[theme-reviewers] Webmaster Tools IDs - plugin territory?

esmi at quirm dot net esmi at quirm.net
Tue Jul 16 14:09:26 UTC 2013

on 16/07/2013 13:36 Edward Caissie said the following:
> The WPTRT Admins (as I see the role) are not
> here as gatekeepers, that has never been our purpose or goal. We are  here
> to facilitate the processes. We are here to listen to the community. We are
> here to help Theme Authors, and more importantly help the End-Users with
> insuring the theme they choose from the WordPress Theme repository,
> presents content correctly ... no matter the choice.

Well said! :-)

Speaking as someone who spends a lot of time helping people out with 
theme issues on the support forums, a standardised approach that clearly 
delineates the difference between presentation and functionality makes a 
massive difference in the quality of potential support.

Once you factor out the "how to I customise this theme" topics, those 
who are having the biggest problems with themes are those who are 
downloading them from elsewhere. There's a huge variation in both 
quality and consistent usability once users move away from WPORG themes 
and other developers who base their work on the same guidelines. More 
and more forum volunteers are pointing people back to these other theme 
developers because it's just too darn hard to try and support them. 
They're a huge unknown.

With regard to the whole "plugin/shortcode functionality in themes" 
issue, you try explaining to a non-technical user that - no - we don't 
have an easy way to remove the shortcode belonging your previous theme 
from your 500 existing posts. This is not an answer that goes down well.

As a result, I agree with Chip's recent comments on the subject and 
would like to see a fairly strictly enforced policy retained. Does this 
constrain some developers? Probably but then a set of guidelines that 
suits everyone is never going to happen. The best that can be achieved 
is a reasonable compromise that does not negatively impact on the 
overall high quality of the Repo as it stands. If that does not suit you 
as a theme dev for a given theme, then perhaps that theme is not suited 
for WPORG hosting. It's really not the end of the world and not every 
single good free theme *has* to be hosted here. As a developer, it's 
your choice.

Finally, I couldn't sign off without taking a moment to remind everyone 
what the current WPRT admin team has achieved over the years. They took 
what was originally a wildly unpopular idea (and trust me, I was one of 
those doing the most screaming initially) and made it work with the 
backing of (dare I say) most theme developers. I think the larger 
WordPress community has benefited greatly as a result. As for me, I'm 
now a "baby WPRT admin" who tries to help out around the edges but is 
still primarily a theme dev who supports the guidelines. Even the bits 
that reduce my vocabulary to Anglo-Saxon during development. :-)


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