[theme-reviewers] Discussion on suspension of old themes in the extend/themes

Edward Caissie edward.caissie at gmail.com
Mon Aug 16 16:34:48 UTC 2010

bah ... suspend 'em all and let Matt sort 'em out! (j/k)

Actually, after the first full pass to get somewhat current, I would suggest
simply starting with the oldest (read: last updated per Extend/Themes) and
run full reviews on the remaining themes, that is, create a Trac ticket and
all that it entails; then, formally review the theme with the idea of
reaching a target of a (minimum) two release cycle for repository themes.


On Mon, Aug 16, 2010 at 11:58 AM, Philip M. Hofer (Frumph) <
philip at frumph.net> wrote:

>  * Like you relayed later in your comments, it's all about the
> transitioning, this is the first pass, then theme admins determine what
> steps to take afterwards based on how effective it was ya?  and adjust
> methodology based on outcome.
> Alright, so these are the steps as per noted by cais, chip and myself.
> 1) Post the forum post, get it stickied.  Note date of suspension as sept
> 1st (2 weeks)
> 2) Update related codex material - note this is the first pass and that in
> 2 months time after the first pass we're going to be doing the same for all
> themes 2 revisions previous (2 major revisions), i.e 1 year.
> 3) Field any questions on said forum post.
> 4) Transfer ownerships by requests from ORIGINAL owner.
> --- Wait two weeks.
> 5) Start suspending those that have a date previous to december of 2008.
> 6) Wait until november of 2010, start the revision suspension of those
> 2.8.* and previous.
> A) Find a way to automate this with scripting.
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* Chip Bennett <chip at chipbennett.net>
> *To:* Philip M. Hofer (Frumph) <philip at frumph.net>
> *Cc:* theme-reviewers at lists.wordpress.org
> *Sent:* Monday, August 16, 2010 8:49 AM
> *Subject:* Re: [theme-reviewers] Discussion on suspension of old themes in
> the extend/themes
> On Mon, Aug 16, 2010 at 10:28 AM, Philip M. Hofer (Frumph) <
> philip at frumph.net> wrote:
>>  After a lengthy discussion with Cais in the #wp-themes we've come to a
>> conclusion that a 2 revision suspension would not be entirely justified and
>> would harshly impact the themes available that still will work with the 3.0
>> series albiet even if using deprecated and non standard code.
> I'm not entirely sure I understand this reasoning. "Suspending" a Theme in
> the repository would have no impact on any current users. It would merely
> prevent the Theme from being downloaded by a *new* user.
> Why would we want users downloading Themes that are clearly obsolete, and
> potentially buggy - if not security-vulnerable?
>> We've thought about it and discussed the functionality of the wordpress
>> themes and what they do and what revision base at this time would be best to
>> spend anything of it and less then.
>> Anything from december 2008 and before should be suspended for 'old and
>> needs upgraded' themes, that is the release time when 2.7 came out, 2.7 was
>> the the release that really gave themes something more then previous
>> revisions that match more closely with with what 'works' in a theme.   It
>> was in essence really 2.8, but 2.7 was the start of it.  So anything
>> previous to the 2.7 release really can be considered old and needing
>> updated.
>> Then on the 3.1 release, do the 2.8 as the base and so on.
> That's probably fair, for a first-pass effort.
> At some point, though, we probably need to tighten the leash a bit. Giving
> Theme developers 2 release cycles (which normally translates to 10 months to
> a year) should be sufficient time to update an actively supported Theme, no?
>> The concern is the 'warning' to developers that when it will be happening
>> and enough word out to them that it will be happening.  Giving ample time
>> for developers who might want to 'rescue' old themes from the repository to
>> revive them.
>> Which brings up two thoughts, information needed to change ownership of
>> said themes and ample time for developers to revive them.   And information
>> theme developers that it's going to be happening.
>> Me? I don't care, suspend em, if they want them back up, they resubmit
>> them.
> Exactly. We want actively supported Themes in the repository, right? If so,
> then we need to hold developers accountable to providing  a modicum of
> active support: to wit, keeping the Theme updated with current functionality
> and replacing deprecated functions.
>>  Cais wants mass emails done, however collectively finding the authors
>> emails would be a chore, let alone the fact that WordPress practically
>> *never* mass emails and I doubt that it will ever happen, ever.  So
>> alternatives need to be addressed as the following:
>> So what's the minimal that should be done?
>> A stickied post on the theme developement forum and a codex entry, in the
>> most relevant places.
>> What would be optimal?
>> A post by Matt or the developers blog that gets seen in the RSS feed list
>> of all wordpress sites, with the minimal post in the forum and codex entry
>> information.
>> The idea' is to not be 'harsh' about the suspension of said themes, hence
>> to backtrack to the pre 2.7 release, which keeps WordPress in a good light,
>> while still giving a couple weeks ample warning.
> I still like the old "update within one month of the WordPress version
> release, or the Theme is suspended" route. In other words, within one month
> after WordPress 3.1 comes out, all Themes not updated since the release of
> WordPress 2.9 are automatically suspended, until they are updated.
> (Of course, if a given WordPress release doesn't incorporate any new
> functionality, or newly deprecate any functions, then it could be excluded
> from the suspension time frame.)
>> ------ Side Note:
>> Information about how to 'take over' an old theme, i.e. reviving it should
>> be noted as well and that all old themes should have their original authors
>> contacted then original author of said theme needs to email the repository
>> theme admin requesting the ownership change, pretty much how it's already
>> being done.
>> Side effect of the removal/suspension would also be that when they
>> resubmit they will be automatically added to the theme trac when resubmit,
>> which is a goal that would benefit everyone.
>> Additonal note: While the GPL Compatibility issue arose with the
>> suspensions previously and there were some very vocal people about
>> suspending the themes at that time, it was still done regardless of those
>> complaints.   It was justified and responsible of the theme repository admin
>> to do it.  It is the same with this;  The theme repository has an underlying
>> responsibility to the end user to keep the repository up to date and in a
>> manageable state to the end user.
> Agreed; provided that the way it is handled is the absolute best that it
> can be. I'm advocating suspending outdated Themes, but I also think that
> Theme developers should be given every opportunity to know that the change
> is coming, and to know how to avoid Theme suspension.
> Communication is key.
> Chip
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