Ian Stewart suggests on ThemeShaper that there should be a new default theme for WordPress to replace the stalwart Kubrick, which has been the default for the past three years. It’s a great idea; Kubrick is looking a little long in the tooth. It’s time to rethink what should be included in the out-of-the-box WordPress theme.
Personally, I agree with Ian that Sandbox would make an excellent foundation for any default theme (all of the WordPress themes I’ve created for ThemeMeme have been built on Sandbox). Sandbox offers semantic markup and dynamically generated classes, making it powerful, flexible, and easy to use. It was slated to be moved into the WordPress core in WordPress 2.5, but that integration has been delayed until 2.6.
One of the major advantages of including Sandbox is that simple themes can be styled purely with CSS. WordPress could include a handful of CSS stylesheets to give uses quick access to several alternative layouts generated from a single installation of template files. I’ve often posed the question: Why do blogs have to look like blogs? With Sandbox, a variety of style sheets could be included for different applications or design preferences, such as a magazine-style layout, a portfolio style, minimalist, Web 2.0, etc. The default theme shouldn’t have one look, but reflect WordPress’s power and flexibility.