Late 2016 through 2017 saw a major push to produce the latest set of frontend template files for BuddyPress, a major project to undertake and bring home.

Long considered something that needed tackling was an update of the core templates we use to provide the screen views for the BuddyPress components which hadn’t been looked at since we introduced the template hierarchy, usually referred to as ‘Theme Compatibility’.

The task in fact became greatly more detailed and involved than originally conceived after delivery of the initial core files from imath which went far further in rewriting large sections of the core to produce new menu functions, template tag files, effectively bringing into the template layer far more control over the frontend development process that was previously tied to the core files and in fact creating a far more flexible template engine or ‘Template Pack’

With the initial core template pack functioning we set about stripping down the html, rebuilding on Standards and accessibility and solid Semantics, CSS was stripped out and also re-built from the ground up, utilising Sass and a series of partial files to build the core component styling in a re-usable module sense for further template packs to use as core essential layout and practical visual styles.

Development was carried out on the BP github account to begin with and downloadable and runnable as a plugin, latterly we have merged the core work into BP trunk on the svn home where it can be tested on dev installs running src and selecting the template pack from the BP setting screen, and the ongoing work is carried out on BP’s trac home.