The Storm Before the Calm - Help Drupal Designers!

With less than two weeks remaining until Drupal 7's 'code freeze,' when new features and major patches will no longer be added to Drupal 7 (instead, everyone will work to optimize and clean up all the approved patches/features for an official Drupal 7 release), it's crunch time for those wishing to make Drupal a dream for designers and themers.

Initially, I had a lot of time to help along with a bunch of other great Drupal users (new and veteran alike) to help nail down a better set of core template files (.tpl.php files), along with some CSS definitions, in order to allow people to code new (and hopefully better) themes straight from Drupal core, using nothing but CSS and a .info file. (See the Stark theme (built into Drupal 7) for an example of how simple a Drupal theme can truly be!).

We've made it through:

I really hope a few more of these issues can be wrapped up before September 1st, in order to make Drupal 7 the most friendly release for designers and themers, out of the box. Here are some issues of particular importance—anyone can help, so feel free to jump in!

  1. The Comment template: comment.tpl.php
    Like the Page and Node templates, this is one of the most important themer tools—it should be modified in the spirit of the other two, to give sensible default markup for a CSS-only theme to work with.
  2. 'Skip Navigation' should be in all core themes
    Drupal is well-known for being good for SEO and accessibility out of the box. Drupal 7 will adopt RDF standards and can work with right-to-left languages very easily. It should stay on top of things, accessibility-wise, and this issue is a must.
  3. Easier theming of "Submitted by author, on date"
    This is one of those little, pesky issues that bugs the heck out of me every time I encounter it. It's way too complicated to change that text right now; turning it into a more easily modifiable function would be very nice... very nice indeed!
  4. Move <head> outside page.tpl.php
    Fixing this would allow for better flexibility and granularity in adding CSS files, JavaScript, etc. into a Page, and that's good for everyone.
  5. [Technically not a tpl issue, but super-annoying:] Move 'Read more' link to end of content
    This has been in the works for a while, and it would be quite awesome to have this feature in Drupal 7.

See all the 'tpl-refresh' issues on

I'm going to try to squeeze in a few minutes to at least review patches, but I hope that many others do the same, and help get these patches committed before 9/1. Good luck!


This is a really useful round-up - the Drupal issue links are a great starting point for those who'd like to prepare for Drupal 7's arrival.