[theme-reviewers] How to request "grandfathered" exception to WP 3.9 Theme guidelines?

Justin Tadlock justin at justintadlock.com
Fri Mar 7 02:40:13 UTC 2014

Bruce, I think it'd be better for you to leave the term "script" out of 
this.  This is something you've said several times, but not everyone is 
piecing it altogether correctly.  Essentially, what you want users to be 
able to do is to insert *arbitrary code* into specific places in a 
theme.  For example, one might want to put an ad in the header above the 
site title.

Personally, I don't think that's the best way to go about things (theme 
setting).  I think a sidebar might work better.   But, that's really 
beside the point.

I don't have any problems grandfathering something like this in, 
particularly for the size of the user community Weaver has.  I've been 
in similar situations and have had to figure out how to upgrade hundreds 
of thousands of users without breaking something.  I'd rather see a 
sensible migration path to a plugin over what would be several 
iterations of the theme.  Something like that might have to take place 
over a couple of years though.

By the way, one easy way to help the process along would be to check if 
there's anything saved for a particular setting.  If not, don't show the 
setting field.  That way, new users can't add anything.

On 3/6/2014 6:50 PM, Bruce Wampler wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 2:47 PM, Chip Bennett <chip at chipbennett.net 
> <mailto:chip at chipbennett.net>> wrote:
>     It appears that you're lumping WAY too much into the scope of what
>     you're asking, and way overstating the impact of the guideline.
>     Your issue seems to jump around from scripts hooked into
>     wp_head/wp_footer, to markup hooked into the template, to Child
>     Themes that use their own scripts.
> Maybe we're talking apples and oranges, but I don't think so. I'm 
> talking about injecting user defined/copied <script>code here</script> 
> into the middle of the code produced by the standard theme functions 
> header.php and footer.php. Other than calling wp_head() and 
> wp_footer(), what do they have to do with the actions wp_head and 
> wp_footer? I'm not talking about enqueuing scripts. I'm talking about 
> injecting scripts, and my reading of the standard is that it applies 
> to footer.php and header.php. Is that wrong? In all of my discussions, 
> I've always said header.php and footer.php, and my understanding of 
> the clarifications on the make site were that the no-script 
> requirement applied to all of header.php and footer.php.
> If that is wrong, and it is okay to inject actual <script> directly 
> into <head>...</head>, plus in the html display portion of the header 
> (e.g., surrounding the title, header image, and menus), or in the 
> footer around the copyright and credits, then we've had a big 
> misunderstanding. But I'm pretty sure I was crystal clear I was 
> describing injecting JavaScripts in those sections. If it is 
> understood that those are the content locations I'm talking about, 
> then my statements about plugins not being able to do that is 100% 
> accurate and true without any question.
> What do you mean by an arbitrary script? For example, my users want to 
> add a custom webmaster generated Google Search script into the 
> displayed header right above the menu, or in somewhere the footer 
> area. The want to inject a script into one of those two places that 
> will display a "Web Award" logo from an obscure web tracking site. All 
> using copy/pasted JavaScripts. Are these presentational or content? I 
> don't know. I do know the ONLY way to get them into those locations is 
> by some kind of code injection, and my users have had that capability 
> since 2010. These are not theme defined scripts - they are scripts 
> users have found/created. Or, they want to temporarily add a <script> 
> to the <head>...</head> section to verify ownership of their site, for 
> example. (Okay, THAT one could be done by a general purpose plugin 
> using the wp_head action, but we are still talking about breaking 
> existing sites by eliminating adding scripts.)
> And you may think there is no difference between 3.8 to 3.9, and 3.9 
> to 4.0, but if you polled everyday users, they will not agree. Going 
> to a new integer version has traditionally been considered by the vast 
> majority of computer users to be a BIG DEAL. That may be changing with 
> the advent of frequent versions of Chrome, Firefox, etc, but I promise 
> you the change from Windows 7 to Windows 8 was a big deal. It was a 
> big deal when WP 3.0 came out.
>     First: how would this change impact a Child Theme? If a Child
>     Theme enqueues a script and hooks that script into wp_head (or an
>     appropriate sub-hook), then this guideline has no impact on it. A
>     Theme-defined script used for presentational purposes is
>     unaffected by this change, whether that script is used by a
>     stand-alone Theme or by a Child Theme. The guideline only applies
>     to *arbitrary* scripts - that is, scripts that impact site
>     functionality and/or are Theme-independent, and are defined by the
>     end user.
>     Second: the "step" from 3.8 to 3.9 is *exactly the same* as the
>     "step" from 3.9 to 4.0. All three are MAJOR versions of WordPress.
>     As developers, we owe it to our users to ensure that they
>     understand the WordPress versioning system, so that we don't
>     enable/facilitate users still to be using WordPress 3.0, because
>     they mistakenly (and dangerously) believe that versions 3.1
>     through 3.9 are just "decimal" releases.
>     Third: this statement is absolutely false:
> THIS IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE. NO QUESTION - when considered in the 
> specified context: the displayed content portions of header.php and 
> footer.php. I don't understand how you can even challenge the truth of 
> it. I know you've written a theme, so how can you say it is not true. 
> You cannot change the content of the displayed header and footer areas 
> with a plugin. It cannot be done. Show me how if you think it is 
> possible.
>         ...although I *still* contend that the idea that this
>         particular feature (JavaScript in the site header and footer
>         area (not <head>, but in the header.php and footer.php) can
>         *not* be handled by an independent plugin of any sort...
> This is totally irrelevant to the point I made (although it does 
> applies to the <head>...</head>, etc. blocks):
>     Plugins have equal access to the wp_head and wp_footer hooks, and
>     can hook anything into those hooks that a Theme can hook into them.
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