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Re: New theme framework and exisiting WP themes



It just occured to me, that detective’s way is the way the theme framework should be done. Here’s the deal:


BP-Blog theme & BP-member theme. The blog theme was essentially any WP-blog theme (with minor tweaks), and the member theme contained the BP functionality. Both of them contained also their separate skins.

Theming was possible by taking excisting WP-themes and BP-themes and skinning them for consistent look. This approach had obvious disadvangages, but the advantage of being able to start from just about any WP-theme.


WP-SN-Parent theme is essentially a WP-theme with BP-functionality. Theming is done by childing this theme. This solves issues about non-standard theme structure, but has the downside of having problems with integrating to other themes.

Enter Detective’s solution: in stead of two layers of BP default theme, we should have three:

1) BP-Structure theme (structure)

2) BP-Functional theme (pb-member theme etc. functionality)

3) Skin (CSS+js etc)

Each of these is the child theme of the upper.

Now, since BP-Functional is essentially an unskinned non-complete theme (no headers or footers etc.), it can and must be childed to any theme, not only to BP-Structure. Hence it would restore the 1.0 ability to start from any WP theme, and integrate BP into that. Still it would use the Child theme functionality and live nicely within the WP theme ecosystem.

For bp-theme authors this would mean improved flexibility: they could start by skinning (and maybe extending) the BP-Functional, or just the BP default skin. On the other hand, they could child the BP functional to some existing theme of theme framework – like Sandbox of Hybrid – and skin that.

And the best part is that it would be backwards compatible with the 1.1 framework: the bp-sn-parent is just split into generic structure part an the bp-specific function part, and skinned to the actual default part. And any theme extending (childing) the bp-default could still be extending (childing) it.

This kind of in-between theme is an interesting development in the design of WP-themes, kind of plugin in the theme architecture… Don’t know if it has been done before…

Could this make it into 1.2?

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