Alchemy and WP-Medic were offshoots of the same urge of mine in March-Nov ’05, to make WP way easier to use (this mainly involved cutting FTP & phpmyadmin out of the interaction processes.)
WP-Medic was just a troubleshooting toolkit to avoid logins to phpmyadmin by automating common fixes. It’d probably have a wide user base by now if we’d kept up on development, but I’m inclined to think that most people have one-off concerns when needing a tool like WP-Medic that don’t warrant downloading, unzipping, and uploading yet another addon to their WP install. One may as well just login to cpanel and follow the manual instructions.
Alchemy was a totally different project (automagic updating and mangement for the WP core and extensions).
This sounds seditious, but the reason I need WP-Medic is that I’m seeking to repurpose some of its code for the Habari installer (not that I couldn’t put said code together again from scratch; it’s just time-efficient to reuse an already working implementation of certain things.)
Right now my intention with Alchemy is to code it up for Habari rather than for WP. I’m sure WP 2.2 will have some sort of Alchemy-like process though, whether I personally get around to it or not, and whether it’s in the core or not. Of course Dr Dave was on the scene way before me with WP Plugin Manager, and Zirona’s WP-Manage comes tantalizingly close.
I find it interesting in an abstract sense that so much when it comes to development for WP &c. is just a matter of somebody ‘doing it’ rather than needing a genius to come up with a technological breakthrough. I suppose it’s the same with most things in life.