Ideas on theme compatibility

As mentioned in yesterday’s development chat, BuddyPress 1.7′s theme compatibility goal gives us the opportunity to review the existing BP-Default theme. The aim is to better understand what the main parts of the design are; what we like and what we should improve on. We’ll use this to help understand what should be in 1.7′s theme compatibility, and to use as a starting point to build wireframes and designs for 1.7.

From the BuddyPress.org post, ‘The Default Theme’, which was posted a few months ago:

In an undetermined future version of BuddyPress, we’re going to start bundling template parts along with features. These template parts are intended to be the canonical set of skeletal styling that BuddyPress provides out of the box. It has the benefit of being a turn-key installation for everyone, and allows us to push out updates more quickly and evolve the platform without worrying about how themes that are outside of our control might break. These templates will work with *any* existing standard WordPress theme without any modifications.

Just to clarify, the bits to consider aren’t the header or sidebar, they are as shown in this image: the main content area — the components. For instance: the activity stream, the groups directory, the member profile.

To kick off the review I’m going to pose a few questions and it would be great to find out what people think about those areas in the BP-Default theme.

  • What do you like about those areas?
  • What areas do you think don’t work?
  • Are there any examples of things being done well that could be learnt from?

This is just the first talking point to get the ball rolling. As was discussed in the developer chat the next stages would be to work out the weak points and what can / should be kept. From there wireframes and designs will eventually happen.

As a side point, if you’ve ever wanted to get involved more in BuddyPress but didn’t because you are UI focused – now is the time to get involved.