Make the Bluecheese repo public

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What's your idea?

The Bluecheese repo is not hosted as a public project on The original motivation behind that was to protect the branding elements of This private repository adds an extremely high barrier to contribution.

I think it's possible to make the Bluecheese repo public, allowing members of the community to contribute easily, by moving the branded elements (the logo) outside of the theme.

What are the benefits?

Increased contribution to the Bluecheese theme.

What are the risks?

It would be easier to copy the theme. However, anyone who wanted to do this could already do it by downloading the public css/images from itself and reverse engineer the theme.

How can we measure the impact of this idea? (metrics)

Proportion of issues fixed.

Who directly benefits from / will use this improvement? (target audiences)

Every user of will benefit from the high rate of improvement.

Are additional resources available for discovery/implementation? (volunteer effort, financial backing, etc.)

Very minimal - maybe 4 hours of time from drumm, but could also be done by one of the free volunteers who manages a d.o subsite like sreynen or ezra-g.


Tried to clarify the text a

greggles's picture

Tried to clarify the text a bit and add a note that anyone who wants to copy the theme could do that already.

This is a great, simple idea. Should be done!

I'm +1 on this. Anything we

haydeniv's picture

I'm +1 on this. Anything we can do to reduce the barrier to entry with contributing to d.o is a good thing especially with how much is involved with the D7 upgrade.

No one would like this more

webchick's picture

No one would like this more than me, but just to give some background on why this isn't public... explains the DA's position wrt Drupal's trademark:

The trademark "Drupal" belongs to Dries Buytaert, but the Association has the ability to use the trademark freely as long as Dries retains ownership and remains a Permament Member and as long as the Association takes reasonable steps to reserve the trademark rights.

(emphasis mine)

Both the "Drupal" wordmark and the look and feel of the website are integral to the Drupal "brand" and, at least as I have been told by people who understand copyright/trademark law, if the DA were to give these away freely under the GPL, this would be the opposite of protecting the trademark of Drupal. Someone could then slap the Drupal logo/branding on some seedy site that distributes spyware-laden Drupal modules or whatever and tarnish the trademark of Drupal.

This is not an unusual position; Firefox is an open source project, but the Debian fork of it is called "Iceweasel" and uses different logo/branding.

So unfortunately, I don't see this happening. :( Unless of course you happen to be a lawyer with sufficient background on copyright/trademark law who could advise the DA on how we could meet both goals. :)

I completely understand that

LewisNyman's picture

I completely understand that this is a complex situation without a quick answer.

In order to protect the trademark of the brand, the elements that make up the “look and feel” have to be definable. An example would be Orange vs Easyjet case a few years back. The exact shade of orange is the cause of the dispute.

If we define what elements make up the brand, we know exactly what parts do not, and I think that will be a large portion of the Bluecheese codebase. You can't say that minor design elements are distinctive enough to be protected.

One solution is creating a Bluecheese base theme that holds all the distinctive branding elements like the logo and the primary color scheme. We can then place the sub-theme in a repo on d.o.

I studied law at university so I know the basic principles but obviously I'm not a practising lawyer so don't take anything I say as legal advice.

Brilliant solution! Iceweasel

greggles's picture

Brilliant solution!

Iceweasel looks a lot like firefox, but the logo (and maybe a few other things) are different. Let's copy that model.

If the DA insists they won't do this without a lawyer it seems easy to justify the invesment in a trademark lawyer to get more free help on the theme.

This makes good sense to me.

halstead's picture

This makes good sense to me. Thank your for providing details.

I think opening what can be opened will have good cultural value as well as helping with contribution. Replacing all of the restricted assests with GPL licensed assets in the public repository seems like an ideal solution.

Just mulling this over, could

haydeniv's picture

Just mulling this over, could we make an exception to the hosting GPL code on the repo for this project and state that exception on the project page saying you cannot use this theme for anything but d.o? And then use a modified license in a license.txt file in the repo stating the same? Of course the project could never have any releases associated with it including dev releases but if it was at least in a GIT repo it would make it much easier to contribute.

I'll see if I can get my intellectual property attorney friend to take a look and see what implications he thinks this could have.

The theme doesn't have to be

Homotechsual's picture

The theme doesn't have to be released under the GPL for collaborative bug fixing to take place... Why not stick it in a repo under a proprietary license or under a CC license - something which maintains DA/Dries ownership but allows it to be downloaded and have bugs fixed with all contributors agreeing that contributions back to the Bluecheese repo become the sole property of the Drupal Assoc?

Seems to me that it would remove the legal issue and allow the Drupal community to do what it does better than anyone else and collaboratively fix the problems with our 'home'?

Heads up: We're working on this

holly.ross.drupal's picture

Thanks for a great discussion that leads to several possible solutions. Just wanted to follow up and say that I took this to our lawyers today and will come back to you with some options to consider and discuss as soon as I can. In the meantime, if you have more fodder, please share.

I very much support this

moshe weitzman's picture

I very much support this change.

I just want to point out that real lawyers do not support Angie's assertion that you have to vigorously challenge all trademark "violators" in order to maintain your trademark. This is a common misconception. See

Update on distribution of BlueCheese

eliza411's picture

I thought folks here might want to know about


The DA announced plans to separate the trademarked elements (logo, colors, etc.) from the BlueCheese theme and make this stripped down version of the theme publicly available under GPL on

To be heard, weigh in on that blog post, though, not here.

holly.ross.drupal's picture

Huge thanks to Lewis, Tatiana and Melissa. We have a version of a publicly available BlueCheese theme to take a look at. You can read more details here:

But keep discussions/comments in this thread for now. Thanks for your patience!

First impressions theme looks

Shyamala's picture

First impressions theme looks lovely. So good to know we will have bluecheese as a contributed theme soon.

Some thoughts:
1) Have we tested the colours for Accessibility? If not we should - the White text on Grey on the top banner will not pass.
2) Will we be introducing a logo, the drupllicon that's licensed in GPL?

---These are possibly details for the implementations.

Good work here. Just one

corbacho's picture

Good work here.

Just one thing... any reason to remove the gradients in buttons and top header ? It will be nice to keep them in grayscale, but that pure #000 looks excesive.

Keeping the gradient in the header area will fix accessibility issue Shyamala reported.

We do need some color for the

drumm's picture

We do need some color for the links.

We could change the colours

LewisNyman's picture

We could change the colours to anything as long as they aren't d.o colours. I think that would only serve to encourage others to install it on their sites, this isn't really something we are aiming for. If the contributed theme has poor accessibility or usability then it doesn't really affect our intended aim which is to fix d.o issues unless the usability is so poor that it's hard for developers to find their way around the site :). Maybe links is a good example.