Thanks everyone again for your comments and insight. Here are some of my responses to some of you.
@wprunner - Just to clear things up… Ian is an employee of Automattic and he continues make awesome contributions to the WordPress community on a daily basis. Thematic is not an Automattic project.
@Pictrix mediawiki is a mess but following the WP codex model is worth the trouble. hopefully we would encourage Thematic community member involvement in WP.org as well. Win-Win
@Direct Sponsor- Chris has provided us with a centralized resource at http://thematic4you.com We can expect more positive changes to manifest there.
I feel like a lot of energy is wasted on these forums solving petty things
- Even with searchable well-organized docs and forums there will alway be some of this with newbies.
@everyone - Until we sort the organization of things out, let's try and keep a good attitude (even regarding the state of disorganization of the docs and discussions) when helping newcomers. A good first impression to all newcomers is important to the success of the community. You never know what someone may have to offer back to us down the road.
@sfrangos - Yes, leadership is essential. Ian's occupation with Automattic has left a void in this project that is still present. He's a tough act to follow and he still owns the voice and namespace of Thematic in a big way even if he's not currently developing it. Honestly, my pursuit here was never to lead. My original intention was to learn and to steward the project and the forums. Thanks for your encouragement and great ideas. As for funding and commercialization: In the past, I have tried not to encourage offers of gifts and donations for support here in the forums. I never wanted anyone to feel that they had to pay to get preferred help around here.
@everybody Free software with free support is what distinguishes Thematic from most all of the other frameworks. It is what encouraged me to be involved with it over the others. I think this has led Thematic to not only be a solid framework for developers to use but a great place for newcomers to start learning with theme making as well. I have nothing against commercial themes or pay-for-support models. I have thought about it many times with regard to Thematic but above all I believe that there needed to be a framework for people to go to that was open and free. Thematic has always free with free support even when Ian was selling child themes so it's hard for me to see beyond the awesomeness of FREE. I'm not sure of the outcome here but it's worth cautious consideration. Thanks for all your points of view on this.
@allancole - Your points on the successes of other frameworks marketing are spot on. Thematic needs an up-to-date child-theme listing at the very least
@anyone (with a child theme) - Last I checked Ian had a page for this here Category Archives: Thematic Child Themes
WANT YOUR THEMATIC CHILD THEME FEATURED HERE? All you have to do is send me a 159px wide by 117px high, cropped image of your theme at actual size (highlighting the name or a cool feature) and a 580px wide screenshot, along with a short list of the features and a link to your release page with a demo. It's easy, really. Have fun!
@devin - You rock the options. Lets open up a discussion for that. I'd like to hear how people are customizing their option in their child themes currently and what options people want.
I'll be opening up several new discussions in The Development Talk Forum tonight so stay tuned… I'll post links here shortly.