So, I haven’t actively blogged here since 2007. In the time since, I have:

  • moved to texas
  • gone toobin’ with automattic folks
  • worked as a WordPress developer for 5+ years full time, plus several part time years beyond that
  • quit working with WordPress, to work on better things
  • gotten divorced
  • transitioned my public gender to match what’s in my head/heart
  • changed my name
  • gotten married
  • had my WordPress instance & my employers’ & clients’ WordPress instances hacked a couple dozen times
  • given so few fucks about my own site that I let the hosting lapse and never set it back up again

So that’s where I’m at.

Hi. I’m Amie. You can still call me sunburntkamel or SBK if you want.

I’m currently rebuilding my public-facing site using github pages +’s API. So I’m kicking around here again. The little angular app I’m building is open source, so I’ll be posting about it here, now and again.  Also I’m using the portfolio feature to host all of the images + project descriptions here on, so I’m kicking around in the dashboard anyway, might as well poke my head out.

WordPress is 9 years old

That is shocking to me.  My resume says i have like.. ~6-7 years experience with WordPress.  A recruiter asked me if WordPress had even been around that long.  Sounds shocking, but the math ain’t wrong.  Been 4+ years that WordPress has been my day job…

Selling A GPL product is a bad idea

I would not think this sort of thing would need to be explained to someone like matt mullenweg. Here’s the comment I left on his blog, which will probably not make it past the great firewall of matt:

I think I’m missing something –
so I make this “killer” GPL, CSS only theme. you sell it for $50, on the premise that it’s not a generic XXL poncho (I know you said pink, but what you meant was gray with a blue hood). Immediately on release, any self-hosted blog can download it and install it themselves. Since it’s CSS-only, anyone on can pay for the CSS Upgrade and start using it. Suddenly it seems like my theme is another XXL poncho, and the guy who bought it trying to get a unique design is seriously screwed.
I must be thinking about this wrong.

It’s not that there aren’t perfectly valid revenue models based on the GPL. It’s just that this is the only one that isn’t. Once a GPL slice of code is released1. There are (very few) projects that actually sell GPL-ed code. X-chat for windows is the one that comes to mind. It works because compiling source code on windows is such a pain. The more viable methods of making money from GPL software include selling support2, and selling proprietary add-ons.

The way the latter option works with wordpress themes is that the underlying PHP has to be GPL, but the CSS can be any license. Matt, instead is looking for CSS-only, GPL themes. This gets extra bizarre in that any CSS-only theme can be implemented by anyone with the CSS upgrade. Since the themes are GPL, automattic can’t even legally suggest that they shouldn’t do that.

Designing premium themes is already a tough market. At least designers willing to handle the storefront themselves aren’t further hampered by having to open-source their graphics. Arpit is right to question the sensibility of such a marketplace, and Michael Martin reaches a similar conclusion.

  1. Meaning, once it’s been bought, but in this context, Matt is saying that it will also be made available to self-hosted users (back ↩)
  2. CSS support on is currently volunteer-only, staff refuse to touch it (back ↩)

Walk in the Shadows for

This CSS design is an experiment in layout. There are two sidebars stacked vertically. The second sidebar stacks horizonally, visually making 2 sidebars out of 1.  


Walk in the Shadows


A List Apart’s article on typesetting (followed to the letter because IE sucks)
Joen Asmussen’s brilliant idea about adding columns without touching the markup
Dezinerfolio’s web2.0 layer styles
KDE‘s Oxygen icons project
Datestamps inspired by the cover of Eero Saarinen, designed by CoDe Communication and Design


CC-GNU <acronym title='GNU General Public License'><span class='caps'><acronym title='GNU General Public License'><span class='caps'>GPL</span></acronym></span></acronym> This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; version 2 of the License.


Walk in the Shadows CSS

Promised Land for

This design is a single column, fixed width theme, with 2 footer widget areas. 1 area contains 4 widgets that stack horizontally, the other area contains horizontal widgets that stack vertically. The main page highlights the first post, and shows the next 4 as links below the first.  


Promised Land Screenshot


Some abuse of a stock photo by Ryan Ford.
Based on “for elaine“, which became archGFX v02.


CC-GNU <acronym title='GNU General Public License'><span class='caps'>GPL</span></acronym> This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; version 2 of the License.

Creative Commons License

This design is dual-licensed as Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License. Where possible, please include a link to this page for attribution.


Select the Sandbox-10 theme (currently on page 4).  Then open the download link below, and copy the contents into the Edit CSS box, Making sure to check the “Start from scratch and just use this” box.


Promised Land CSS