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WordPress vs. Thesis: Can WP Themes Be Non-GPL?

by Antone Roundy | 8 Comments | Blogging , Issues/Problems

Wow, what a stormy issue this has become! The following was going to be a follow-up comment over on Andy Beard's blog , but it got a little too long. Here's my take on the issue:

I guess I see it a little differently. Let me see if I can explain in a way that at least makes sense, even if it doesn't change anybody's mind :-)

First, the WP developers' code is, and should be, fully protected. If Chris were to take any files from WordPress and distribute them with Thesis without making Thesis GPL, he'd be violating their license. If he were to copy any of their code into Thesis, he'd likewise be violating their license.

Either of those would be essentially equivalent to static linking. Since PHP isn't a compiled language, there's technically no such thing as statically linked PHP. Essentially, if any code taken from WordPress were in the files being distributed with Thesis, that'd be equivalent to static linking. If on the other hand, the code in Thesis is unique, but just talks to whatever WordPress files are on the server, that's like dynamic linking.

But getting to my main point -- Chris' "moral" argument is that the WP developers get to control the license under which the code they wrote is distributed, and he gets to control the license under which the code he wrote is distributed. Unless the files he's distributing include code that they wrote, or code he created by modifying or "copying" code that they wrote, then to assert control over the licensing of the code he wrote is overstepping their copyright rights.

Since the GPL's power comes from copyright, it can't extend their rights beyond the control that copyright gives them. So I believe the LEGAL question comes down on Chris' side (assuming he hasn't in any way "copied" code from WordPress...I am not a lawyer).

The moral question is a bit more difficult to sort out. Clearly, the WP developers have no moral objection to people using WordPress on commercial websites, so it's not the fact that Chris is profiting that's the problem.

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Nor is the issue that, in broad terms, WordPress and Thesis are cooperating to deliver the blog content (if that were the problem, they'd also object to WordPress running on Windows-based servers, for example, since Windows isn't GPL'd).

Nor, I believe, are the WP developers claiming that Thesis contains code "copied" from WordPress, although that may depend on the exact meaning of the word "copied". At least if there are any allegations of code copying, I believe that's not the main point of contention. In other words, even if any parts of Thesis that were seen as "copied" were removed or rewritten with totally unique code, I don't think everyone would be satisfied.

The way I'm hearing it, the people on the WP side feel that, since WP is given away under the GPL, other code in the WP ecosystem (ie. themes and plugins) should be distributed under equally permissive licenses. Using a more restrictive license while benefiting from the more lenient license violates people's sense of fairness.

While I understand that, from my perspective, it's difficult to argue that plugins and themes must be open sourced, but, for example, WordPress can be used to publish content that's not distributed under a Creative Commons license. In both cases (non-GPL theme, non-CC content), somebody's profiting using software they got for free. In both cases, they're licensing their "product" more restrictively than the GPL. In neither case are they profiting by distributing somebody else's work. In neither case are they hurting the "market" for the GPL'd software.

Plugins and themes FEEL close to being "derived from" WordPress because of how tightly they work together. But just to give one more example to illustrate my point of view -- let's say somebody had published a product that was completely independent of WordPress (we'll call it CaRP Evolution :-). Now let's say one day they decided to write a WordPress plugin to act as a "shim" between it and WordPress so that WordPress users could benefit from CaRP and CaRP users could benefit from WordPress. Surely, no one would argue that CaRP would then have to be released under the GPL, right?

In case anyone says yes, consider this -- what if the WordPress plugin were written by a third party? Clearly, that person has no authority to suck CaRP into the GPL.

Now let's imagine we went back in time, and when CaRP was first developed, a WordPress plugin were developed and packaged with it -- can CaRP be non-GPL now? At most, you might argue that the plugin should be GPL'd (I'd disagree...but wouldn't care that much).

So let's apply this to Thesis. If Thesis were written in such a way that any code that directly interfaced with the WordPress API were combined into files that were separate from the files that do all the stuff that's unique to Thesis (or at least for which Chris has independently created his own implementation), even if the "shim" files should be released under the GPL, how can you argue that the WP developers should be able to exercise control over the unique parts?

Would you feel any differently if Thesis included shims for other, non-GPL blogging systems? Surely, that COULD be done. Why does it matter that it hasn't been?

At the very least, I'd have to agree with Chris that he has the right to control the licensing for the unique code he's written.

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8 responses:.

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Your case with CaRP is the kind of work-around I suggest with classes, or effectively what Automattic themself use with Akismet. It is also the same as applications that sit on top of Linux rather than modules that "taint" the source (sometimes for justifiable reasons such as interfacing with proprietary hardware)

In the case of Thesis a developer who was working on Thesis 18 months ago copied large chunks of code, and it is even documented in the source. http://www.andrewnacin.com/2010/07/15/thesis-gpl/

As more and more code is now put under the microscope, not just from core code, but also from the plugin repository, I am sure more examples will emerge.

Thesis up until 1.7 - even 1.8 beta is now effectively "tainted" with GPL. I am not a lawyer but my non-lawyer opinion is that Chris is screwed.

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Thanks for the link. I haven't followed this discussion enough to have seen that before. The example shown at http://drewblas.com/2010/07/15/an-analysis-of-gpled-code-in-thesis/ was particularly convincing.

Although I'd still assert that it's POSSIBLE to create a theme or plugin that isn't derivative, it now looks to me like Chris has crossed the line.

[...] WordPress vs Thesis Can WP Themes be Non-GPL? [...]

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OK, I have poked through the tweets, read the posts, listened to the debate bubbling away in the background, and now I have heard both Chris and Matt put their respective sides of the argument. So I now hold, what I would consider to be, at least a semi-informed view on the issue.

I can see both sides of the disagreement, but I have to say, I think Matt's line of reasoning is the better informed, the most public spirited and the one which has already and would continue to benefit the online community the most.

Chris way over-estimates the importance of Thesis to the WordPress community, and his position in that community. Somewhat speciously, he uses this inflated estimate of its worth to argue he should not be subject to a license that was in place long before he built Thesis and upon which he was entitled, in fact as a businessman, obliged, to read and understand before so doing .

I am also astonished at how rude, boorish and over-bearing Chris was in trying to dominate the debate, and had I known his views and understood the issues a little sooner, I would never have bought Thesis.

I wish I could keep my temper in check, as Matt did, but I know myself better than that. So I tried to think what I could do to help, instead of just getting mad, and this is what I decided.

Because of the overriding benefit to the online community, even though he will surely prevail; I don't think Matt should have to put up his own money to fight a law case to prove the validity of the GPL which is, in effect, on our behalf.

Therefore, I think the GPL should be tested another way. If you have bought a version of Thesis from DIY Themes (Chris Pearson’s company), or from any other website, you can click this link now and join the "Thesis Class Action Suit" list at http://virtualcrowds.org/thesis-class-action , and let’s see just how many people agree with Chris, and how many with Matt and the GPL.

Not being a lawyer, I don't know whether a class action suit by Thesis buyers could get approved. It seems to me that Thesis buyers may have difficulty convincing the courts that they've been harmed in a way that would give them standing to sue. If Thesis violates the GPL, then it's WordPress that's been harmed.

Whether this would be a good test case for the validity of the GPL is another good question. If Thesis contains code copied from WordPress that can't be defended by a fair use argument, then the case could be decided strictly on copyright issues.

If Thesis doesn't contain copied code, then it becomes a question of whether using a product's API makes something a "derivative work" (and perhaps how tightly the two products have to be integrated for that to be the case), which again, is a copyright issue. The fact that the GPL was used to grant usage rights to the copyrighted material is secondary, and may be pretty much ignored by the courts.

Copyright holders do have power to control distribution of derivative works. I guess the question is whether that control can be used to force a derivative product to be licensed under the GPL, or whether you can only get damages and an injunction against further distribution if it isn't.

[...] happening in real time.WordPress GPL couldn’t “infect” something like CaRP (the RSS display & processing system) even if Antone bundled a WP plugin directly with CaRP as all the plugin would do is provide an [...]

[...] theme is a derivative of the WordPress program, then Thesis should be GPL, too. See the articles on Geckotribe and Mixergy for more on this [...]

[...] WordPress vs. Thesis: Can WP Themes Be Non-GPL? argues well about static and dynamic linking, and beyond. [...]

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  • Development


If you aren’t altogether comfortable with editing PHP files to customize your site, OpenHook is for you! An increasing number of themes & plugins come equipped with a myriad of hooks — points within their code which can receive user customizations, known as actions — which can be customized from within your WordPress admin panel using OpenHook!

OpenHook brings the world of hooks & actions to the mainstream, providing an easy to use admin interface in which you can customize your site without limit, whether you’re using HTML/CSS/JavaScript or PHP!

  • Customize the hooks present in your favorite themes!
  • Define any hook you want within OpenHook and add an action to it! In addition to the themes which OpenHook supports explicitly, you can now use OpenHook to customize ANY hook (even something as arcane as theme_hook_before_meta_987 ) in ANY theme or plugin that has ANY hooks, from WordPress’ bare minimum hooks to hooks that are dynamically created and are as infinitely diverse as your site can be!
  • Predefined hooks for Astra, the world’s most popular non-default WordPress theme!
  • Also included are hooks for legacy themes Headway, Thesis 1.8.x, Flat, and K2.
  • OpenBox, a PHP-friendly “box” for Thesis 2
  • Quick access to the header & footer hooks of WordPress
  • All hooks can be customized with text, HTML/CSS/JavaScript, PHP, or shortcodes
  • All actions can be selectively disabled
  • A variety of actions already present in Flat, Thesis 1.8.x, and WordPress can be selectively disabled
  • Hook visualization allows you to see exactly where each hook is fired on the front-end of your site
  • [email], for masking email addresses from some spam robots
  • [global], which makes use of custom fields on a draft page in order to provide a library of reusable strings
  • [php], an admin-only shortcode for including PHP code within posts
  • [snap], an easy way to include (nearly) always up-to-date screenshots of websites within your posts
  • Ability to disable all shortcodes
  • Display of phpinfo() in the admin panel
  • Options management, including tools to upgrade from OpenHook 2 and to uninstall (delete) all OpenHook options
  • Only users with the edit_themes permission may access OpenHook or its features. If enabled by such a user, other users may use [email] or [global] shortcodes in their entries as well.
  • Compatible with ClassicPress!


wp thesis

After you have downloaded the file and extracted the thesis-openhook/ directory from the archive…

  • Upload the entire thesis-openhook/ directory to the wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  • Activate the plugin through the Plugins menu in WordPress.
  • Visit Settings -> OpenHook and customize to your heart’s content!

Alternatively, you can use WordPress’ automatic plugin installer. Go ahead, it’s easier!

How does OpenBox work in Thesis 2.1.x?

First, ensure you have enabled OpenBox in the Thesis 2.1.x “boxes” screen (OpenBox should be checkmarked and you’ll need to press the save button).

Second, visit the Thesis skin editor. Add instances of OpenBox from the boxes dropdown menu, and drag them into your skin template wherever you would like them to be. I recommend opening each instance of OpenBox (via the gear icon) and giving it a unique name so that they are not all “OpenBox.”

Finally, once you have saved your template, return to the regular admin panel and visit Thesis’ skin content page. On this page, you’ll be shown a list of all of the custom boxes, including OpenBoxes, you’ve added to your template, at which point you can edit them to your liking.

Yes, this is convoluted, and for that I apologize; fortunately, it isn’t my fault.

I upgraded from OpenHook 2.x.x; where did all of my customizations go?

OpenHook 3 and newer does not automatically import pre-existing customizations. You will need to visit the OpenHook settings page accessible at Settings -> OpenHook; once there, you can use the “Upgrade from OpenHook 2” button to import your pre-existing customizations to the new schema. You’ll then need to activate the Thesis & WordPress action groups as needed from the same settings page.

I don’t use one of the supported themes; can I still use this plugin?

Of course! However, what you are able to do with OpenHook will be limited. Still, you will have access to WordPress’ few public-facing hooks, the new shortcodes, and the phpinfo() panel.

Where can I get the supported themes?

  • Astra can be downloaded at the WordPress theme repository .
  • Headway can be purchased at Headway Themes .
  • Themes which support the Theme Hook Alliance hooks are listed at GitHub .
  • Flat is no longer available.
  • K2 is no longer available.
  • Thesis is no longer available.

What about the code in my theme’s custom functions file?

If you have already modified your theme’s installation via functions.php , custom_functions.php , or some other similar file, you are welcome to port those changes into OpenHook to manage all of your changes in one place.

Note that your blog will use both your theme’s custom functions and OpenHook, so the two are complementary.

Likewise, your theme’s custom functions file will be processed after OpenHook, so you can override OpenHook via the custom functions file, if you need to.

Why can only certain users on my site access OpenHook?

Due to the powerful nature of OpenHook, access is restricted only to the highest level of users (i.e., those with the edit_themes permission).

What are the security risks involved in using OpenHook?

OpenHook is a powerful tool for customizing your site; however, with great power comes, ahem, great responsibility. You are able to use any (ANY!) PHP code within your OpenHook-managed customizations; any other administrators on your site with access to OpenHook can do the same. The freedom allowed means that database credentials could be displayed, your database could be deleted, or your entire site could be defaced. Therefore, while OpenHook certainly can be dangerous, if you have only trusted administrators on your site, you have nothing to worry about.

Why is K2 included?

K2 is a pretty old WordPress theme — an abandoned one, for all I can tell. However, it was the first theme that ever had a “hooks” plugin made for it — K2 Hook Up, which the first version of OpenHook was based upon. The K2 theme is included to honor its place in WordPress history. OpenHook now allows access to all of its hooks, including one which K2 Hook Up didn’t! I would also love to see a theme developer pick up K2 and update it for today’s users. It’s a great theme that shouldn’t fade away completely.

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Contributors & developers.

“OpenHook” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

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Translate “OpenHook” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code , check out the SVN repository , or subscribe to the development log by RSS .

  • [added] Show notice if DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT = true
  • [changed] Removed call to deprecated screen icon function
  • [changed] Removed Dreamhost affiliate link, Facebook buttons, and Twitter link
  • [changed] Updated some verbiage and sidebar links
  • [changed] Tested up to WordPress 6.3.1
  • [changed] Tested up to ClassicPress 1.7.0
  • [changed] Removed closing slashes from self-closing HTML tags
  • [fix] Server Info page works again
  • [security] Prevent access to using [php] shortcode in ajax
  • [added] Support for Astra, the world’s most popular non-default WordPress theme
  • [added] Introduced new Snap shortcode for including easy website screenshots within posts
  • [changed] Minor cleanup of obsolete links and other items throughout
  • [changed] Slight refinement of admin panel layout
  • [changed] Some localization strings have changed
  • [fixed] load_plugin_textdomain() changed to properly reference the /languages directory (thanks pm1932)
  • [changed] Localization namespace is now thesis-openhook to conform to WordPress’ guideline that this namespace match OpenHook’s slug in the plugins repository (see https://make.wordpress.org/plugins/2015/09/01/plugin-translations-on-wordpress-org/)
  • [changed] Author links updated to reflect current domain and Twitter account
  • [added] Ability to define custom hooks and to then add actions to them, effectively opening OpenHook support to all hooks across all WordPress themes!
  • [added] New themes: K2
  • [added] Ability to specify priorities on actions
  • [added] Access to the WordPress hook comment_form
  • [added] Include FB like button in admin panel sidebar
  • [fixed] Contact form link now works
  • [fixed] Asterisks denoting that a hook has customizations added to it are now more accurate
  • [fixed] OpenHook version and the Flat & THA hook options are now properly deleted when deleting OpenHook options
  • [fixed] OpenHook::upgrade() ‘s “is an upgraded needed?” checks now actually work, preventing upgrade code from processing on every page load
  • [fixed] More WP_DEBUG notices taken care of
  • [changed] OpenHook admin panels are more responsive on smaller screens
  • [changed] Only one theme’s actions may be enabled at one time, saving processor power & preventing hook name conflicts
  • [changed] Explicitly adhere to semantic versioning going forward
  • [changed] OpenHook CSS is now minified
  • [changed] File structure organized
  • [changed] Simplified admin panel tabs to only highlight active action groups
  • [added] Flat hooks
  • [added] Theme Hook Alliance hooks
  • [fixed] OpenBox is now compatible with Thesis 2.1.x
  • [changed] Various text & links throughout OpenHook admin panel
  • [changed] Optimized various bits of code, bringing it in line with WP coding standards
  • [changed] Admin sidebar no longer appears on the server info page
  • [fixed] Fixed broken class calls in options management functions
  • [added] Now supporting Headway theme hooks!
  • [added] Shortcodes manager introduced!
  • [added] Users can now choose whether all hook panels are displayed or just one at a time
  • [added] PHP shortcode – Arbitrary PHP code in your posts! (Admin users only.)
  • [added] Email shortcode – Encodes email addresses for use in posts to thwart harvesters
  • [added] Global shortcode – Take advantage of custom fields on a draft post to create a library of strings which may be used in any post
  • [changed] Various code optimizations
  • [added] OpenBox – a box added to Thesis 2’s box management, allowing for arbitrary code in Thesis 2’s skin editor
  • [changed] OpenHook is now programmed as a class to allow its code to be self-contained. More code refinements will be coming
  • [changed] Plugin is now named simply “OpenHook.” Viva la simplicity!
  • [fixed] thesis_hook_after_post_box restored. Hat tip: Doug Foster
  • [added] Hook visualization (Based upon http://headwaythemes.com/headway-hooks-visualized/)
  • [changed] Improved handling of the options management functions (upgrade/delete options)
  • [changed] When action groups are disabled, the hook pages now include a nag stating as much
  • [fixed] Warnings about empty arrays when activating action groups
  • [fixed] Bumped to make the repository update
  • [added] Hooks with customizations are marked with asterisks in the dropdown select box
  • [changed] Add link to phpinfo() under Tools menu
  • [changed] Verbiage for unhooking updated
  • [fixed] Many undefined variable errors
  • [fixed] Slashes are now properly stripped when upgrading from 2.x.x
  • [fixed] Default Thesis 404 content can now be properly removed
  • [fixed] Rare issue where the general settings panel doesn’t fully appear
  • [changed] Total rewrite of the plugin
  • [added] phpinfo() panel
  • [added] per-hook disabling of custom actions
  • [added] option to process shortcodes on custom actions
  • [added] ability to choose which actions to process (WordPress’ or Thesis’ or both’s)
  • [added] ability to remove all OpenHook options
  • [removed] several deprecated options
  • [fixed] Remember the typos fixed in 2.3.1? There were others I should have caught then. I’m a terrible proofreader, but thanks, Dean (http://www.doublejoggingstrollershq.com/), for catching them!
  • [fixed] Fixed two stupid typos that killed everything that was right with the world. Well, they broke the plugin anyway. Thanks, Jim (http://doggybytes.ca/), for reporting so quickly!
  • [added] Thesis 1.7’s four new hooks are now included.
  • [removed] OpenHook’s file editing panels have been removed — Thesis has these by default now.
  • [changed] Readme.txt updated.
  • [fixed] Reverted change introduced in 2.2.3 regarding stripping of slashes
  • [fixed] Fixed a syntax error, reported by multiple users.
  • [fixed] Fixed a bug which prevented the After Teasers Box hook from saving properly. Thanks, Michael Curving.
  • [fixed] Fixed an issue where the file editors would strip slashes unnecessarily. Thanks, Kristarella.
  • Version: 4.3.1
  • Last updated: 1 month ago
  • Active installations: 2,000+
  • WordPress Version: 4.1 or higher
  • Tested up to: 6.3.2
  • Tags: astra custom code flat headway k2
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Databases by Type: Dissertations & Theses

  • Databases by Type > Dissertations & Theses

Related Guides

  • Databases by Type: WPI Student Research: IQPs & MQPs; Theses & Dissertations by No Preference Last Updated Jul 19, 2023 2238 views this year

Dissertations & Theses Databases

  • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global This link opens in a new window ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) Global is the world's most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world, offering millions of works from thousands of universities. Each year hundreds of thousands of works are added. Full-text coverage spans from 1743 to the present, with citation coverage dating back to 1637.
  • Electronic Theses & Dissertations Collection This link opens in a new window Search Digital WPI for electronic files of completed WPI graduate theses & dissertations from 2004 to present (and selected earlier works). more... less... Coverage: 2004 - Full Text: Yes
  • NDLTD (Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations) This link opens in a new window The Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) is an international organization dedicated to promoting the adoption, creation, use, dissemination, and preservation of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). We support electronic publishing and open access to scholarship in order to enhance the sharing of knowledge worldwide. more... less... Coverage: 1980- Full Text: Yes
  • EBSCO Open Dissertations This link opens in a new window OpenDissertations.org is a collaboration between EBSCO and BiblioLabs that brings an innovative approach to increasing traffic and discoverability of ETD research. This new collaboration extends the work started in 2014, when EBSCO and the H.W. Wilson Foundation created American Doctoral Dissertations which contained indexing from the H.W. Wilson print publication, Doctoral Dissertations Accepted by American Universities, 1933-1955. In 2015, the H.W. Wilson Foundation agreed to support the expansion of the scope of the American Doctoral Dissertations database to include records for dissertations and theses from 1955 to the present.
  • UMI Dissertation Express This link opens in a new window Search keywords, authors, or titles to find complete citation information for many theses and dissertations completed in North America and Europe since 1861. Request items through WPI's ILLiad Interlibrary loan service. more... less... Coverage: 1861- Full Text: No

Catalog of books (and other materials) in libraries worldwide.

Additional Websites

  • British Library Thesis Service
  • Caltech Theses
  • Center for Research Libraries foreign dissertations
  • Cybertesis.net Provides access to many theses from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (National University of San Marcos) in Peru
  • EThOS Full text of theses from the British Library and other universities in Great Britain. This is running in beta at the moment
  • MIT Document Services: Master's and Doctoral Theses
  • University of Queensland Library Catalogue For global works try national library catalog of specific countries
  • Open Access Theses and Dissertations OATD.org aims to be the best possible resource for finding open access graduate theses and dissertations published around the world. Metadata (information about the theses) comes from over 1100 colleges, universities, and research institutions. OATD currently indexes 6,595,987 theses and dissertations.
  • Theses Canada Portal
  • Last Updated: Jul 19, 2023 9:35 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.wpi.edu/dissertations

How can we help?

The Art of WordPress Theme Design

S ince 2006, I’ve been on a mission to improve and perfect the WordPress theming process. This journey continues today with my two flagship projects— Thesis , which is a WordPress Theme engine, and Focus , which is a Thesis Skin.

What’s a Thesis Skin, you ask? Well…

With traditional WordPress Themes, the designer must consider far too many technical things like standardized HTML markup, SEO concerns, and WordPress and Plugin compatibilities.

Thesis Skins eliminate the need for website owners, designers, and developers to consider hardcore technical stuff.

Even better, they open the door to amazing new possibilities thanks to a deep WordPress integration and a powerful API that makes it easy to do anything with your website.

Below you’ll find the original introductory articles to my WordPress Themes. For current information on Thesis and Focus , please check out my business website, DIYthemes .

  • 📖 Cutline and PressRow Removed from WordPress.com
  • 📖 Thesis Theme for WordPress
  • 📖 The Neoclassical 3-Column Theme for WordPress
  • 📖 Copyblogger Theme for WordPress
  • 📖 Cutline Theme for WordPress
  • 📖 PressRow Theme for WordPress

© Chris Pearson 2005-2023. All rights reserved.



Better Alternatives to Thesis Theme Framework

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Once upon a time, Thesis Theme was the gold standard for WordPress themes. More of a framework than a standalone theme, Thesis is an incredibly flexible backbone that let you craft nearly any type of design or site.

But several (debatable) missteps by Thesis’s developer (DIY Themes) have damaged its reputation, and dozens of high-profile bloggers have jumped ship. Pat Flynn, Matt Cutts and Harsh Agrawal all dumped Thesis Theme in favor of alternatives (most moved to Genesis).

Nowadays, few new sites are built on Thesis as there are dozens of better (and cheaper) options.

These are the best Thesis Theme alternatives worth considering.

Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework & Genesis Pro

Genesis is easily the closest competitor to Thesis Theme both in terms of design and longevity. Initially launched in 2010 (2 years after Thesis), Genesis is a survivor in a crowded industry. And legions of talented devs swear by it.

Like Thesis, Genesis is a framework, meaning it’s meant to be used with a child theme (to handle the styling) while Genesis powers the functions behind the site.

Benefits of Genesis

  • Steep learning curve
  • Non-devs need to buy a professional child-theme
  • No visual styling controls
  • Many tutorials are gated behind paywalls

Our Take: Genesis is an excellent backbone for sites managed by a developer, but isn’t the best choice for most solo-bloggers. It’s hard to customize and relies on a php-based hook system to change layouts and edit the theme’s front-end. I built my first WordPress site on Genesis, but have since moved it to GeneratePress.

Pro Tip: Dynamik Child Theme adds visual styling controls and pre-built ‘skins’ which makes Genesis much more accessible to non-coders. It’s a great child theme, and one I’ve used personally on multiple sites.

GeneratePress Theme

GeneratePress Theme & Framework

GeneratePress is what Genesis could have been if it was built for the average WordPress user.

It’s an incredibly powerful framework-like theme that can be used to build any type of website. But it’s still accessible to non-coders thanks to the excellent addons bundled with GeneratePress Premium.

The premium version lets you build site components with Gutenberg blocks (headers & footers for example) or inject any type of content into the dozens of hook locations built into GeneratePress templates.

Want to insert a custom opt-in form at the top of posts in a specific category? This is incredibly easy to do with a few clicks inside the GeneratePress Elements module, and you never have to touch PHP code (unlike Genesis).

Advantages of GeneratePress Theme

  • Few 3rd-party child themes available
  • Some customizations require PHP snippets (free via support forum)
  • Prioritizes flexibility over simplicity

I personally use GeneratePress on most of my latest projects (including this website). There’s a bit of a learning curve to harness its full power, but once you do you’ll feel like Neo in the Matrix.

Our Take: If you’re a WordPress power-user or have same basic CSS skills, GeneratePress could be the perfect Thesis Alternative. Especially if you’re speed-obsessed like we are. There’s a free version but it’s quite limited. I highly recommend going pro .

Astra is the #1 most popular theme in the WordPress repository

Astra is the most-downloaded theme in the WordPress repository, surpassing 1 million installs.

In many ways its very similar to GeneratePress. It’s quite flexible with adjustable layouts and relies on a hook system for customization.

The free version of Astra has better styling controls than most of the other themes on this list, and Pro upgrade makes it even better. Pro gives you a hooks module, header builder, more styling controls, and better layout/design options.

Compared to Thesis, Astra is a revelation. Not only is it easily customizable by beginners, even the free version is usable. You can even import full demo sites (from a limited site library) in Astra free.

Personally, I chose GeneratePress over Astra (I own both, though) because of the better quality of the support team, the cheaper lifetime license, and better Gutenberg integration. But I also am well versed in CSS and passable at PHP. For Beginners, Astra may be the better choice.

Advantages of Astra Theme

  • Some frustrating quirks and missing documentation
  • Support can be flaky

Blocksy Theme site library and demos

Blocksy is a relative newcomer, but I’m incredibly impressed by both the quality and general approach Blocksy takes to theming.

Like Thesis (and the other themes above), Blocksy is designed more like a flexible framework. But it packs even more power under the hood than competitors like Astra & GeneratePress.

And it’s even easier to use than those themes too. In fact, the primary drawback of Blocksy might be the shear overwhelming capability it has.

Here’s a sampling of what you get with Blocksy pro:

  • Theme hooks
  • Inject Gutenberg blocks into any hook or layout
  • Custom sidebars (conditionally loaded per category or even per page)
  • Visual menu builder (mega menu)
  • Woocommerce Integration
  • Adobe Typekit and Google fonts integration
  • Local font hosting
  • Per-page CSS and Javascript injection (optional)

Whew, that’s a lot. And if you’re a power-user, Blocksy might be your dream theme.

Kadence Theme

Kadence theme demo pages and examples

Kadence Theme is very similar in concept to Astra and GeneratePress, though the team takes a different approach to customization.

It’s got customizer controls for typography, branding and colors. But that’s just a start. You also get full layout control, including customizable sidebars, headers, footers and menus.

Kadence lets you visually build your header and footer with an intuitive drag-n-drop interface. Or you can just import a pre-built template from their extensive site library.

Advantages of Kadence Theme

  • Support average, not outstanding
  • No Gutenberg integration (insert blocks into hooks)

Avada Theme is a compelling alternative to Thesis if you want a pay-once license.

Avada is one of the bestselling premium themes of all time, and one of the few that I recommend from the Themeforest marketplace.

Not only is it incredibly flexible, but Avada comes with a ton of pre-built layouts and starter sites that can save you hours of time that you’d spend on setup on customization.

Avada is more like a classic theme than Thesis (less of a framework) but is still highly flexible. Add to that an integrated page builder (which also works as a theme builder) and you’ve got a powerful package.

And because of Themeforest’s licensing, you only pay once but get updates for life, which can be a better deal than recurring licenses like Astra and Thesis if you only need it for one site.

Advantages of Avada

  • No lifetime license
  • Support limited to 1 year
  • No Gutenberg integration
  • Theme lock-in

Divi theme

Divi isn’t for everyone, but there’s no arguing with its success. According to WPThemedetector, it’s the #2 most popular WordPress theme (behind Genesis).

Divi’s success is a direct result of it’s usability. Even novice WP users can get full control over their site’s design and layout. It’s infinitely customizable with the integrated Divi page builder.

And you don’t just get to control basics like typography, colors and widget areas. You get full template control and can easily build new templates for your posts, pages, or custom post types. This level of customization usually requires PHP abilities, but Divi makes it drag-and-drop simple.

Of course all of this comes at a cost, mostly speed and lock-in risk (hard to switch to another theme without rebuilding your entire site). That’s not to say Divi is slow, but it’s easy to overdo it with so much power at your fingertips.

Advantages of Divi

  • Can get bloated

OceanWP theme

OceanWP is quite similar to Astra and GeneratePress in its flexible framework-y approach. But this is no cookie cutter clone.

OceanWP differentiates itself with its bundled modular extensions (in pro) which let you bolt on all kinds of functionality. Whether it’s a GDPR cookie notice, off-canvas panel, sticky widgets, or custom footer, OceanWP has you covered.

And you can enable only the modules you need, keeping your site leaner and load times faster.

But OceanWP doesn’t stop there. There’s deep integration with both WooCommerce and Elementor. OceanWP Pro even comes with custom Elementor widgets, making it a great choice if Elementor is your page builder of choice.

Pricing: OceanWP Pro starts at $29/year

What happened to Thesis Theme?

Thesis theme originally launched in 2008 and quickly achieved god-like status in the WordPress community. It was frequently mentioned as the go-to framework for WordPress power-users and high-traffic blogs.

The first spot of tr ouble came when Matt Mullenweg (the creator of WordPress) announced that all WordPress themes needed to be GPL-licensed in order to be listed in the WordPress repository. Matt took it further and contented that anything built atop WordPress was GPL by definition.

Chris Pearson (creator of Thesis) held out and refused to change the theme’s licensing. As a result, sales plateaued and the feud dragged on in public for years.

In the meantime, Thesis angered some of its customizers directly by refusing to support Yoast SEO (the most popular SEO plugin at the time). Despite Thesis’s built-in SEO functionality, this was a dealbreaker for many bloggers. And I don’t blame them.

Eventually, Pearson capitulated and decided that the next generation of Thesis Theme (Thesis 2.0) would be GPL-compatible. Unfortunately, the Thesis upgrade wasn’t managed well (according to several thesis devotees).

One of the most noticeable errors was the lack of good documentation before the release, making the migration from 1.X to Thesis 2.0 incredibly painful. This was the last straw for well-known blogger Harsh Agrawal.

Thesis Theme google trends chart

Since 2012 (the year Thesis 2 was released) interest has dwindled, and it’s well outside the top 25 most popular themes now, behind even aged releases like the official twenty-twelve theme.

Though it’s still around, Thesis Theme isn’t the go-to option for many new sites. There are so many better, more powerful themes available that Thesis has largely fallen by the wayside.

And it’s not just about functionality, it’s about documentation and education too. There are hundreds of free tutorials for Genesis, GeneratePress and Astra that will hand-hold you through the entire site-building process.

But for Thesis? Not so much.

Themes I recommend instead of Thesis:

  • GeneratePress – Best if you know some CSS, want Gutenberg integration and value top-notch support.
  • OceanWP – Great for beginners without being overwhelming. A great choice if you use Elementor.
  • Blocksy – Blocksy is perfect if you want maximum control over the look of your site, without touching PHP code.
  • Genesis – Genesis is really only viable for developers (you need PHP abilities to customize it). But it’s still one of the most popular and best supported frameworks, and is the closest cousin to Thesis.

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Wordpress Plugins

7 must see wordpress plugins for thesis.

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There was a time when we did not cover Thesis here. We considered it to be difficult for newbies to master. Many folks who pick up Thesis have unrealistic expectations anyway. Since adopting the Thesis theme, we are very impressed with how easy it is to customize. In order to customize your Thesis theme, you need to know your way around hooks. Knowing your CSS and PHP is a good idea too. These 7 plugins enhance Thesis’ features and let you get even more out it:

wp thesis

SEO Data Transporter : one of the biggest challenges of adopting the Thesis theme is transporting your SEO options from your old theme. This plugin is designed to handle that part.

wp thesis

Thesis Toolbar : adds useful admin links for the Thesis Theme to your WordPress toolbar. It is a time saver.

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Ultimate Thesis Theme Options : a useful plugin if you have trouble customizing the Thesis theme. You won’t have to know any PHP to get started with this.

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The OpenHook Customizations Manager : a nice plugin for customizing Thesis from your admin panel. Another time-saving Thesis plugin.

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ThesisReady Product Manager : if you have downloaded Thesis child themes to your server but don’t know how to get them to work, this plugin can help. Works with ThesisReady child themes.

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  • 4 Cool Plugins To Enhance Your Thesis-based Blog
  • Thesis 1.7 vs. Thesis 1.6: What Has Changed
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  • Enhance Thesis Theme with Thesis OpenHook

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MSc theses online

MSc theses online is a collection of students' theses successfully defended at Wageningen University.

The database is updated daily. Most of the MSc theses are from 2010 onwards. Not all MSc theses are available in this database.

Use the searchbox below or go directly to MSc theses online .

In MSc theses online you'll find publicly available MSc students' theses defended at Wageningen University. Mostly from 2010 onwards.

Recent MSc theses

Case study: captive amur leopards (panthera pardus orientalis) under solitary and social living conditions, the impact of prior attitudes towards cultured and traditional meat and message framing in shaping consumer acceptance of cultured meat, assessing the factors influencing forest regrowth in south america.

Collecting online MSc theses started in 2010. Therefore, most of the MSc theses in this collection have a publication date of 2010 or later. In some cases, e.g. embargo, the full text of a MSc thesis found in this repository is not yet available. To find more Wageningen University MSc theses, including older hard copies, use the WUR Library Search and search by title and/or author. WUR chair groups have different policies regarding the publication of student theses. Therefore not all MSc theses are available.

Free guide: 👀 The internet has changed— has your site changed with it?

What’s New in Thesis 1.8.5, and What’s the Deal with Thesis 2?

This article is deprecated! Any technical information refers to software versions that are now obsolete. Please visit the DIYthemes Blog for current updates, or check out the old Thesis Blog for a treasure trove of website marketing insights.

It’s that time again, folks. Last week, WordPress dropped version 3.4, and today, we’re releasing Thesis 1.8.5 to keep you on the cutting edge.

Of course, we’ve also been extremely busy with Thesis 2, and at the end of this post, I’ll share an update on our progress. But first, let’s take a look at Thesis 1.8.5.

Our team has been working hard to ensure Thesis has the best WordPress Multisite integration in the business, and many of the changes in 1.8.5 improve on an already-awesome multisite experience. Here’s what’s new on that front:

  • Fixed theme preview in WordPress 3.4 for normal and multisite installations
  • Improved multisite post thumbnail handling on a wider variety of server setups
  • Resolved layout.css error message in multisite that appeared (wrongly) due to certain user permissions

Next, we’ve made three small modifications that will help you keep search engines happy while providing some additional layout flexibility:

  • Updated the author microformat in post bylines so it passes the Google Rich Snippet Tool without any warnings
  • Basic HTML tags are now allowed inside widget titles, so you have more presentational flexibility in those areas
  • In previous versions, if you added a nav menu via a widget, it would display horizontally like the default nav menu. Now, menus added via widgets will display just like a normal vertical list of links, so you won’t have to waste time undoing undesirable styles.

Also, WordPress improved image captioning in version 3.4, and this affected the way Thesis displayed captions. In previous versions, we used a shortcode hack to get them to display properly, but thanks to WordPress 3.4, we no longer need that shortcode.

By upgrading to Thesis 1.8.5, you’ll be able to ensure that your image captions will display just as they always have.

An Update on Thesis 2…

There are a zillion reasons why I’m excited about Thesis 2, but the biggest reason by far has nothing to do with Thesis 2 itself.

Instead, I’m excited about what Thesis 2 is going to allow us to do for you.

Since we released version 1.7, we’ve averaged one update every four months or so, and most of those updates have been minor (by our standards).

However, once Thesis 2 is out, we’re going to increase this pace by offering new skins and other features that you can add to Thesis any time you like.

With all these new parts available, Thesis will turn into a “living” piece of software that you can enhance regularly rather than something you can only update on an infrequent basis.

Best of all, we’ll be releasing skins and add-ons all the time, so there will always be something new from us that you’ll be able to check out and sink your teeth into. It’s gonna be a heck of a ride.

Now, with that out of the way, I’ll answer the only question that matters right now: When can you get your hands on Thesis 2?

We’ve got about 120 hours of development and testing left before the alpha (only available to DIYthemes staffers) will be ready. Based on experience, I think we’ll probably have another 60 hours of development on top of that plus a couple of weeks out in the wild before the beta is ready for release.

With that information in mind, I think Thesis 2 will probably make its world debut in August.

And it will be one hell of a debut 😀

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  • Feature Requests

How to Update Thesis?

I’m new to Wordpress, and I’m trying to take over maintenance of an existing blog. It uses the Thesis theme.

However, it appears that Thesis has been retired, or sold, or something. The only site I can find is -

  • which states confusingly:

“We do not sell Thesis directly, but you’ll be happy to know that **Thesis technology is included in the Focus WordPress Theme”

Is Thesis dead? Can I use Focus to update my Thesis blog?

Would appreciate some help on this. Thanks in advance.

I’ve never used Thesis, but it looks like some kind of abstraction layer built on top of WordPress.

Since it looks like a custom way of interacting with WordPress content, I’d recommend reaching out to the Thesis community. From the website homepage, it looks like whoever purchased the Focus theme (the original developer? the site owner?) should have a login for that forum:

Once you become a Focus customer, you’ll gain access to the DIYthemes forums and an entire community of people who are focused on getting the most out of their websites. – https://diythemes.com/

Thank you - I’m a Wordpress novice, but I’m pretty sure Thesis is (was?) a “custom theme,” as I understand that concept. Note that Thesis is reviewed (and described) in detail here:

However, Thesis seems to have vanished as a purchasable custom theme, and perhaps has been superseded by “Focus”? That’s what I’m trying to get a handle on. I’m not sure I want to spend $87 for a license to Focus just to get that question answered, and I’m not sure I want to use Focus as the “new” theme when I update Thesis on my current site.

I just want to understand - what the heck happened to Thesis?

Note that this page states “This is the Thesis pricing page that was active from March 29, 2008, through January 25, 2019,” which suggests that it was no longer updated/sold after January 2019. https://diythemes.com/plans/

Any additional help on this would be appreciated, since I’m really struggling!

I think that it doesn’t really exist as a business entity due to various licensing questions. For more backstory, you might take a look a this blog post by Mark Jaquith:

I can’t really say what the best way to go is for you and this site. I know that you’re just dipping your toes into WordPress, and this site sounds like it might be a tricky one to be given.


My gut reaction would be to try and move away from the theme for this site, but that will be dictated by a bunch of external factors.

I would start by asking yourself a few things about this project:

As the new maintainer of the site, what does that entail? Simple things like writing new blog posts, or more advanced things like updates to the theme, or integrating more advanced features?

If you’re just writing new posts, maybe you can get away with the status quo. If you are doing more advanced things, then eventually the lack of theme support will likely trip you up.

I’m assuming this is for a paying client – do you think they have the bandwidth to pay for a re-design? Are you able to pitch and sell them on the work needed to make the site not rely on Thesis?

You might be able to work on the site for a while and get a feel for where the pain points are and then use that to make the case for a re-design. Something like “I did this work which should have taken only an hour, but because of ___ it ended up taking 3 hours.”

Hope that helps give you more to think of! Good luck!

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

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  • Why University of Warsaw?
  • Facts and figures
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Fundusze europejskie

  • Degree Programmes


University of Warsaw thesis

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  1. Thesis: A Modular Template and Design System for WordPress

    Thesis began its life as the first million-dollar WordPress Theme, but over time, it transformed into a modular template and design system for WordPress. Themes that run on Thesis are called Skins, and FOCUS, our flagship product, is a Thesis Skin. Continuously updated since 2008, Thesis is the most refined software in

  2. About Thesis, the world's first million-dollar WordPress Theme

    1 The current WordPress theme "system" was released in 2005 and isn't really a system at all—it's a file naming convention run by a big if-else structure. It provides essentially zero functional leverage for the things Theme creators need to do. Build Themes with a visual interface instead of being forced to deal with clunky hybrid PHP + HTML files

  3. WordPress vs. Thesis: Can WP Themes Be Non-GPL? » Alpha Gecko

    First, the WP developers' code is, and should be, fully protected. If Chris were to take any files from WordPress and distribute them with Thesis without making Thesis GPL, he'd be violating their license. If he were to copy any of their code into Thesis, he'd likewise be violating their license. Either of those would be essentially equivalent ...

  4. Thesis

    Thesis — WordPress Book Part 5/Chapter 39 Thesis By mid-2010, one theme was still a GPL holdout: Thesis, from DIYThemes. Created by theme designer Chris Pearson and blogger Brian Clark, Thesis was popular as a feature-heavy framework — it gave users many more options than most WordPress themes.

  5. PDF What, How and So What?

    This thesis is good because it makes an interesting, original, specific and analytical statementabout the relationship between the "changing social ideologies and roles" and the "political demonstrations that reflected the growing sense of fear and uncertainty." In doing so, it addresses all of the components of the questions WHAT,

  6. PDF Developing Your Thesis/Claim

    concept of "working thesis" are way ahead of the game. A "working thesis" is a thesis that works for you, helping you to see where your ideas are going. Many students keep their thesis sentence in front of them at all times to help them to control the direction of their argument. But what happens when you stumble onto an

  7. Thesis WordPress Theme Review

    Thesis is a Premium WordPress Theme Framework developed by Chris Pearson and has become one of the most popular and downloaded/purchased Premium themes out there. In fact, I can not go a single day without browsing the web and seeing a site running on thesis. It is unbelievable.

  8. OpenHook

    Predefined hooks for Astra, the world's most popular non-default WordPress theme! Also included are hooks for legacy themes Headway, Thesis 1.8.x, Flat, and K2. OpenBox, a PHP-friendly "box" for Thesis 2. Quick access to the header & footer hooks of WordPress. All hooks can be customized with text, HTML/CSS/JavaScript, PHP, or shortcodes.

  9. Databases by Type > Dissertations & Theses

    The Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) is an international organization dedicated to promoting the adoption, creation, use, dissemination, and preservation of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). We support electronic publishing and open access to scholarship in order to enhance the sharing of knowledge worldwide.

  10. WordPress Themes by Chris Pearson

    The Art of WordPress Theme Design. S ince 2006, I've been on a mission to improve and perfect the WordPress theming process. This journey continues today with my two flagship projects— Thesis, which is a WordPress Theme engine, and Focus, which is a Thesis Skin. What's a Thesis Skin, you ask? Well…. With traditional WordPress Themes ...

  11. PDF Building Exceptional Sites with WordPress & Thesis

    with WordPress & Thesis by Peter MacIntyre Need to build customized, secure, search-engine-friendly sites with advanced features quickly and easily? Learn how with this guide to WordPress and the Thesis theme. WordPress is more than a blogging platform—it powers one- ifth of the Web. Since its release, enthusiastic contributors

  12. 7 Thesis Theme Alternatives with better features & support

    More of a framework than a standalone theme, Thesis is an incredibly flexible backbone that let you craft nearly any type of design or site. But several (debatable) missteps by Thesis's developer (DIY Themes) have damaged its reputation, and dozens of high-profile bloggers have jumped ship.

  13. Build a FAST website YOU can manage with Focus

    T he solution to your WordPress frustrations is Focus— the only Theme designed for the way internet behavior has changed in the age of social media. Focus will help you: Build a fast site that connects with your audience ⚡️ Create eye-catching pages that get results 👀 Conquer responsive design ↔️ Simplify your operating environment 🧹

  14. DIYthemes

    Focus is the only WordPress Theme designed for the changing ways we use the internet in the age of social media. This is how you run a fast website that gets results!

  15. 7 Must See WordPress Plugins for Thesis

    These 7 plugins enhance Thesis' features and let you get even more out it: 🛠️ Divi Builder drag & drop page builder for WP. SEO Data Transporter: one of the biggest challenges of adopting the Thesis theme is transporting your SEO options from your old theme. This plugin is designed to handle that part. Thesis Toolbar: adds useful admin ...

  16. MSc theses online

    MSc theses online. MSc theses online is a collection of students' theses successfully defended at Wageningen University. The database is updated daily. Most of the MSc theses are from 2010 onwards. Not all MSc theses are available in this database. Use the searchbox below or go directly to MSc theses online.

  17. PDF Submitted by : Leerang Yang Advisor : Arup K. Chakraborty Thesis

    In conclusion, this thesis provides valuable insights into the mechanisms of B cell immunodominance and strategies for modulating it, with implications for developing more effective vaccines against mutable viruses. The findings from these three projects enhance our understanding of immune response dynamics and offer practical guidance ...

  18. Thesis 1.8.5 Version Release Notes

    Last week, WordPress dropped version 3.4, and today, we're releasing Thesis 1.8.5 to keep you on the cutting edge. Of course, we've also been extremely busy with Thesis 2, and at the end of this post, I'll share an update on our progress. But first, let's take a look at Thesis 1.8.5. Our team has been working hard to ensure Thesis has ...

  19. Essay Writing Themes for WordPress

    At Essay WP Themes, we have designed tons of premium academic writing WordPress templates to help you launch your online essay writing service in just a few minutes. Our templates are made using Elementor, a popular WordPress drag and drop page builder. We have a wide variety of elementor essay writing templates designed using different ...

  20. PDF Chairing UW Epi Masters Thesis Committees

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    2 The standard composition of final grades for a thesis is: Proposal: 15% Interim Report: 15% Using the standard COFM

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