Support » Requests and Feedback » Rename “Hacks” for WP

  • I was reading through the reviews for WordPress and one of the claims that struck me the most was that WordPress does not have the “Plug-In” system that MT has (which somehow makes WP weaker competition). I completely disagree with this theory and would like to correct some of these reviewers. As a WP “hacker”, I am thoroughly pissed when someone says that WP is not as good as another blog tool because we dont have a lame plug-in that tells people how many movies they have checked out at some online rental place!
    However, one thing that comes to mind is the term “Hacks” that we use so often. “Hack” has a very negative connotation and at best it leads people to believe that these “hacks” are weak additions to the main program and dont deserve to be considered part of the package. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Plug-Ins are obviously taken. Could we come up with a better name?
    allusion’s my-hacks.php is a giant step in the right direction.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • I agree with NM. I like the term “Mods”. I don’t necessarily think “Plug-In” is a good term to use because it gives a sense of Plug-And-Play…. which isn’t waht a lot of the *aham* Mods do. But they are modifications to the code base. Usually for the better. If there was a way to just dro pa file into a “Plug-In” folder, flip a setting and have something new happen w/o doing anything further, then “Plug-In” would be appropriate. That usually isn’t the case since a template is involved as well.
    My vote goes to “WP-Mods”.
    OK, so with my 2 cents, we now have 4.

    What is REALLY needed is a page on listing all the mods with descriptions etc.. so that the users don’t have to browse through the forum for hacks and so that hacks don’t get lost.
    I tried starting to list some on the wiki:
    But I’m not familiar with the hacks, also the wiki isn’t linked off the main site.

    Very sweet! Thanks sisob, good job!
    I have a somewhat comprehensive list of all hacks I know about on my weblog tools collection blog. I will try to collate the information to the best of my knowledge.

    Yes, ‘hacks’ sounds slightly scary for no0bs. It has that ‘not quite official so it might give me a virus and crash my computer’ vibe about it. I like ‘mods’. Or how about ‘extensions’?

    Hi all,
    I think that the main issue is not the name “hack”, “plugin” or “mods”, but the way how implement it.
    If I understand weel now the way to add the new functions (=add features to WP) in my-hacks.php file; so the big issue that I see is that each time that I want to add a hack i must to modify this file.
    I think that will be great to have a file for each hack, for example have a folder where store all the hacks and the admin section for install, enable/disable the hack.
    I like WP because have some features, but other are missing …
    A better implementation of this feature will help a lot the diffusion of WP … look MT 😉
    Take also a look how 2 others PHP blog have implemented the plugin feature:


    In all the cases that you have mentioned above, albeit even for MT, plug-ins are additions (or modules like the NetFlix Plug-in which shows a persons’ rental cue) to the final html file that is rendered. In the case of WP, hacks are changes to the code base which can not only add features, but can also change the output of the base template. I believe that this was the reason that they were called “hacks” in the first place. The ability of a programmer to change even the nitty gritty details of the final blog page is very useful and is not provided by the plug-in system. So if WordPress hacks were completely limited to being implemented through a unified system of folders or a single file, it could lead to one of two problems:
    1) If the system allowed for the kind of hacks we have seen so far, it would be slow to render because of the parsing taking place
    2) The system would not allow some of the hacks we have for WP already.
    If I misunderstood your point, please correct me. I vote for ‘mods’. I dont know if any discussion in this forum is going to change the minds of the developers, but I do think that the hack terminology could be a hinderance to the growing popularity of WP.

    I suggested this in the other thread, and I don’t see why plugin can’t be used. I know that people are afraid of WP being considered an MT clone, but it’s clearly not. I agree that hacks isn’t the best term for it. It’s acceptable in the software-dev world, to be certain, but as I see it WP, as logware, isn’t “aiming for that market”.
    Someone [probably Craig, probably on the wp-docs list] mentioned naming the file wp-mods. I think that fits in the overall naming structure of things.
    The other issue with modifications is, of course, community support. I’ll leave that up to Matt and the other developers as to how they want to deal with it, but I do strongly suggest that there is some community support and a couple folks willing to put their time into organizing the effort. It needs to be someone the community and the developers trust.

    I spend enough time on promoting WP that I would help in any way for the wp-mods effort. I dont think I am good enough to be a developer, but I do hack away a lot! 😛

    I nominate Geof and Mark.
    All in favour? 1-2-3-4…5943-5944! Good.
    Opposed? <sound of crickets chirping>
    Carried unanimously.
    Welcome to the the WP Railroad! 🙂

    I think Daniele pointed us to some good ‘competitive’ info — and it should be absorbed. I looked at pLog before, and it has a pretty nice system. I like the approaches given for ‘plugin’ or ‘block’ extension functionality — that is, some kind of standard way for defining/building, then including/using, a piece of new functionality. AND, be able to then skin/template it to your desires for your site.
    I think you use a term that everyone in ‘the market’ understands. That’d likely be ‘plugin’ or ‘block’. However, maybe there are ‘new’ terms we need to come up with to differentiate ‘types’ of modifications — or adaptation of terms that already exist. 😉
    But you also need to consider some things about that ‘average person’ who is brought up in these conversations. First, if they can get basically into PHP, then a plugin-type system would take care of quickly exposing new pieces/blocks of code to them with a simple line or two or three. Less lines is easier. If the plugins all take certain parameters (in main body or sidebar, maybe a style object or start/end block callbacks, etc.), this stuff becomes pretty simple to extend, very simple to use, and completely skinnable.
    Even the above-average people would benefit from a more structured system for ‘certain types’ of extending-functionality for WP.
    However, if we look at an ‘average person’ that CAN’T deal with PHP, we shift into a new and interesting world — one where the admin interface would include a simple ‘layout’ page, where you could pick a basic layout format (2 or 3 columns say), and then have an admin page per column where you can insert/remove, shift up/down, blocks or whatever you want to call them.
    I’m not advocating WP become a *nuke. Far from it. I think the nukes are all WAY too complex for the average user who wants to post away. However, what should be learned from the net is that the ‘average user’ quickly wants to be able to differentiate their site, using simple color changes, texture/skin changes, columns, extensions, all the way to completely hacked PHP. 😉
    Just throwing in my 2c. Oh, btw, I just shifted my index to use a start_block/end_block style of ‘coding’ to make the index cleaner but allow for all the div wrappering to make it easily stylized. I’ve duped it (in its at-this-exact-moment form) as if people want to see the raw code. This is just ‘step #1’ — where #2 is to move to a ‘plugin’ style system where the plugins call the wrappering/styling functionality around their content creation..

    Don’t go nominating me for diddly! 😉

    LOL…i am starting to love this thread and the people contributing to it. All of our discussion is worth nothing without some input from the dev team. Would allusion, Mike, Mike, Alex or any of the others like to provide some input?

    <scratches gfmorris off of “diddly” list>
    Okay, done, my friend. You are no longer nominated for diddly. Now, about the nomination for “squat”…

    I’ve thought a lot about this, but I’m not sure either way yet.

    Well, after a few things I did to my site last night, I have the following thought. Modifications to WP come in several flavors:
    A) Hacks — these are hacks of the genuine kind. Cracking open the core files and monkeying with the code. For the most part I think we’ve tried to avoid doing this when possible.
    B) Add-ons — These are items that get bolted on after market so to speak. They add functionality to the site. This would be things like the calendar, or Nicer Archives.
    C) Extentions — These are modifications which extend the functionality of the core. I relate this to things like the code that gives the Year/months/days/hours/etc. of posts.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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