[wp-hackers] Theme structure

Alan Baljeu alanbaljeu at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 11 20:15:19 GMT 2008

Thanks for the links.  Those are interesting themes.  

To correct you on a thought though, I'm not a theme designer, I'm a programmer.  I'm tackling this, not because it's going to save me time, but for the challenge of building the tool.  

My intention is not to create "a beast of a theme engine", but a replacement or supplement for the WordPress Theme Editor.  That is, I want to edit theme files.  The resulting theme can be very lightweight.

One possible approach to this is to build a database of code snippets and have ways of adding or removing these.  I have much more specific thoughts on this, but I'll save those for another post.  In the meantime, I'll be examining how these themes work.  I really like the Sandbox coding style, and the K2 column editor interface.

----- Original Message ----
From: Paul Menard <paul at codehooligans.com>
To: wp-hackers at lists.automattic.com
Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 2:28:00 PM
Subject: Re: [wp-hackers] Theme structure

I think everyone starts thinking about building a management panel  
after a couple dozen WP themes. The concept is root in our need to  
make things as efficient as possible while providing ease of  
manageability to the user. I myself have been guilty of trying to  
build a generic theme engine based on blueprint where I can control  
the number, position and width of columns, header footer information,  
color, images and all that crap.

The problem you run into is you are needing to tweak your theme for  
each 3rd new client because they want something you didn't include or  
think of in your original theme engine design. Before you know it you  
are spending more hours tweaking your theme engine then it would have  
taken to built the simple theme from scratch in the first place. And  
because you don't want to eat the hours you try and pass these 'extra'  
hours to the clients. Pretty soon your rates are putting you out of  
the competition.

Worse than all this, you have created a beast of a theme engine that  
has to run through more queries then WP on it's best day just so the  
theme can pull together the information it need to dynamically build  
it's layout.  And this causes even more server load.

Katie mentioned some good example of theme with control panels you can  
deconstruct. I've added a few more.

K2 - http://getk2.com/
Anaconda - http://anaconda.taragana.net/flexible-3-column-anaconda-theme-for-wordpress-released/

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