Introducing Runway, a new open source framework for WordPress


#1

We’ve recently released our Runway framework as an open source project and wanted to share it with the community here on ThemeForest. Runway is the result of a lot of work over the last 18 months. We set out trying to build what we think of as a Theme Development Environment. It’s a little bit different from a lot of what’s out there, moving many of the development tools into the WordPress admin and making them accessible to the developer while working with a Runway child theme.

After completing the development you can package your theme as a stand-alone version, this combines the required parts of the framework with the child theme to produce a framework independent theme. This way there is no need for a client to install the framework, just your theme, and it’s a bit easier to distribute.

The entire project is white labeled and anything that might say Runway is hidden when you package your stand-alone theme. At the same time your development features used with the child theme are not shown in the stand-alone version to ensure your clients are getting a professional and refined end product.

The project can be extended with Runway Extensions. These are a lot like plugins, you drop theme in a folder or download them in the Runway admin directly into your project and activate the ones you need. They can provide a lot of functionality very quickly and where a plugin is specific to your WordPress install, extensions will be packaged with the theme when your done.

Runway also has a feature called, data types (fields), which are the inputs, selects, color pickers and other options you add to your custom theme options. Since Runway provides an admin interface for making your theme options you don’t need to code any complex arrays, just drag and drop the fields into your pages. Data types can be customized or you can make new ones and drop them directly into the framework. We have a bunch of existing data types but if there is something you need and we didn’t make it you can easily add your own custom data types, validation methods and more.

Check out the Runway framework here: http://runwaywp.com/

There is also a growing documentation site and Github repository for full source code access:

http://guide.runwaywp.com/

https://github.com/parallelus/Runway_Framework

Let us know what you think and any suggestions for the project. We’ve developed two themes already with Runway which are being sold on ThemeForest and have another being finished right now. We want this to be a community driven project so we take the feedback we get very seriously. It was our ThemeForest customers that inspired us to create Runway and we hope they will continue to find ways to challenge us to innovate.

Thanks!


#2

Hi
seems to be an awesome framework!
I’m curious about this:

“Plugin Installer
Integrate required plugins into your theme, to install when the theme is activated.”

Is it like TGM Plugin Activation ? Does it support plugins updates from the theme package?


#3

I wonder if this framework fits the new theme requirements.

EDIT: I see you can sort of export a theme as an individual theme. Does that mean it will output a theme with the build options without the options framework to build options?


#4

Looks like an amazing framework :slight_smile:

Will certainly use it for future projects.


#5

Just tested and you can indeed export a created childtheme as a standalone theme… that’s pretty slick

These frameworks are a danger to developers! :slight_smile:


#6

Awesome… thanks for the new post and moving it out of the Ultimatum one.
Now we can ask the Ultimatum people to post about Ultimatum here… ROFL. :slight_smile:


#7
fullercreative said

Awesome… thanks for the new post and moving it out of the Ultimatum one.
Now we can ask the Ultimatum people to post about Ultimatum here… ROFL. :slight_smile:

haha :slight_smile:

ps: Sorry! I’m flooding this thread. The framework looks really really nice though!


#8

It looks really nice, but seems to me that approach to pack theme with extensions instead of plugins is completely opposite new TemeForest requirements for themes?


#9
_lumberman_ said

It looks really nice, but seems to me that approach to pack theme with extensions instead of plugins is completely opposite new TemeForest requirements for themes?

Correct, that’s why i also had my doubts if it is according the new requirements - with the point you make it is not indeed.


#10

Thanks for all the awesome feedback. To summarize most of the questions, yes it’s compatible with the ThemeForest requirements, including Phase 2. We have a theme coming out in November that will demonstrate this.

purethemes said

Hi
seems to be an awesome framework!
I’m curious about this:

“Plugin Installer
Integrate required plugins into your theme, to install when the theme is activated.”

Is it like TGM Plugin Activation ? Does it support plugins updates from the theme package?

That’s built using the TGM class. It uses an admin interface during development so you don’t have that config file to fill out for each plugin. Just upload a ZIP file for a plugin and it will be included in the theme.

When you do a theme update, you can simply replace the plugin ZIP file with a newer one. The theme will automatically read the file and determine if it’s newer than the installed plugin on the customer’s site. If it is, the prompt to update will be displayed and everything else is automated the same as TGM. It’s a bit easier because you don’t update version numbers in the config PHP file like the TGM class, just copy the ZIP file.

We’ll have more options for this later to handle things like remote hosted files and core WP repository. Those features exist but we haven’t yet added the admin interface for them.

ChapterThemes said

I wonder if this framework fits the new theme requirements.

EDIT: I see you can sort of export a theme as an individual theme. Does that mean it will output a theme with the build options without the options framework to build options?

When the theme becomes a stand-alone it removes the development tools like the Options Builder.

We think it’s a good idea to distribute the theme in both child and stand-alone format so developers buying the theme can use the child version to customize the admin for their client. It’s amazing how much time that can save when you’re not learning another person’s code structure when all you want to do is rename or remove an admin option. We already have customers doing this with our existing themes and we will include the child (development) version of our themes in the future.

fullercreative said

Awesome… thanks for the new post and moving it out of the Ultimatum one.
Now we can ask the Ultimatum people to post about Ultimatum here… ROFL. :slight_smile:

Ha! Getting a taste of my own medicine. :slight_smile:

ChapterThemes said
_lumberman_ said

It looks really nice, but seems to me that approach to pack theme with extensions instead of plugins is completely opposite new TemeForest requirements for themes?

Correct, that’s why i also had my doubts if it is according the new requirements - with the point you make it is not indeed.

We have a theme coming out next month, after Phase 2 begins, so it definitely will be compliant with those rules. I spoke with Japh and other Envato staff at the PressNomics conference about this so there is nothing to worry about on that side.

Extensions can be anything, which means you have to put things there that can’t be included in the theme after Phase 2. That being said, we’re adding a feature to our Plugin Installer extension so any active extension can be selected to “Install as plugin” which will truly make it easy to be compliant with ThemeForst changes. Extensions are modeled after Plugins so this is a really simple update. Once we add this you can let the framework do the work of separating the functionality for you.


#11

Correction to above…

Extensions can be anything, which means you DON’T have to put things there that can’t be included in the theme after Phase 2…

I was trying to say you can put the things that need to be plugins into the plugin installer instead of extensions, but actually said, you have to put them in extensions. The way it works is you can put whatever you want where ever you want so you can absolutely ensure you are OK for Phase 2.


#12

I tried Runway. But it’s not completable with wordpress 3.6.1. Also I saw media uploader is not native uploader.


#13

So far so good… it is hell complex without a small movie showing a brief overview. Am a visual learner. Made new CPT with it, made new taxonomy, made new field groups and fields… so far so good.
I cannot see how to make a repeater field for making something like a task list. Would love to make a task list that I can tie in with a progress bar.

As for the template builder, so far so good I guess. However I do not see how I can link my field for the footer that I created “footer layout - full, half, third,quarter”… so I can have a footer with 4 widgets 3 widgets, 2 widgets or simply 1 in it.

I did not see that in the documentation.

But have to say with its complexities, it sure has a huge array of options to do things. Just wish I knew how to link all these great things to actually show something on the front end… lol

Quite excited for your truly open source and seems to be totally brand-able product.


#14

OK… I see that I can make layouts, however I get this error…
Fatal error: Cannot use object of type stdClass as array in C:\Users\cmwwebfx\Documents\Websites\www.runway.dev\wp-content\themes\runway-framework\extensions\layout-manager\admin.php on line 43


#15
CantoThemes said

I tried Runway. But it’s not completable with wordpress 3.6.1. Also I saw media uploader is not native uploader.

In what way is it not compatible with WP 3.6.1? There are well over 1,000 websites running on Runway built themes, I’m sure the majority of those are on WP 3.6.x right now in 3.7. Can you provide some details?

Can you describe what you consider a native media uploader? We’re using the standard method of opening the WP Media Uploader interface inside the WP admin lightbox. Is there an example you give to show of how you would like this done differently?


#16

I just installed the theme on my server. I use bluehost. I got an error message saying

You must have PHP v5.3.1 or later to use this theme.

You can try adding the following to the top of to your .htaccess file in the WordPress root directory:

AddType application/x-httpd-php53 .php

I added that to the top of my httaccess and it seems to have worked.
Is this an issue for a lot of hosts?
If that does not work, contact your host and ask them to update your PHP version. The theme will not be functional until this issue is corrected.


#17
mcollins said

As for the template builder, so far so good I guess. However I do not see how I can link my field for the footer that I created “footer layout - full, half, third,quarter”… so I can have a footer with 4 widgets 3 widgets, 2 widgets or simply 1 in it.

I did not see that in the documentation.

But have to say with its complexities, it sure has a huge array of options to do things. Just wish I knew how to link all these great things to actually show something on the front end… lol

Quite excited for your truly open source and seems to be totally brand-able product.

We uploaded the newest version of the Layout Manager so it should clear the error messages you had.

For things like widgets in the footer with the Layout Manager, we’ve found it’s more useful to allow the user to select a content source like a static block (custom post type we use) or a sidebar then popular it how they prefer. This gives the user more control since from an editor in a static block they can set any column number they need and populate it with content, add sidebars (using a short code with Sidebars extension) or anything they like. Themes using a set group of widget areas in a single footer will be a distant memory someday. We focused on full content editor and multiple source options for headers and footers. That’s the direction we’re looking.


#18
ThemeBuddies said

Is this an issue for a lot of hosts?

Most hosts are running PHP 5.3.x at this point. It’s not an issue if they don’t because it can be added instantly (almost) with a quick support request. With a little over 1,000 Runway sites active we’ve had less than 10 support request. Even the few that do see that message can solve it the way you did with a single line in the .htaccess file.


#19

Why don’t you guys ask the error and issues questions in the support forum provided for Runway? I think this thread would be more interesting with discussions of what Runway can / can’t do and where it’s going in the future.

I personally think it’s a great tool for developing WordPress Themes - i am no master at this (one day i will) and the very well documented files on the Liftoff demo child theme are extremely helpful to me.

Thanks @parallelus and your team for putting together this as an open-source project, this is really awesome!


#20

Hope beginners or designers step ahead quickly with it.

Really nice to see it. Keep up your good work