this is how the future looks

  1. k2-ified version of sandbox
  2. another k2-ified version of sandbox
  3. guess what this is. go on. guess.

I only have to mention it’s going to be the next default and they start springing up like mushrooms. I am starting to scare myself.

I wonder what implications the official suggestion we all switch development to Sandbox has for theundersigned’s competition, seeing as how that was going to discriminate against themes based on existing themes?

25 Comments »

  1. Alan said

    I’m faced with a dilemma. Go to TextPattern or build my own CMS. Or I will be, if WordPress starts going in this “Sandbox K2” direction that, quite frankly, is shit. I don’t like the concept of sandbox theming to begin with, let alone when it’s based on the mediocre piece of shit that is K2.

  2. Polaris said

    Wank: I had no idea that so many of us would run helter-skelter trying to code a K2-skin on Sandbox. Mine is still coming along, with slight modifications when I have time. Its nowhere near as advanced as the real K2, only new clothes for my blog.

    Alan: Sorry that you don’t like K2. Rest assured that Sandbox theming will *not* be based on K2. It is quite the opposite. You would be able to make anything on top of the sandbox. I like the sandbox because a lot can be built upon it. May I ask what you don’t like about it?

  3. wank said

    I suspect there will still be a lobby wanting to make k2 the default and not happy with k2-ified Sandbox because it has insufficient trendy AJAX crap for their liking.

    I also see that Kubrick Guy is attempting to win back ground by adopting Sandbox’s class names, so now we not only have to deal with k2-ified Sandbox, but Sandbox-ified k2.

    I almost wish Matt would put an end to all this by announcing that the new default is going to be the Photomatt theme. With widgets.

    (The lack of padding on this textarea is really starting to annoy me. I may have to cough up $15 after all.)

  4. shorty114 said

    Hah, $15? I’ve got my own 400MB, unlimited My/Postgre-SQL dbs and emails, 15 GB transfer hosting with good service for $5 a month. With my own themes, PHP code, and of course, CSS.

  5. Alan said

    Polaris: K2 is based on Kubrick, and Kubrick is uninspired, insepid trash. It’s blue and it has corners, yay, move on. Also, themes that use two columns with content on the right have to be pretty damn decent to impress me.

    shorty: I’m paying $15 for my hosting, and I get 1000meg, unlimited mySQL databased, 30 gig transfer, 5 domain mirrors, 6 add on domains (I cut a deal with my host) and I have direct access to the host if I ever run in to trouble. It’s a bit more expensive than, say, Dreamhost, but it’s worth it, for me. I’ve never had downtime in the year and a half I’ve been with them, and when I did it was because of a server move – and the host gave us all $15 Amazon Gift Vouchers to apologize anyway.

  6. Alan said

    content on the left*

  7. Scott said

    I really hope the Sandbox is not thougth of as the end-all-be-all theme. It isn’t. It is, however, a nice place to start, and a great option for wp.com users.

    As I wrote in my release post of the Sandbox, I am supporting Thomas and I plan to enter a theme (not a Sandbox skin) in his competition.

    As we wrote in the Sandbox readme.html, it’s clear that we want people to steal the class-generating functions from the Sandbox. We hope others adopt the hAtom microformat. Here here to the Sandbox being repurposed for the benefit of the community.

    And in conclusion (yawn) making skins for the Sandbox is frankly quite enjoyable. There’s so much that can be done with the CSS with all the classes without having to alter the theme files. But do even I expect it to be the last theme ever? Maybe.😉

  8. Scott said

    That was the dumbest, lamest thing I have ever written.

    In conclusion, I like the Sandbox. There, done.

  9. Polaris said

    Looks like Sandbox and CSS customization has caused quite a ruckus in the WP community. When I purchased the upgrade, the only thing I had in mind was to use the opportunity to teach myself some CSS and use it somewhere useful. I just wanted to find out what CSS was all about, and would never have looked at it in a book if I didn’t know where to use it.

    I did consider purchasing a domain, but $15 a year is a lot cheaper than hosting my own blog for $7.95 a month. Besides, my traffic is trivially small and the material is of interest to a select (demented) few, so it made sense to remain on WP.com and indulge my fancy with CSS in a limited manner.

    So, it was all purely selfish. All these other things about what should or should not be free, aesthetics of themes, whether Kubrick is good or bad did not cross my mind.

  10. Sébastien said

    Sandbox looks perfect without any CSS. I don’t see what everyone’s going on about.

  11. adam said

    @scott-

    of course, the problem with borrowing functions from another theme, is that you might cross the 50 yard line, and become derrivative of another theme.

    i’m not sure what to do about thomas’ competition. at this point it’s making more sense to think of themes as ‘mods’ and less in aesthetic terms. the question is which (mods or skins) is worth holding a competition for. i somehow doubt that kiwi/canvas, squible, and k2 really need the validation of a competition.

  12. wank said

    I forgot about Canvas, though presumably the non-GPL licence would exclude it from any official competitions or from becoming part of the core.

    I agree there’s not much point in writing themes from scratch these days. There are so many out there by now that everything you want to do is bound to have been at least partway accomplished by someone else.

  13. Owen said

    The skinning feature that Sandbox adds is something that was already in WordPress. One might conclude that the source is so bloated that its authors don’t even know what some of it does. Not me of course, but someone.

  14. adam said

    ultimately, i was thinking that the old method of ‘skinning’ a theme would hold extra advantages for the sandbox.

    in wank’s proof of concept, she’s using a design that’s meant to work with 1, 2, or 3 columns. if you set one of the layout skins in the sandbox interface, and then switch to wank’s skin as a theme, you should get wank’s aesthetic on scott’s layout. (i think, i’m totally guessing here, until i can get sandbox running).

    all of which is irrelevant for .com users, since their CSS loads after scott’s anyway.

  15. wank said

    Unfortunately, what I’m finding is that although I can install my stylesheet as a theme and use Template: to call the Sandbox files, the Sandbox skin then replaces my stylesheet. So if I want to piggyback on Scott’s positioning and enable people to switch layouts without coding up separate stylesheets for each one, I have to edit header.php and call the stylesheet after the skins (as happens on wp.com). Which is trivial for me, but hassle for self-hosted users who are used to just plugging in a theme and activating it.

    (It’s annoyed me in the past that more people don’t use 'Template:', and force people to upload a bunch of redundant files when all they’re doing is restyling Kubrick. I always got the impression it was discouraged because it was potentially confusing for end users to have the template files and the stylesheet in different directories.)

  16. Vidar said

    I’m faced with a dilemma. Go to TextPattern or build my own CMS.

    I went back to pitas with all the 15 year old asians and whatnot. The name is great, also the free host I was in went kinda apeshit due to some attack and I forgot to re apply so nyah.

  17. wank said

    Pitas still exists? Wow. Actually, you may have made a good decision. No comments means no comment spam, and they let you code your own template like it’s 1999. I cut my html teeth on diaryland, still think it’s the most intuitive template system around. %%date%%, %%entry%%… what is not to love?

  18. Scott said

    Wank: Yes, the actual layout CSS files use @import to grab the more of the actual styling from the style.css. It’s easy enough to select “No stylesheet” and simply cut’n’paste the position CSS from one of the default themes. Actually, we thought that using @import would make grabbing the layout CSS easier.

    I’m I making sense? I’m terribly sleepy this morning.

  19. poppy8sd said

    Hiya, I understand almost none of the techie stuff, but way do get hilarious tone and appreciate it –and your post on my last Forum thread…. Without it: I had pretty well decided not to Post in the Forum again, so Thank You. I find WP massively overwhelming, confusing, nothing whatsoever like Blogger (or Blogger Forums). It’s so confusing: I have to re-think what to do about website and my future…. (Sorry if it’s bad form to post this here, could not find a “Contact” link.) Poppy

  20. Andy said

    Owen, the Skins’ original purpose was to help people get started with a handful of positioning options. We added the ability to turn markup features on and off from within the skin (e.g. Global Navigation: Y/N) but that might get canned before 1.0. And with that, we may also can the whole skins thing; it’d be easy enough to store the same positioning CSS snippets in the readme.

  21. wank said

    Please keep the minimalist skins. I think it is much more flexible and userfriendly for people to be able to pick their own skeleton in the options panel and then ‘clothe’ it with custom CSS, rather than have me give them six different versions of the same CSS with the positioning @imported or pasted in.

  22. Scott said

    Speaking skins, Wank, pleaese tell me that this is yours.

  23. wank said

    Indeed it is. I was about to email you a copy of the zip but I guess you can download it yourself😉

    It’s still not exactly a skin, it’s custom CSS to be used in conjunction with the minimalist skins, but there are install instructions included so hopefully people won’t get too confused.

  24. trevorturk said

    I noticed some incoming links from this page to my version of k2 for Sandbox. I think it’s pretty funny, too, that three of these popped up so quickly. I’m not sure about anybody else, but I like the look of k2, and I think it’s a good base for making different themes.

    For me, though, I just wanted to see if it could be done easily. I considered it kind of a challenge with CSS. Plus, I’m pretty bored at work right now! I intend to make another skin based on the one I already made, but I might have had enough CSS for a while.

    As for Sandbox, I think it’s an OK theme. I like the idea of inserting conditional classes into the body tag and whatnot. I also like the idea of having a basis for WordPress themes to build from. Again, I’m not sure about anybody else, but I get sick of building all of the php/xhtml foundations for themes, and I thought it was nice to try work work with the shortcut/limitations of using a pre-made template and just applying the CSS.

  25. wank said

    I’m not sure about anybody else, but I get sick of building all of the php/xhtml foundations for themes

    Amen. It’s not the xhtml I mind so much as the php; rooting around the codex for the functions you need, copying and pasting the parameters, and then finding they don’t work as documented. Ugh.

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