A New P2
For those of you who haven’t yet tried it, P2 is an awesome micro blogging theme with quick front end posting, live ajax updating, and inline threaded comments. It already packs a big punch.
So how can an already great theme be taken to the next level? That was the task of Team 34 at this year’s Automattic retreat.
One of the first areas we thought could be improved was the ease of customization. Most people like to add their own personal touch to a theme, currently P2 is hard to customize beyond the standard design. We’ve added new options to allow you to hide the sidebar and even set a unique header image. All these options allow you to personalize your own P2 to match your tastes.
We’ve also introduced post types into P2. Now you can post different types of content and have them formatted and displayed in a way that fits the content beautifully. There are settings for standard posts, single images and galleries, as well as links and quotes. Selecting which post type to use is as simple as clicking the correct tab above the post box.
We also decided to go a step further and rework P2 so that it could easily be used as a parent theme and extended with child themes. This will allow theme designers to create awesome new theme designs without having to duplicate all of the existing P2 features. We’ve streamlined the HTML of the theme so that it is much more flexible for creating new designs using CSS. We’ve also added a large number of template based hooks that will allow plugin developers to hook into the theme and output extended functionality.
The new P2 theme is now live on WordPress.com, and also available for download from the WordPress.org theme repository. However for .org users, P2 requires WordPress 2.9 beta or greater.