Support » Requests and Feedback » Plugin Quality Seems to Digress :(

  • Resolved Mike W

    (@leewells)


    I love WordPress, but not just because of its blogging capabilities. I fell in love with the software because of its scalability and expandability through plugins.

    I’m a plugin author myself. Over the past few years, trying to get one piece of plugin software into the SVN that at first had a byline at the bottom was kicked because it was not allowed. So that can be understandable. However, after removing this byline there was another month of arguing bank and forth with the plugin moderators about how it was a service, even though it was based on an entirely free service.

    After they nitpicked the bones out of the plugin, forcing me to even scale it down (and to offer pieces as a pro version), I was finally able to publish the plugin in the repository.

    However, today I was just browsing through plugins for Buddypress. The first two pages were mostly decent plugins. After that, it stopped. Plugins were either broken, entirely, or they were plugins based entirely on paid services or plugins entirely dependent on a pro plugin.

    I’m at a loss for words to how some of these plugins even made it through these, “Stickler Dan” plugin moderators, but being as they did, I believe the very spirit of some of these plugins violates the spirit of the GPLv3.

    PAID SOFTWARE/PRO SOFTWARE

    Being there is naming and shaming rules, I won’t post links, but search “Buddypress” and look at the 3-6 pages (xxx pro, xxxxx pro etc).

    The guidelines state exactly that the repository isn’t to be used for pro software, that the repositories and wordpress.org will not use their monies to host paid content. Again, I’m entirely unsure how these plugins made it into the repository to begin with but it seems almost insulting.

    PRO DEPENDANCIES

    This seems to be someone gaming the system through a loophole, advertising their plugins by offering free modules inside the repository that when you download the plugin you get a nice little popup in your WP Dashboard that tells you “XXXXXXX Requires XXXXX PRO”.

    Why would you even publish software like that knowing it is entirely dependent on a software that is forbidden to be in the wordpress.org repository?

    SUMMARY

    Maybe I’m just a little butthurt from spending a few hours, thinking I had some amazing plugins and then finding out that every one of them were no-gos because the community I’m trying to help out would have to ante up $4,000+ USD to use half of the plugins I downloaded.

    If it is not the case of true butthurt, then I think the atmosphere of plugins is getting quite ridiculous and out of hand.

    That’s my two cents on it. Mods, I don’t intend to be offensive or abusive to you guys, if at anything, I think this should alert you to at least the honest feelings of one of your users and developers.

    For plugin authors that are engaging in these practices ๐Ÿ™ is all i can say. What a shame.

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Moderator Jan Dembowski

    (@jdembowski)

    Brute Squad and Volunteer Moderator

    I do not think you or this post is offensive in anyway. Though I do still have caveats about this.

    The Request and Feedback sub-forum is about WordPress software, the forums, the sections of the forums, features that are liked or dislike built into WordPress, etc. A simple example: there’s feedback in this sub-forum about the new 4.5 inline link feature in the post editor. Now there is some feedback alright.

    This? This is your blog post. That’s not really for these forums. You’re opining on WordPress Universe at Largeโ„ข and this isn’t the place for that. Yes, you do tie it into plugin repo but it’s not so much about the plugin repo as much as it is about what you consider the sad state of affairs.

    There are plugin guidelines and it’s called that because people tend to game it when you set them in stone as rules. They’re specific in places but intentionally vague in others. They are up for interpretation but the plugins team gets the last word on that.

    The majority of plugin authors do not engage in the behavior above. The ones that cross the line (as determined by the plugins team), they do get a response and one way or the other it gets resolved.

    *Drinks coffee*

    I do not agree or even disagree with your conclusion about the plugin or even theme state of affairs in WordPress at large. But this isn’t about the repo exactly, it’s about the behavior of some authors who happen to use the repo.

    A better place to post this would be a social site such as the Reddit group or AWP at FB.

    Hi Mike,

    I think Jan has pretty much nailed it but one point I wanted to add was around the fact that you can see plugins that you don’t think should have been allowed based on the same criteria applied to yours. Guess what? Standards change. In the case of WordPress, for the better as they review and tighten their guidelines. And what they don’t want to do it kick out existing plugins when they do this – it’s not fair to those original authors and, in particular, users of those plugins.

    So, yeah, you will see existing plugins that don’t meet those same requirements that we insist you do. But the intent is to ensure that WordPress continues to make people “fall in love” with its software.

    But, please, don’t let these criticisms put you off developing for WordPress. It’s still a fantastic platform to develop for and I hope you can understand that these conditions are only there for the best of intentions for both developers and users.

    David.

    Not to necro an old thread, but I feel a follow-up is warranted.

    Since I posted many plugins were removed from the repo or changed. Again, to avoid naming and shaming, many of the plugins I commented on and pointed out the infractions of the plugin either changed or was removed. I commend the moderators on that.

    However, after coming back and having some restored faith in the community again, I notice now that this has brought some unwanted attention to my WP.org account and seemingly for no reason I have been moderated. This is disconcerting, as I feel it promotes an atmosphere of literal oppression and the suppression of ideas, critique, and feedback — all of which are critical to improving a community and/or website.

    Just to be clear: My words at no time, in any post were dirty, nasty, or hurtful, not unless citing the current events were hurtful, so I am at a loss to why my account would have been moderated as it happened 30 days after this post where this (and posts that addressed the issue with specific plugin authors in my ratings) was the last post I made except for in my own plugin support forums.

    https://profiles.wordpress.org/leewells#content-activity

    I have very mixed feelings, as the repository was most certainly tidied up seemingly as a response to this thread, I’m incredibly disheartened that someone would lash out by moderating my WP.org account.

    Moderator Jan Dembowski

    (@jdembowski)

    Brute Squad and Volunteer Moderator

    Since I posted many plugins were removed from the repo or changed. Again, to avoid naming and shaming, many of the plugins I commented on and pointed out the infractions of the plugin either changed or was removed. I commend the moderators on that.

    Actually plugins get removed for a variety of reasons. Don’t assume it has anything to do with the points brought up here. Note that no one can comment about why a specific plugin has been removed and the moderators aren’t the ones who make that decision.

    Here’s some reasons why plugins get removed, usually temporarily.

    • The author requests that. Sometimes supporting a plugin gets to be too much and the author asks for his plugin to be removed. Or the repository isn’t the venue they want to work.
    • The plugin violates the Plugin Guidelines. When that happens the author is contacted and if they choose then they and fix the issue and the plugin will get re-reviewed. If the plugin is in compliance then it’s approved and returns.
    • Security issues. It happens. It’s also a big reason why no one will speculate about why a plugin is removed. Responsible disclosure is a thing here.

    You get the idea.

    I have very mixed feelings, as the repository was most certainly tidied up seemingly as a response to this thread, Iโ€™m incredibly disheartened that someone would lash out by moderating my WP.org account.

    You really need to remove speculation about other people’s intention from post like this. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Here’s why: your account was auto-flagged by the forum software before the migration here from bbPress 1.dinosaur to the (mostly) current version of bbPress we are running now.

    No moderator flagged your account for moderation. How do I know this? Your posting history is available to me on the new and old systems and there’s nothing you’ve posted that warrants moderation. Also the moderators talk to each other and your account never came up.

    *Drinks coffee*

    I’ve un-flagged your account.

    The auto-flag was a “feature” of the old software. I think the new software will do that provided you hit the spam filter excessively and that’s not you.

    Go forth and post away here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    No moderator flagged your account for moderation.

    Cool beans then, but may I ask how did I get flagged? I mean what, besides posting to my own support forums would have possibly triggered a flag?

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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