Proposal: Theme Feature Repositories

If you’ve been following the Theme Review SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. channel, you’ve probably noticed a lot going on. We’ve been trying to figure out ways to deal with common theme issues. There are many conflicting ideas about how to make the directory a better place. However, as a programmer (like most of us here), I thought it best to approach some of these issues from code where possible.

Therefore, a few of us have been tossing around an idea of creating some standardized packages on the official Theme Review GitHub account for theme authors to utilize in their themes. The idea is that if we can get enough people together solving these common issues, then there’d be far fewer points of contention between theme reviewers and theme authors.

What issues need to be solved?

That’s the real question. We need to identify and make a list of problems that could be solved with standardized libraries.

The idea would be to create several repositories on our GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/ that theme authors could drop into their theme and utilize. It’d mostly be plug-n-play. This would help cut back on in-house code from 100s of different authors that share little in common and make it far easier for reviewers to review themes. It’d also be beneficial to users if things like admin-related interfaces are consistent between themes.

A couple of quick things that often come up are:

  • Admin notices.
  • Link to “pro” version in the customizerCustomizer Tool built into WordPress core that hooks into most modern themes. You can use it to preview and modify many of your site’s appearance settings. (I have an existing library I can transfer ownership).

My question for theme authors is: What packages do you need or what problems do you think we could solve together?

This can literally be any common feature in WordPress themes, not just admin or customizer-related things. Nothing is “out of bounds”. Every idea is on the table right now.

This is an ambitious project. It’d require cooperation between authors and reviewers for the betterment of the theme directory as a whole. It’ll only work if we have buy-in from everyone.

Project lead or co-lead

I’d love to head up this project. It’s something I’ve given some thought to a lot over the last few years. It’s just that today I think more people are open to it. Strike while the iron is hot.

Unfortunately, it looks like my schedule is going to be tight from mid-summer through mid-autumn due to previously-agreed engagements. I don’t want to stick a new project on the team and just walk away when it’s first getting off the ground.

If anyone’s interested in leading or at least sharing some of the lead responsibilities on this, just let us know. GitGit Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency. Git is easy to learn and has a tiny footprint with lightning fast performance. Most modern plugin and theme development is being done with this version control system. https://git-scm.com/., Composer, and general OOP knowledge is probably going to be necessary.

If the team goes ahead with this, I’ll do my best to help get this off the ground in the next few weeks.