward-looking changes while also breaking compatibility with previous versions, Drupal 9 would mark the shift to a new model in which major version changes would be much less disruptive, and no longer require a site migration or rebuild.

From “Making Drupal Upgrades Easy Forever“:

This means that Drupal 9.0 should be almost identical to the last Drupal 8 release, minus the deprecated code. It means that when modules take advantage of the latest Drupal 8 APIs and avoid using deprecated code, they should work on Drupal 9. Updating from Drupal 8’s latest version to Drupal 9.0.0 should be as easy as updating between minor versions of Drupal 8.

The UT Drupal Kit 3 development process started in 2017 with Drupal 8, but at a certain point we recognized that a stable release of UTDK 3 would probably not be ready until after the release of Drupal 9. This new Drupal upgrade strategy allowed us to move forward with confidence that updating UTDK 3 to use Drupal 9 would be a relatively simple task.

Drupal 9.0 was released in June 2020, but we continued using the latest branch of Drupal 8 as the foundation of UTDK 3 until now, as we waited for our commonly-used hosting platforms to provide full support for Drupal 9’s minimum PHP and database requirements. With a stable release of UTDK 3 within sight, we have decided to move forward with the Drupal 9 update in this release, so that sites built using the upcoming UTDK 3.0.0 release will start as native Drupal 9 projects.

In practice, this means that updating an existing site from any previous beta release to UTDK 3.0.0-beta.10 will update that site’s version of Drupal core from 8 to 9. All new sites created from this point forward will use Drupal 9 by default.

Updating an existing UTDK 3 site does require some additional preparation and changes beyond previous beta releases. These steps are outlined in detail in the UTDK 3 docs.

If you are concerned about an update problem, please email drupal-kit-support@utlists.utexas.edu with details about your site.

Claro theme

In Drupal 8.8, a new administrative theme called Claro was added to Drupal core as part of the Admin UI and JS modernization initiative.

We’re updating the administration look and feel of the admin theme Seven through a new Design System for the Drupal administration UI. A design system consists of visual and behavioural components and patterns that can be combined into user-friendly user interfaces.

Prior to this release, the default administrative theme for UTDK 3 was the contrib Adminimal theme (along with its companion module, Adminimal Administration Menu). Claro’s adoption rate has steadily increased since it was added to Drupal core, and it is now slated to eventually become the default admin theme for Drupal 9. Starting with the 3.0.0-beta.10 release, Claro is the default admin theme for UTDK 3 for all existing and new sites.

Both the Adminimal theme and Adminimal Administration Menu module are uninstalled from any existing sites as part of this release, and they will be removed from the codebase entirely in the May 2021 release. Site owners wishing to continue using Adminimal or any other contrib admin theme can do so, but will need to add that theme to their site using Composer.

User role and permission  management

The 3.0.0-beta.10 release includes new functionality for managing user roles and permissions after initial site installation, beyond the two pre-defined roles included in a default installation:

  • Content Editor
  • Site Manager

New admin interfaces allow a site owner to assign groups of permissions for the Kit “kernel” and each of the three add-ons (News, Events, Profile) to any role through a simple interface. Alternatively, these groups of permissions can be added to a role using a special Drush command.

Documentation on permission and role management:

Contributed module updates

The following contributed modules are updated in this release.

Updating an existing codebase

IMPORTANT – FOR UPDATING AN EXISTING SITE TO THE 3.0.0-beta.10 RELEASE, DEVELOPERS MUST CONSULT THE SPECIAL RELEASE NOTES FOR THE DRUPAL 9 UPDATE.

Please visit the UT Drupal Kit 3 documentation for complete release notes and instructions for updating an existing beta codebase using Composer. Always be sure to check for available database updates after updating the codebase.

A note about beta releases

This is a beta release for the next major version of the UT Drupal Kit. Betas are good testing targets for developers and site builders who are comfortable reporting (and where possible, fixing) their own bugs. Beta releases are not recommended for non-technical users, nor for production websites.

How do I get started with UTDK 3?

The first thing anyone interested in starting with UTDK 3 should do is to head over to the documentation site:

https://drupalkit.its.utexas.edu/docs/

The “What is the UT Drupal Kit?” chapter contains detailed explanations of what the Kit contains, as well as a list of differences between versions 2 and 3.

The “Getting Started” chapter includes technical requirements for running version 3, as well as detailed instructions for setting up an environment on your own local workstation, a LAMP server, or Pantheon.

If you run into problems or have questions, please check the “Support” page for available support options.

Next releases

The 3.x (Drupal 8) branch of the UT Drupal Kit is updated on a bi-monthly maintenance release schedule, with releases targeted for the second Tuesday of odd-numbered months. The next planned release is UT Drupal Kit 3.0.0, due on May 11, 2021. Please see Release Schedule for UT Drupal Kit for more details.

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.