Responsive Theming with Aurora: Pros and Cons

aurora theme drupalDesigned by Sam Richard, one of the Drupal theming artists, the Aurora theme integrates Sass and Compass into one unified workflow, specifically optimized for mobile-first and responsive design. It integrates Sass and Compass into Drupal and sets up a code structure for your Sass, leaving the rest of the decisions up to the user.

Let’s take a look at a few of the pros and cons of this theme. First the pros. Aurora is a lightweight theme with just enough functionality to cover most of your needs. It provides you with Sass and Compass out of the box, as well as with starter variables and a Sass grid system, but without putting you in front of a bulky UI for managing layouts or anything else.

The Aurora theme also gives you access to the latest and greatest frontend tools. Apart from Sass and Compass, you get several useful plug-ins like Bower for package management and Grunt for task management (complete with ”Sass compiling, JS hinting, Image Optimization, and app-free live reloading out of the box). You also get LiveReload and a Ruby gem for creating subthemes.

As for the cons, if you like GUI integration for your base themes, (like clicky layout/grid builder or a bunch of font/color settings), Aurora is not like that so it is not sure you’ll find it to your liking.

Aurora also has a smaller community than Zen or Omega. This can complicate things when you need fast help and you also get the inherent risks of using several new technologies that lack very detailed documentation.