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Trust a plugin to manage any important data? (long term life of a plugin) (8 posts)

  1. gopanthers
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    I'll tell you the plugin I'm thinking about in a moment, but my question is more generic than this specific plugin.

    I've been testing a plugin that helps add more user info to WordPress and allows me to use WordPress as a membership directory. The plugin works perfectly fine for me but I'm concerned about LONG term stability of my data.

    This plugin created a new database table to store the data and it pulls the data from this new database table. Again, this plugin is working great for me... but what if it stops working a year from now, or five years from now. In the future, what if WordPress upgrades 10 times and somewhere along the way this plugin stopped keeping up with the updates and stopped working. I have no idea how to get my data out of those tables so I'd pretty much be out of luck.

    Since longterm stability of my data is my number one concern, should I avoid putting all my eggs in one basket by depending on a plugin - any plugin - to access and update that data? I'd just like some other opinions on whether I'm being paranoid about this or if you agree that it would be a safer longterm solution to look for a non-plugin-dependent way to keep my extra data?

    Thanks.

    P.S. The plugin I'm currently using is CIMY User Extra Fields. It's worked perfectly for me and I like it a lot, but how safe will my data be if it doesn't work 10 years from now? I'm sure the data will stil be in there but I wouldn't have a clue as to how to use it if the plugin stopped working.

  2. James
    Happiness Engineer
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Abandonment is definitely one of the risks that you run into with any plugin. Fortunately, there are quite a few people out there who'd be willing to pick up where a developer left off.

    If the plugin is ever abandoned and broken, you could ask here for someone to pick it up, or even consider hiring someone to fix it for you.

  3. seven26
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    your biggest concern should be to keep your data safe. The important thing is the data, if the plugin goes down, there will be always a way to get the data out from the database. You hire a freelancer and will do a custom script for you in no time.

  4. Marco Cimmino
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    I have also developed Cimy User Manager plug-in to export your data in CSV format, I really dislike users that are so paranoid to be completely blind and also start FUD related topics.

    Also the plug-in is 100% open-source and under GPL license means that everyone can take it and modify it when they want!
    Maybe you just want to write your own stuff instead of complaining of many hours spent without getting one single euro from you!

    with regards
    Marco Cimmino

  5. gopanthers
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Are you yelling at ME for asking about a general concern for the longterm stability of my data? This post wasn't even about your plugin specifically. Several times I stated that your plugin was working great, yet you accuse me of deliberate negative propaganda even though I have nothing to gain from it.

    You see, this is an unexpectedly perfect example of why you shouldn't rely on a stranger's plugin for your critical data because that person could snap psycho on everybody just like this.

    P.S. Others who answered my question pointed out the fact that in a worst-case scenario a plugin project could be saved by inheritance or via a freelancer, so they weren't against you either. So now who's been proven paranoid?

  6. Matt
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    "I'd just like some other opinions on whether I'm being paranoid about this or if you agree that it would be a safer longterm solution to look for a non-plugin-dependent way to keep my extra data?"

    The benefits of using a plugin over learning to hard code it yourself are pretty obvious: no coding knowledge required, and you can simply install and activate and (if included) configure whatever options are present.

    The only draw back to this would be that, if you don't know how a particular plugin works, and it DOES break, you wouldn't know how to reincorporate or fix whatever the plugin was doing because you didn't program it yourself.

    The way I run my blog is fairly simple: if I can't find a tutorial on how to incorporate whatever it is I'm trying to do on my own, I will then (and only then) resort to a plugin. (Or if I'm just being lazy). The positives from coding it yourself are: you know what the code is doing, how it interacts exactly with your site, and how to tweak it when things go wrong; you learn something new.

    So it's really a question of whether or not you want to do the work yourself or rely on other people to do the work for you. Regardless of whether or not "Plugin X" is going to be kept alive and in development for the next 10, 15, 25, 50 years it will still boil down to: do I want to learn how to code this myself or do I want to allow someone else to do it for me?

    As to relying on a single plugin to house your data, well - this is what regularly scheduled backups of said data are for. (Which, by the way, I hope you use.)

  7. Marco Cimmino
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    P.S. The plugin I'm currently using is CIMY User Extra Fields. It's worked perfectly for me and I like it a lot, but how safe will my data be if it doesn't work 10 years from now? I'm sure the data will stil be in there but I wouldn't have a clue as to how to use it if the plugin stopped working.

    Are you yelling at ME for asking about a general concern for the longterm stability of my data? This post wasn't even about your plugin specifically.

    Maybe you want to read again what you wrote? You start a FUD thread about my plug-in without knowing stuff and I cannot answer?
    What a fancy world of fancy people.

    If you really are so paranoid about data and "psycho people", I tell you what is the best solution:
    - switch off your computer
    - never use electronic payments
    - close your bank account
    - do not use phones
    - escape from cities and live in the nature

    If you haven't done it yet, I am sorry, you have to rely every single second on code written by whatever person that can be psycho or not, but still you don't know what will do with your data in the future.

    More in detail:
    if the code is open source
    if there is a way to export to a known format your data

    then prefer that, or again, write your own stuff, always best!

    best regards
    Marco Cimmino

  8. Matt
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Cimmo, chill out.

    "P.S. The plugin I'm currently using is CIMY User Extra Fields. It's worked perfectly for me and I like it a lot, but how safe will my data be if it doesn't work 10 years from now? I'm sure the data will stil be in there but I wouldn't have a clue as to how to use it if the plugin stopped working." doesn't translate into "F*** you developers!" It's a valid question.

    What the OP is simply asking is, if in the off-chance that a plugin (yours) stops being developed, gets dropped for whatever reason, falls out of date, etc. and he is relying on it for certain data storage, will his data remain safe under the same plugin. And if, on the same off-chance, it doesn't remain safe, what is he to do if he doesn't understand how to retrieve said data.

    Again, valid question and concern for any piece of software that you use to store and retrieve data. (If I asked the same question of a hardware manufacturer, they wouldn't tell me "F*** you! How dare you question our merchandise!" They would inform me of my options should the hardware become obsolete, discontinued or insecure.

    And no, it wasn't about YOUR plugin specifically - he just happens to use it.

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