[theme-reviewers] Theme Review for blog and business (CMS) themes

Chip Bennett chip at chipbennett.net
Mon Mar 19 16:36:29 UTC 2012

In general, Themes are not "blog-related" or "non-blog-related". Very
little functionality differentiates a Theme with and without support for a
blog. Using your example categories, "corporate" generally defines the
style/layout of the Theme, and "portfolio" IS actually a blog-supporting
Theme - it just happens to support a blog for which the primary content is
images. Thus, there really is little reason to differentiate between
"blog-supporting" and "non-blog-supporting" Themes. See also: our previous
discussion regarding "niche" or special-case Themes. We covered essentially
all of this ground several months ago.

Regarding the 2/3 of the review not covered by licensing issues, etc.: the
vast majority of those guidelines are covered by the Theme Check Plugin and
by the Theme Unit Test data. Beyond that, we start getting into doing many
under-the-hood things correctly (such as where/how to hook actions,
filters, and enqueues).

I'm not sure what you mean by "easier rules for working Themes"?

Regarding the review turnaround time: that is completely a function of how
many Themes get submitted and how many reviews get performed. Given that
Theme Review is a completely voluntary activity, there's little we can do
to change that formula. The last two "review in" days have been a huge help
in reducing the review queue. Ever since the last "review in", there have
been no tickets older than two weeks, and the overall queue has trended
down to 25 open tickets, and now down to around 15 open tickets. If we can
get that number below 10 on a steady-state basis, then the review queue
will be less than the rate of incoming Themes, which will mean that the
average turnaround time will have been reduced to a day (or less).

Ultimately, though: any discussion such as this one should include specific
Guidelines that you want to see changed or removed. I'm not sure a
wholesale change in philosophy is either plausible or prudent at this point.


On Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 11:19 AM, Mario Peshev <mario at peshev.net> wrote:

> Hello everyone,
> I'd like to discuss a philosophically-bureaucratic point that has been
> stuck in my head for the past 2 or 3 months. It's regarding the themes in
> the WPORG repository and their structure and guide list.
> I know that guidelines have been polished for a very long time and we keep
> discussing new rules on a regular basis. However, I took part in 3
> different theme-related projects with working themes (i.e. published for
> free on authors' websites and used by users) that keep being rejected on
> Trac for some guidelines that I would probably agree with if we would speak
> about blog themes but not about ones being used for other reasons.
> This one wraps several delicate questions, such as:
> - different theme categories in Extend, i.e. 'blog', 'corporate',
> 'portfolio' with the general purpose of a theme. (or beta/unverified
> versions)
> - easier rules for working themes
> - turnaround time for revisions
> The three themes I took part in (after reviewing about 70 or more themes
> on Trac) ended like that: one of the themes got in after 3 months and 3
> revisions, second is still there since December (3 revisions and many
> remarks) and the third client gave up the idea of submitting and published
> on other free theme markets.
> The problem is that theme authors building non-clones of twenty-ten and
> twenty-eleven have to spend tens (if not more) hours to keep all the rules
> in place, such as defining classes for byauthor and sticky and many many
> more irrelevant for themes being used as web site templates. What I want to
> stress on is that WP (as everyone here knows undoubtedly) is no more a
> blogging tool only but a powerful CMS that keeps millions of sites online.
> Still, great theme developers building website themes have to take care of
> a serious amount of rules to get into WPORG.
> Am I the only one who noticed and got concerned about that? I think that
> our rules here would end with blog themes cloning 2010/2011, no fresh and
> innovative functional new themes due to the guidelines strict policy. In my
> experience no more than 3-5% of the themes get approved from the first
> review. 20-30% eventually pass with the second one. Taking into account
> that these 3 iterations take about 3 months more or less, this is
> demotivational for authors.
> I agree we need to care about the overall quality of a theme. The theme
> unit test data has different cases to be reviewed, although most of them
> are blog-related. I cannot disagree that we need to be precise about
> licensing and security and stability (i.e. lack of errors and thrown
> notices). This covers about 1/3 of the guidelines. How about the other two
> thirds?
> Since I don't want to be destructive only, I'd like to propose a
> discussion on the review process for themes that are not specifically
> blog-related. This could be done in two ways: adding a new queue in Trac,
> reviewed separately (kinda like the BuddyPress themes) or adding to /extend
> categories OR beta section, for let's say working themes that don't cover
> all guidelines. It could be done for beta testing and many developers would
> like to test these themes as being free and working greatly in 98% of the
> scenarios. The rest is extension.
> Regards,
> Mario Peshev
> Training and Consulting Services @ DevriX
> http://www.linkedin.com/in/mpeshev
> http://devrix.com
> http://peshev.net/blog
> _______________________________________________
> theme-reviewers mailing list
> theme-reviewers at lists.wordpress.org
> http://lists.wordpress.org/mailman/listinfo/theme-reviewers
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