[theme-reviewers] Theme Options and Functions

Chip Bennett chip at chipbennett.net
Wed Oct 20 22:57:32 UTC 2010

On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 5:33 PM, Demetris Kikizas <kikizas at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Or, it is merely the Review Team bringing up a potential issue, and
> > discussing whether it is worth addressing, and if so, how it should be
> > addressed.
> >
> Making browsing of database tables difficult for someone who activates
> dozens of new themes per week is not an indication of a potential
> issue.  Not the way I understand what an issue is in a WordPress
> theme.
> I am not saying this because I am not sympathetic.  On the contrary:
> I look at themes and plugins myself all the time.  I have all plugins
> and themes from WordPress Extend on my desktop and on my laptom (local
> checkouts).  Sometimes I activate 100 or 150 plugins at once to see
> how latest trunk behaves, and if there are any obvious breakages.  So,
> I understand what you say.  But that’s an edge case. Few people use WP
> like that.

You're conflating two issues here: whether or not options arrays are "best
practice", and whether or not they should be part of the Theme Review
Guidelines. If you'll notice, the idea of adding the requirement to the
Guidelines was discussed, and then dismissed. So why are you still harping
on it?

Like I said: we bring up various ideas, issues, concerns, etc. and discuss
them. Some translate into changes to the Guidelines, and some don't. If you
have so much of a problem with seeing such discussion, then I would suggest
not bothering to stay subscribed to this mail list.

(One thing you clearly don't understand about me, or my methods: I bring up
many ideas, good, bad, and otherwise. It is through discussing all such
ideas, and confirming or dismissing them, that I learn how to be a better
Theme reviewer, and how the Theme Review Team gains a better understanding
of the assumptions and underlying principles that inform our decisions.)

> >>
> >> Instead of looking for solutions to practical problems, it comes up
> >> with solutions for problems that do not exist.
> >>
> >> Recommendations and requirements for themes should only be there if
> >> they solve practical problems.
> >
> > Given that you have yet to review any Themes, how would you know what
> > "practical problems" exist?
> > You see, one of the "practical problems" with which we as a diverse
> Review
> > Team must deal is the fairness and objectiveness of our reviews. If one
> of
> > us finds that we are making similar comments on several Themes, regarding
> > issues that are either not addressed in the Guidelines, or else are not
> > addressed clearly enough, we bring such issues up to the Team as a whole,
> to
> > determine how we can ensure that we are all handling such issues fairly
> and
> > objectively.
> > But since you've not contributed any Theme reviews, you wouldn't really
> have
> > any idea of the kinds of issues that we see come up frequently in
> submitted
> > Themes.
> So, you are saying that only members of this review team know about
> the issues commonly found in WP themes?
> Are you serious?

In part, yes. Unless you've actually reviewed the varied Themes that get
submitted, you have little to no understanding of the wide spectrum of
quality, or of attempts to game the system, or of the commonly recurring

But in another part: it's just that if you're mainly going to complain, I'm
not going to value your complaints very highly if you don't show yourself
willing to offer some positive contribution. (Remember: the WordPress
community operates on a Contribution Economy. It applies to the Theme Review
Team just as it applies to core.)

>  >
> > So, what are the specific "strict requirements"  with which you disagree,
> > and why?
> >
> If you people are willing to listen, I am willing to comment in detail
> on every requirement and recommendation currently listed on the Codex
> page.

Please do. We are absolutely willing to listen to specific issues with
specific requirements.

> But I think others, better qualified than me, tried before and failed.

That's a cop-out.

> Like Otto in this thread:
> <
> http://www.wptavern.com/forum/themes-templates/1911-theme-repository-reviews.html
> >
> I agree with everything Otto says there.

Otto said a lot in that thread (that happens to be several months old, and
prior to several improvements to the process and Guidelines). Do you have
any specifics?

> My general objection, in short, is to what I see as a maximalistic
> approach to setting requirements.  You can’t take everything you would
> wish your dream theme to have and turn it into a strict requirement.
> Requirements should be there to ensure that themes work with core,
> work with plugins, and do not harm users.  Nothing more.

We (and Matt M.) disagree with this assessment. In Matt's

The goal of the theme directory is not to list every theme in the world,
it’s to list the best ones. We want a reasonable number of themes we can
point to that embody the best and brightest of WordPress development, and
that users can choose without compromise.

So, yes: we are interested in raising the quality standard. The ship of that
decision has sailed already.

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