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The New Theme System

Posted November 18, 2004 by carthik. Filed under Docs project.

WordPress 1.3 will enable you to use Themes to design and style your weblog. Work on this feature has been in progress for quite some time now. Work started back in September. Now the shape of things to come seems clear.

The next version of WordPress will have support for user-defined themes built in. Until now, WordPress used index.php and the comments-files in conjunction with a CSS stylesheet, to control the way it presented the content when published. All other pages, including the category and archive pages were actually generated by passing parameters to the index.php page. The introduction of the theme system does not mean that the old method of styling papges will not work. If you are upgrading from v1.2 or v1.2.1, users have the liberty to continue using their existing design, without switching to the new system. The new Theme system will provide a method for you to define different physical (.php) files for the different components of your weblog. Let us call each of the different physical *.php files a template. So, with the new theme system, you can define different templates for the category archives, the monthly archives, the individual-entry pages etc.

If, as a designer, WordPress user, or developer, you want to get a head start in creating themes, please visit the Theme Development page at the wiki. Now would be a good time to bring any concerns or suggestions you may have regarding the Theme System. You can leave comments at the Theme Development Discussion Page, or discuss it in the hackers mailing list or the beta discussion forum.

Please feel free to improve the pages at the wiki, they are all yours!

What's Going On?

Posted November 17, 2004 by Ryan Boren. Filed under Development.

We’ve been taken to task for neglecting this space, so I’ll give a quick update. No, we are not dead. Quite the contrary. We are busily working on 1.3. We’ve been lowkey about the features in 1.3 because we don’t want to hype what isn’t finished. That said, we’re getting to the point where a little promotion just might be in order. Many of you have heard of and may already be using two notable features of 1.3 — Themes and Pages. A number of themes are already available for 1.3, and several sites have started using the page management abilities. Now that these features are fairly stable, the documentation team is working hard to produce some nice guides and howtos. Have a look at the Theme Development Guide for a taste of what can be done with themes.

Pages and themes aren’t all that’s been happening in 1.3. Here’s a brief, incomplete rundown.

  • Permalinks and cruft-free links have received a lot of attention. %category% and %author% permalink tags are now supported. Permalinks are now fully supported not just via mod_rewrite but also via PATH_INFO and 404. If you are using mod_rewrite, 1.3 will automatically update your .htaccess file with the necessary rewrite rules.
  • I18N has been expanded and improved. Plugins and themes can load their own language catalogs, and I18N URIs are now supported.
  • We moved to a new XML-RPC library.
  • We added support for enclosures.
  • The plugin API has been greatly expanded, and we are already seeing a number of spam-fighting plugins making use of 1.3’s numerous hooks. 1.3 will have a rich variety of plugins available to combat comment spam.

Those are just a few highlights from a developer perspective. In addition to the new features, a significant amount of the effort put into 1.3 has gone into cleaning up and reorganizing the code. Despite the new features, 1.3 will be smaller and faster than previous versions of WordPress. To see what we’ve been working on and what we would still like to get into 1.3, take a look at our 1.3 goals. This is a rough outline of the changes already made to 1.3 as well as those changes we hope to make soon.

If you want to keep abreast of WordPress development, subscribe to the hackers list. Our active development community is improving and extending WordPress in many creative and useful ways.

Firefox 1.0 Gold

Posted November 9, 2004 by Dougal Campbell. Filed under Meta.

And in other news… Firefox 1.0 is now gold. The Mozilla sites are swamped right now, so I’ve currently got a torrent of the US English version for Windows going. Download some fresh, hot browser goodness, and don’t forget to spread the word.

If you don’t already have a BitTorrent client, try BitTornado.

See Also:

Want to follow the code? There’s a development P2 blog and you can track active development in the Trac timeline that often has 20–30 updates per day.

Want to find an event near you? Check out the WordCamp schedule and find your local Meetup group!

For more WordPress news, check out the WordPress Planet or subscribe to the WP Briefing podcast.

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