[wp-hackers] Child themes, theme revisions, and the theme editor

Andrew Nacin wp at andrewnacin.com
Tue Mar 23 00:13:55 UTC 2010

Hackers -- I am constructing a proposal to overhaul the theme editor. I
would appreciate your thoughts on some of the ideas thus far:

* Better theme management
  - Theme revisioning, versioning, snapshots, rollbacks, etc.

* Child theme generation
  - Creating and switching to a child theme when editing a theme (allows
revisions to play nice with upgrades)

* Sandboxing functions.php
  - Unlike templates, a syntax error in functions.php can take down the
whole blog and force you to open an FTP client

* Syntax highlighting
  - Live highlighting in the theme editor, if a suitable replacement for
CodePress can be identified
  - Highlighted diffs of theme revisions

I know most of you are power users and developers, and may despise the theme
editor. For many WordPress users, the theme editor is an indispensable tool
(and it's not going anywhere). Theme developers may also appreciate a theme
editor that, while potentially encouraging revisions, also discourages
editing a theme directly (via child theme generation).

This will probably become a Google Summer of Code proposal.

Thanks for your help,
(This proposal is also outlined more in depth in a blog post:

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