[wp-hackers] child themes of child themes (grandchildren)

Shasta Willson shastaw at gmail.com
Fri Nov 9 17:23:56 UTC 2012

On Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 9:11 AM, Otto <otto at ottodestruct.com> wrote:

> It's a sanity thing. Essentially, child themes are fine, while
> grandchild themes take it a bit too far.

And yet languages like Java handle inheritance gracefully without such

> If you need to customize
> further than a child theme, then you're probably doing it wrong to
> begin with and should look at alternatives.

Ok, I'm game... I have clients come to me regularly and say "I want the
Crystal (Genesis) theme."  I said "sure!" and install it.  Then they say
"Oh...but I wanted a dark upper portion, and instead of a slider on the
front page I want some other custom thing, and by the way can I have this
other dodad over here.. and...

And by the time I'm done what I have is no longer the Crystal theme, but a
child theme of Genesis based on Crystal.  Which is fine in as far as it
goes, but obviously if Genesis is updated and Crystal is updated to
coordinate with the changes my client is left with no upgrade path but to
pay me more money to update my customized version of Crystal.

Obviously I do use best practices like utilizing the hooks to keep as much
of the modification in one place as possible, but that doesn't change the
fact that I'm right back to the situation children were invented to fix: no
upgrade path.

So what's the "right" way to handle this client's request for
"Crystal...but not quite."?

- Shasta

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