Theme composition vs frameworks

Tom J Nowell published a great post today on theme composition vs frameworks. He points out a problem with theme frameworks: what you need or want to do doesn’t always fit the way the framework is laid out.

The problem here is that what you want to build doesn’t always fit the foundations provided. You have to kludge your theme to fit into the frameworks way of doing things, and make do with the trade-offs and design decisions that the framework made, trade-offs that were made for the generic case, not yours.

Tom then explores the concept of instead picking and choosing various packages and libraries, rather than being tied down to one specific theme framework.

The alternative, is composition. Instead of building on top of something, take parts that already exist, and assemble them lego style. This way you write the glue that binds them together, rather than creating pieces to fit into predefined slots, and you can assemble them however you like.

I’m a pretty heavy user of theme frameworks, and I strongly identify with the pains that Tom presents here. There have been many projects where I’ve wanted to just use certain parts of the framework, but not be stuck with the rest of it.

I’m intrigued by Tom’s post and would love to read more on this concept. Are any of you using the methods he outlines here?