Default Theme Framework Is Stupid

I suppose if he won’t argue about it, maybe we can? Any thoughts?

I’m only going to say this once, and I’m not going to argue about it: Trying to include a “default theme framework” in WP core is STUPID. @NathanRice


8 responses to “Default Theme Framework Is Stupid”

  1. I don’t think a theme framework in core is ideal. What’s packaged with WordPress should be starting points for further development.

    For plugins, we have Hello Dolly. For themes, we have Default and Classic.

    These are meant to be very simple extensions that allow developers to learn. If we package a powerful theme framework in there, it could make some brand new developers run for the hills. I probably wouldn’t have gotten into theme development for WordPress if the Default theme was a framework like the ones we see today.

    We also need to remember that any theme is a framework. Essentially, we already have two theme frameworks built in.

    I’d rather see a more solidly-coded Default theme built in. I absolutely hate the way it’s coded now. The focus should be on best practices, but it should also be simple and understandable enough for newbies to learn from.

  2. My guess is that the idea to include a “theme framework” in the default install would be to have a basic “parent” theme, and an example “child” theme.

    Of course, the above-quoted statement is such a compelling argument against the idea that nothing further needs to be said. :/

    Perhaps what he *really* means is that *he* personally thinks the theme parent-child framework is stupid?

    And I still contend that there’s no reason to include Hello Dolly in the default install (but that’s an argument for another comment thread).

  3. For reference, this is what I was talking about:

    If the plan is to make this them into anything like these themes, then I stand by my statement. From the looks of the comments in that trac ticket, that seems to be the plan.

    EDIT: Reading over the comments of that trac ticket again gives me the impression that maybe they’re just looking to update the default theme to something with more solid code, and a prettier interface. Perhaps the referral to this new theme as a “framework” is just incidental. If so, then my comment doesn’t apply.

    That’s the “what”. I’ll try to explain the “why” some other time.

  4. “Perhaps the referral to this new theme as a “framework” is just incidental. ”

    Given how often the term is bandied about by people who aren’t really familiar with it, that might be it.

    I definitely agree there needs to be a new default theme. Previous history has shown that a plethora of new themes arise from the default (I prefer a fixed-up version of classic myself). Reading over the ticket, that seems more like what the person was proposing.

  5. I think if the default theme had more layout/visual customizations exposed through the admin panel (eg like Thesis) it would go a long way to improving the ability for a WordPress newbie to make their blog unique straight away without having to dive into the massive ocean of free themes or get dirty with the code itself.

    Kubrick is not a bad theme under the hood, its just boring as hell to look at.

  6. @Justin Tadlock – For a long while now, I’ve been a fan of the idea to just redo Kubrik or the Classic theme and not only update the code in both, but comment the hell out of the php files to explain how the theme works, function by function. I’m still torn on the idea of WordPress shipping with a default framework as it may steer alot of people away from the software. Although you could counter argue the point that there are tons of free themes available.

    @Ozh – There is no concrete definition of the term since theme authors who have their own, also have their own reasoning and explanation as to what it is. But I’ve come to understand theme frameworks as a number of files which contains everything you would need to create a theme but without editing the themes core files. Instead, you create a child theme which links and taps into the theme framework code. This means, you could easily update the functionality of the framework without ruining any child themes running under that framework and you don’t lose any changes when you upgrade the theme, as long as you stay away from editing the core files of the framework which shouldn’t be necessary.

    That probably was a dumb explanation. but that is how I see it.

    @Chip Bennett – According to the ticket which Nathan Rice linked to in his comment, it seems to me like DD32 is suggesting a new clean, valid, well documented theme be added to replace either the classic or kubrik theme so that when users use that theme as the base for their own customized theme, it starts off with clean code, is standards compliant, and documented to make it easy to figure out what is what. If that is the case, I’d love to see something like that added with the download package.

    @Nathan Rice – I only had to read the trac ticket by DD32 once to recognize that he is suggesting that Kubrick be replaced with a theme that is standards compliant, takes advantage of the latest WordPress code base, is coded cleanly, and well documented. Considering many people base their themes off of Kubrik since it comes with WordPress, replacing it with a theme like I described I think could do nothing but benefit the project and community as a whole. I think something like this could really enhance the overall theme designing community, especially new comers to WordPress or first time designers.

    @Andrea_R – I’m with you. Reading over the ticket looks like DD32 is suggesting a spiffy new default theme that can really be pointed at as a good base to start a new theme from.

    @Paul – That may be true, but I think if they just took a theme and started over and kept in mind that thousands of people would use it as a base for their own creation, creating a standards compliant, well documented, well coded theme would be the best way to go. I’d love to see them simply provide a theme that matches what DD32 described in his ticket while updating the other theme to use the WordPress 2.7 codebase.


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