BuddyMattic – A Myriad Framework

There is a new framework in town, this one is called BuddyMattic. Developed by Ron Rennick with help from Daisy Olsen, BuddyMattic is a theme framework based on Thematic that can be used on WordPress, WordPress MU, and BuddyPress. The unique feature of this theme is that BuddyPress functionality is included in the framework and is activated whenever BuddyPress is detected. I had the chance to ask Ron a few questions regarding BuddyMattic.

The designs for BuddyMatic, do they have to be child themes based on Thematic?

No, buddymatic includes a sample Buddymatic child theme and child themes can be created by changing the sample child theme. For example, in creating the Coffee with Friends child theme that is included with Buddymatic, Daisy Olsen started with the Buddymatic sample child theme.

In a WordPress or WordPress MU blog without BuddyPress enabled, Buddymatic and Thematic are interchangeable and any child theme can be switched from one to the other by changing references to the template (and any includes) from one to the other.

Could you go into a little more detail regarding the BuddyPress detection/activation and how the design incorporates that functionality?

After returning from WordCamp NYC I added an explanation to the BuddyPress codex showing how BuddyPress could be detected and conditional code executed based on it’s presence : http://codex.buddypress.org/how-to-guides/checking-if-buddypress-is-active/.

Buddymatic relies entirely on WordPress / BuddyPress hooks & templates to add the BuddyPress functionality. In every function added via hooks, there is a check to see if BuddyPress is active.

Anytime BuddyPress updates, does that mean the framework has to be updated as well?

Generally, no. An example of where a new version might be required would be custom content support in WordPress themes when that functionality is added in 2.9. That type of change should only be on major releases of WordPress and/or BuddyPress.

5 Comments


  1. Good questions. I still wonder about the upgrade process when WP and/or BP upgrade functionality. I’ll have to dig through the files and file structure for all of them. I’m thinking of applying this concept to theme Hybrid as I have no experience with Thematic and like Justin’s coding.

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  2. Thanks for the post :)

    Today, Andy mentioned that he was updating the BuddyPress templates for BP 1.2, so in that instance Buddymatic will need to be updated to include support for the new functionality. But it should be like a WP upgrade where a theme without the changes still functions fine, just the new functionality won’t be available. Once Andy has the new default templates done, I will start looking at updating Buddymatic.

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  3. My head begins to spin. We’ve got bp-sn-parent as the default parent theme for which we can write child themes, then we’ve got the Buddymatic theme for which we can also write child themes.

    Who is parent to who and which children go where wha huh whhhaaaaaaa *thud*

    Brain hurts.

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  4. BP based on Thematic looks like Thematic (d’uh). But what are the coding differences? I was hoping to find a bullet list of coding differences.

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  5. does this mean on each and every request this theme checks in every hook execution if BP is active??? Come on, that is really totally retarded! You only should check once while executing – and you could even check once a day (make it an option!) as certainly people will not install – uninstall – install BP all the time or between requests.
    This is what I do not understand in the WP community – at many places there is such a low quality in code design that it hurts. Millions of cpu cycles are burned with redundant and stupid code and the planet gets hotter and hotter. you could run 10.000 wordpress blogs on one atom processor if the programmers in the wp scene just would spend a little time learning a little bit about programming and efficiency.

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