[wp-hackers] Hiding Child's Template Theme

Mike Walsh mpwalsh8 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 30 14:30:16 GMT 2009

On Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:14 AM, Demetris <kikizas at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 4:46 PM, Chris Jean <gaarai at gaarai.com> wrote:
>> I'm starting to play around with child themes and wondered if it is possible
>> to hide the parent or template theme of a child theme in Manage Themes.
> [SNIP]
>>   Theme Name: Parent Theme
>>   Theme URI: http://wordpress.org
>>   Author: Chris
>>   Author URI: http://site.com
>>   Version: 1.0
>>   Description: This is a parent theme and should not be used.
>>   *Hidden: yes*
>> Of course, a different option could be used instead of "Hidden:", and I'm
>> open to suggestions.
>> I'm passing this by the list first to see 1) how many other developers are
>> interested in my proposal and 2) if any other developers have any
>> suggestions or recommendations.
> My first thought is that this could work if there were themes that are
> explicitly made to be used only as parent themes.
> But if you use a theme like Sandbox or Thematic AND want to get
> updates for it (which is the whole point of using a child theme) how
> would you do it?
> Maintain a parallel distribution?  Then the point of using a child
> theme is defeated...
> Am I missing something here?
> Cheers,
> dk
> http://op111.net/
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I have been playing around with Sandbox child themes over the last
month or so.  I really like the idea of child themes but there are a
couple of downsides which I have encountered:

1)  The parent theme must be installed.  Sounds trivial and for most
(all?) readers of this list that is obvious.  However, it isn't so
obvious for someone who just wants to download a theme and use it.
They actually need to download and install two themes in order to get
the child theme to work.  This is the main reason I am hopeful
WordPress will eventually include a theme framework in the standard

2)  In 2.7.1 the Theme Preview displays the Parent theme instead of
the Child theme.  This can be confusing to the casual user as they
will go to activate the theme and it doesn't look anything like what
they expected, it looks like the parent which, if you use Sandbox,
doesn't look very interesting at all.

I am working on a new theme for  our Swim Team and I am taking a new
approach.  I am building it on Sandbox but instead of building it as a
child theme, I have set up the theme to include Sandbox as an SVN

All of the files in the theme directory "require" the equivalent file
from the Sandbox external unless they are customized.  So far it is
working pretty well.  The upside to this method is I will only have to
distribute one theme and the preview works correctly.

This method would also prevent the use of the parent theme Chris Jean
was trying to accomplish in the original post.


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