We're starting a new community based project here at SitePoint. We will be creating a new theme for the bbPress forum project. All SitePoint community members are invited to provide input and help out with various aspects of the project.
For those of you don't know much about bbPress, it is a PHP/MySQL based forum software developed by Automattic, developers of the well known WordPress CMS. http://bbpress.org/ describes it as:
The current bbPress default theme is known as Kakumei, and although it was cutting edge when first released, it is showing it's age and we hope that by creating a new theme with high quality, logical coding that we can provide a solid base theme for others to develop from.
Why are we doing this?
bbPress is a good quality open sourced software which is lacking in available themes. We hope that we will be able to create something which will allow others to more easily develop their own themes for bbPress by providing a quality theme with a solid code base. Plus, hopefully people will want to use the theme as is for their own sites.
Plan of attack:
Topics announcing the development of various sections of the project will be announced over the next few days. The current plan of attack is as follows:
- Create Wire-frame design, UI elements included
- Base HTML/CSS coding (Layout, Typographical hierarchy etc.)
- Additional programming - some features previously only available in bbPress as plugins will be added directly to the theme
- Competition on 99designs will be used to choose the final 'look' of the theme
- bbPress templates - the HTML/CSS and PHP will be inserted into a fresh bbPress theme
- Naming - we'll need a catchy name for the theme, so get your thinking caps on!
- Beta testing phase - we'll iron out the bugs ready for the official release
Since we haven't started yet we don't have a demo of anything yet, but once we do it will be available for testing at http://bbtheme.net/. We currently have a default bbPress installation on there with a few extra features added in to demonstrate how 'plugin-like' functionality can be included directly in the theme.
A few details
The theme will be designed to work with bbPress version 1.0.
The theme will use an XHTML1.0 Transitional Doctype. The reason we are not using a strict doctype is because many plugins for bbPress do not output strict code. All code used in the theme will be strict compatible so simply changing the Doctype will allow individual users to change to a strict doctype if they desire.
All code will be as semantical as possible. This includes using an HTML table for the board index.
Keeping in line with the bbPress project itself, the them will be released under a GPL license.
Who makes the final decisions and maintains the code?
We'd like to make everything totally democratic but unfortunately there is often a fine line between democracy and chaos, so the final call on decisions relating to the project will be made by SitePoint staff based on input we gather from the SitePoint community as a whole.
No code has been written yet, but ryanhellyer is maintaining the (currently empty) demo site. A Google Code project has been created to manage the code.
The following team leaders have been nominated to help organise their respective areas of the themes development: