Help theme developers help you
I’m one of the creators of the Tarski theme for WordPress which got picked up by WordPress.com.
Right now, 1.1.3 is the most current version of the theme on WP.com. That’s… seven versions behind our latest, which means it’s missing various tweaks and bugfixes, as well as various options (switching the sidebar to the other side, nifty extra default headers, etc.).
I’d love to have a “WordPress.com for theme developers” type FAQ so we know how to:
- Get our themes updated
- Make our themes more suitable for inclusion & easy update, etc. in the first place
- Contact someone technical for such things instead of spamming support with such things – a theme dev liaison, for example
In the spirit of open source, it’d be great to hear from you guys when you fix a bug in our themes, too.
The nearest thing we have to a list of specs seems to be here. (Yeah, I know, comments on my blog aren’t exactly official, but that’s how they do things round here. The ad policy lives in a six-month old blog post.)
The general impression I get is that Automattic staff aren’t terribly interested in liaising with theme developers, or keeping the themes current. They pick a random theme from wordpress.net, hack it about so it’ll work here, launch it, then move on to the next one. Users are more interested in shiny new themes than improved versions of old ones, and most of your nifty extra features probably wouldn’t work in this environment anyway.
If you were to direct your efforts towards making your themes MU-friendly, I’m sure the open-source community around the software would thank you for it. Meanwhile, it can’t hurt to pull down the wp.com version of Tarski from the svn repository, look at what they’ve done differently, and maybe shoot them an email about the more glaring bugs.
This is WordPress. You expect docs that folks can understand? ;)
You can of course grab a copy of WordPress multiuser and give it a shot yourself. :)
And I agree with that staff should drop a note to teh theme designer about bug fixes. Goodness knows we have at least one theme here that got worked on a bit to make it work.
For reference: http://svn.automattic.com/wpcom-themes/
The Subversion link is nice to see – man, functions.php got cut down! Is there any established way to submit changes, such as the pagination we added in 1.2? Seems like moderated checkin access to the SVN repository could be good for all involved…
I’ve fiddled with Tarski on WP MU before (around 1.1.3, in fact). I should probably re-test it with the newer versions of the software.
Best bet would be to ask staff as there’s a lot at stake with allowing access to SVN on a production server with nearly a million clients at risk.
I’d drop them an email at support at this domain.
edit: I think a lot of the function.php stuff for some themes has been hidden and not released to teh general public. It’s not the first time it’s come up.
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