Website Archive/Declutter System Proposition

  • In a thread regarding the import of styles from, DecentM said:

    • The original author won’t be there to maintain the theme(s) when the site they’re made for changes
    • If all (or some) the styles were to be imported, how would the site determine the author?
      • Dummy user -> The theme would never be updated
      • One maintainer -> Pretty much the same, I can’t expect just one person to maintain and fix thousands of themes
      • The original maintainer -> No way to contact them. Even if there was, I can’t just start sending spam e-mails saying something along the lines of “Hey, your theme is hosted here now, go register and claim it!”
    • I personally don’t feel comfortable copying other sites, inevitably creating lower quality content just for the sake of numbers.

    All in all, I see the appeal in mass importing themes, but the negatives outweigh the advantages in my opinion. I think encouraging quality over quantity is going to be a key point in having a useful site.

    That said, if you want to pick some themes you personally want to keep alive, feel free to post them under your account! Just make sure its license allows it.

    (also lol @ GitLab crashing over the amount of files)

    Regarding outdated themes cluttering the website, perhaps it would be wise to create an archive of sorts for old/outdated styles. This archive would be excluded in all style searches by default. In this system, style authors would mark their style as either outdated or perfectly functional as they see fit, and all outdated styles would be moved to the archive. All recently outdated styles that are once again updated may move back out of the archive. In a perfect world, this would be all that is necessary. Since we don’t live in a perfect world, implementation of a “renewal” system could work as a backup. If an author does not renew or mark their style as updated within a certain time-span, the style will be automatically tagged as “unmarked” and sent to the archive and it would be assumed most/if not all unmarked styles are no longer supported/updated. Creators would simply need to check-in to their style every once in a while and renew their style (If, and only if, their style is not broken/outdated) to ensure their style is properly accounted for. Any good author does this already/should do this anyways.

    While it does seem to be a rather off-putting system to deal with at first, it would ensure the future of the website and allow for relevant information to be found easily. Searching for a style would take just under a minute or two. An example of what the website could look like is readily available at UserStyles. There are pages upon pages of completely irrelevant styles that are outdated, unsupported, and even duplicate styles just for the ones that weren’t supported and then recently updated by another user. If you’ve ever tried looking for a style sheet for any Google site, you will understand how bad this can get.

    This system isn’t necessarily the only way to go about achieving a nice-looking, uncluttered website; but it is a start.

  • My main concern in that thread was scraping themes from other sites. I think outdated themes won’t really be an issue in the short term.
    I think your idea of like a bi-monthly nag has good roots, but I’d more rely on ratings. So if ratings suddenly drop, we can tell that it’s somehow broken and send a notification.
    This is super far into the future though, at the moment I’m working on getting feature parity out.