[theme-reviewers] Draft Theme Development Checklist

Chip Bennett chip at chipbennett.net
Wed Jul 14 00:34:35 UTC 2010

On Tuesday 13 July 2010 3:52:35 pm Lance Willett wrote:
> >> Good afternoon, Theme Reviewers!
> >> Please take a look here:
> >> http://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Development_Checklist_Draft
> >> 
> >> These are the draft theme development checklist and review criteria.
> >> Please take a look and comment. Once we're all agreed on the
> >> guidelines, I'll generate WXR and SQL files to accompany the revised
> >> guidelines.
> Thanks for your work on this, Chip. I'll be working on this as much as
> I can this week.
> I don't think an SQL version is necessary, just the WXR to import into
> a test install.

Some tests require certain UserIDs to exist (e.g. author comment styling). As 
long as the WXR import will retain the relationship between post author and 
post author comments, that's fine. I'd still, though, like to provide a SQL 
import file, for anyone who wants a "clean" install of the test environment. 

> >> Everything should be retained from the current TDC, and I've updated the
> >> required file structure and supported functions/features through
> >> WordPress version 3.0.
> Let's clarify the purpose of the checklist.
> 1. Is it only to show what is required to submit a theme to the directory?
> 2. Or is it also for theme developers in general?

As I've understood it, our main focus is approving themes for the directory, 
so our guidelines are specific to theme directory approval. At the same time, 
we are trying to ensure that this approval process enforces a very high 
standard for quality and feature support. So, it's both - but definitely 
theme-repository focused.

> For option one, the purpose would be "What are basic items I need to
> check off before I get my theme submitted?"
> Option two is a list that can be used by web designers wanting to make
> a rock-solid theme -- perhaps for a client site or for personal use --
> *and* by theme developers wanting to create rock-solid
> publicly-released themes.

The two primary differences, as I see them, are as follows:

1) Licensing: non-repository hosted themes need not adhere to the 100% GPL-
compatible requirement for repository-hosted themes.

2) Feature support: non-repository hosted themes need not provide support for 
any particular WP core feature/function that will be required of repository-
hosted themes (custom backgrounds, header images, and nav_menus, nascent to 
3.0, come to mind).

> An example of this distinction is the license requirement. That should
> be required for directory submissions, but not for a theme developer
> that is creating a theme for a client project.
> Should we consider doing a tiered checklist in three pages?
> 1. Theme Coding Standards
> An updated version of the current theme development checklist aimed at
> all theme developers listing the standards that every WordPress
> theme--including themes that will never be publicly released--should
> abide by.
> 2. Theme Directory Standards
> A new checklist that specifically states the requirements for
> submitting a theme to the WordPress.org directory (then edit
> http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/upload/ to point to this page).
> 3. Theme Unit Tests
> A simpler version of the current test data with some useful updates.
> Thoughts?

I like the approach. Whatever the case, we need to consolidate the Theme-
Development focused pages around the Codex - and this would be a good 
opportunity to do so.
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