[theme-reviewers] how close is too close?

justin at justintadlock.com justin at justintadlock.com
Tue Dec 28 23:03:18 UTC 2010

I have a few rules when deciding whether something should be a child
theme of another theme.

* Could the theme be achieved with CSS alone? It should be a child
* Are there 5 custom templates or more that step outside of what the
parent theme does? It should be a parent theme.
* Does the functions.php file have more than 10kb (very generous) of
custom functions? It should be a parent theme.

These are just some general rules I go by to give myself some sort of

Obviously, there has to be a little more leeway when it comes to
TwentyTen. That's the theme that devs will learn to build from. I just
hate having to see that same code over and over and over.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [theme-reviewers] how close is too close?
From: Amy Hendrix <sabreuse at gmail.com>
Date: Tue, December 28, 2010 2:52 pm
To: theme-reviewers at lists.wordpress.org

Hi all,

I'd love to see some discussion on themes that are obviously derived
from another theme, but have more new work in them than something
that's just a straight-up child theme. What's "too close"? Is it a
matter of adding or removing functionality? Rewriting significant
parts of template files (as opposed to, say, copy-pasting the new
theme name wherever the old one appears)?

At this point, I feel like there's a continuum that goes something like:

Author copied Twenty Ten but changed the site title to pink. Child
theme, also poor taste.
Author copied Twenty Ten, changed the site title to pink, and removed
the headers that say "Twenty Ten".
Author wrote every line from scratch. Author is an utter masochist who
never heard of code re-use.

And I'm clear on recognizing the ends of the spectrum but the middle
is fuzzy - so I'd love some thoughts from the rest of you about how
you recognize the line?

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