There is a big amount of great plugins out there. But sometimes, even the greatest plugin becomes even greater, and there will be an update. Now us WordPress people are all from planet Web 2.0 — still we don’t get our plugins’ users informed properly on plugin updates.
It would be nice for a WordPress user to have a direct overview of updates of his installed plugins. Therefore I have started to develop a “meta plugin” that will gather this information for the user and display it on a page in the admin menu. But I need support from other plugin authors, so I would like to discuss my ideas here.
The plugin works as follows: A plugin author can provide a link to a special file on his server and add this URI as an parameter to the other info (as “Plugin Name” and “Author URI”) to his plugin. Under the given URI, the update checking plugin would find a small, specially formatted file (I’m thinking of some XML), which would contain additional information — things like new features and security updates.
I have lots of ideas for this plugin, but I can’t really estimate if other plugin authors would be interested in such a framework. Without a doubt, it would raise the value of a plugin, and users would visit authors’ sites more often. The creating of the file could be done by a generator.
If you — plugin authors and users — find the general idea interesting, I would love to hear your opinion on it (and possible criticism, too). If you want, I can explain a bit more detailed what the plugin will do and how it can be used.
Nothing wrong per se with your concept of a ‘meta plugin,’ but note that similar projects (or ones which indirectly offer the same functionality) have been tried or discussed before.
And in regards to the last link, I believe the WP-Hackers mailing list is the best place to bring the topic up for (another) discussion.
Ah yes, I already thought I wouldn’t be the first with this thought. Thanks very much for your links.
The post of “Computer Guru” is pretty much what I was thinking about. Only that he wanted to implement as core file, while I would do it as plugin. I think I’ll write him a message. The ML discussion seems to lead nowhere.
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