Wither PressRow?

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    The Cutline theme is gone, with wp.com sites that used it moved over to the new Coraline theme. Since some of the arguments against Cutline (and its designer) also apply against PressRow (also a Chris Pearson design), I’m wondering:
    – will PressRow also “retire”?
    – what warning, if any will people using PressRow get?

    I’m hoping that someone who works here can address those questions. PressRow is a very popular theme.

    More on Cora/Cutline from me:

    and from Themeshaper:
    When we first added the Cutline theme to WordPress.com it was free software. That means the users of that theme had the freedom to use, share, and modify that theme as they wished—as long as they passed those freedoms on when they shared it. That freedom let us bring the Cutline theme here to WordPress.com and it’s the same freedom that’s made WordPress so popular.

    Free software is something we believe is important: to use and promote.

    Cutline was sold a few years ago and had a more restrictive license placed on it. The original author of the Cutline theme has gone on to produce other themes with more restrictive licenses. Using Cutline has been seen as a promotion of that work and that’s not something we want to do



    PressRow is going… going… going…


    WP is purging Chris Pearson.

    I’ve read some comments which alluded to WP sending emails to people using Cutline. I knew about it because I was reading Matt’s blog back in July, so I’m really surprised WP didn’t make a concerted effort to warn people…



    I’m almost 100% sure Andrew already knows this.



    Then I’m not sure why he’d be asking the question…


    I’m wondering:
    – will PressRow also “retire”?

    and on his blog:

    I note that there is another popular WordPress.com theme designed by Chris Pearson: PressRow. If I were using PressRow at WordPress.com, I’d be wondering how much longer I’d have it for, and what might replace it.

    unless he was looking for a response… which I provided, including a link to Matt’s blog where Matt says PressRow is going, going, gone.



    Right and frankly I don’t think that’s news to Andrew.



    …maybe he can let us know if he was being rhetorical. Again, he asked and I answered. If anything I wrote was wrong, please feel free to correct me.


    My feeling is that the OP is just bring up the point. First Cutline and then at some near-future date, Pressrow will go way to be replaced by something like Pressbow which will be similar, but different, perhaps with no more warning than with Cutline, and there will be another round of threads in the forums. Hopefully Staff learns from this. Of course, if they had thought back, they would have remembered the Journalist upgrade debacle and ensuing virtual forum riot.

    1. Staff should have given more warning – 30 days seems like a good number giving people time to try the new theme and report any problems.
    2. Staff should have put a notice in the dashboard for every person using Cutline with at least 30 days notice.
    3. Staff should have made sure that any custom CSS done on Cutline would work well on Coraline.
    4. Staff should have made it so that widgets would seamlessly move over without people having to drag them out of the inactive section and back into the sidebar.
    5. Etc.



    Maybe I was wrong but I assumed Andrew had already read wank’s answer to him in this thread. >

    @andrew: Matt confirmed last month that Pressrow was going too. http://ma.tt/2010/07/syn-thesis-1/#comment-482110 Anyone currently using that theme should probably switch to another one asap.

    If so, then I apologize.


    Just an suggestion I’ll offer for those with a little web savvy – or those that might have a friend that can help them out.

    The only way you can insulate yourself from having your blog mucked around with by forces you cannot control, or even influence, is to self-host. If you are self-hosted, then you are the one in control. You decide when to upgrade or change themes, and you decide if and when to update the core wordpress files. Most hosts now days offer a one-button install of wordpress, and with the new one-click upgrade feature for wordpress.ORG software, it doesn’t require a lot of experience to self-host. All you have to do is answer a few questions.

    There are some really good hosting companies out there that offer good value, and with at least one, you can get hosting for around $25 per year. Other popular hosts that are reasonably reliable offer hosting packages starting at around $5 per month.

    I know self-hosting isn’t an option for everyone, but if you don’t want anyone mucking around with your blog, that is really your only option.



    Actually, I hadn’t seen Matt’s statement on Cutline and PressRow: “Both will be replaced in due time.” So some of my comments on PressRow weren’t direct enough.

    That said, I’m glad I started this thread, since I think that the message that PressRow is going away is an important one to many people.


    @andrew, it is most definitely an important thing. Sadly though, few users of Pressrow will see it since the only time most people come to the forums is when they have a problem – such as was the case with the Cutline/Coraline affair. Perhaps staff will give more notice, and perhaps they will put a warning in the dashboards of the people using Pressrow. Or not.


    Moderator Emeritus

    Or even make an announcement just as they have done for (other) themes. And why not put a notice right on the Appearance —> Themes page? Someone looking for a new theme would notice that.



    Thanks, thesacredpath, for plain-talking good sense.

    What is astonishing, given the high regard in which WP was once held in professional circles, is that among its many themes offered today there isn’t *one* theme that is cool, understated and calmly designed for business use by the self-employed.

    Whoever designed Coraline has no understanding of how to juxtapose different fonts within a theme or how to relate font-size to line-spacing ! It all looks so amateurish.


    Moderator Emeritus

    I think the decision was made in haste (re the 14 July interview and subsequent legal stuff~—yes, that is a ‘technical’ term—and if the new theme looks slapped together… I guess what I mean is that whoever designed it was rushed and perhaps there will be a more carefully crafted theme in future.



    @tsp, have to agree with you that the notice on PressRow should come from staff. And that this episode should remind us of the advantages of self-hosting.



    Hello there. I didn’t know that you didn’t know, you know ? … lol :)

    I agree that an announcement ought to be made and it’s a great idea to place an notice on the Dashboards of those who are using PressRow.

    I think another one ought to be placed here too > Appearance > Themes > PressRow for those who may be considering selecting it and haven’t done so yet.

    The lack of notice was problematic. Change is difficult to cope with and to accept but not being prepared for change makes the impact worse.

    Although this change of themes may be the trigger for some to move to self hosting …. MEH it wouldn’t have that effect on me. I’m not that “hooked” to a theme.



    @tt, there’s so much I don’t know that no-one can keep track of it…

    I might stay here at wp.com even if Simpla was replaced (with Corala?). After all, the designer didn’t GPL it… (he used a GPL-like Creative Commons license).



    Very interesting thread about the recent doings. Like “timethief,” I’m not so hooked to any theme that changes like we’ve seen (and which have stirred up a good bit of angry, mutinous rumblings) would greatly upset me or cause me to leave dot Com. I do blogsiting elsewhere these days but I intend to keep a blog here “just in case.” I also intend to keep my other blog elsewhere “just in case,” since we all know (or should be fully aware) that online, nothing is sacred and the worst CAN happen… I know, I’ve lost websites several times before due to server crashes, etc. which is one reason I started a site here, I feel more secure about things. IMO security is more important than favorite themes changing or disappearing. If a webmaster desires total control, he/she should self host (as thesacredpath advocates). People signing on here should come in with the foreknowledge that at dot Com there are some limitations which might bother some people. I’m not one of them, since I have so little knowledge, anyway, of css and the means of altering themes, I like to keep things as basic as possible…!

    Just my two cents’ worth…



    “I’d like to see a retirement plan for PressRow, stating things like how to forwarn every PressRow user, how much notice to give, etc. I’d like to see the plan itself posted, so that the community can comment on it.”

    The post from which I quote includes an order-of- magnitude estimate of how many PressRowers there are at wp.com: 6 figures. Anyone else want to play this game? Or, of course, to add to the PressRow death row discussion in other ways?



    No idea how many PressRowers there might be. Obviously there needs to be a lot more care taken, and a lot more notice given, with the closing out of PressRow, assuming that it’s on the way out; and I hope that is a big part of what the staff are working on this week.

    This issue also generated a minor suggestion that I made elsewhere: some suggestion along the lines of “If you like PressRow, you might like _________, __________, or _________” might be helpful.

    Meanwhile, I’ve switched Flaming Catheads over to Vigilance, and I’m happy so far.

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