Performancing Metrics

Sandbox Revisions Run Wild

Scott from has goaded me into responding to a recent post he made called “The Future: A Dialogue” where he talks about how great Sandbox is being received by the crowd.

First off, I have to admit, Sandbox is really great, and I hope that it is given top consideration when WordPress 2.1 comes out as the Default WordPress Theme.

The default for Sandbox is really ugly, but it is very great for people to play with and learning to customize the look and feel of their WordPress site.

BUT, I still think that the Skins that Scott holds in such high regard are nothing more than ports of previous themes for WordPress. We have a K2 knockoff, ChinaRed lookalike, a Kubrick wannabe, and then Literary Life, which seems to be the only original theme he lists in his skins section of his article.

Keep in mind that these were all completed within seven days of first release of the Sandbox (and those are just the ones I found). Seven days with changes to the Sandbox? Well done all, and take that, Blogging Pro.

Take what? A bunch of conversions, and one original skin? I am a little underwhelmed. It is nice that the community has taken advantage of Sandbox, but this is by no means any great feat. I would love to see ORIGINAL skins for Sanbox, so if your blog has taken Sandbox to the extreme, let me know. Let’s see if we can show Scott something a bit better than a bunch of ports from current themes.

Categories: WordPress Themes

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  1. Scott says: 8/14/2006

    Voice is so hard to get right in blogging. The tone there was jocular. Nothing rough. Apologies.

    I was just trying to remind people of the complaints folks had with your seven-day challenge. With the Sandbox framework, for example, it is possible to creat something without a great deal of time.

    Yes, the skins are ports (except one or two), but isn’t that some good news? Hopefully by allowing theme designers to take a breather from always having to develop structure and design for a theme, making a cool-looking blog doesn’t have to be an exhausting process.

    I’m not suggesting the Sandbox is now the standard. But it is really fun to skin. If you’ve got an idea of a design and that design doesn’t rely on some complex, new framework, why not skin it? This should be fun. And I hope that Sandbox is.

    Thanks for the nice words, I second the motion! ;-)


  2. David ) says: 8/14/2006

    You are right about tone, as my post was not to be confrontational at all, but more of a mocking :P to you. But I can’t remain professional with emoticons littering my articles.

    I am very happy to see people jumping on board to create things easily and quickly.

    Glad to see you agree with me on it becoming the default. ;)


  3. Scott says: 8/14/2006

    Har, har, har! Here’s to confusion!

    That’s quite funny about emoticons in the article. Good, glad we’re still pals. :-D

    I was a little (grumble, grumble) when the first three skins for the Sandbox were K2-based—though I am not knocking K2 or those skins. There are some unique mods of the Sandbox on, it’s just they’re not publically released.

    Anyhow, actually, thanks for the post. I hope we can actually get the “other side of the coin” opinion from your post. Cheers.


  4. Trevor says: 8/14/2006

    I feel your pain about the lack of original skins for Sandbox, but a couple of ports in a couple of says is pretty good progress. I’ve just wanted to have a k2 “lite version” for a while, and I thought this might be a good way to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, plus I think the k2 look and feel is a really good foundation for making some original themes. I’m hoping to find the creativity to make something more original, but it’s much harder than just making a port! :)


  5. adam says: 8/14/2006

    the issue with creating original skins is that Sandbox is not yet 1.0. IMO.

    i’m certainly waiting, given the number of changes from 0.5 to 0.6.

    also, literary life is a port of a Movable Type/Livejournal skin. (but by the original designer, at least).


  6. David ) says: 8/14/2006

    Thanks Adam and Trevor for the comments.

    I agree that not having a 1.0 version can be a little scary to play with, but many times the release schedule is so slow that you have to play with what you can get rather than waiting.

    I am impressed with how fast Sandbox is progressing, and hope there won’t be any more major CSS rewrites in the next few updates…


  7. Andy Skelton says: 8/15/2006


  8. adam says: 9/16/2006

    well, now you have your first standalone original skin. a work in progress skin for a work in progress theme. i still think the sandbox was a better answer to your challenge than you’re willing to admit. the default may be ugly, but spartan and kubrick would both be decent default choices.