Open Atrium 1.0 Beta 8 Released


3 min read

Yesterday we released Open Atrium 1.0 Beta 8 (aka “Seatbelts”). This release makes some of the biggest changes to Open Atrium since the Beta 4 release last winter, focusing on compatibility, accessibility, and stability.


Eight features in Open Atrium are now Kit compliant. Kit compliance pushes Open Atrium to a new level of modularity, allowing any of the eight features to be used in other distributions or your own projects with fewer dependencies and less hassle than before. Changes related to Kit have also improved the compatibility of Open Atrium on several other fronts:

  • The Seed module that provided a grab-bag of UI tweaks and utilities has been deprecated in favor of several projects that accomplish the same jobs and better. ImageCache Profiles now provides the user picture thumbnails, Node form columns makes it easy to rearrange content forms, and iTweak Upload streamlines the attachment UI.
  • A pattern of optional enhancement has been adopted across Open Atrium features, allowing you to use them in their simplest incarnations and then progressively add on niceties like Organic Groups and Spaces integration, Relative date display, and Crayon colored popups/condensed displays in lists.


Spurred by a conversation with Brian Egan at DrupalCon San Francisco about accessible fieldsets, we’ve improved the Section 508 compliance of Tao, Rubik, and Ginkgo (Atrium’s base, admin, and frontend theme respectively). Some of the key changes to these for improved accessibility:

  • Skip navigation link for jumping directly to the page content past header links and branding.
  • Proper usage of h1-h6 elements for structured page hierarchy.
  • The fieldset element now has properly accessible markup while maintaining its clean styling.

These improvements touch on issues found through programmatic validation using RAAKT, but there is much more to do, especially in various upstream modules and functionality, to make Open Atrium fully accessible.


Admin, Boxes, Context, Features, Spaces, and Strongarm have all gone stable. Each of these projects in their latest branches have been sometimes nerve-wreckingly experimental approaches to IA, usability, deployment, and site building in Drupal. Thankfully with the help of many contributors each has matured to a stable, sustainable point. The major changes to each are too many to detail, but here are some highlights from the latest development sprints on each:

  • Admin 2.0: Improved cross-browser compatibility.
  • Boxes 1.0: Tests for AHAH editing (!) thanks to some clever JSON manipulation from Jeff Miccolis.
  • Context 3.0: Several performance improvements and a rewrite of the inline editor for more robust drag and drop.
  • Features 1.0: Granular includes for exportables and improved support for custom menus and menu links.
  • Spaces 3.0: Several performance improvements and usability improvements to configuring spaces.
  • Strongarm 2.0: Automatic export of Drupal core’s node type variables when used with Features.


Like Beta 4, the Beta 8 upgrade requires your attention and time. Please read the Release Notes, put on your seatbelts, and watch out for zombies when upgrading.

And a thanks to Phase 2 Technology — it’s been great working with their team on some of the latest code.

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