As most of you will have seen from Donncha’s post in the Dashboard, easy tags are on the to-do list for 1.6. This was news to me, as my understanding was always that the developers were pretty wedded to keeping template functions as raw php rather than developing a metalanguage that wouldn’t be transferable to other applications.
So what’s the deal here? Have people been hijacking the Codex with wishful thinking? Are we going to have to learn a new set of template tags? (Just to be clear: I don’t mind doing that at all, if they’re more comprehensible than the present bunch). I know 1.6 is a looooong way off, but if major changes are going to take place the theme development community will need some time to get to grips with them.
It looks like it was added by Matt, see here, so it seems to have provenance. Easy tags seems like a more work for little gain (I thought the current tags are easy enough) to me.
Oh, looking at the Codex versioning was a good idea — I hadn’t thought of that. I agree that most of the current tags are reasonably straightforward (some of them, however, are monsters) but they look scary to people who aren’t comfortable with PHP, and that has always been an issue. It might be little gain for those who are using WordPress now, but I imagine the aim is not to intimidate prospective future users.
My main concern is that, while backwards compatibility is obviously important and current functions should continue to work, the theme community will need to embrace any new tagging system (otherwise we’ll have two separate sets of template tags, which will be horribly confusing to the very people we’re trying to help). And they’ll need time to do so, and they’ll need to be told what’s happening, preferably pre-release. That information hasn’t always been easy to come by in the past. I’m not suggesting that designers should be canvassed or consulted about changes to the template system, only respectfully asking to be kept informed.
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