Support » Plugin: WP-SpamShield » Plugin removed from repository?

Viewing 13 replies - 46 through 58 (of 58 total)
  • Can you explain to me why the WPSS author is unwilling to remove the offending code from the class.compatibility.php file? It seems to me that he was asked to remove code by the people responsible for maintaining the repository; and he made the choice that he was unwilling to remove that code. So what’s to “mediate” at this point?

    I could see the value of mediation to resolve the dispute between the two plugin authors to resolve their dispute — but they both seem entrenched in their positions. And I think that’s a job outside the scope of the WP plugin team.

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Plugin Review Team Rep

    Scott has posted what he believes to be the reasoning behind our removal of his plugin on his blog. In that post he explains why he won’t fix the plugin here. That’s the best answer I’ve got for you, as anything else would be me putting words in his mouth.

    Thanks – I’ve seen his new post at

    I think it’s pretty clear that he’s got his own interpretation of events and isn’t going to change his mind. So I’m slowly migrating away from his plugin.

    I read Scott’s version of events and assuming it is accurate (and looks like it is because he provided sufficient evidence in my mind to substantiate his claims), this is very concerning.

    I have always believed that WordPress was one of the best things to happen to the WWW and am a passionate advocate of it as a force of good online.

    If Otto is indeed behaving in this manner, his position as a administrator is untenable!

    I would really like to hear Otto’s and yours version of events @ipstenu and I think you OWE this to the community.

    I await your response

    I wonder if we can petition to have it put back on the repository. I had reasons to choose Spamshield over other spam blockers, and since then have been happy with it. It sounds like a disagreement over terms, and users should not be punished for that. I certainly won’t go back to Akismet!

    Akismet has a LOT of false positives and is an interior product to WP-Spamshield. Period!

    The only reason it’s more widely used is because it is bundled with core by most auto-installers used by web hosts

    From what I have been able to discern so far, I don’t think Scott’s very long rant is accurate. I assume that it his interpretation of events, and he probably genuinely believes what he writes. However, given the history of my interactions with him on this support board, I don’t give a lot of credence to his accusations. Without going into unnecessary details, he has in the past made similar, false accusations against me in these forum, and I have seen him making similar unfounded accusations against other participants in this forum.

    So I agree that his plugin is a good product, but the developer has a long history of blaming and accusing others and denying his own responsibility for problems.

    As far as what he says about his code — I think he’s playing word games. The code in the /includes/classcompatibility.php file definitely prevents “Plugin Organizer” from working and that entire file is set up to potentially interfere with many other common plugins as well. Maybe someone with more coding experience than I have can weigh in — but I think he has just decided that he doesn’t like that “Plugin Organizer” give a site owner the ability to selectively disable Spamshield. But the whole point of Plugin Organizer is to give site owners the ability to do exactly that with all their plugins.

    So, no, I don’t think Otto needs to engage with him. The actual emails are reall clear– Otto & Mika want Scott to remove code that specifically targets and/or interferes with the function of Plugin Organizer from his plugin. Scott doesn’t want to do that.

    I think that Otto & Mika could have decided to disallow Plugin Organizer from WordPress, given the nature of its functions — but they chose otherwise. I really don’t think more debate is needed. This shouldn’t be about personalities. It is reasonable that the people running the plugin repository should be able to request specific changes to plugins without it becoming a huge battle.

    I’ve also read the full article, but giving an overload of statistics (Akismet vs WP-SpamShield) and thinking that it might be a reason for the removal, isn’t the same as giving evidence.

    Most comments about people saying stuff, might look bad on their own, but are grabbed out of context. As soon as you are looking at the whole picture, you see how these original statements were meant.

    Maybe Otto and/or Mika have made mistakes in this process or in the past (they are only human), but if Scott hates the whole WordPress world so much that he sees conspiracies everywhere, I’m wondering why he’s even still using WordPress.

    Many more thoughts crossed my mind about his latest article, but I’ve decided not to write them down here, because I’m not sure how to say it clearly in English and I don’t want to feed this rage any further.

    I’ve closed the WP-SpamShield chapter. It was a great plugin, but the developer has to blame himself the most for this removal.

    When you weed through the verbiage of Scott’s very long blog post, the crux of the issue comes down to this:

    Scott installed an MU which targeted Plugin Organizer (PO). The wordpress plugin team asked him to remove that code. He removed the code from the MU file, but at the same time restored older code targeting PO to a different file. The WordPress team then asked him to remove that code as well, and Scott is unwling to do so.

    From Scott’s own blog post:

    October 27th, Otto wrote:

    The Plugin Organizer author removed the code from his plugin to deactivate yours. We expect you to do the same.

    After Scott removed the MU but restored code targeting PO which he calls a “compatibility bridge”:

    November 9th, Otto wrote:

    You will remove any and all code that interferes with Plugin Organizer in any way whatsoever. You will remove all mention of Plugin Organizer from the plugin.

    Scott wrote:

    WP-SpamShield has a warning notice (which they advised us to add), and a compatibility bridge (which they advised us to as well), but nothing “targeting” Plugin Organizer.

    Not true: classcompatibility.php has a function called “deconflict_po” which specifically modifies the action of Plugin Organizer. Scott admits as much in his screed – “”WP-SpamShield changes the value of 5 settings in PO

    Scott posted a list of reasons as to “why we cannot remove the compatibility bridge” implying that it would break function of WPSS.

    I went in to one of my sites, backed up the classcompatibility.php file, and then deleted the lines referencing PO — (lines 173-178, 306-324). Everyhing on that site works as expected, SpamShield javascript is called and used on all pages, no error messages thrown.

    So for anyone who does not use Plugin Organizer, that code mades no difference.

    I’m no coding expert, but I cannot see any possible way that removing the PO-specific function in the classcompatibility.php could possibly impact any other function of the WPSS plugin.

    If PO is not installed – Scott’s code is superfluous.

    If PO is installed, then Scott’s code modifies its settings.

    If Scott doesn’t want to change his plugin, that’s his business.

    But as much as he rants, that’s the only issue here. It’s not about free speech or democracy or a long-standing conspiracy or competition with Akismet — its simply an attempt to address a problem between two plugin authors.

    I don’t think that the phrase “compatibility bridge” means what Scott thinks it does.

    I was big fan od WP-SpamShield, and I still am. At the same time thankful too for all this for free.
    But this man has some big issues. Pushing limits all the time to see where is the tipping point of other people.

    – OK, I am nice, I wont force disable/delete Plugin Organizer.
    – But I will hit you with non-removable Admin notice that will make you crazy for 5 years, until you self decide to delete Plugin Organizer.

    It is called Vendetta, not coding.

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Plugin Review Team Rep

    There’s no petition needed here to restore WPSS. What has to happen is the code we identified (the one that prevents PO from running and saving data) needs to be addressed in one of three ways:

    1) Disabling WPSS as long as PO is active.
    2) An alert that is NON-dismissable, telling people not to use PO.
    3) An option to check for users to disable PO from interfering.

    I’m open for hearing other options, but those were the three I pitched to Scott. He said no, and asked all his plugins be closed.

    The facts aren’t in dispute:

    * PO and WPSS bickered in the forums
    * Both plugins wrote code to disable the other
    * Both were contacted and told to stop fighting in the forums and to remove the code that disabled the other or they’d be closed
    * WPSS left in the code that prevented PO from saving
    * WPSS was closed two weeks later

    Why was WPSS closed? Because that code in class-compatibility.php wasn’t removed.

    Why did it take two weeks without further warning? Because we didn’t look. We opted to TRUST when PO and WPSS said they’d remove the code. We’d already granted them both an exception to the norm by not closing them immediately in the first place. This was an extension of that, granted due to not wanting to adversely impact the users more than we had to. We’ve been experimenting with warning-then-closing vs closing-right-away this year.

    Was Otto’s email about the closure angry? Yes. And he and I have talked about that.

    Who’s decision was it to have Otto email Scott about this? Mine. I specifically asked him to. This is normal, though. We often ask the other to handle things to share the load of being hated.

    Were my emails about this incident angry? No. I was never angry when I wrote them. The only time I spoke knowingly angrily to them about this matter was when they left 1-star reviews for each other.

    Do I have regrets? Yes. Scott either misunderstood what we meant when we said to remove the code, or he willfully left that code in. Either way, we should have been more clear and said originally to remove the interfering code. Instead, we made an assumption that our intent was understood. That one is on us.

    Are we, the plugin team, making changes based on this? Not exactly.

    We ARE working on rewording our guidelines for clarity, however that’s work I’ve been doing since WCEU and the Community Summit. It was always my intent to post the updated guidelines around WCUS. That hasn’t changed. However I did ramp up the work to publicize and open source the plugin ‘predefined replies’ we use when handling issues. I wasn’t going to do that until January, but I’ll probably work on it over Christmas.

    Mika, thank you for the explanatory post. I think that your 3 suggestions are all quite reasonable. Actually I think a combination of all 3 would make sense– and certainly would assure that anyone using PO would be well aware of the conflict.

    Removed from all my websites.

    This plugin gives brute force, and many others, protection besides:

    Was on my way to say thank you for free and GPL code, but no. Not after you forced me to set Plugin Organizer again on all websites.

    People who do not read this forum often have no chance to know you reset PO settings.

Viewing 13 replies - 46 through 58 (of 58 total)
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