It seems that quite a few people don’t quite fully understand what I meant when I announced that the Options, Structure, and Visionary themes would be discontinued. I’ve gotten quite a few emails and questions on this subject, so I’m going to try and clear up any confusion here in this post.
For those of you that missed that post, I announced that those three themes would be discontinued on January 31, 2009. I also announced that Theme Hybrid would be releasing everything under the GPL.
What does “discontinued” mean?
This seems to be the major part of the misunderstanding. “Discontinued” simply means “no longer available.”
From the Answers.com definition of discontinue:
1. To stop doing or providing (something);
2. To cease making or manufacturing;
Can I download the themes?
Options, Structure, and Visionary will not be available for download after January 31. You can download them before then. I will remove them from this site and JustinTadlock.com after that date.
There will be only one exception to this after that (see: developer’s licenses). So, if you email me wanting a copy of one, then you’re out of luck. I suggest downloading a copy for safekeeping now.
Why are the themes being discontinued?
Quite simply, they are not licensed under the GPL and Theme Hybrid will be distributing all things under the GPL in the future. It would be unethical to re-license the themes after people have paid for separate single and developer’s licenses for them.
You can read my thoughts on this from my personal blog: Some thoughts on the WordPress community, themes, and the GPL.
What about theme support and tutorials?
Support will not be discontinued in any way for exclusive members.
I will continue answering support questions as long as necessary. For example, if you have a question about the Structure theme one year from now, I will be happy to answer.
I also plan to write more tutorials for each theme to help those of you that are using the theme.
Can I use one of the themes after Jan. 31?
Yes, you can use the themes as long as you want.
Some people seem to think that they must switch to a different theme. This is not the case.
What happens when WordPress is updated?
It is very rare that a WordPress update will break a theme. The developers at WordPress.org are very good at keeping things backward compatible.
I have old themes I made for WordPress 2.1 that still work on WordPress 2.7.
I don’t know what the future holds for WordPress, but it’s likely your theme will work far into the future. If something does break one of the themes, I’ll post a fix for it in the support forums.
What if I purchased a license?
If you’ve purchased a developer’s license, I will make sure the themes are available to you.
For example, if you somehow lose your copy of the Options theme, you can email me and ask for a copy. I’ll send it your way.
What is the GPL?
It is a license for distributing software, which WordPress is licensed with. Without getting into the complexities of a legal dicussion, I ask you to read the GPL yourself if you’re interested in it.
I know many of you could care less about the licenses of the themes here, but it is an important thing for me and many people in the inner WordPress community.
In an extremely small nutshell, it states that I can’t put restrictions on you when using the code.
Avoiding any more confusion
I hope this clears up any confusion some of you may have had. In short, the themes will not be available for download but will be supported.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments about this.