[theme-reviewers] Questions regarding theme review process

Philip M. Hofer (Frumph) philip at frumph.net
Fri Jan 21 10:01:39 UTC 2011

#1 - it's fine, inside the theme is okay

#2 - if it's a theme-design thing,  no problem

#3 - i found text widgets to be more of a proper use for these, but hey, if it's in the design i'm not going to argue

all of which again, recommendations are not 'do it or else it won't get accepted' they're only something that we need to put in there to have you think about possibly switching to that method in the future

--- As for child theme deployment

The guidelines are not set and the WPTRT discussion is continueing right now, we'll open it up on the make.wordpress.org/themes site soon as we get a proper grasp of what it entails,  however i posted a preliminary list on this mailing list last night, it's only just some thoughts to mull over and give your opinion on since at this moment nothing is set in stone, child themes at this time are still not approved to be placed on the repository

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Rahul Bansal 
  To: theme-reviewers at lists.wordpress.org 
  Sent: Friday, January 21, 2011 1:56 AM
  Subject: Re: [theme-reviewers] Questions regarding theme review process

  Hi Philip,

  Thanks for details. 

  I even believe myself not everything that can be done via plugin should be done inside theme.
  When wordpress-seo by yoast came, we removed our SEO options and now display "list of recommended plugins" in theme options pages.
  We support many plugins like subscribe-to-comments, YARPP's related post, etc.

  Main concern is - some tiny plugins. I will explain this bit with more examples.

  #1 - Align RSS plugins (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/align-rss-images/)
  Wordpress adds classes like .alignleft and .alignright for which we add some codes in style.css 
  Now when these wordpress-generated classes goes into RSS feed content, image alignment do not work as style.css cannot be loaded by feed-readers.
  Just 2-3 lines in theme can replace 'class=alignright' with "style=float:left" in feed-output.

  There are few more plugins which "fixes" something. Personally, I believe these fixes should be added inside wordpress-core!

  #2 - Sharing icons
  Since facebook/twitter shares icons gets displayed on front-end, having theme control their dimension and other aspects can improve theme aesthetically.
  Most plugin which latch on fliters ruin themes output. Then a user is forced to add function call himself in theme codes to get desired placement of these buttons.

  #3 - Advertising 
  An average blog sells ad via 3rd party. He only want a place to put some HTML/JS codes given to him.
  If theme provides textareas for common ad-slots, that will save him from using bloated plugins which counts impressions and do plenty of other things. 
  Such stats are already provided by ad-networks so why to waste CPU power & database space of server. 

  I observed that, plugins which adds HTML/CSS/JS on front-end generally miss preciseness. In that case, user starts altering code and a single biggest mistake they make is adding function provided by plugin without surrounding it via if(function_exists('example')) block.

  Using WordPress API is of highest priority here. In fact, rather than relying in codex documentation, we trace wordpress core cods to find functions which we can reuse always!

  On sidenote, as a theme-developer, while adding such functionality, I will keep it disabled by default and will provide an option for user to enable it if they like to.

  Only thing I expect from WPTRT is freedom for theme-developers to decide on functionality they want to add inside theme. 


  Please someone clear my doubts regarding parent-child theme deployment.

  Rahul Bansal | Founder & CEO | rtCamp Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
  Mobile: +91-9860501882 | Web: http://rtcamp.com/

  On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 2:55 PM, Philip M. Hofer (Frumph) <philip at frumph.net> wrote:

    While timthumb has been banned, that doesnt mean other internal functionality will ever be banned as such.     You might come across recommendations that said functionality should be a plugin, but it is only that a recommendation.

    To answer your list.

    1. Fine - recommend plugin
    2. Fine - recommend plugin 
    3. Fine
    4. Definately Ok.
    5. Absolutely Ok.
    6. Fine - recommend plugin

    While the push for developers to strive to utilize as much api and plugins that do the load of the work that you are describing, there's nothing that you wrote there that would be not-accepted;  however, that being said it is in the developers interest to utilize as much of the plugin to theme control as possible and more importantly the WordPress API itself.

    Frameworks at this time are finalizing the guidelines for it.  Chip is probably the best person to respond about that. - as for integration as you speak of, that one client doesn't justify the large number of possible users to the theme that might want a different functionality from a plugin instead.   It is in my opinion better to cater to the wider audience then the single one, giving the audience which uses the themes/derivatives/child themes a wider variety of possibilities goes quite a long way.

    On a side note, I used to believe integrating everything was the right choice as well.. .until something occured with an update of WordPress which made one single function not behave as it should which ruined the theme for everyone who upgraded.

    ^ My 2cents, nothing more.

      My concern is, for our next theme, which is actually our internal base-theme (sort of framework) and contains features like:
        1.. Social bookmarking/Sharing controls (twitter/facebook/etc buttons) 
        2.. Advertising options (like Google AdSense/BuySellAds/Kontera etc) 
        3.. Typography options (font-faces/font-sizes/etc)  
        4.. Layout Options (2-column/3-column/etc) 
        5.. Content Options (Thumbnail size/summaries/read-more settings) 
        6.. Other options like feedburner integration, favicon/logo upload
      There were SEO options also which we plan to retire in favor of wordpress-seo plugin by yoast.

      To give you better ideas, just think of themes at themeforest which provides theme-options.
      We have many clients on themeforest for which above said internal framework has been maintained and continuously updated from a year.

      Now question is - if we decide to release our framework in open-source, which features we need to remove (if any) to maintain compliances here?

      Also, can we upload themes we have developed for themeforest here? 
      Will there be any extra regulations regarding features & options themes at themeforest provides? 
      Just a note - themeforest publishers are very aggressive. On one instant a client sent us list of 30+ plugins which he wanted to integrate in a wordpress-theme! 

      We have many themes in our repo, originally developed for themeforest but never launched for various reasons (most common is client defaulting payment). 
      We are owners of all graphics/code which we want to release on wordpress theme repo, of course under GPL :-)


      My second question is regarding parent-child theme.

      Here is what we want to achieve.
        1.. Our base theme (framework) is common across all our themes [Parent] 
        2.. Each theme has its own set of local changes [Child]
      We want to leverage power of parent-child theme to push updates. If there is any change in base-framework - all child theme users should get a notification about new update of parent theme.

      Not sure if possible here, specially as SVN access is not available on theme-repo (like we have access to SVN on plugin-repo).

      Regarding release - should we release parent and child theme separately? Is there any extra guideline on parent-child theme release.

      Also while answering please consider 3-level relationship => parent-child-grandchild as well!


      The only purpose of asking all questions in advance here is to save our development efforts and also precious time of theme review team.

      I hope to get some good suggestions/guidance/inputs here. 

      Thanks All,

      Rahul Bansal | Founder & CEO | rtCamp Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
      Mobile: +91-9860501882 | Web: http://rtcamp.com/


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