Hybrid Core 3.0 makes sweeping changes

Hybrid Core 3.0, released today by Justin Tadlock, makes some big changes to the popular drop-in theme framework.

Justin has never been afraid to release new stuff in Hybrid Core, and he's not afraid to take stuff out either. Many of the things he's built for his users and his themes have made their way into WordPress, so with 3.0 he's deprecated many of those features — features like pagination and title/description handling.

I'm happy to see him make this change. Post Status's redesign is the first time I hadn't used Hybrid Core for a personal project, precisely because so much of it had become part of WordPress. But now he's also a bunch of really fancy stuff that I want to play with again.

The biggest change is a series of Customizer features:

While Hybrid Core has utilized the customizer and 2.0 made it clear that the customizer is our preferred way of handling theme options, there wasn’t much for theme authors to work with. Therefore, I built some cool customizer controls for you all:

  • Color Palette.
  • Multiple Checkbox.
  • Dropdown Terms.
  • Layout.
  • Radio Image.
  • Select Group.
  • Multiple Select.

And, a couple of customizer setting classes:

  • Array Map.
  • Image Data.

The color palette option is really slick, I think. I'd rather see theme authors introduce more pre-defined color palette options than per-section color pickers. Generally though, Hybrid Core might be worth including for other theme authors that want to include customization options like these without having to maintain the code yourselves.

Additionally, he's added or made major changes to many other features:

  • Layouts API, which is an overhaul of the previous layout system.
  • Media Meta API that allows you to easily output metadata for media files (audio, video, images).
  • Continued accessibility fixes and improvements.
  • Language-specific function files for both parent and child themes.
  • Fewer text strings so that it’s even easier for translators.
  • Schema.org microdata updates and corrections.
  • Complete overhaul of URLs and translatable text strings to harden security.
  • Gallery stylesheet is completely adaptive to screen sizes.

The Layouts API is particularly something I'd like to explore more. I used to be quite knowledgeable about Hybrid Core but in just a couple years of lighter use I feel like there is so much to explore again.

If you're looking for a theme framework, in my opinion a drop-in framework like Hybrid Core is a really solid option — as it really extends WordPress' existing theme functionality without locking you in too much.

If you want to look at the internals of Hybrid Core, check it out on Github. And he's moving his documentation to a Github Wiki to better manage the frequent need for changes.