Re: New Theme Structure Help
I’d like to delve into this more deeply, but for now, even using the child themes there is an additional complication. It’s reasonable to expect someone to be integrating BP with an extant site using an advanced WP theme, and simply setting this theme to be a child of the bp-sn-framework doesn’t suffice. I’m working in one such setup, where a theme uses several include() statements in a functions.php file, and setting this as a child of the BP framework b0rks the whole deal. Now, I know what to do here, at least in the simplest case: just amend the functions.php calls. That won’t necessarily persist as the theme is updated, so maybe, instead, this can be done via a plugin.
The point here is that there are easily found examples where existing WordPress installations aren’t set up to so trivially extend to include BP. This one has a straightforward solution, but some will not. And as WP theme developers continue to do ever-more-amazing things with WordPress, and as you and other developers continue to make WordPress and BuddyPress more powerful, this sort of nonlinear theme infrastructure will likely become the norm. I don’t think these are quite edge cases, either; the theme I’m testing with is a free Woo theme, so not quite off the beaten path.
I don’t want to add to the confusion. Rather, I wonder if I could help flesh out some use cases, which might later get wrapped into the documentation (if it’s helpful). For instance, there is the site that purports only to offer social networking, without long-form blogging intentions. In that case, Using bp-default with customizations is pretty straightforward–well, as straightforward as the styling for the site needs to be.
However, for folks who have an existing WP site to which the BP functionality will be at most equal in priority, their branding and existing structure may be complicated enough that simply setting their existing theme to be a child of the BP framework doesn’t work by itself (styling issues aside–there will always need to be style adjustments; this is about structure and objects). Again, as my example demonstrates, this complexity is closer to the norm than some might expect, especially among the crowd using WPMu and extending it with BP. In this case, there’s more to document.
I don’t intend to suggest, as some have, that BP developers need to rethink or revise BP’s scope and structure. That’ll probably happen anyway, as things start merging more, but it’s not necessary. I only mean that the adaptation of BP to an extant site is a nontrivial use case, and while there is forthcoming documentation as to how best to manage this, maybe the forum users and devs can spec out some general use cases and work on how best to develop their solutions.