At the beginning of the week ThemeShaper, the home of the Automattic theme team, released a fork to their popular starter theme Toolbox design. The Automattic team used the Toolbox design as a template for creating all of their designs released on WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
Toolbox is still going to be updated however their new _s theme is apparently better, faster and stronger. They have called it a ‘1000-hour head start’ as the theme will hopefully give you a huge head start in your theme development. The design is nothing more than a blank canvas though the clean and well commented HTML5 templates will make theme development a breeze.
It features a 404 template, custom template tags and sample theme options. A sample theme has been included as well as 5 sample CSS layouts (two sidebars on the left, two sidebars on the right, a sidebar on either side of your content, and two-column layouts with sidebars on either side).
The theme is perfect for those of you who are looking to create your own unique design. It wasn’t designed to be used as a parent theme though and was setup so that users can simply modify the core files for their own needs.
I recommend checking it out if you want to develop your own theme. Kudos to Ian Stewart for releasing this for free to the WordPress community.