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[closed] To: Widget/Plugin programmers (30 posts)

  1. ladydelaluna
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I just wanted to basically "state my case" here to all of you nifty programmer types that like to dabble in creating plugins and widgets and so on.

    After a number of discussions, it's easy to see that "widgets" has a divided audience. Some people love them, others want nothing to do with them (like myself). There's a fairly even balance here with that... and while they may be great for "newbies" - there are a lot of us "old timers" who have been using wordpress since 1.2 and really just like things the way they are in terms of using plugins.

    Lately we've been seeing this insurgence of "widget plugins" - that do some pretty fantastic things, however they ONLY work with widgets (which means the theme used has to be widget compatible as well).

    I guess I'd like to make a request that if at all possible, when releasing a plugin that ONLY works with widgets, for you all to consider the fact that non-widget users might enjoy the same results, and if at all possible, you could release both a widget and non-widget version when you do your release.

    Believe me, if I weren't so busy with all the other things I'm working on, I'd try to learn programming to a deeper level (I'm a designer, WP user, and an SEO person - don't claim to come close to having the knowledge of a REAL programmer!) so that I could create plugins left and right... but it's just not possible for me right now, and I'm sure many others feel this way as well.

    It's just a thought. It would really stink if the development of widgets created a "continental divide" between people, because WP is a fantastic open source piece of art - and it should be able to be equally enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their preferences.

    (Even if you personally happen to think that Monet's work sucks the bag compared to Warhol, you still have to respect it... even though it's older and less "modern". It still holds value, just like non-widgetized WP does!)

    Just my $.02 - after seeing all these "widget only" plugins popping up that have no "non widget" counterparts... :)

  2. manstraw
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    What do you see as the problem with widgets? I wasn't aware there was a divided acceptance. I don't see a risk of a "continental divide". It does represent a minor template modification in order to use them, but it truly is minor. If you need assistance with that, I and others would be glad to provide you with some. Perhaps you're under the impression that making your theme widget compatible is a difficult task.

    I think the reason many people are jumping on widgets is because it allows for a regular non technical user to easily modify the sidebar of their site, and do so in a way that is independent of the theme they use. Now they can rearrange the items on their sidebar, or add items, all without touching any php code. Isn't this an asset to someone like you who designs WP templates?

    Please don't take this as a counter argument to your concerns. I'd just like to understand better what you concerns are, and see if they can be easily resolved.

  3. ladydelaluna
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    My "concerns" are pretty basic...

    I don't want to use widgets. Regardless of my reasoning, it's a personal preference NOT to use widgets. I know of a lot of other people (both on and off the forums) that use wordpress, that also prefer not to use widgets. Call it what you will, equate it to trying to get an 80 year old grandma to use the microwave... no matter. I just don't WANT to use them. I like designing themes the way I do, I like using them the way I do, and I see no need for me to change that.

    Therefore, my "concern" is that there are a lot of shiny new "widget only" plugins. And I see that as unfair, in a way, to those of us who choose not to use widgets.

    (And yes, there have already been friendly arguments about who will and won't use widgets... it's a matter of preference, and those of us who don't like them should never be forced to use them. That too, is unfair, and doesn't make much sense for an OS project to force people to use something just because it's LESS complicated.)

    +++++
    "Isn't this an asset to someone like you who designs WP templates?"

    Actually, not really. Because the more non-tech a theme is, the less a client will need me. So in effect (though not nearly a cause for my dislike for them), widgets can make my design portion of the job obsolete after the point of installing the theme for them.
    +++++

    Just a reminder, as I mentioned on another thread... I've been using WP since 1.2. I'm no stranger to it's capabilities, and I've used it to build everything from a Kubrick blog to a full blown content management system with topic specific sidebars and everything. Please keep that in mind, that it's NOT that I'm "new" - it's in fact, the other way around.

  4. jennmiller
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I do not want to use widgets because there is so much I can do already that I don't feel the "need" to start using them. I don't use "sidebar.php" on two of my sites and although I can do everything I want with them and the current plugins, I don't want to be left out if all new development focuses on widgets. I also don't think it would be wise to force all WP users to use sidebars, footers, and the numerous "parts" of many available themes when an index, comments, and stylesheet do just fine.

  5. ladydelaluna
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    THANK YOU JENN!

    I almost feel like I'm being coaxed by religious fanatics over these damn things... lol

  6. moshu
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Well, I am not "afraid" of widgets and I don't think lady is either. I even widgetized one of my themes - just out of curiousity. No big deal but I did not become a fan of them.

    And I agree: if some newer features, plugins are going to force me to use them... I will start definitely to hate them :)
    Any "widgets-only" stuff will be annoying - please, let me the chance to decide for myself.
    Just my personal $0.02

  7. jennmiller
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I certainly hope we're not alone :) I think they're a nice function--for some people. Just as you said, I think WP is great with or without them and the users of WP should be given the option of using them or not. I'm still using "hacks" from the days before plugins, so as long as future WP development allows for loyal users to maintain their sites, I suppose that will be great. I do hope that plugin/widget developers will offer "plugins" instead of/in addition to widgets.

  8. ladydelaluna
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    moshu & jenn - i'm SO glad you guys came out of the so-called woodwork on this... aside from feeling the need to explain over and over again that i'm not new to wordpress and that i don't see a need for widgets in my life, i was getting tired of trying to prove that i wasn't alone in my opinions!

    thank you!!!!

  9. vkaryl
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I'm not into them either. Just not my thing at all....

  10. pizdin_dim
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Widgets? Huh? This must be some WP2 thing, right? Anyway, I don't like them already.

  11. Samuel Wood (Otto)
    Tech Ninja
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I guess I'd like to make a request that if at all possible, when releasing a plugin that ONLY works with widgets, for you all to consider the fact that non-widget users might enjoy the same results, and if at all possible, you could release both a widget and non-widget version when you do your release.

    I've written a number of simple little widgets, because they're kinda fun to play with. None of them work as non-widgets, nor do I have any intentions of making them do so.

    Why, you ask? Because I'm not writing them for you or anybody else. I write things that I find useful or fun. Remember that not everybody is particularly interested in helping you specifically. If you find something I create helpful, then that's great. I'm glad I could help. But if what I write doesn't fit your needs, and you're not paying me to write something else, well, I'm of the opinion that you can either write it yourself or do without.

    So you don't want to use widgets. Fine. Good for you. You can do whatever you want to do, and I have no issues with that. But at the same time, I don't want to take the time to write non-widget versions of my plugins. Why? Because I have no need of them. You may not like it, but that's just tough luck. I write the things I want to write.

    If it wasn't for widgets, I probably would not have started writing plugins or learning the plugin system for WordPress at all. Widgets are interesting to me. Old-style plugins where the user still has to go in and hack PHP templates are not. Those form of plugins are not difficult to write, but they're also kind boring and uninteresting. The only people that will use them are other programmers, because they generally require template hacking to make them work. Widgets interface a bit more directly with the user, and IMO they support a greater level of customization (although that's a bit of a long argument as to why I say that). I just like making widgets more than making non-widgets. HTML/PHP... that's sorta old hat. But the idea of creating pages in blocks and then dynamically positioning those blocks, well, that's new and interesting.

    BTW, my prices are very reasonable, so if you're interested in a custom plugin, email me. :)

  12. Sean
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    ladydelaluna,
    I'm not sure if this is the kind of thing you were looking for, but the plugin I mentioned in the older thread which was firstRSS also has a 'sideRSS' component which lets you feed RSS into the sidebar. I use it myself and found it very useful and easy to customise.

    As for the scrolling marquee I suspect that would involve wrapping some javascript around the list produced by the plugin. I know nothing about javascript though, so I can't say I'm sure it would work.

  13. Samuel Wood (Otto)
    Tech Ninja
    Posted 8 years ago #

    RSS is already built into wordpress, you don't necessarily need a plugin for it. Just use the MagpieRSS functions.

    require_once(ABSPATH . WPINC . '/rss-functions.php');
    $rss = fetch_rss($url);
    foreach ($rss->items as $item ) {
    echo "<a href='".$item['link']."' title='".$item['title']".'>".$item['title']."</a>";
    }

    You can do a var_dump($rss->items) for testing, to see what information you have available to you in the feed.

  14. Sean
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Are MagpieRSS functions built into WordPress?

  15. Samuel Wood (Otto)
    Tech Ninja
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Yep. Look in /wp-includes/rss-functions.php.

  16. Sean
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Thanks - I had no idea. Would it be possible for a script like the one above to create a cache periodically?

  17. jennmiller
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Well, Otto, I'm glad you're writing widgets. Keep at it. Never in a million years would I pay you for anything. This was a simple request to continue plugin development, not a personal attack on your widgets. If you want to reach only a portion of users, that's absolutely your choice. I don't see where "tough luck" needs to be addressed.

  18. vkaryl
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Wow. I don't think any of us were attacking any specific individual at all.

    I thought we were simply stating personal opinions and requesting that the plugin folks consider not dropping us completely in favor of widgets....

    Otto, if you had another impression, I apologize, but then I haven't a clue who you are or what widgets you've written - or even that you wrote widgets at all....

  19. ladydelaluna
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    *sigh*

    I wasn't attacking anyone for creating widget-only plugins. I wasn't attacking anyone individually or anything like that. I'm not sure how this thread got hijacked the way it did either. But that's another story.

    vkaryl and jennmiller - you guys said it right. it's not that i begrudge anyone the right to create or use widgets/widget plugins. obviously, if there are widgets in use, there will always be a demand for widget-based plugins. however as vkaryl put it, this was simply a reminder that non-widget users might like to enjoy some of the same results without having to switch to widgets to get them... and to quote my own self (as you did, Otto): "I'd like to make a request that if at all possible, when releasing a plugin that ONLY works with widgets, for you all to consider the fact that non-widget users might enjoy the same results, and if at all possible, you could release both a widget and non-widget version when you do your release."

    I don't see anywhere in there (or in the entire post either) that I came across as offensive or in "attack mode"... in fact, TWICE i said "if at all possible". Where is that a demand? Where in that can you find a negative or offensive tone? Did someone pee in your cereal this morning? It wasn't me... I'm sure.

    And in agreement with jennmiller - I'm not going to pay you just because you feel the need to take a "tough luck" attitude about it. I didn't pay for wordpress, why should I pay you? None of the other non-widget programmers demand money from me... why should you?

    You go on writing your widget only plugins, Otto - but don't expect me to sit here and change MY preferences just because YOU don't feel like being "bored". Where was this thread directed at YOU or anyone specific anyway? It was simply a reminder to plugin developers in general that not everyone's on the widget bandwagon... and some of us won't ever be.

    One more thing. You said, "Old-style plugins where the user still has to go in and hack PHP templates are not. Those form of plugins are not difficult to write, but they're also kind boring and uninteresting. The only people that will use them are other programmers, because they generally require template hacking to make them work."

    To this day, I've yet to have to "hack" any non-widget plugin I've used. I download it, install it, activate it, and maybe make a guided (by the plugin author) customization (I'm referring here to things like flashfader and amm). But pretty much any and every plugin I've ever used works properly for me "out of the box". Oh, and I'm not a programmer, as I've stated before - so your line about "the only people who will ever use them are other programmers" is beyond the realm of reality. It's simply not even close to truth.

    "HTML/PHP... that's sorta old hat." - the web standards movement would stand to disagree with you on that one i think... considering that HTML is where everything began, and without PHP you wouldn't even HAVE wordpress to begin with.

  20. Samuel Wood (Otto)
    Tech Ninja
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Aristophanes: Caching is built in already. It'll only request the RSS feed once per hour by default.

    Everybody else: I didn't think I was being attacked directly or that there was any sort of "attack" at all. I'm sorry if I gave anyone that impression. I was really just calling it as I saw it. Consider that text based communication is poor at conveying emotions. :)

    There seems to be a sort of divide here between those who like widgets and those who don't. I mean, yes, I *could* make non-widget versions of the things I made widgets for. However, I'm really not interested in doing so. That's really all I was trying to say. The original post did seem to be, well, a bit demanding, and I was just responding to that. ladydeluna, especially reading your other posts, you seem very hostile towards widgets in general, complaining when people suggest widget-based plugins to accomplish tasks you're asking about.

    Look, I'm aware that some people don't like widgets and that's fine with me. But to go and rail at widget developers, even in general, that they're not making non-widget versions... it seems very uncalled for, IMO.

    I mean, if you find a widget that you want to be a non-widget, then why not ask the developer to help you out in a nice way, instead of blasting on the entire concept of widgets in general? If somebody came to me and said "hey, how could I use the Google Calendar widget without having widgets?" then I might not actually write the thing, but I'd certainly try to help them out by giving them instructions on how to go about doing it. But having a general gripey attitude gets no points from me, if you see what I'm talking about.

    ladydeluna: "maybe make a guided customization"... I hate to tell you this, but you are a programmer. Editing a template is programming. It's PHP programming, but it is programming nevertheless.

  21. ladydelaluna
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    "complaining when people suggest widget-based plugins to accomplish tasks you're asking about." - what might you suggest i say when i ask about a plugin for something on a non-widget site and i get an answer for a widget based plugin? should i respond with "great idea! i'll do that!" even though i have no intent to do it, and will be left where i began, without the plugin? you're making NO sense here, otto.

    once again, you completely misread my original post, and i think it boils down to the fact that YOU are on the defensive about your decision to use widgets. YOU happen to think they're the greatest thing since sliced bread, and are currently frustrated with the fact that you will neither convince me, or a few others who have posted here, to agree with you.

    "instead of blasting on the entire concept of widgets in general" - again, i don't see where i, nor anyone else did that. we simply stated that we have no desire to use them. in fact, looking back at my original post, i see that i stated "WP is a fantastic open source piece of art - and it should be able to be equally enjoyed by everyone" wouldn't "everyone" INCLUDE widget users? i think it would, unless your definition of "everyone" is different than mine.

    "The original post did seem to be, well, a bit demanding" - HOW does "if at all possible..." come across as demanding? HOW?!?!?!!?

    Not for nothing, Otto - but YOU have made this thread hostile. Not I, and certainly not those who chimed in elsewhere. YOU did it. Pat yourself on the back for that one... and thanks for nothing.

    I thought this could be an intelligent, adult conversation - apparantly not everyone can handle those.

  22. jwurster
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Having decided to read this post because I am a programmer by profession, I was kind of surprised at the misinterpretation of what Lady of the Moon (if I remember my Spanish correctly) said. I thought it a simple request. And it was just that - a request. Sometimes, I think we take ourselves way too seriously.

    So, I will make the same request. If at all possible, please design your new widget/plugin to work for the greatest audience possible. Since I don't know anything about widget technology, I guess I should study up on it (although I'm still struggling with regular plugin development). I applaud all widget/plugin developers for doing a geat job in helping us use WP in many, many divergent ways.

    Maybe what we need is some volunteers to help convert widgets to plugins (if that is even feasible). If I were a plugin/widget developer, I would certainly like to make it as flexible and useful for as many users as possible.

  23. Samuel Wood (Otto)
    Tech Ninja
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Oh for crying out...

    what might you suggest i say when i ask about a plugin for something on a non-widget site and i get an answer for a widget based plugin? should i respond with "great idea! i'll do that!" even though i have no intent to do it, and will be left where i began, without the plugin?

    Maybe you should email the author of the plugin and ask him if there's a non-widget version available, or if he can help you in some way, instead of shooting the messenger.

    once again, you completely misread my original post

    You know, after your latest post above, no, I don't think I did.

    and i think it boils down to the fact that YOU are on the defensive about your decision to use widgets.

    No, what I'm defensive about is those of us who suggest solutions to your problems and then having you go off on people when they are just trying to help. I've seen you do it at least three times now in other threads.

    YOU happen to think they're the greatest thing since sliced bread, and are currently frustrated with the fact that you will neither convince me, or a few others who have posted here, to agree with you.

    I don't care to convince you. Really. I do care when you drive away people for trying to be helpful.

    again, i don't see where i, nor anyone else did that. we simply stated that we have no desire to use them.

    You've now done it twice in this thread and at least three times in other threads.

    "The original post did seem to be, well, a bit demanding" - HOW does "if at all possible..." come across as demanding? HOW?!?!?!!?

    Just because you add "if at all possible" does not make your post any less demanding.

    You're asking that people who do this sort of thing, for free, take their time to think about you and your needs, also for free, and for no benefit to themselves. My comments about paying somebody were intended to make you realize that people develop this stuff out of the goodness of their hearts, and that you really have no right to ask for anything whatsoever. So when you cop an attitude of "I'm getting left out here because I don't like widgets, why won't people do this stuff for me!", then yes, I call that demanding. "If at all possible" is nonsensical. Of course it's possible. But that doesn't mean I or anybody else has to do it just because it's possible.

    You attract more flies with honey than with vinegar, that's my point.

    Not for nothing, Otto - but YOU have made this thread hostile. Not I, and certainly not those who chimed in elsewhere. YOU did it. Pat yourself on the back for that one... and thanks for nothing.

    Bunk. You started out being whiney and demanding and I called you on it.

    I thought this could be an intelligent, adult conversation - apparantly not everyone can handle those.

    I can handle those just fine, actually. I even tried to get the thread back on topic above, and you just had to take it a step further and prove how hostile you really are. Good job.

    BTW, I'd be happy to help anybody convert any widgets they like into non-widgets. As long as you ask nicely, that is. :)

  24. ladydelaluna
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Yeah. And pay you, right? Check the forum rules about offering your "services" here in the forums, Otto. (And don't turn now and say it's for free - your original post about your "reasonable rates" is uneditable now.)

    You have no idea what you're talking about, and you've decided that you're going to displace a persona on me, someone you don't know at ALL.

    How dare you come in here and assume that what I said, in the way I said it, meant anything else other than what was written!? YOU might live your life that way, sugar coating your way through lies or deceit, however the whole world doesn't work like you. When I say something, I mean it. And I mean it in only the way it's written, with the words I've used. You've been here two weeks and have completely misunderstood me - the others who agreed with me, have seen me here almost daily for over 6 months now. Guess who's WRONG?

    I'm so tired of this. I made a simple statement, a point of view (that must I remind you, was welcomed by other people who feel the same way I do, and did NOT misinterpret what I said), and the ONLY person doing the bashing is YOU, Otto. Grow the hell up and get over yourself. Go make your damn widget plugins and leave it alone.

    I'm done.

    EDIT: Thank you jwurster - for being one of the majority who really understood my "tone" and intention here. I appreciate it.

  25. Samuel Wood (Otto)
    Tech Ninja
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Yeah. And pay you, right? Check the forum rules about offering your "services" here in the forums, Otto. (And don't turn now and say it's for free - your original post about your "reasonable rates" is uneditable now.)

    Clearly you are not actually reading my posts. I never asked for any payment of any kind.

    You have no idea what you're talking about, and you've decided that you're going to displace a persona on me, someone you don't know at ALL.

    All I know about you is what you post. But what you are posting seems to come across very clearly, to me.

    How dare you come in here and assume that what I said, in the way I said it, meant anything else other than what was written!?

    I did no such thing. I read what you wrote and went based entirely on what it said. If you think that I'm getting the wrong impression, perhaps you should write more clearly.

    YOU might live your life that way, sugar coating your way through lies or deceit, however the whole world doesn't work like you. When I say something, I mean it. And I mean it in only the way it's written, with the words I've used.

    Then my impressions are correct?

    I'm so tired of this. I made a simple statement, a point of view (that must I remind you, was welcomed by other people who feel the same way I do, and did NOT misinterpret what I said), and the ONLY person doing the bashing is YOU, Otto. Grow the hell up and get over yourself. Go make your damn widget plugins and leave it alone.

    I'll do just that. Might I also suggest that you take your own advice and stop complaining when people try to help but it's not the specific help you're looking for?

    I'm done.

    Good.

  26. ladydelaluna
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Okay Mr. I've-Been-Here-For-Two-Weeks-So-I-Know-Everything-About-You...

    whatever you want to think about me is FINE. go ahead and displace your anger on me if it makes you feel better.

    go get some sleep, otto - i think your "brilliant" work with widgets has made you overly cranky, you GENIUS!

    reminder: you said "BTW, my prices are very reasonable, so if you're interested in a custom plugin, email me. :)" that's offering a service for money, and completely against forum rules.

  27. Samuel Wood (Otto)
    Tech Ninja
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I thought you were done?

    Okay Mr. I've-Been-Here-For-Two-Weeks-So-I-Know-Everything-About-You...

    Nice, but I'm not sure what it has to do with anything. Like I said before, all I know about you is what you post.

    whatever you want to think about me is FINE. go ahead and displace your anger on me if it makes you feel better.

    Now who's reading things that are not there? I'm not angry. I'm only vaguely amused, at best.

    go get some sleep, otto - i think your "brilliant" work with widgets has made you overly cranky, you GENIUS!

    Are you kidding me? The widgets I've made are trivial hacks, at best. Genius they are most certainly not.

    reminder: you said "BTW, my prices are very reasonable, so if you're interested in a custom plugin, email me. :)" that's offering a service for money, and completely against forum rules.

    Like I already stated above but which you clearly did not read: "My comments about paying somebody were intended to make you realize that people develop this stuff out of the goodness of their hearts, and that you really have no right to ask for anything whatsoever." I don't actually have a price list. :)

  28. ladydelaluna
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    and i don't actually care.
    buh-bye otto. take your bashing elsewhere please.

  29. Samuel Wood (Otto)
    Tech Ninja
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Mods, could this thread be moderated or closed or something? I've tried to be as polite as I can, but this is getting ridiculous.

  30. ifelse
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    This sort of discussion really belong on your own blogs; the WP forum is for support issues.

    This discussion is neither helpful nor productive and is heading into flamewar territory which is why I'm closing the thread.

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