ThemeShaper Forums » Development Talk


What is the future of Thematic?

(87 posts)
  1. 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 as well. Win-Win

    @Direct Sponsor- Chris has provided us with a centralized resource at 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.


    Posted 10 years ago #
  2. The options dev talk dicussion breakout:

    Posted 10 years ago #
  3. If anyone in here is interested in following #thematic development updates and our community members on twitter, Come to this thread :

    and add your @username.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  4. Changes to the official docs/wiki are on the way. Work sorting out the info we have to move there can start now. If you want to dig in now and help make a contribution then join the conversation:

    Posted 10 years ago #
  5. @em hr is on FIRE! encouraging stuff.

    i'm still a little concerned the thematic stuff will be too widespread.
    people can get confused by themshaper, thematic, automattic.
    with ian joining automattic, themeshaper now contains the automattic reference in browser title and bookmark.
    if we are to finally end up with a doc/wiki for thematic, i think it should also contain sub-pages for thematic website showcase & child themes available to download. clear links for things such as...
    *chris visualising thematic
    *thematic svn on googlecode (including chris guide to using svn)
    *support forum
    *possible list of designers/developers people can contact for paid work if they are not able to implement suggestions from wiki or forums by themselves.

    i still think thematic needs a simple logo. i dont know what people feel about this. my brother (a graphic designer) mocked one up. if this is something that may be considered, i'll pass it on.

    is it worth this new wiki/doc being set up on a fresh domain?

    also, what do people feel towards HTML5. important to start implementing now or just a waste of time. for an experiment, i converted thematic to html5 markup. it is exciting stuff but probably doesn't serve any real purpose at the moment. also, a js file would have to be included for ie to recognise new tags. so forcing a framework to use js isn't ideal. that said, what sites dont use some form of js?
    the new markup is very blog friendly, so ideal for wp.
    new wp 3.1 post-formats should place nicely with new html5 semantics.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  6. Thompson

    @Jonny Janiero, Regarding HTML 5, I already use an html 5 doctype on Thematic for the sake of brevity as I'm anal about using as little code as absolutely possible everywhere for the sake of speed including the doctype. BUT...I would be *strongly* against changing to html 5's 'semantic markup' structure and much prefer to just stick with DIV's. Why introduce an extra dependency for no real benefit?

    Posted 10 years ago #
  7. @Johnny Let's hope the fire spreads.

    Anyone wanting to get involved in Thematic's ongoing development ( i.e. Code testing, bug reporting, contributing code and ideas ) should visit this page and add yourself to the discussion:

    Posted 10 years ago #
  8. @Thompson
    i agree, there is an element of extra dependency and i also feel the extra markup makes more sense when used on a 'blog' related site.
    i'm not pushing towards using it but have found it does, it many cases, give the code good explanation.
    'article' inplace of 'post' for standard wp posting. then pages and un-standard use of posts are seperated.
    'header' tag for grouping article titles and article meta.
    'footer' tag for grouping article meta, related posts, author vcard.
    'nav' makes obvious sense for various navigation throughout the site, main menu, next/previous posts, etc.

    it advisable not to use the markup yet as its all ongoing, just enjoyed dipping my toes in.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  9. Another chance to get involved:

    Posted 10 years ago #
  10. This is great and I'll help out in anyway that I can. I've been using Thematic for a few years now, and have contributed in the forums here and there. I do have some concerns with recent changes.
    1. I use to donate money when I'd finish projects. Nothing huge, but just my way of saying thanks. Now I'm not even sure who or how to donate money. A "Donate to Thematic" section or site or something would be nice.
    2. With the recent redesign of Themeshaper it's really hard to find anything about Thematic. I visit the forums regularly and it was difficult for me to even find them. There isn't even a proper link on the About Thematic page on Themeshaper.
    3. There isn't a place to showcase child themes anymore or if there is I couldn't find it. I saw this one coming awhile ago when I tried to get a theme put up in the child themes section. I think this is important on building a community. It's also great to be able to look at other themes and learn from them.

    I think one of the first steps in making Thematic better would be to move it to it's own dedicated site, because right now it's hidden, tucked away in a dark corner on This should have happened awhile ago, I think it's really hurting everyone evolved with Thematic. Set up someplace where people can donate to get this completed. I'll gladly pitch in to help pay for hosting. I'll even design it if you'd like.

    I know moving a forum would be a huge pain, but I really think it's needed at this point.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  11. @EricH - it appears that Automattic is moving themeshaper in a different direct, premium themes or something. I got a DM from Ian Stewart the other day saying that thematic will be moving to chris' site. hopefully, that site will expand to include the forums, the wiki, child themes, etc.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  12. Hi All -

    Great energy and teamwork spirit here -- thanks. I will be pleased to contribute some functions, and also some much needed screenshots (don't know about you, but visuals really help me), as soon as we are clear on the following:

    • STRUCTURE: How are we implementing the great table of contents above and via what mechanism -- wiki, cluster of sticky forum posts -- I can't tell from this thread... it seems like it is defaulting to a random catch all?
    • POSSIBLE THEMATIC INFO SITE AS BOOK: I'm all for the Pictrix suggestion of a Thematic site set up to be the "book", but I think we need to structure it for best function and visual design it as a functional "book" using best indexing, categories with thumbs, directory custom pages, etc. We can proceed now with each Chapter in the Pictrix outline as a Category, then go to sub categories, and add posts for each tutorial/instruction set. We could log in and contribute. What is our next step to proceed?
    • EDITORIAL DIRECTION: We will need both design and editorial direction, and there should be an editorial "tie-breaker" to solve different opinions as to what goes where, etc. We can all be contributors, but when it comes to final decisions on organization, etc., we need a few Chiefs. I NOMINATE: PicTrix as Content Structure Editor, Gene/Chris as Technical Editor(s), and then we need a Visual Editor (Design and Navigation facilitation).

    MY VOTE: We pick a site, post visuals of suggested designs created to facilitate navigation and indexing, then vote for winner and build it and start populating per the index presented above, under guidance by the three main editors, though one and all are welcome to contribute.

    - Scott

    Posted 10 years ago #
  13. Hello All -

    It has been one month since the last post on the Future of Thematic, so I thought I'd stop back by and see specifically what the plans/direction are for:

    • Establishment of new site and home for thematic? Count me in to help.
    • Direction on Site/Wiki for official documentation? Where is it? When can we get going? Count me in to help.
    • "Roadmap" for upgrades and development? I expect that will be on the new site, but it would help if lead programmers would present their goals for Thematic here for discussion

    Do we have a rough Calendar for this to happen?

    I wonder how many people might help with coding, as Chris suggested earlier on the thread, if they understood/could find a good tutorial on using SVN, etc. to be able to test code, etc.? I'll be honest and admit that while I know my way around CSS/HTML programming and PHP editing, I am still such a newbie that I don't understand how to use those tools to help you. So, I will commit to learning and writing a tutorial for the rest of us on this, if those that understand it will please direct me (tutorials, favorite programs, etc.).

    Looking forward to working with you all to boost Thematic big-time into the future.

    - Scott

    Posted 9 years ago #
  14. What is the best way to keep up with the development of this framework? Is there a mailing list?


    Posted 9 years ago #
  15. Hi Don,

    Currently there is no mailing list. The Development talk thread here is the best way to keep up things at the moment. We are in the process of moving things around and trying to make it easier to contribute and follow Thematic's development. Stay tuned :)


    Posted 9 years ago #
  16. Thanks for your prompt response. You and Chris have done some amazing work. Gene, you are greatly appreciated at this end. Hope development can continue.

    - Don

    Posted 9 years ago #
  17. ...the default theme, purely on the merit of aesthetics, implies a certain amount of nonchalance, levity and carelessness towards user support and the trajectory of the community i.e. "Hmm, they couldn't be bothered styling this thing so chances are the content and level of support is equally half-baked/bare/incomplete.

    I have two things to say about this. One, I acually think that the default style is beautiful. The typography is wonderfully crafted, which makes things easier for a designer/developer building their site on Thematic.

    Two, Thematic is a framework made for designers/devlopers who want to build a site without having to fight against all of the default styles. The lack of images and flash in Thematic is precisely the point. I would be severly dissappointed if the Thematic developers tried to spruce up the design.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  18. actually i'd love to see a freshening up of the design... typography, page titles, and menus especially.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  19. I am extremely thankful for thematic. I find it easy to use and think there is enough documentation to get me thru a design. I wouldn't be making much a living without it.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  20. Caramboo

    Hi Guys

    I'm in the process of returning to work with Wordpress and I was going to start building a few sites using child themes. My first thoughts were to use Thematic but things round here seem a little bit stale.

    Is Thematic still a viable project with a future or should I invest my time (also known as a my learning curve) elsewhere?

    This isn't a dig at anyone, I would just like to know

    Posted 9 years ago #
  21. Caramboo

    Ha! Too late. In playing around with thematic again I've been sucked in. Thematic it is then :)

    Posted 9 years ago #
  22. Is thematic still alive?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  23. Thank you for continuing to support and care about Thematic
    The community is what distinguishes Thematic, in my mind, from commercial themes.

    Of course I love free. But I would also like to donate to Thematic developers because I can't find a better more flexible framework for my site-building business than Thematic.

    Couldn't agree more with this sentiment from Gene:

    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.

    It is also a solid framework for running a website.

    Whatever the future of Thematic, I would be glad to contribute toward continuing development.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  24. This project seems dead. I've been able to develop some great themes through Thematic. I really hope this isn't the end of it.

    Can anyone chime in?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  25. Hello All -

    I have spoken to Gene, and he is interested in revitalizing this project. Note it is not dead, and there are many supporters who are actively working with it -- thanks to Helga the Viking, the support boards are going fine here.

    But we need some Momentum. MOMENTUM. I say it twice because almost a year has passed without out a roadmap with milestones, and tasks completed toward completion of same.

    I will continue to assist any way I can, and continue to build a resources and tutorial site here:

    Now let's organize a team and get going.

    - Scott

    Posted 9 years ago #
  26. @scott- when did you speak to gene? i'm trying to give him a little encouragement too. i keep hoping that when he and chris finish the site move, they'll open up the project to let more people work on it.

    i'd like thematic to go html5 and responsive, first thing. oh and use proper enqueing for scripts, which i think the latest beta i saw does actually do. i'd also like to see a slight style update, don't know what... and i know it is supposed to be plain but the menu especially bothers me.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  27. Wicked! Thank you both for the update. Ian also sent me a response to my question. It's encouraging that there is some interest to continue development and progress.

    I'm not a big coder but I would be up for any kind of contribution to the project that I can make.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  28. Hello Helga, RobYardman, BlueJayPro, 1car69, and all Thematic Enthusiasts -

    @Helga -- you asked when I "spoke" (email) with Gene... about 2 weeks ago, and he said out of respect for Chris and Ian, he is waiting to hear from them. From all posts here, it looks like about eight months since Chris wrote he was working on setting up a new home for Thematic, etc. You there Chris?

    Like so many here, I am wanting this project to move and I will donate time, hosting if needed, and other things as needs arise. Here's what I basically told Gene, with some new suggestions for the community:

    • Gene should gather a group of all interested, and of course invite Chris and Ian, and together set a roadmap. To accomplish the roadmap, Gene has said he needs help with the coding -- I see 19 committers at the project here:
    • I think there are others, too who will help, but are newbies to the Google system (raising my hand) and could use a screen share conference tutorial. I will donate conference and screenshare time, and learn with you so I can help too.
    • The two project "owners" there show as Ian and Chris (see top of list at above link). Ian is busy with WordPress work, and Chris has gone silent, so I believe Gene, and perhaps one other code-fiend (Helga?) should request to be added and lead the charge. It would be great to see Chris aboard again, though.

    I am now going to forward this text, in case they are not monitoring the boards, to Ian, Chris, and Gene. I suggest you contact them as well to express support. We can have fun, people, and do a Google hangout or two along the way. Let's make 2012 a year when Thematic surges forward again.

    - Scott

    Posted 9 years ago #
  29. jirolu

    Happy New Year 2012 Everyone!

    I wish all the best for thematic this year and for all of you guys here

    Posted 9 years ago #
  30. Thank you for the response, Scott.

    Posted 9 years ago #

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