Welcome to my new theme, and ridiculous new experiment

At WordCamp Austin this past weekend, there was a lot of talk about frameworks and version control and process and I figured now might be a good time to try some new things. Here’s what you’re currently looking at:

A new theme, powered by the Automattic-built _s. Underscores, as it’s also known, is a bare-bones starter theme meant for hacking, NOT child theming. To build on top of _s, you simply fork and edit to your heart’s content.

To share all my edits with you guys, this entire theme is hosted over on GitHub, where you can fork and clone until your fingers fall off. You’ll notice I’m only a handful of commits in- what you’re looking at is maybe 1 hour worth of coding, which says a lot for the power of _s.

If you’ve seen me speak, you know how much I hate making child themes, and you probably also know how much I’ve enjoyed Bones over the past few months, which shares a similar philosophy. I’m mainly testing _s because I have a class coming up for beginning developers, and I’d like the simplest, most best-practice filled theme I can find. Don’t get me wrong, I looooove Bones, but I wanted something closer to the themes I remembered learning on.

You’ll also probably ask yourself, “Doesn’t WP Engine provide you a staging area? Why are you doing this live?” That’s a good question. One for which I don’t totally have an answer, except to say that my personal site is of little consequence to my day-to-day so I figured it’d be a fun place for an experiment like this. If you visit one day and notice something different, go check my GitHub source and see what I’ve done. Take the code. Learn from it. Or if I’ve done something wrong, help me learn.

I’m not done with the styling, it’s not fully responsive, some of my old functionality might not work, but it’s getting there. A few more hours of tinkering and this thing will be justttt right.

DATE23rd May, 2012


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  1. Clark – thanks for putting this experiment online. It reminds me of the good ole’ days when I cowboy coded. Sometimes there’s nothing like a half-finished site live. I’m interested in seeing _s too. I’ve been working with Genesis, but sometimes my heart is telling me to go elsewhere.

    • Clark (Author)

      After another few hours with _s, I’m fairly certain I’ll be using it as my base for the foreseeable future. I’m also thinking about leading a session on it, as getting some site basics together could literally be done in an hour’s time.

      Also: this.

  2. Aman

    Hello Clark,
    Your work on _s is really inspiring!
    I see that you have worked out to make your custom theme responsive
    But haven’t updated the Github Repo; Can you please update the Github Repo.
    Also how do you achive infinite scrolling?? is it inbuilt in the theme

    • Clark (Author)

      I just pushed an update to GitHub, all the responsive stuff should be in there now. And for the time being, I’m using the Infinite Scroll WP plugin, but I’ll probably drop in the real JS at some point.

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