Theme Wrangler Ian Stewart announced on the WordPress.com forums that PressRow, a WordPress theme developed by DIYThemes’ Chris Pearson and added to WordPress.com years ago, will be replaced by the new theme dubbed Pilcrow in two weeks. Users have two weeks to switch themes themselves, or at least prepare for the switch.
Describing the decision, Stewart said:
There are two main reasons for the upgrade. Firstly, PressRow’s original creator has a history of building on WordPress while limiting the freedom of his users and violating the core WordPress license. Continuing to use a theme tied to the same author is bad for everyone.
But that’s not the only reason to upgrade PressRow to a new theme. PressRow was sorely out of date and in need of a major refresh to bring it in line with the core WordPress experience. The new Pilcrow theme has a ton of options that let you customize and personalize your theme—custom menus, backgrounds, layouts, header images—while retaining a very similar feel to the older PressRow theme.
The announcement also includes helpful information for users looking to prepare their custom CSS for the new theme.
Speculation that August’s removal of Cutline from WordPress.com was driven by the growing division between Chris Pearson and Automattic seems to be validated with this announcement.
Pilcrow can be tested out by logging in to WordPress.com; a version is not yet available in the WordPress.org theme directory. Those looking to reminesce can demo PressRow at WordPress.com as well—but only for another two weeks.
Hat tip to Nickie for tipping us off to this.