That’s right, Essence is now on Github which means there is no reason for you to not contribute! I’m honestly just learning Git for this very purpose, so if you see something wrong with the setup please let me know and I’ll get it fixed up.
The process of converting from SVN to Git was made extremely painless with svn2git so thanks to Kevin Menard for his work on that. One of the things that I had on SVN was a simple packaging script that packaged trunk into a .zip file to be uploaded to the wordpress.org repository. If anyone wants to write a similar packaging script for Git I would appreciate it.
# Packages the Essence theme into a .zip to release
svn up $PKG_DIR
rm -rf essence essence.zip
cp -r $PKG_DIR essence
find essence/ -type d -name '.svn' | xargs rm -rf
zip -r essence.zip essence
rm -rf essence
echo "Essence successfully packaged into essence.zip"
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Essence. I’m going to try to do a series of posts answering the most common ones. I’m going to use the Genesis Framework by StudioPress as an example throughout. Please understand that I’m not picking on it, I’m using it as an example because I think it’s currently the best option out there.
There are several reasons for this, but I’d like to expand on two of them. First of all I don’t think anyone has quite got it right. Some of them, like Genesis, are quite good but still not right. They tend to put a ton of features into the theme, including many that I will never use, making it too big and complex. Essence follow the same 80/20 rule of thumb that WordPress does, meaning new functionality should be useful to 80% of users or it shouldn’t go in. Instead it should become a plugin. Essence will have a host of plugins, some developed along with the theme by the same people and some that are by existing plugin developers, which will add whatever functionality you want/need while keeping Essence itself compact, efficient, and easy to use.
However, the second is the most important. I do not think that it is in my best interest (or the best interest of any other developer) to rely too heavily on a product that is controlled by another company. The Genesis Framework will change based on what is most beneficial to StudioPress. Don’t get me wrong, the theme belongs to StudioPress so I think that’s as it should be, but what happens if what’s best for my company isn’t what’s best for theirs? What happens if StudioPress is some day ran by someone who’s not as community-minded as Brian Gardner? I was worried that this could happen last year when they merged into Copyblogger Media, LLC. It didn’t, but the fact remains that they could take the product in a direction that is beneficial to no one but them. Since Genesis is licensed under the GPL you could continue to use the code you already have, but you’ve lost the benefits of a regularly updating framework.
So what makes Essence different? Well, Essence will be guided by a team of lead developers much like WordPress. There will be no bottom line to answer for, and no one person complete control. My business relies on WordPress and that doesn’t worry me at all because WordPress isn’t a competitor and therefore there’s no conflict of interest. This is exactly how I want Essence to be positioned.
If you want to get involved, contact us.
It’s official, Essence is in the WordPress repository! The current version in the repository is 0.0.3 but 0.0.4 has just been approved and will show up there soon. You can check out the Essence Changelog to see what’s changed.
The site is up. It needs a lot of work and content, but this is the new home for the Essence Theme for WordPress. And yes, what you’re looking at is Essence. Please take a moment to read what Essence is all about.