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Announcing Clarity 1.0 — Easier to Use, Greater Stability and Built for Long-Term Support

By Scott Mathis

As a co-founder of Project Clarity, I’m thrilled to announce that as of yesterday, we are live with our 1.0 release of the Clarity Design System. Clarity, if you don’t know it, offers a suite of open source HTML/CSS and Angular components built on top of web standards and opinionated UX patterns. Essentially, it takes UX and UI issues out of the equation for developers, allowing them to focus on workflows and interaction.

We’ve come a long way in the two years that Clarity has been out in the wild. It’s now used by over 100 products across VMware alone, including vCloud Director, vSphere, AirWatch, the VMware Cloud Services Platform and VMware Cloud.

Indeed, Clarity is one of the most popular open source projects to emerge from VMware (it’s currently second only to Harbor). We now have over 4,200 stars on GitHub and are seeing Clarity packages downloaded an average of 48,500 times a week. We have a total of 42 contributors, with 28 of them based outside VMware.

Perhaps the most important thing to know about Clarity 1.0 is that this is a stable version built to enable a long-term support strategy. For the last 18 months, we’ve been releasing at least one new version of Clarity a week, a cadence that can place a real burden on users to keep up.

We’re now moving to a model where we issue releases only with breaking changes every six months and where we support every major release for a year and a half. That way users can commit to using a specific release for a decent length of time without having to worry that they might need to update it at any moment.

Over the last year or so, we’ve done a great deal of preparatory work to make sure we can deliver on our commitment to long-term support. For example, we:

  • Made fundamental changes to the library to make it as stable as possible.
  • Rewrote major elements like our validation forms, the tree view and the datagrid rendering engine.
  • Redesigned and re-implemented pagination for data grids to make them easier to use.
  • Added support for Angular 7.

We also undertook a series of accessibility enhancements for the Clarity 1.0 release. Clarity’s earlier versions have received Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) accessibility certificates. Now that the Clarity 1.0 release is live, we’ll start another round of accessibility testing that we expect to result in our VPAT certification being renewed.

Looking ahead, we’re committed to being transparent with our priorities and about what we’re working on. We’re already building the roadmap for version 2.0, tentatively scheduled to be released next spring. We’re also trying to be as transparent as possible about when we think we’re going to get things done. If you are interested in knowing more about our timetable, check out our work-in-progress page here.

Lastly, go here to see items labeled “help wanted” on GitHub. We’re always looking for new people to contribute, so please get in touch if you are interested in joining us.

If you’d like to know more about how we developed Clarity, check out my colleague Jehad Affoneh’s blog from a year ago to see how far we’ve come, or his recent Twitter thread on the second anniversary of Clarity going open source. You can also read my VMware Open Source Blog post on “10 Lessons Learned from Launching the Clarity Design System” or my recent Medium post on the occasion of the Clarity 1.0 release.


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