Support » Plugins and Hacks » Automattic Compatibility Functionality

  • For some reason, and I have no real idea why, Automattic is totally myopic/cavalier/secretive/dumb ~ whatever ~ about providing compatibility information about plugins.

    You can see this displayed (or rather not displayed) every time you use WordPress to search through thousands of irrelevant, no longer current and outdated plugins.

    Is it because they don’t think it’s important? Maybe ~ they only think that what THEY think is important, is important.

    Is it because they don’t have the programming chops for it? Hardly ~ the information is/or should be contained in every plugin (Better Plugin Compatibility Control by Oliver Schlöbe adds version compatibility info to the plugins page to inform the admin at a glance if a plugin is compatible with the current WP version) ~ once it is installed.

    Nice plugin, good attempt, but too late in the process, in my opinion.

    Is it because they don’t want to come clean with everyone and admit that the bulk of plugins in the repository are out-dated, non-functional, damaging, or present a security risk, if used in the current release of WordPress? More likely ~ since it’s the only reason I can think of they don’t fess-up and be honest with us.

    It would be the work of a moment or two, to include the embedded compatibility data from each plugin, in the search description list, so that you can make up your mind without wasting time digging into the interior or worse, installing and finding out the hard way.

    With a simple compatibility of “3.2 – 3.3” or “2.8 – 3.5” in the search description listing you could make your own mind up whether its even worth looking at.

    So why don’t they do it? I leave you to draw your own conclusions. But whatever you decide is the reason, it can hardly be because you think Automattic, on this occasion, is doing anything else but serving its own interest. Whatever they may be.

    It’s certainly not serving its customer-base by maintaining this deception. It’s high time Matt took the decision to be honest with WordPress users around the world, and show just much much outdated useless and potentially damaging junk lurks within the plugin repository.

    Strangely enough, in doing so, I think he would earn respect and admiration for taking a decision ~ which is long overdue ~ by taking it out of the hands of the luckless individual/s who’s job it has become to maintain the repository, and who don’t have the guts, intellect or wit, or for some other reason, are not willing to tell the king he is naked.

    Do the right thing Matt, You know it makes sense.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Andrea Rennick


    Customer Care at Copyblogger Media and Studiopress

    I’ve generally found the “last updated” field in the search results quite helpful. You can sort search results by that as well, and generally one can assume if a plugin has recently been updated, that it would be compatible – more or less.

    Otto did make a change that plugins more than two years out of date do not show in search results. Or they should not. If you find this is not the case, you need to direct your comments and suggestions to him.


    Well, in a way, you’re making my point for me. There are dozens of ways round the system clever programmers and developers can find, I am sure, but that misses the point I was making. The information is there in the plugins and its the work of but a few moments to let everyone see it BEFORE they go any further. And “more than 2 years out of date” is of little use for most people trying to stay up with security patches recommended by WordPress, I would imagine. But thanks for the heads up ~ I’ll have a word with Otto and see what can be done.

    Andrea Rennick


    Customer Care at Copyblogger Media and Studiopress

    Also – in the WordPress admin area when you search for plugins it does show the compatibility.

    The last update date I was referring to in the search results is the finer print right under each plugin blurb on the results page.

    Andrea, I think you are mistaken. 3.4.1 simply shows Name, Version, Rating and Description but no compatibility info unless you have “Better Plugin Compatibility Control” installed, and then it only shows for plugins already installed. So its more of a warning of what needs to be updated or removed.

    The flip to all of that is the compatibility information isn’t exactly reliable. It relies 100% on the person who wrote the plugin and, perhaps worse for your concerns, it may not actually matter at all. I know at least 5 plugins I use regularly that have not been touched since WP 2.8, and they still work perfectly.

    There’s no security patches needed with many plugins, and no need to ‘keep up’ with anything.

    The tl;dr of it is that you cannot use any one tool to judge your plugins, and it’s really a full time job to learn, investigate, and evaluate any plugin before use :/


Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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