We have recently submitted a new theme to themeforest that was soft rejected with some modifications we need to do and after 2 resubmissions it was hard rejected just because we use open source PHP template engine called Latte (https://latte.nette.org) in our theme.
I have checked all Envato marketplace official documents and it is not written anywhere that it’s forbidden to use a template engine such as Latte or LESS. Themes is fully working, compatible with plugins and users can also use standard PHP if they wish. It is like forbidding us to use LESS for CSS files. It’s a progress in web development.
Here is a message from reviewer:
We’re not currently accepting WordPress themes that use a separate templating language to insert the data, instead of the built-in WordPress templating functions. We do anticipate strong demand for these types of themes in future and are getting things in place so that we can accept them, but can’t accept them right now. We’re therefore hard-rejecting this theme.
We’re sorry that we didn’t pick this up on your first submission.
As we use template engine in all new themes and we have developed our framework with this engine for several years it means that we can no longer submit any theme to the marketplace. After 56k sales and over 2.6 million turnaround it’s a hit under the belt.
I just wanted to share this experience with you and possibly get some support or feedback as this might be the last theme we submitted to Themeforest.