What’s new in Thematic 0.7

Thematic 0.7 has been officially released with two major upgrades that’ll help you get what you need done with your WordPress blog or site faster and easier.

Rapid Site Development With Modular CSS

I’m doing my best to make Thematic a tool for rapid site development whether you’re digging into it and using it as the basis for a custom site design or using it as a theme framework with a WordPress Child Theme. How? By making the CSS completely modular. Let’s take a look at two of the folders in the library directory of Thematic; layouts and styles.

/layouts
  2c-l-fixed.css
  3c-r-fixed.css
  2c-r-fixed.css
  3c-fixed.css

/styles
  18px.css
  typography.css
  21px.css
  default.css
  images.css
  plugins.css
  reset.css

Each of these files can be imported into the stylesheet of either your Thematic-based theme or Child Theme with the @import rule—or copy-pasted if you want to make changes without having to override the CSS to make structural changes. Simply put, what that means is that you can bring each of these files into play in your stylesheet and rapidly build a WordPress theme by mixing and matching them. And I mean really rapidly. For example, here's an example of a fully finished 3 column Thematic Child Theme, with a sidebar on either side of the content, that follows the default Thematic color styles—built by you, out of only a few lines of CSS. Continue reading

An Interview with Ian Stewart on WordPress Child Themes

If you want more of an introduction to theming your blog or website with WordPress Child Themes you can read my two-part interview with Weblog Tool Collections’ Jeff Chandler on the subject. Part One gives an introduction to the concept with a ridiculously easy tutorial that guides you through making your own Child Theme. Part Two goes through some of the business implications of using them with a WordPress Theme Framework.

The Ethics of WordPress Themes at a Premium

Are WordPress Themes open source? Is it right to release them on a pay-to-download basis?

… what these premium theme providers are doing … we would call that “Evil”Chase Sagum

… themes link and use lots of internal WordPress functions, which make them linked under the GPL and subject to being a GPL-compatible license. If a theme (or a plugin) used no internal WP functions or APIs, then it could probably be considered independent, but that would be really really hard for a theme. Matt Mullenweg

I haven’t really talked about it a lot but I’ve been trying to do pay-for-use themes differently. Namely, giving away what might normally be considered a “Premium” theme—my WordPress theme framework Thematic—and charging for upgrades in the form of Child Themes and custom design. I think it’s a little more fair to the WordPress community and the debatable concerns around the ethics of paid WordPress themes.

But there’s still more questions. There’s always questions, isn’t there? Continue reading