[wordpress] Re: [wp-hackers] Themes not all they should be?

denis at semiologic.com denis at semiologic.com
Tue Apr 12 20:04:33 GMT 2005


I've been more or less working on 'tiles' in the past few weeks or so. I created
a canvas that could allow me to add and remove features in one click, through
the use of plugins.


It is far from over, but I think I can share a few educated viewpoints.

WordPress is not far from having a temporary solution already. At most, we're
missing a few api hooks like wp_head and wp_footer. Once these are available,
you can create the template as such:

<div id="header"> ... <?php wp_head(); ?> ... </div>
<div id="body"> ... loop <?php wp_post(); ?> ... <?php wp_comment(); ?> ...
<div id="sidebar"> ... <?php wp_sidebar(); ?> ... </div>
<div id="footer"> ... <?php wp_footer(); ?> ... </div>

And add a plugin to configure and filter the hooks for your theme -- like I did
in my theme, though arguably not to such an extent.

This has two downsides:

- On the one side, theme authors need to be extremely wary of inserting hooks at
the right places.

- On the other, plugin authors need to be consistent in the way they wrap
plugins, and should probably encapsulate plugin in a way to make it theme
independent -- rather than specifically designed for the Kubrick theme.

Arguably, the above is far from satisfying to the more control hungry users. But
it is good enough for the average blogger who doesn't want to edit a php file.
And quite frankly, I found it good enough to resist the idea (trouble?) of
managing a site with Mambo or Limbo -- WordPress' simplicity gives it a lot
more potential than the two previous.

I think three key key points could make things easier for everyone:

- Having WordPress visit the theme's config.php file immediately after visiting
the plugin files, including when you are in the admin section
- A define_area function for theme authors, that lets them define areas named
'header', 'footer', 'pre_post', etc. as they see fit; a define_tile would
likely be a good idea too
- An option panel called "Plugin Display" panel, where plugins are listed, each
with a select box populated by the current theme's area, to let the user define
where he wants the features he is adding to be displayed

my $.02


Quoting Elliott Bäck <ecb29 at cornell.edu>:

> Yeah.
> The reason I write that is because I want meta themes.  I'm not the kind
> of type who wants to slap in some themes and release my new website.  At
> a minimum, I'm going to heavily customize a codebase ... but
> unfortunately there I lose the customization when I switch between themes!
> Thanks,
> Elliott C. Bäck
> 607-229-0623
> http://elliottback.com
> Mike Little wrote:
> >This kind of development would take Wordpress very firmly into the CMS
> >arena and naturally increase it's complexity.
> >
> >I'm not sure that's where everyone wants to go.
> >
> >I also suspect that this would be something which would be made much
> >easier with Smarty
> >
> >Mike
> >
> >
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> wp-hackers mailing list
> wp-hackers at lists.automattic.com
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