[theme-reviewers] Theme Frameworks and the directory

Chip Bennett chip at chipbennett.net
Thu Dec 30 20:04:15 UTC 2010

Interesting that you should bring this topic up for discussion; I added it
as a bullet point on Jane's WordPress in 2011 forum post.

I think that the Repository should accommodate Theme Frameworks - but only
with the understanding that Frameworks are NOT stand-alone Themes.


On Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 1:12 PM, Otto <otto at ottodestruct.com> wrote:

> Just floating an idea out there, but does it make any sense to
> disallow "theme frameworks" from the theme directory? Obviously this
> depends on the specifics of the framework/theme in question, but I've
> noticed a few frameworks that really lend themselves to building very
> similar themes.
> Now, before anybody gets up in arms, I'm thinking of this along the
> same lines as how we disallow generated themes. Some (not all)
> frameworks lend themselves to theme creation using a templating type
> mechanism, where you're not so much creating a theme layout as you are
> defining a layout and letting the framework do the work. And while
> that's fine for a custom site, it doesn't strike me as okay for a
> theme designed for general use.
> Ideally, a framework would be nothing more than a big bunch of handy
> utility functions, but more and more I'm seeing these frameworks that
> do all the actual work, leaving the theme designer little to do but to
> plug in graphics and screw around with some minor CSS. That's fine for
> building one site, but when you send that to a bunch of users, then
> they're getting all this backend stuff that a) they don't know and b)
> is outside the scope of the WordPress theme spec itself.
> I guess what I'm trying to say is that if there is some commonplace
> functionality that these frameworks are providing and which theme
> users need, we should abstract that out and put it into the core code,
> then let theme devs use it there. Sending complex and weird frameworks
> to the users doesn't strike me as a good thing. Frameworks should be
> used for custom site development, not for general
> everybody-can-download-this-theme usage.
> This is just an idea, not a guideline. Discuss.
> -Otto
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