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Ideas

wordpress.org plugins compatibility widget

  1. Vladimir Garagulya
    Member

    I met the situation when my Thank You Counter Button plugin marked as broken for WP 2.9.1 (5 negative marks opposite 2 positive marks). It is possible that some users have troubles with plugin. What I want to say that I still have no any information from them, what is wrong with plugin, what bed experience they have. No one go the plugin site and write specifically what is the problem in order to I can fix it.
    I propose to add the field e.g. 'Problem description' required for input if visitor click 'Broken' button in the Compatibility widget.
    Another problem is the lazy users. With more than 4 thousands downloads and more then 5 positive comments at the plugin site two persons only (including me) clicked 'Work' button for this plugin. The picture is shown by Compatibility widget is not objective truth finally.

    Posted: 4 years ago #
  2. Justin Tadlock
    Member

    12345

    Agreed. The current implementation is useless to developers. I know some users just click "Broken" just because they can't figure out something. But, the plugin could be being used by 1,000s of others that simply haven't reported that it works.

    In many cases, people are more likely to complain than to praise. This causes what I consider to be invalid "compatibility" reports.

    I now have 18 plugins on the repo. The compatibility functionality has been a failure from my viewpoint so far.

    Posted: 4 years ago #
  3. Lester Chan
    Member

    12345

    I have to agree with this and most of the time, users have a bad habit of not reading readme. As long as they could not get it to work, it will be the fault of the plugin.

    Posted: 4 years ago #
  4. Gary Pendergast
    Member

    12345

    Is "I live in a constant state of paralyzing fear that users will click the 'Broken' button but not tell me why" considered a valid response to this idea? :)

    Posted: 4 years ago #
  5. Kim Parsell
    Volunteer Moderator

    Someone marked the previous version of my plugin broken, but never contacted me here or on the plugin page on my site to let me know what problem they were having. It's a simple plugin and odds are there was a conflict with another plugin they had installed. Rather than contact me or do any testing, they just tagged it "broken" and went on their way. That doesn't help me at all.

    I agree with the OP about providing a feedback box when someone marks a plugin "broken". I'd recommend requiring them to provide their name and either an email addy (available to plugin author but not displayed publicly) along with the feedback. Then the plugin authors can attempt to contact them to find out what the issue was and try to fix it.

    Posted: 4 years ago #
  6. scribu
    Member

    12345

    How about if the user wants to click broken, he **must** provide feedback?

    This feedback could take the form of a new topic in the support forums.

    Otherwise, like people have already said, the compatibility check is useless for the plugin authors.

    Posted: 4 years ago #
  7. Eric Mann
    Member

    Even before the compatibility widget came along I had problems with lazy users. They'd flood the forums with "XXX Plugin doesn't work with WordPress 2.X.X!!!" but wouldn't explain what was actually wrong and, in several cases, were actually using the wrong version of WordPress (I use several functions released in 2.8 and state its requirement, only to have users of 2.7.X complain that something doesn't work).

    The compatibility widget, though, adds a certain level of false authority to these kinds of complaints. If someone ignores the version compatibility notice, they could easily just click "Broken" for every version under the assumption that something really is broken. I have had plug-ins break in the past, so it's likely that people are truly reporting an error at times ... but the simple "It Works"/"It's Broken" button doesn't give me a starting point to fix it.

    I like @shinephp's recommendation to require a problem description, but I'm afraid forcing people to fill out a text box might limit the number of people participating further. In the case of non-English speakers, I'd have no way to translate their feedback, either.

    I'm wondering about the possibility of a semi-formal audit of plug-ins. Similar to patch testing for WP core or moderating forum comments, maybe having a group of volunteers test new versions of plug-ins after they're submitted and leaving a formal "According to the WP team this works on version 2.9.1. If you have problems, please use this form to notify the developer." ...

    Posted: 4 years ago #
  8. Ben Huson
    Member

    12345

    Agreed, some sort of feedback when marking a plugin as broken should be required so that a developer has a better idea about wether indeed it is a bug so they can attempt to fix the issue.

    Maybe a user should be required to be logged in to give feedback and then the developer have access to be able to contact that person in some way - doing it this way would provide a better audit trail of people who have marked stuff as broken?

    Posted: 4 years ago #
  9. Mark Jaquith
    WordPress Lead Dev

    They should get a chance (or a mandate) to provide feedback, and that feedback should open a new support thread.

    However, first, plugin authors need to be able to resolve support threads about their plugin. Otherwise, they're going to have a pile of duplicate threads.

    Posted: 4 years ago #
  10. scribu
    Member

    12345

    However, first, plugin authors need to be able to resolve support threads about their plugin. Otherwise, they're going to have a pile of duplicate threads.

    Here here for allowing plugin authors to close topics.

    For the duplication problem, maybe users can mark topics as "also affecting me".

    Posted: 4 years ago #

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  • Rating

    12345
    22 Votes
  • Status

    Good idea! We're working on it