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Theme Support: pondering

  • Mark (podz)

    @podz

    Support Maven

    For reasons that do not matter as the time has passed, the outcome of the Themes Contest will – despite some wonderful work – result in some very broken designs. I know, I’m fixing one right now for someone.

    Question is – what do we do ?

    While someone taking the time to put together a design for the contest is all well and good, the amount of that time pales when compared to the time we could spend repeating and repeating the same code fixes.
    Themes are GPL – so anyone can fix them, but will they ?

    I’m wondering whether a “Known broken themes” thread would be in order ? This flags up those themes that can be improved for those that want, and serves also as a list of the “to be avoided” for others. I do not wish to offend those that have contributed though …

    Bearing in mind the first sentence above, any thoughts ?

Viewing 15 replies - 16 through 30 (of 30 total)
  • I wonder if this might be the time to “break out” a separate Theme & Plugin Problems forum. Set it up as an ancillary forum to this one, with its own “recent posts” list etc. When a topic is begun here dealing with the above subset, refer the poster to the other forum. It would take some redirecting people for a while, and maybe a sticky post at the top of all the sub-fora could be a help.

    I don’t know what the actual capabilities of bbPress are, so this may not be a feasible option for that reason alone. And there are no doubt good and sufficient reasons for not doing a breakout otherwise. But it might be a viable option.

    It seems to me that the greatly expanded themes functionality, as well as the growing usability of plugins, is going to eventually demand space “outside” this forum…. Just look at the number of plugins people request on here, that are then written by others!

    I think it is rude to turn a theme loose on the public and then not offer any support — or at the very least, fix what is broken straight out of the box.

    I created 9 themese for the competition and they are all housed at my WP15 testbed, with instructions to hit my comment box with any problems or questions you have. I think that is how it should be. I want to know if I’ve designed something that doesn’t work. I need to fix it. (For one thing, if I did something wrong, I need to correct it so I don’t make the same mistake again.) But that’s just me.

    So the first cry for help should be to the theme’s designer, IMHO. Then if there’s no response, perhaps the support forum.

    Moderator James Huff

    @macmanx

    Support Team Rep.

    I’ll have to agree with Joni here. At least both Michael Heilemann (Kubrick) and Khaled (Manji and Rin) offer their own support forums.

    Actually, Michael stated on his blog that since Kubrick was rolled into the default template, that support for it would be here.

    Moderator James Huff

    @macmanx

    Support Team Rep.

    I know, but he had offered one (and still does offer one) for the WP v1.2.x Kubrick. The structure of the theme has changed so much without him, I wouldn’t expect him to support it. But, I was speaking about the idea of each theme developer providing support forums. That isn’t hard to do.

    I disagree that someone who offers a template should also be expected to offer support, although many of them do. I don’t expect plugin developers to support their plugins, either. Most of them do, as well, but I don’t expect it.

    Moose, when you say “offer support,” what exactly do you envision that meaning? I have a feeling we are talking about different things here. To me, if I’ve created a theme that simply doesn’t work, then I should be expected to fix it, not someone else. That is, assuming the error is called to my attention.

    What I don’t mean by that (and I caution my web design clients about this very thing), is that if you upload my theme and then hack it ten ways from Sunday and THEN blow up your site, well, that’s not my problem.

    So the support has to stop and start with what I offered, not what I offered and someone else has changed, even if ever so slightly. And of course, everyone knows that bloggers are notorious tweakers, so what I offer may get munged beyond recognition. Then, as far as I’m concerned, it’s no longer my design and therefore no longer my prob.

    Just to clarify!

    Gotcha! 🙂

    However, the issue then moves to the WP support forums. What role should these forums play in supporting something that a person has broken?

    NM, you mean a person breaks an otherwise working theme? – In that case, I guess, no support. Send the person back to the html/css school 🙂

    Mark (podz)

    @podz

    Support Maven

    I think in this case, we should support as far as we can, and I think we are pretty good at drawing the line with some problems.

    My initial point was for ‘broke-and-still-in-the-box’ stuff. Good authors will always mend, but experience has shown that there are always a few who will not, hence my trying to get us to agree some sort of approach sooner rather than later.

    Mark (podz)

    @podz

    Support Maven

    heh – disagreement 🙂

    This is cool – but it’s an issue which has bugged many of us, so it’s very worthy of discussion.

    Now that there are 200+ themes available, theme support could very well dominate most of the support questions that get posted. That’s simply not fair to those who are having issues with core WordPress functionality.

    Mark (podz)

    @podz

    Support Maven

    True – but how many Gallery posts do we have ? Or “why can’t this plugin do this and that” … tricky.

    Moderator James Huff

    @macmanx

    Support Team Rep.

    Well, for that matter, how many “this free software isn’t even worth the time to us it!” posts do we get without the user asking for support in the first place?

    for myself, a theme is broken if I install it correctly, no hacking by me, and I get a bunch of php and css error messages.

    I feel that if I follow the install instructions and no errors show up when I view my site, the theme isn’t broken.

    There are certain things I want displayed what ever theme I use, 2 or 3 columns, a monthly calendar, archives links; but all that is my resposibility to add to a theme that doesn’t have them. I wouldn’t expect the theme author to add those things for me after they presented the theme somewhere for download.

    Of course, since I know very little php, and only a tiny bit of css, I would hope to find help on where to add such calls to the above, but if I break it, thats my fault.

    I do understand free software doesn’t always come with paid for software level of support.

Viewing 15 replies - 16 through 30 (of 30 total)
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