Preserving child theme
If you are planning a new default theme for BuddyPress, please release it under a different name and keep the old theme available.
One of the annoying things about the upgrade to bp1.2.6 was that any child theme that was based on bp-default had it’s look, feel and behaviour changed without warning. This made the whole concept of designing child themes based on bp-default unworkable for client projects.
Designers build websites for clients to look a particular way, an upgrade of the core system should not change the way those current sites look & behave.
So, build a new default theme for BP by all means, but release it under a new name. Just as WordPress themselves do: classic.. Default.. 2010. Each new theme introduced did not overwrite or remove the previous.
I am fairly sure no plans have been made for any complete change it’s just adjustments we’re talking about. We’re also being clear about those changes as they are also not just for sake but for significant improvements like missing typography and usability things.
From what I recall a new theme was on cards 1.4 /1.5 or DJPaul mentioned something around that (think was him….). I do think we have to avoid having lots of ‘defaults’ though that would be a nightmare. Perhaps 1-2 isn’t a horrendous but client sites will change we’re hardly talking about changes in this group that are going to cause you problems so far quite the opposite. Surely clients having the access to better typography and comments is good?
By having a group like this too it should get theme designers knowing before it happens what changes are down to happen.. so to speak anyway. Therefore avoiding the entire situation.
Don’t worry, even if there is a completly new theme I plan on fixing the last theme to work with new versions of the plugin. The previous version of the default theme should still be usable as well.
@rogercoathup You really have nothing to worry about with me I also work using the default theme (custom and theme work) I think you are worrying about intentions that aren’t there. Why not see what we do here and then say if you think direction is wrong because we’re saying before we do anything?
Should you expect nothing to ever change in the default theme.. no that’s not a valid thing. As has been discussed there are some issues with the default theme and improvements that need doing. Surely if you are basing on default should you not be open to default being improved on and getting better? Twenty-Ten in WordPress has also changed since it’s first release.
Should you expect to know and not have your own theme break and have it work just as it did before like Modermlooper said – 100% and of course and that’s something I’m fairly sure nobody in this group is disagreeing about. That is what we are all saying here. This is about working towards a better, solid, more robust product and foundations in the future.
Please don’t no me until you understand I’m not saying anything different from others My beliefs are all should be happy with changes I believe this group for the theme is a very positive step. I think together we can only make themeing stronger with regards to BuddyPress.
For instance you will see @Modemlooper working on new comments for the default theme that will change your theme it won’t break it, it will improve it and you will know about this in advance for instance the thread in this group about this occurring is showing what is going on.
This group is open for anyone to join, participate, get tickets going and get involved in that’s the point.
@rogercoathup you are welcome to comment and join in anything that is put forward I sort of feel that’s the only way things will ever progress. Lets just not call them my changes as this isn’t just me In fact my thread for typographical changes came from a comment made during the irc BuddyPress developers chat not by myself. There was quite an interesting discussion there about UI and themes.
How about we deal on a one by one basis for instance there are several threads open currently. I totally get 1.2.6 for you was an issue and that will be effecting your judgment but as said nobody wants that. I understand there may be a degree of panic going on but I urge you to see exactly what people are suggesting and review each thing and person’s suggestions rather than a blanket analysis.
I’ll comment on the main thing I’ve so far suggested being typographical changes. If you indeed use child themes properly and I’m sure you do then surely how will any of the passive changes even effect you? For instance wp-caption or any missing class? You probably have added one in right? We’re adding one in parent but you have in child – your child will always over rule. Typography changes.. same thing. If you on releasing your themes use the theme unit test you probably have already created and over-ruled 100% of the things I’m suggesting with typography to change. That is all about adding in things missed that are required to pass the theme review stage now. Any BuddyPress theme submitted will fail due to the things missing.
I am in no way suggesting we suddenly move or change things that shouldn’t be there with these changes if you read any thing I’ve suggested. There are maybe some things put forward that will do more dramatic changes but you have to discuss those on each thread I can only really comment on the ones I’ve suggested so.
For now I think the nothing should get broken rule is a good one. The lets not kill anything people are using is a second great one. Both of these you have already said make you feel more positive so lets keep that note – positive = progress.
As a theme designer that uses the default surely seeing all this activity and chance to get involved in shaping that theme would be something you’d want to get on board with? Lets look above the issues for a minute as a whole… being able to shape the core you use on a day to day basis surely that is a great thing? There must be a ‘niggly’ thing that default has that you want to look to adjust and change.
I am not missing your point (I 100% understand the implications of change) I just think you maybe need to also see both sides and realise you also can take positive from this. How great would be having something put into Default forever for your clients that you suggested and helps not just your clients?
To make theming BuddyPress easier, and to encourage exciting new projects based on the platform – we think it’s much more important to get the core BuddyPress API improved (e.g. stripping out excessive markup from the core, providing clean coherent functions that do a single job, and separating function from presentation). Alongside building great sites for clients, this is where we will be concentrating our BP efforts.
There is no way around small changes to the default theme as they fix and update things. This group is for this exact reason. To figure out what’s broken, what needs to be changed, how to do it in a minimized way as to not upset child themes and to give advanced notice to whats being changed.
One tip: if you copy the entire default.css and then use that as a starting point with creating a child theme the design won’t change much if css in bp-default gets changed. Not full proof but a good safety layer.
I would also suggest to check out this codex page for updates to the bp-default theme every once in awhile:
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