Theme Licencing Reminder

The wordpress.org Theme Directory contains only themes which are considered 100% GPL or GPL compatible. This includes the code and all of the bundled assets of a theme.

In Theme Reviews I see 3 different types of licence issue pop up in many themes.

  • Missing licence declarations.
  • Images or assets used under a non-compatible licence for the GPL.
  • Assets or other code not documented or attribution removed.

Missing Licence or Copyrights Declarations

Themes should have a licence declaration in the header of the style.css file as well as a licence and copyrights declaration inside of their readme.

The preferred copyrights statement uses the following format (where Fred is the theme name and Joe Smith as the author):

Fred WordPress Theme, Copyright 2019 Joe Smith. Fred is distributed under the terms of the GNU GPL

In addition to that you should include a licence declaration in the file header comment of each source file of the theme.

Images and Other Assets

Image issues have been touched on recently in the post about Pixabay images and in other posts in the past. Issues with licencing based on the Theme Review Team policy about them have been common recently so to clarify:

All of the images used in a theme for the .org directory should be shared under a GPL compatible licence – one such licence suitable for images is CC0. Other licences may be appropriate too.

Licences which limit the distribution of an image, or it’s use in other ways not covered by the GPL, are not accepted. This is because adding such limitations is not in the spirit of the GPL or in line with the 4 core freedoms of open source software which WordPress follows as part of it’s core philosophy.

Other assets, such as CSS or fonts, should also be shared under a GPL compatible licence. We have a list of some GPL compatible font licences.

Missing Information about Third-Party Assets

Any code used from a 3rd party resource should have a declaration of it’s use (in a ==Resources== section of your readme is ideal).

The licence you use the resource under must be GPL compatible and you must not remove the original authors copyrights notice. You also must clearly state if you modified the source.

Release of the Theme Sniffer plugin

After a long time of refactoring and improving the plugin, the Theme Review team is proud to announce that we’ve released the Theme Sniffer plugin to the wordpress.org plugin repository.

Theme Sniffer is a plugin utilising custom sniffs for PHP_CodeSniffer that statically analyses your theme and ensures that it adheres to WordPress coding conventions, as well as checking your code against PHP version compatibility.

Themes are not required to pass the Theme Sniffer scan without warnings or errors to be included in the theme directory but all reviewers are encouraged to use this plugin to help them review themes quicker.

Theme Sniffer plugin page

The plugin is actively developed on Github, so if you wish to contribute you can start there. Also, if you find any issue with the plugin, feel free to open an issue on the repository.

You can find an entry in the handbook about the usage and some clarification regarding the sniff results interpretation.

#plugin, #theme-sniffer, #trt

X-post: 5.0 Release Retrospective Kickoff

X-comment from +make.wordpress.org/updates: Comment on 5.0 Release Retrospective Kickoff

Theme Sniffer plugin v1.0.0-RC1 version

Following the latest post about the Theme Sniffer plugin updates, we’ve released an updated RC1 version for you to test.

Theme Sniffer is a tool that helps reviewers and developers check the themes they are reviewing/developing against several coding standards.

All the major kinks have been sorted out. What has been improved is

  • Fixed ignore warning issue that wasn’t working
  • Updated screenshot
  • Updated readme files
  • Tested on WP 5.1
  • Refactored callback function for Ajax run
  • Fixed some header licensing checks (#100 issue)
  • Added a way to create a finished bundled .zip file on build command
  • Minor JS glitches fix
  • Bumped the version to 1.0.0 – as I’d like to put the plugin to the wordpress.org repo

You can see the release on GitHub. And you can download the latest version zip file here.

Installation instructions

The installation instructions for the plugin are the same as for any other plugin:

Go to the admin page, upload the zip file in the Plugins menu, activate it and that’s it.

If you find any issues you can leave a comment here or open an issue on the GitHub repo.

Theme Review Team Meeting Agenda for 26 February 2019

The Theme Review Team holds a meeting the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month and we encourage all members and anyone interested to attend.

Channel: #themereview | Time: Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 18:00 UTC.

This meeting has a few items added to the agenda for discussion.

  • Asking Trusted Authors to help with reviewing themes outside of TA queue.
  • Discuss the idea of a once per month weekend review session and/or mentorship program.
  • Testing for latest updates to the Theme Sniffer plugin.
  • First look at Gutenberg Phase 2 issues and designs.

Meetings usually last around 60 minutes. If anyone wants anything else added to the agenda then comment below and I will add it before meeting time.