WordCamp NYC Slides and Demo!

So as anyone who went to WordCamp NYC knows, this weekend was awesome. Meeting everyone was incredible—before this weekend the WordPress community was this distant amorphous blob, and all of a sudden it’s very, very real. Thanks, guys.

For those of you who couldn’t make it, here are the slides from both of my presentations, as well as the famed “theme in a minute” video. The Elastic overview is a general look at the editor portion of Elastic and some basic info. For anyone interested in how Elastic works and the concepts that drive it, I’d highly highly recommend checking out the second slideshow. If you have any questions, ask away!

Check out the slides here.

Elastic Demo

Watch as we lay out and build a theme in just one minute using the editor.

Elastic Overview: WordCamp NYC Lightning Round

The Elastic overview is a general look at the editor portion of Elastic and some basic info.

Elastic: Why WYSIWYG is the future of WordPress themes

This presentation covers how Elastic works and the concepts that drive it. Defines the editor, framework, and connections between the two.

WordCamp NYC Lightning Round & SlideShare

A video of my presentation from the WordCamp NYC lightning round was recently uploaded. If you’re interested in a quick overview of Elastic and not interested in the long developer-centered version, this one’s for you!

Also, the slides from the full presentation have been featured on the SlideShare homepage! I have no idea why they’re featured, but I think it’s awesome. So—whoever’s responsible for that, thank you!

Elastic Overview: WordCamp NYC Lightning Round


Coming Soon

Why hello! The Elastic Ignite presentation from WCNYC was recently added to WordPress.tv.

The next version is almost ready for release: a bunch of bugs have been fixed and there are a few major changes for developers that will make writing Elastic themes a lot easier. Very exciting.

Elastic 0.0.3, Theme Engines and Websites, Oh My!

Today I have the pleasure of introducing a handful of things:
Elastic 0.0.3, a new website, and a new concept.

Theme Engine vs. Theme Framework

You might’ve noticed that we’ve started calling Elastic a “theme engine” instead of a “theme framework.” While you might say “well, it’s only one word”, that word marks both a shift in focus and a solidification in where Elastic is headed.

The difference is that a theme engine controls how the page is loaded, not how it looks.

Put simply, a theme framework is a theme that serves as a starting point for other themes.

A theme engine is a theme or plugin that changes the way WordPress renders themes. The difference is that a theme engine controls how the page is loaded, not how it looks.

While there are about seven dozen accepted definitions for “theme framework”, we decided that there is a clear difference between the two. Theme engines are a level below themes entirely. All themes run on a theme engine, framework or not.

WordPress’ default theme engine consists of the template hierarchy and a handful of other files like header.php,sidebar.php, and comments.php.

For instance, you could write a theme engine that redirects every single page to the wikipedia article on Cabbage, but it wouldn’t be of much use. The Elastic theme engine is focused on creating module-based themes instead of page-based themes. “But wait”, you say,”then weren’t you a theme engine the whole time?”

Okay, so what’s changed?

The file structure. That and some bug fixes, but that’s about it. But seriously, this is huge. We’ve relocated the central library that we required every theme to include into the plugin itself. Authors don’t have to embed the engine in their themes. Instead, they load it with one line of code ( do_action('load_elastic_engine'); ) and a handful more to warn users if Elastic isn’t installed.

Distribution is where this comes into play. Now, theme structure is cleaner and themes can centrally stay up to date with the Elastic engine through the WordPress plugin repository.

The one temporary downside is this: since we’re not currently maintaining backwards compatibility, themes made with the engine may break on engine updates (and will break when 0.0.4 is released). This is why we recommend Elastic for testing purposes only.

Where we’re headed

0.0.3 is less about new features than it is about regaining our focus.

0.0.3 is less about new features than it is about regaining our focus. Elastic’s been a theme engine all along, we just didn’t know quite how to say it. This version has served as the shift to the new file structure. 0.0.4 will be about solidifying the engine and making rock solid APIs that not only support the visual editor, but theme developers as well. We’re going to be moving back towards the WordPress engine; taking the good parts (because there are quite a few of those), but maintaining our concept of modular theming.

Finally, I want to own up. I keep saying that I want your help, but it’s been hard to track me down, and hard to see where the project is going. The redesign is the first step in increasing project transparency, and will soon be joined by our own trac, documentation, and a comprehensive roadmap. If you’ve emailed me about Elastic and haven’t received a reply, I guarantee I’ll get back to you soon.

So enjoy the new site, experiment with the engine, and let me know what you’d like to see. We have a lot of changes on the horizon, so get excited. Once the engine is stable, then maybe we’ll start talking about theme frameworks. They run on theme engines, you know.

P.S.: If you’re going to WordCamp Ireland next weekend, be sure to come say hi!