K2 1.0

Yes. It’s true, revision 898 was the lucky number. For the impatient, go get it.

What is K2?

This is K2. You’re looking at it. K2 is a theme for WordPress based on experiences learned during the development and release of Kubrick, the default theme of WordPress since version 1.5.

K2 comes with a handful of elegant features, such as live search and live archives, as well as support for a variety of plugins. And most importantly, K2 was built with people like ourselves in mind; people who prefer to do their customizing through CSS files and child themes rather than through rigid options and presets.

It’s seen about half a million downloads in its lifetime, and is as a result pretty solid by now.

Onto the 1.0 Announcement

I never thought it would take this long, but then I never thought K2 would live this long either. I chalk it up to hard working folks like Steve and Eric, who helped keep K2 alive in my absence over the past year. Also of course, we wouldn’t be here without the help of Chris, Ben and Zeo. And, ehm, me. Thanks guys!

So what does 1.0 mean for K2? Well, first of all it means that K2 is at the best place it’s ever been. It’s solid as a rock both in terms of features and WordPress integration as well in terms of compliance with traditional web standards as well as microformats and ARIA. We’ve cleaned up in the codebase and K2 has lost some weight here and there (smallest download ever I think). And leading up to this 1.0 release, we’ve spent some time polishing up the interface details.

K2 was always meant to be a practical framework-ish theme, rather than a stunning looker. And as such it has a pragmatic beauty to it perhaps, but it’s real power is in its customizability through CSS (and of course child themes, though that’s a tad more complex, and in most cases unneeded exactly because we spent so much time on optimizing for CSS customizations).

Ode to SBM

It’s worth mentioning that the last remnants of the old SideBar Manager, or SBM, have now been removed from the codebase. It started out as a fully-fledged replacement for WP’s lacking widgets system and ended up as a patch-of-sorts to the widget system, allowing for widgets to be placed only on specified pages. But in the end, while the native widget system is still very much in need of an update, it didn’t feel right for K2 to try and cover that particular area of the administration interface. And besides, other plugins for doing just that exist already.

So instead of spending our time patching that system for an ever-changing WordPress, our time is probably better spent on more theme-specific functionality, like the rolling archives or livesearch systems, as well as keeping up with new WordPress features, like for instance Post Thumbnails.

Semantics

Furthermore, we’ve got more semantic classes than the pope. Browser type, language, current layout type, date, day, year and so on. View Source and check out some of the BODY classes; they let you do some pretty cool stuff using only CSS (like honoring Pirate Day for instance).

Compatibility

K2 is as always meant for use with the latest version of WordPress, which is of course 2.9. That said, we’ve done our best to retain compatibility and as such K2 should be backwards-compatible all the way back to 2.5. As always, if you have any problems, let us know.

The Road Ahead

There are two major things on the program for the 1.1 version of K2: Localization and Documentation. Capital letters and all.

We’ve had a lot of localization efforts from the community since we started, and it’s always been a dream that we would be able to ship those localizations with K2 and provide an easy way for it to ‘just work’. So that’s something we’ll be spending some time with. If you’re a localizer, or if you’d like to be one, head on over to our localization page and do your thing. We’ll get some more in-depth tutorials up as soon as the holidays give us some breathing room.

Also, it’s long been a dream of mine to see K2 properly documented. Not only in terms of what it can do, or how it does it, but also for things like how to actually do a localization, where it may be a bit hard to figure out how to get into it in the first place. So I’d like to do something about that.

And of course we already have a lot of other ideas, which will also start seeing the light of day in the coming weeks.

Enough Talk. Download!

So merry Xmas, and hop on over to download your present already, and remember to file issues, and if you have any questions or comments, let us know in the support forum.

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