depressingly like somebody forgot to clear their floats

I poked my head around the door of the attempt at an official theme repository, and, well, you know me, I’m no good at keeping things in the respectable obscurity of censored comments and feedback forms:

Theme tags don’t paginate properly. http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/tags/fixed-width/page/2 throws a 404, making it unnecessarily difficult to browse themes. Either scrap the page links or make them work. My preference is for the latter, as ideally I would like to be able to view more than 15 themes in any given category.

Also, as I’m sure you’re aware, search results display diagonally rather than vertically or even horizontally (http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/search.php?q=widgets). I applaud your willingness to try new ways of presenting information, but on the other hand it does look depressingly like somebody forgot to clear their floats.

If I were logged in on my usual account there’d be screenshots and debugging. Sigh.

I am not normally this snarky in my bug reports, but a) they had a year to get this right, b) it’s a part of the site used by designers, and not bothering to test whether your own design functions properly is sort of rude, to be honest, as it betrays once more how very little you care about their vocation and c) I can’t view more than fifteen themes in any given category?!? are you real?

9 Comments »

  1. Matt A. said

    Also, clicking on the comments link while previewing a theme switches it back to the default, so there’s no way to see how comments or single posts are styled.

  2. the float clearing issue has come and gone several times in the past few days. i don’t see any of yours in the list, though, so I guess I can’t expect you to have spent too much time with it😛 . IIRC, the plugin browser wasn’t flawless on launch either.

  3. I don’t know whether I can be bothered to upload any of my old themes to a site where nobody’s going to be able to find them :p

    It’s just not any good for browsing, really. OK, so maybe it’s not intended for people who don’t already know which theme they want to download, but I imagine those users are in the minority. I can’t understand what was so radically wrong with the structure of themes.wordpress.net that they had to throw the baby out with the bathwater. You hit the front page and look, it’s the same screenshots of Monotone and Tarski they’ve had since day one. I want to see the latest uploads, not have to click on every individual link in the sidebar to see whether they’re worth looking at. Even a Snap-style popup preview over the theme names would be better than that.

    If I were designing a theme repository the first thing I would do is look at other theme directories to see how they work, what people expect from them, how they could be improved; but Automattic would rather pretend themes are illustrated plugins than learn anything from the community.

  4. Theme tags don’t paginate properly

    I got a report of this earlier today, it’s been fixed.

    somebody forgot to clear their floats

    I hadn’t seen this one, it’s now fixed. As I mentioned previously, details on how to contact us about issues with the theme directory are available at http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/contact/. I’m happy to fix issues that come up as quickly as I can.

    @Matt A. –
    I haven’t been able to reproduce that yet. Do you notice if it’s happening only on a particular theme? Any chance you are blocking cookies? The preview site sets a cookie the first time so that clicks on other links keep the same theme.

    @that girl again –
    When it first opened we had a flood of themes submitted, so most of our time has been going towards getting those reviewed as quickly as possible. Along with fixing a few bugs that have popped up. We have had folks sending in suggestions though, and we’re keeping a list. I like the Snap style popup idea (which I generally don’t care for, but in this context I think it makes sense) and I’ve added that to the list of things to look at adding to the site.

  5. details on how to contact us about issues with the theme directory are available at http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/contact/

    So it’s handled separately from the rest of wordpress.org and bugs shouldn’t be filed in the usual place? Good to know, but you might want to consider clarifying that somewhere on the site itself.

  6. Someone may want to check the Post Title field here with (I can’t remember the name of the theme that Wank uses here) as in Firefox 3, if you click on the link, you get a sliding frame. I took a screen cap although we all know what happens when I try to report something wrong with the wordpress.org/com sites.

    details on how to contact us about issues with the theme directory are available at

    Didn’t we go through this with the browsehappy incident? Is someone actually reviewing the emails that get sent to those addresses?

    By the way, has anyone seen an actually statement that themes.wp.net is closed? I know it got hinted at in the wp.org post but I’ve not seen anything in writing.

  7. It’s still there. Of course, it’s been dead for over a year already and is about as relevant to 2.6 as Alex King’s graveyard of 1.5 themes. Nobody keeps these things up as a service to users (who needs or wants obsolescent templates?) but the legacy linkage is too good to throw away. I expect they’ll pop some ads and/or paid links on the site when they think people have stopped checking it.

    As for the FF3 bug, I can reproduce it but am inclined to blame Firefox rather than the theme. Active title links shouldn’t be behaving any differently from hovered ones, since they share the same CSS.

  8. @drmike – yeah, i can reproduce the :active bug in FF3. that’s pretty weird.
    I can verify that Joseph is very responsive to emails on themes[at].

  9. Root said

    That legacy linkage thing at the style *comp* really bothers me. It should have been scrapped years ago.

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