Justin Tadlock Proposes Idea to Solve Common Theme Issues

The Theme Review Team has been discussing ideas in Slack on how to solve the problem of themes in the review queue suffering from common theme issues. Just Tadlock has proposed a idea he calls Theme Feature Repositories.

The idea is to create standardized packages on the Theme Review Team GitHub repo that authors could use in their themes. If enough people bought into the idea and worked together, it would lessen the pain points between reviewers and theme authors. It would also decrease the amount of code written by hundreds of different authors to solve a common problem.

Tadlock used Admin notices and Links to ‘Pro’ versions as two examples that could benefit from this approach. Packages would handle specific use cases and be installed using Composer. For those who don’t use composer, an autoloader would be provided as well as a .zip file that could be dropped into a theme.

Tadlock is asking the theme community what packages do they need or what common problems could be solved together.

“This can literally be any common feature in WordPress themes, not just admin or customizer-related things,” Tadlock said. “Nothing is ‘out of bounds’. Every idea is on the table right now.

“This is an ambitious project. It’d require cooperation between authors and reviewers for the betterment of the theme directory as a whole. It’ll only work if we have buy-in from everyone.”

Tadlock also mentioned that due to his schedule, he will be unable to lead or co-lead the project and is seeking people interested in taking on these roles. Those interested should have knowledge of Git, Composer, and Object-oriented programming.

If you’re interested in this project or want to provide feedback, you can leave a comment on the proposal.

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6 Comments


  1. I think it’s a neat idea but it’s difficult to imagine going well. There would need to be a whole new “Theme Component” team to ensure that components are secure and any new components are reviewed. The Theme Review Team would either have to force developers to use these components ( so they don’t create their own extended versions that need reviewed ) or the components would have to be easily customizable allowing developers to make the components unique to their business model or theme.

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    1. I imagine it’d be hard-going for different reasons — participation and management. I’ve been pushing for the TRT to put someone in charge who is more of a team manager than a developer. And, this sort of project needs someone with either the time or the skillset to put it all together.

      We don’t need a “Theme Component” team. We already have loads of great review team moderators who could review code.

      I’m not going to speak to whether authors should be forced to use a particular component. That’s up to the team. And, it’s far too early to make any sort of decisions on that.

      As for “extended versions,” it wouldn’t add any extra work on top of normal reviews. Even with a child component, the code should be far easier to review than a 100% custom-built component because the reviewer would be starting with a familiar base.

      What I have in mind is making things simple to customize. For example, with the “pro/upsell” customizer component currently being worked on, the theme author merely has to plug in the data they want.

      Anyway, the current goal is to get a couple of basic components out there. See how that goes and move on from there. Baby steps.

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    2. It’s a public repo and all can contribute to it. Justin is an expert developer, and I don’t doubt that he knows what he’s doing ;)

      Plus all the additions would be reviewed by TRT team (it’s on our official repo after all, so no PR can be made without a review) :)

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    3. Well in theory it should result in less work. But assuming the idea works, it would require another team but not more work to be completed.

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  2. This is indeed an ambitious project. We’ve been using some standardized code from the default themes for GretaThemes. But some custom features like featured content, Instagram, recent posts widget, etc. still require some plugins to work.

    I hope we’ll see more features to be discussed with the implementation for theme authors. This is really a great idea.

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