[theme-reviewers] Options Framework Discussion

David Chandra P. david at shellcreeper.com
Sat Apr 20 17:19:14 UTC 2013

Hi Devin and all,

OF is great. The best part is you always make the update have backward compatibility and it's a +10 for me. Amazing job.

But I think it's better to be a library in theme instead of using it as plugin/theme add-on.

Not because theme feature should be in theme, not for better user experience too. Because as a user, I don't mind install a plugin for better feature.

But my reason is: for better future updates. Focusing it as a theme framework is better way to handle this, since it's just for themes anyway. Even when develop a library for a plugin, I think the library itself need to be in the plugin, not in separate plugin.

Focusing it as a theme lib, You can make major update to make it leaner, better framework/library without the need to think too much about backward compatibility. It will be much simpler to develop, and if someday you find something you did wrong, you can update agressively. The theme author will have to check his/her theme to make it compatible with the latest version included.

As we all know, not all theme author did a regular update. Maybe they don't have the time, maybe they have something more important to so, etc.
But maybe someday, a theme might break because it's not compatible with the latest version of OF. Not because it's not working with the latest version of WP, but it breaks because of OF. And as the OF author, you have no control in how the theme author using OF and what version of OF his/her theme support.

Overtime,I think it's going to get harder to keep track to each of the version of OF. To make it works with all theme not using/supporting the latest version of OF.

I hope it make sense, or maybe I just overthink it :)

David Chandra Purnama
twitter: @turtlepod

-----Original Message-----
From: Devin Price <devin at wptheming.com>
Sender: theme-reviewers-bounces at lists.wordpress.org
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2013 11:07:30 
To: <theme-reviewers at lists.wordpress.org>
Reply-To: theme-reviewers at lists.wordpress.org
Subject: Re: [theme-reviewers] Options Framework Discussion

Hi Chip.  As the theme review docs stand now, is including the "Options Framework" directly in the theme (versus plugin) a "required" item or a "recommended" item?  I couldn't find anything in the docs that explicitly doesn't allow it.

Chip referred to a couple important user experience items:

"even if a Theme properly handles options such that it functions fully without the Plugin, including options via Plugin still presents a less-than-ideal, or even a bad, user experience. Why should a user have to take the extra time and effort to find, install, and activate a separate Plugin, merely to be able to use an integral Theme feature such as Theme options? I don't view Theme options as an extension of functionality."

I don't agree that installing a plugin is much of a burden for the user.  My theme "Visual" displays a notice that lets users know the plugin adds additional functionality.  They can click the "Install" link, and the Options Framework instantly downloads and installs for them.  This is the same thing someone might do if their theme made use of a custom post type plugin.

I've sucessfully used this method for "Portfolio Press" the last couple years, and no one has reported problems installing the plugin. A couple commercial theme shops like Mint Themes and Organic themes also go this route- and I believe because it is because it makes their theme maintenance easier.

I'd prefer not to update either of my themes to use the included version (versus the plugin), but if that is the requirement to get my latest theme update live I'll go ahead and do it.  If we can get that clarified in the theme review docs I think that would also be helpful for other developers who use it.

Devin Price

theme-reviewers mailing list
theme-reviewers at lists.wordpress.org

More information about the theme-reviewers mailing list