Category: Arras News

The End — Mostly.



I’m ending active development of Arras. You can still download it, and I might occasionally update it, but no promises.

As of Today, April 21, 2016

There are 4 versions of Arras I know of which are of any interest (with links where you can get them):

  1. The last 1.x version by Arras’s original developer, Melvin Lee: Version 1.5.3-RC1. This version was last updated on August 12, 2012. This date corresponds to WordPress version 3.4.1. The original theme’s website is

  2. The last 2.0 version, also by Melvin Lee: Version 2.0.1-beta-dev. This version was last updated on May 21, 2013. This corresponds to WordPress version 3.5.1.

  3. The last 1.x version done by me: Version 1.6.2. This version was released on January 18, 2015. This corresponds to WordPress version 4.1.

  4. The last 3.0 version, again my work: Version 3.0.3. This version was released on October 15, 2015. This corresponds to WordPress version 4.3.1.

What Gives?

Each of these versions has some significant limitations and quirks. I’ve said before that Arras is kind of like your uncle’s vintage Ford Mustang out in the garage. It’s old and it’s still prone to break in new ways every time you take it out on the road. But it’s fun to tinker with on weekends.

For a while I was doing Arras updates more regularly because I had a client who used the theme and was somewhat dependent on my keeping it alive. After a significant shift and re-branding, that client moved to a completely different theme. So now, Arras truly is a catch-as-catch-can project for me.

I realize that for most people looking for a reliable WordPress theme with active development and support this kind of sporadic, weekend coding isn’t a viable solution. Nor is it honest or helpful to pretend any longer that it is.

So this is formal notice that Arras is no longer in active development, and that support (at least from me) will be extremely limited.

I’ll probably continue to tinker with it on weekends. Occasionally I may push out an update. But no promises.

Where it goes from here…

I also realize that Arras has (or at least had) a lot of fans, some of whom may be still be nostalgic for it. Arras, in its heyday, had a large and active community of contributors.

When Melvin Lee discontinued his development of the theme, he offered that anyone who wanted to was welcome to take up the project and run with it. That was the spirit in which I took it on. And so I’d make the same offer to anyone else: If you want to pick up the torch, please let me know. You’re welcome to it!

Photo credit: Arijit Roy

Arras 3.0.3 Maintenance Release

Arras 3.0.3

This maintenance release fixes the following issues:

* Restores white background around page content to page entries.
* Fixes styling error on comment number display on traditional tapestry entries (home and archive pages).
* Fixes default tapestry not registering on author pages.

[Download Arras 3.0.3](

Arras 3.0.1

Arras 3

I won’t bore you with all the details about how over the summer I had to put Arras (and a lot of other things) on the back burner for a while.

Thanks to JB (bicycling across Africa somewhere, I think) who provided a lot of feedback on the Betas while I was out of commission. And to everyone else who commented and waited patiently.

Arras is a little like your uncle’s vintage Ford Mustang. You hang onto it because it’s a piece of nostalgia, even though it’s dated and not as efficient as just getting a new car. But at least now it’s responsive so it won’t suffer from mobilegeddon.

As such, Arras 3 still shares most of it’s code base with Arras 1.x, but it’s not the same theme. It will try to pull whatever settings from Arras 1.x it can into the new arrangement, but you still may (probably will) have to adjust a few things yourself.

Also, note that as an old theme (ancient in terms of WordPress development and internet time), there is some code that is old enough that Arras 1.x will break completely (I’m talking Fatal error, white screen of death) on servers running php 7 (soon to be released). With this release of Arras 3, I’m leaving Arras 1.x behind.

A few things to keep in mind…

  1. Language files for the Arras 1.x won’t work on Arras 3. I’ve provided a new .pot file in the /languages folder for anyone who cares to load it into poedit and render a translation. If you make a translation, please help other Arras users by submitting a pull request with your translation. I’ll make sure to add them to future releases.

  2. Child Themes based on Arras 1.x will probably break in Arras 3. With the introduction of a responsive grid, a lot of the styles have changed.

  3. Customizer work is ongoing. Custom post types and taxonomies on the home page works, but sometimes requires reloading the customizer page to update the available selections. Again, with any luck this should get smoother with future releases.

Download Arras 3.0.1


Arras 3.0 Beta Is Up

Arras 3

All features are in for this release cycle.

Testers Welcome!

Please Note: Though this looks much like Arras 1.x versions, and shares a lot of its code DNA with Arras 1.x versions, it is not backwards compatible with Arras 1.x in many respects.

Arras 3.0 will import many, but not all, settings from Arras 1.x versions previously installed, so if you’re upgrading from Arras 1.x expect there to be some issues in translation that will need worked out.

What’s New?

Arras 3.0 features two major changes over 1.x versions:

Responsive Layout

Responsive layout has meant major changes to the theme’s CSS. If you’ve made lots of CSS customizations in 1.x, they’re probably going to break in 3.0.

The grid now controls column widths and image sizing rather than having options for specific thumbnail sizes.

Options In the Customizer

This is a major shift in the way handles options and settings. In the long run, though, it has the advantage that child themes will be able to edit settings and add their own settings much more easily than was possible using the older WPSettings API.

Beta Means “Test”

This probably goes without saying, but while I think I’ve got it all together, there probably are some bugs in it that will need attention. So, while it’s probably OK to use this for your kicking-around blog, it’s not ready for big-time sites yet.

If you take it for a test drive and find anything that needs fixed, please open an issue on the Development repository at Github. (It’s really not hard to do, I promise!)

And here’s the link to Download the Arras 3.0 Beta.

Arras 3 Progress Report


First, thanks to everyone who has checked in with encouragement for the Arras 3 project. It’s your continued interest that’s moving this Arras project along.

Back in January, I had high New Year’s hopes of having a completely revamped Arras nearly up and running by now. With the first release candidate for WordPress 4.2 dropping on Wednesday, and the final release of WP4.2 scheduled for April 20, I figured it’s time to give you all a progress report.

At this point, I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll have a beta version of Arras 3 ready for public testing by the end of May.

Meanwhile, I’ve tested Arras 1.6.2 with the WordPress 4.2 release candidate, and it appears that nothing breaks. (I had feared that upcoming changes in the WordPress permalink structure for custom post taxonomies might cause issues, but things seem to be holding together.)

As things stand, the major change from Arras 1.x will be adding responsive capability. I’ve put most of the other stuff on hold until that big issue gets sorted out.