In the glorious past (’09) there was an awesome barebones theme for WordPress called Sandbox. I discovered and instantly fell in love. I’ve used it actually for all of my projects from then on, but as WordPress updated it became dated, I have to “update it” now to include basic support for menus and other things that are somewhat basic and standard with most themes nowadays.
Over the years I’ve tried to find a replacement, but I usually come across projects that seem to miss the entire point of a basic wordpress theme. Sandbox is nice because it’s easy to understand, and any markup added is for basic functionality and/or if it “makes sense”, as it were. However you look at WordPress’s new theme like TwentyTen and even someone like me is wondering “what the heck?”…
I will fully admit that perhaps it’s just me, and the way I “grew up” in regards to design but I prefer to make sure that pages load quickly, and to me having a theme weigh in over 100s of kb and a css file that’s massive seems to miss the entire point. I’m also not much of a fan of child themes. I understand the basic idea from my work with vBulletins, but for wordpress I’m often creating themes so I can “ship” them out to another wordpress or for a project, so having a “parent” theme and then a customized child theme just seems kind of silly.
Oh well, I’ve decided to try an offshoot of Sandbox, and a couple others and see how they work out, the current project I’m working on doesn’t require anything complicated so it’s the perfect chance to move away from Sandbox.