I’ve now been involved in some form or another with the theme review team at WordPress.org since late 2010. Some of that has been as an author, reviewer, and administrator. I’ve been a part of every aspect of the process. I’ve been frustrated as a theme author. I’ve been worried by code quality as a reviewer. I’ve spent numerous hours thinking about solutions as an admin. I joined the team because I wanted to improve the process so that both other theme authors and I could get our themes out there without a lot of fuss.
What I found was that over the years, there are really a lot of people doing some sneaky things. There are a lot of security issues. And, many authors include code or assets that are not compatible with the GPL.
When you see that, you get in the mindset of assuming everything’s bad. Starting from that assumption is not always a good thing. Guilty until proven innocent. My vision of the theme directory is to come from a more optimistic viewpoint.
The ideas presented in this post are by no means all my own. They’ve been shaped and reshaped by users, theme authors, and reviewers over the years.