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Boron is a base theme for Drupal which converts the core template files to HTML5 markup. Like other minimal base themes, such as Zen and Stark, it includes only a few lines of layout-driven CSS, and markup that is search engine optimized.

Unlike the others, Boron utilizes the new HTML5 doctype and semantic elements, such as Article, Header, Footer, and Section. The result is a standards-compliant theme with valid markup and minimal CSS that can be used as a jumping off point for developing new sub-themes. This leaves your site positioned to take advantage of new HTML5 features as they come into vogue.

This is a port of the stand-alone Boron theme to run as a Zen sub-theme. You can still create your own sub-theme from this one, thus gaining the benefits of Zen as well as the HTML5 markup from Boron. As with the stand-alone theme, we changed as little Zen markup as possible.

Note: This is a Zen 2 (6.x-2.0) sub-theme, using the new CSS and markup. If you're still using Zen 1, you may want to upgrade your copy of Zen before using this theme.


The goal of developing this theme was to convert the core Drupal templates to HTML5. Wherever possible, core markup, attributes and class names were left intact, and elements were simply converted to their HTML5 equivalents. This should make development easier, since this theme follows the standards and philosophies established by the core templates.


  • HTML5 doctype and meta content-type
  • Header and Footer sections marked up with header and footer elements
  • Navigation marked up with nav elements
  • Sidebars marked up with aside elements
  • Nodes marked up with article elements containing header and footer elements
  • Comments marked up as articles with header/footer elements, nested within node elements
  • Blocks marked up with section elements
  • HTML5 shim script included for full IE compatibility
  • Search form uses the new input type="search" attribute
  • WAI-ARIA accessibility roles added to primary elements
  • Updates all core modules to HTML5 markup

HTML5 References


The Boron theme was created by Scott Vandehey (spaceninja) of Metal Toad Media. Special thanks to Dylan Tack (grendzy) for code review and getting the theme posted here on Also thanks to our CEO, Joaquin Lippincott (metaltoad) for supporting this project.

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