Support » Requests and Feedback » methods to notify the “WP site” plugin sectionTeam of problems

  • ATTN To the Team that manages the plugin section of the WordPress website.

    Situation
    I noticed the following message on a plugin page ;

    This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

    This message has obviously been overlayed at the top of the plugin page by the WordPress website plugin section team.
    Presumably there has been some decision process, that has resulted from information coming to the “WordPress plugin section Team’s” attention.
    Then in the interest of making sure future potential users of this plugin are aware of the implicated risks, this warning has been made.
    This warning is also of interest to present users of the plugin, who may have returned to the respective plugin page after experiencing a related problem.

    This is all good.
    People are warned, and many problems can be avoided.
    The notice (presumeably) may be removed if in future, the plugin and its pages shows signs of being recently “maintained or supported” .

    From the use of “may” in the message “may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues” , it is likely that this message has been generated based on an assumption caused by lack of information, rather than a certainty based on information which has been provided – such as the plugin author contacting to state that they will no longer support their plugin.

    Suggestion
    The methods for collection of data (as well as collection of “lack of data”), that may give early warning to the WordPress website Plugin section Team, might be able to be improved.
    The detection of plugins that are reaching a low “status” of being any of the following ;

      maintained or
      supported or
      may have compatibility issues with WordPress

    Some methods of improving the detection of these statuses could include ;
    note – it is assumed that the WordPress plugin section Team generate these messages either by becoming aware of a probable problem, or from actively scanning the plugin catalog for them.

    a) algorithms which check the last time a response of any type was made by the plugin author. Such responses might include to topics, reviews, updates made, and/or edits to their plugin page.

    b) algorithms which looks at the last percentage (say 5 to 20) of the “star ratings”, to detect a consistent significant downward trend.

    c) have some way for plugin authors to to declare/state that they are “not going to continue to” or “are temporarily suspending” any of these activities. (possibly a better method is to indicate the frequency with which they are active with their plugin (e.g. hourly, daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, annually, bi-annually, sparingly, sporadically, will end some time).
    This can be declared on the plugin page, and to the WordPress plugin section team.
    This can be displayed in meta-tag searchable form.

    d) In the case when a “plugin is showing signs of languishing”, and the WordPress plugin section Team has not yet detected this, or assigned any low status to it, then earlier warning might be possible from users that have detected the plugins reduced performance (due to compatibility with WP or PHP), significantly reduced support or maintenance.
    The information from the user can then be communicated to the “WordPress website plugin section Team” by some method which they think is best.
    Some methods that might be considered suitable (but in any case it is more important to have some method which can work);
    d-i) a button on a plugin page
    d-ii) a link to a form to fill in (which substitutes the details for the plugin automatically)
    d-iii) (i) and (ii) above available in the plugin section pages or footer, so the information can be provided if the respective plugin’s pages can no
    be found or have been deleted (especially after serious problem have happened with users sites that still have old version installed or active).
    d-iv) the data that is collected, can be handled individually/specifically or by statistics depending on the level of detection and response that the team thinks is suitable.

    Additional Use for the same Function
    Plugins may need to satisfy requirements for being on the WordPress website.
    These same methods might be used to provide information if low performance is detected in any of these.

    These suggestions are intended to help improve the flow and timeliness of information of the present statuses of plugins, for all the users of WordPress, and to help maintain the inter-operability of it sub components.

    Additional Consideration

    Particularly in the case of single author plugins, there may eventually be occasion where the plugin becomes permanently unsupported. The plugin is then at risk of receiving many negative topics and reviews, due to the cessation of the good work done up to the point when it stopped.
    In the case of “languishing plugins”, a certain degree of discretion might be helpful to consider in the detection, data reporting, decisions, report messages, and seeking any confirmation from the author.

    Possibly helpful preparitory precaution

    It might be helpful to invite plugin authors to provide information on what they would like done with their plugins, in the event that they no longer support or maintain them.
    Options might include ;

    make the code available for for open-source use by somebody else who wants to take over the project.
    make the code available for for open-source use by anybody else who wants to incorporate it into their own project.
    leave it as it is – no further improvement.
    remove it from the plugin catalog if it gets too unusable.
    any other request that is reasonable to do

    These are just some thoughts, and hopefully none of them are helpful because they have already been thought of (whether used or not used).

    Thanks

    • This topic was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by  Steve Stern.
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