The Roots starter theme for WordPress has rebranded as “Sage” with its 8.0.0 release today. Roots project creator Ben Word announced last year that he planned to change the theme to be framework agnostic in 2015. This release is the first step towards that goal.
Fans of the starter theme appreciate its cleaner HTML, cleaner script output, and its unique theme wrapper method for handling template markup. Version 8.0 introduces a new frontend workflow that uses Gulp instead of Grunt:
- Write stylesheets with Sass or Less
- Assets from Bower packages (CSS, JS, fonts) are automatically added to your theme assets
- JSON file based asset pipeline that allows you to customize your compiled CSS and JS files
- Replaced LiveReload with BrowserSync, making your workflow faster by synchronizing interactions across multiple devices
Version 8.0 also drops IE8 support and raises the minimum PHP version requirement of PHP 5.4+. “We’re not going to let the WordPress minimum requirement of 5.2 hold us back from using short array syntax, short echo syntax, and namespaces,” Word said.
Now that Sage 8.0 is available, Word is concentrating his efforts on developing a Yeoman generator for the starter theme, which will allow users to integrate their desired frontend framework.
“Right now you can fairly easily use Bootstrap Sass instead of Less, swap out Bootstrap for another framework, or use no framework at all,” he said. “With a Yeoman generator you’ll be able to select from options to have your starter theme built how you like it from the beginning.”
Going framework agnostic will open up the Roots user base to more developers who may have previously been turned off by using Bootstrap with their projects. The rebranding to Sage allows Word and contributors to use the Roots organization to further expand the product lineup that will eventually subsidize the continual development of the open source starter theme.