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UXbarn says

I think this might be already discussed before, but I’m still curious that:

1.) If we need to put all shortcodes into plugin in order to prevent the lost of user content when switching themes, does it mean that we also need to put all shortcode CSS styling with the plugin?

I ask because if we don’t put styling with the plugin, the content will surely exist after switching but they will mess up with no proper CSS in the new theme. It is then useless in my opinion.

But if we do put styling with the plugin, the content and CSS will exist in the new theme but the style might not match with overall look and feel of the new theme (and there may be some CSS conflict occurred). Is that the user issue to customize the plugin styles? We do not need to worry about this issue right?

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2.) If every author put the shortcodes into their own plugins, don’t you think that the user/buyer will end up with more useless plugins after switching themes?

Scenario: Author “John” published his theme with “John Plugin” that included all the shortcodes to be used with the theme. A user bought and used his theme. Several months later, the user wanted to use another theme from author “Mary” who also made her theme with “Mary Plugin”.

The user switched the theme from John’s to Mary’s. Perfect. The content and shortcodes were still there because “John Plugin” is still active. But he then realized that in order to make the styles of shortcode work well with Mary’s theme, he needed to use “Mary Plugin”. And now the user also noticed that there are mixed custom fields and meta boxes of those two plugins on the page’s edit screen.

The problem here is: if the user disable “John Plugin” to use “Mary Plugin”, he will get messy shortcodes/content generated by “John Plugin” and the plugin is then useless. This is not different from “not using plugin at all” in the first place.

How do you advise in this case? What’s your opinion?

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3.) Regarding the previous concern, you might think that then most authors should use any of the existing plugins instead of creating their own plugins.

If so, don’t you think that the theme author’s ideas and creativity will be limited by the existing plugins? What if the author wanted more “unique” styles and functionality that none of the existing plugins could provide?

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I totally agree and I’m all in for the new requirements to embrace with WordPress best practice but I still have some questions as above. It would be great if someone can point me to the right direction. :)

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purethemes says

If so, don’t you think that the theme author’s ideas and creativity will be limited by the existing plugins? What if the author wanted more “unique” styles and functionality that none of the existing plugins could provide?

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I totally agree and I’m all in for the new requirements to embrace with WordPress best practice but I still have some questions as above. It would be great if someone can point me to the right direction. :)

I’ve asked those questions 50 or even 70 pages ago, still no one gave satisfying answer to this. I ended up doing my own shortcode plugin for my latest theme, but I still believe it doesn’t make sense.

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greenshady says

1.) If we need to put all shortcodes into plugin in order to prevent the lost of user content when switching themes, does it mean that we also need to put all shortcode CSS styling with the plugin?

I ask because if we don’t put styling with the plugin, the content will surely exist after switching but they will mess up with no proper CSS in the new theme. It is then useless in my opinion.

But if we do put styling with the plugin, the content and CSS will exist in the new theme but the style might not match with overall look and feel of the new theme (and there may be some CSS conflict occurred). Is that the user issue to customize the plugin styles? We do not need to worry about this issue right?

It actually depends on the shortcode(s) in question. If the shortcode absolutely requires some CSS to actually “work”, CSS should go within the plugin. I would just make this the minimum CSS needed if it really needs to be styled by a theme.

Assuming you properly load the CSS via the plugin (wp_enqueue_style), you can remove this style in your theme and roll custom CSS for each theme you use the plugin with. Check out this plugin for an example of how this concept works.


2.) If every author put the shortcodes into their own plugins, don’t you think that the user/buyer will end up with more useless plugins after switching themes?

Scenario: Author “John” published his theme with “John Plugin” that included all the shortcodes to be used with the theme. A user bought and used his theme. Several months later, the user wanted to use another theme from author “Mary” who also made her theme with “Mary Plugin”.

The user switched the theme from John’s to Mary’s. Perfect. The content and shortcodes were still there because “John Plugin” is still active. But he then realized that in order to make the styles of shortcode work well with Mary’s theme, he needed to use “Mary Plugin”. And now the user also noticed that there are mixed custom fields and meta boxes of those two plugins on the page’s edit screen.

The problem here is: if the user disable “John Plugin” to use “Mary Plugin”, he will get messy shortcodes/content generated by “John Plugin” and the plugin is then useless. This is not different from “not using plugin at all” in the first place.

How do you advise in this case? What’s your opinion?

This is why I expected there to be a ton of topics opened here on the forums about working together. You all have businesses in an open source community. The new submission requirements are a perfect opportunity to truly take advantage of this fact.

What I mean by this is that people from the TF community should be creating GitHub projects to handle these things so that users aren’t running into these problems. As theme authors, you have an ideal chance to work together and build something that’s actually useful for your users in both the short and long term.

If all TF theme authors are putting their own shortcodes into their own plugins, then everyone is kind of missing the point that the phase 2 submission requirements are attempting to address.


3.) Regarding the previous concern, you might think that then most authors should use any of the existing plugins instead of creating their own plugins. If so, don’t you think that the theme author’s ideas and creativity will be limited by the existing plugins? What if the author wanted more “unique” styles and functionality that none of the existing plugins could provide?

Based on my experience, if you do the previous two things I wrote about above, this third things is rarely a problem.

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Net-Labs says

What I mean by this is that people from the TF community should be creating GitHub projects to handle these things so that users aren’t running into these problems. As theme authors, you have an ideal chance to work together and build something that’s actually useful for your users in both the short and long term.

Great idea. I always thought that you and Genesis framework have a perfect opportunity to work together. Ever though of teaming up with them and just releasing one framework?

Another Thing that I do not understand is that Woo decided to bring out their own e-commerce framework. Why did they not just collaborate with Getshopped and assist them with their plugin. Think of all the great code they could have added if they did not add their own e-commerce framework to a already overcrowded e-commerce market.

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greenshady says


What I mean by this is that people from the TF community should be creating GitHub projects to handle these things so that users aren’t running into these problems. As theme authors, you have an ideal chance to work together and build something that’s actually useful for your users in both the short and long term.
Great idea. I always thought that you and Genesis framework have a perfect opportunity to work together. Ever though of teaming up with them and just releasing one framework?

Genesis didn’t exist when I first started Hybrid Core. That was back in Brian’s Revolution days.

Nevertheless, the two concepts are fundamentally different. Hybrid Core is a development/programming framework catered to building regular/parent themes. Genesis is an advanced parent theme that’s catered to building child themes.

Essentially, StudioPress could stick the Hybrid Core framework inside of the Genesis theme (to make a super theme). However, you can’t stick Genesis inside of Hybrid Core.

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Net-Labs says

Your answer is what I was hoping for, and it makes sense. And if I make the same suggestion to Brian I’ll get the same answer.

The same as everyone’s feeling about their code.

I see the solution as creating a centralized database of shortcode formats.

That way I can look up what the “button shortcode” format should be as example, create my shortcode use my own code, but with the format that everyone else is using, and if the user switch themes there’s no loss the button continues albeit with a different code base.

This is Themeforest not Themeplanet. and the themes created here makes up just a part of the themes being sold and used every day, to make one set of rules for the forest and not include everyone is pointless and stupid.

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UXbarn says

... This is why I expected there to be a ton of topics opened here on the forums about working together. You all have businesses in an open source community. The new submission requirements are a perfect opportunity to truly take advantage of this fact.

What I mean by this is that people from the TF community should be creating GitHub projects to handle these things so that users aren’t running into these problems. As theme authors, you have an ideal chance to work together and build something that’s actually useful for your users in both the short and long term.

If all TF theme authors are putting their own shortcodes into their own plugins, then everyone is kind of missing the point that the phase 2 submission requirements are attempting to address. ...

@greenshady – Thank you so much for your clarification on each question. I was wondering the same thing on the second question that there should be some kind of “global” or “standard” plugin that is flexible enough for most authors then we can build our works on top of it. Whether the plugin comes from the authors collaboration or officially from Envato, it should be working great in this case for both users and authors. (Not quite sure that this is too ideal or practical in the real world though.)

Unfortunately that the phase 2 of the submission requirements didn’t state anything about this. I could see only “the functionality/shortcodes must be in the plugin” stuff. If the situation is still like this until the effective time comes (November, 2013), I’m afraid that the authors, including me, couldn’t avoid creating self plugins containing shortcodes to pass the review process (and yes, the issue like the sample scenario in my second question will persist).

I believe that Envato and every staff are working hard on it to make the phase 2 requirements much more precise so the authors have the right direction to go in both short and long terms. Hopefully to see the official words from Envato soon. :)

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dunhakdis says

IMHO greenshady should be part of the reviewers :D

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billyf says


... This is why I expected there to be a ton of topics opened here on the forums about working together. You all have businesses in an open source community. The new submission requirements are a perfect opportunity to truly take advantage of this fact.

What I mean by this is that people from the TF community should be creating GitHub projects to handle these things so that users aren’t running into these problems. As theme authors, you have an ideal chance to work together and build something that’s actually useful for your users in both the short and long term.

If all TF theme authors are putting their own shortcodes into their own plugins, then everyone is kind of missing the point that the phase 2 submission requirements are attempting to address. ...

... Whether the plugin comes from the authors collaboration or officially from Envato, it should be working great in this case for both users and authors. (Not quite sure that this is too ideal or practical in the real world though.)

Unfortunately that the phase 2 of the submission requirements didn’t state anything about this. I could see only “the functionality/shortcodes must be in the plugin” stuff. If the situation is still like this until the effective time comes (November, 2013), I’m afraid that the authors, including me, couldn’t avoid creating self plugins containing shortcodes to pass the review process (and yes, the issue like the sample scenario in my second question will persist).

I didn’t really follow through all the pages in this topic (and the original one which was locked) because there are too many pages to read through. So, based on what I can deduce here, I seem to be ‘stuck’ in the same situation as UXbarn because I’m not sure whether I should be developing a plugin for my theme, or someone has already done one for shortcodes / custom post types?

If there’s no ‘common’ plugin for all TF authors, I’m afraid that each author will have his/her own plugin for all his/her items. In this case, although the same plugin can work well across all items by the same author, it defeats the purpose of the new requirement as it’s not really much different from bundling those things in our themes.

I totally support the new theme requirements but as of now, there doesn’t seem to be any ‘common’ plugin available, or any sign of it coming soon. So the main question is, should I be creating mine (which will still output the content in case a user switches but without the proper styling, as UXbarn’s hypothetical scenario which is likely to happen), or there is something more ‘popular’ among TF authors for shortcodes / custom post types?

Thanks.

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gnosis21 says

I think basic theme submission requirement should be obligatory support and theme updates for theme buyers at least for 3 years. Because with current situation almost all WordPress themes after year or so turn into garbage and sites running them are dysfunctional because theme authors don’t make updates for newer WordPress versions.

3 years should be obligatory minimum that theme will be compatible with new WordPress versions, otherwise what’s the point in buying WP theme?

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