Here's some ideas about what could be coming in the Twenty Twelve default theme:
- single post/permalink view with post formats is needed
- variable height header image
- mobile version
- default to static front page (will need a function in core to auto-choose)
- editor styles the same as front end.
- avoid clever things that aren’t super-useful (like ephemera widget)
- start with 2011 as base for code (or 2010, which has gotten more updates and had more eyes on it)
- no featured image in header
- by default – no header image
I hope they try and build in the best functions from the best plugins like Chris Pearson is doing with Thesis 2.0 and the Woo framework and make it as good as those 2 premium WordPress theme frameworks.
I think the reason the WordPress default theme's aren't as popular as they used to be is because the WordPress forum doesn't offer the same level of support which you get from owning a premium theme.
Most WordPress users like to have access to quality technical support when it comes to theme customization.
Update on Twenty Twelve: WordPress 3.4 was going to include the new Twenty Twelve theme but this has now changed and will be included in the release of WordPress 3.5 in the second half of 2012
This image shows WordPress 3.4 with the new Twenty Twelve default theme
Update: Twenty Twelve is not going to make the cut for 3.4.
Here's the latest on whats happening with the development of Twenty Twelve:
- Add custom header support
- header.php: use get_stylesheet_uri() to load stylesheet
- Add full-width template, including adding relevant body_class value as a CSS hook
- Hide sidebar on all views if no active widgets exist
- Fix site title output (was missing site title)
- Remove "featured" title for sticky posts
- Add content template files for aside, image, link, and quote post formats
- Indent content-single.php to match content.php
- Remove sample JPG since Twenty Twelve ships with no default header images
- Better footer styles
- Styling for full-width layouts
- Add basic styles for archive views
- Refine post header/footer styles a bit