Dion Hulse a.k.a. DD32 who is a very active WordPress contributor created a ticket in Trac about eight weeks ago outlining his proposal for a new theme to be based on the current WordPress codebase. It’s long been known that a majority of themes that are created for WordPress end up using Kubrick as the base theme. In this day in age, that is not such a good idea as this leads to themes that are not easy to customize, little documentation, and possibly ugly code.
DD32′s proposal for a new base theme contains the following suggestions:
- Uses clean markup
- Has a basic style included, Which is designed to be replaced.
- The default style should be able to be used by itself, But it should be in such a way that its simple to be customized
- Doesn’t rely upon fixed width styling, or fixed background images
- Uses the Theme api correctly
- comments_option() instead of ‘open’ == $post->comment_status
- post_class(), etc.
- Look good even when the user modifies the theme slightly (ie. changes widths or floats an item)
- I realize it’s impossible if they’re changing it, But a simple small change should not break everything, It should be designed with the purpose of looking good whilst having its layout moved around
- includes custom Widget examples, SIMPLE widget examples
- Ie. Something with no control, Just a simple “This little widget Adds this theme-specific functionality, It requires no modification, just does this when inserted”
- Uses ALL the current functionality WordPress offers
The way I see it, if you attack the root of the problem and replace Kubrick with a base theme that contains everything DD32 mentioned, this could do nothing but positive things for the WordPress community. First time theme developers would have an excellent base to start from and learn a thing or two in the process with documentation included within the theme. Of course, with the new Syntax highlighter along with function lookups which are now going to be part of WordPress 2.8 and at some point down the road, POSSIBLY template/theme versioning which would work in much the same way as post revisions, we could see a WordPress in the near future where you can build your theme from within the software itself.
So is Kubrick really being replaced? Right now, it’s an idea that is on the table. In fact, this years WordPress Google Of Code projects list Theme Frameworks as a project which possibly would be used as a default theme. So if anyone decides to tackle this issue head on, we could end up seeing Kubrick replaced with a much more modern, useful theme.
Are you ready to see Kubrick retire and be replaced with a theme that matches DD32′s criteria or do you want to see something else?