Reply to: A Defense of the Thesis 2 WordPress Theme ( +What is Good Criticism)

A defense of Thesis 2

Doug, as he would like to be known, blogs at ThriftyZizel.com. He is working on a series of step-by-step Thesis 2 tutorial. If, despite my objective criticism of Thesis 2, you’d like to learn about the Thesis 2 theme I recommend you start from his tutorial series.

But first, I’d like to call myself out on that “objective criticism” bullshit there. There is no objective criticism and the term itself constitutes as one of the biggest and most hated oxymoron. Criticisms should not be viewed in the light of objectiveness. It can never be objective. There can only be good and bad reviews, but never “objective” reviews. Like Doug rightly said, opinions are subjective by nature. So are criticisms.

What constitutes good criticism?

good opinions

Yesterday, Doug took a stance in defense of the Thesis 2 theme and he sees his post as a counterpoint to my post.
(go read it here: Thesis 2.0 review and more)

I respect his view, and his work towards improving the lives of others. Generally, I like people with opinions.

“to define Good criticism, I’ll point to one that analyzes and describes an article in relation to its surrounding systems and the operations within it”

But if I were to define Good criticism, I’ll point to one that analyzes and describes an article in relation to its surrounding systems and the operations within it. I’ll point to one that shows application of thoughtful perspective as much as facts themselves. As far as that is concerned, criticism is likely more art than science.

I think both articles, Doug’s and mine, have done justice in our review of the product. I have described Thesis 2 through a lens that is different from his. I see the incompatibilities of the theme framework as a byproduct of self-serving choices. Could Thesis 2 have offer a better user experience, congruent with how WordPress — the platform it is built on — treat its customers? The answer might very well be affirmative. But it isn’t, because of the following reasons:

  • Non-conformity with conventional UX standards
  • Its self-containedness in an attempt to remain proprietary has resulted in too many incompatibilities
  • Unfulfilled promises (it’s been more than 4 months now)
  • Releases of a product without the basic skin packages (as promised) and basic user manual
  • Extending from the above, their attempt to monetize on it via pre-launch sales (on a product that should never have been released)

The list can really go on, but I’ve gone into too much detail in my previous post I’ll be brief here.

Doug’s response to these incompatibilities was that “he minimizes the use of them (plugins)” so he has “no complaint so far”. With all due respect, I can’t see how that is a fair argument to my points above.

I thank him for bringing his perspective to the table, and for introducing me to a great resource I might find handy later, if and when I decide to do a u-turn on my words and start loving Thesis 2 instead.

i love thesis

I’ll probably love Thesis 2 one day, why not?

Here’s his Beginner’s Guide to using Thesis 2 with WordPress: Learn Thesis 2 with ThriftyZizel (45 Chapters!).

To Doug (who I do not know, nor have I met), Well done on the step-to-step tutorial and for adding to the conversation.

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1 comments
dougm7
dougm7

Samuel, thanks for taking my counterpoint in the friendly manner it was intended.  I certainly concede the point on plug-ins.  I am working my way to installing a couple I like and will call Thesis out if they don't work.  This is taking time as I document each step before proceeding.  My guide is intended to "give back" for all the great tutorials I found while using v1.6.

 

Doug

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