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#1 2012-01-24 19:22:46

hilaryaq
Plugin Author
Registered: 2006-08-20
Posts: 139
Website

Lots of broken/abandoned plugins

Some of my favs, vdh_flickr, last updated 2008, currently triggering server errors due to the age of the code (security standards are tighter for php all the time)

smd_gallery, going to a dead link.. I can’t think of others now, but there are just so many I’m coming across constantly.

Should there not be a policy to allow multiple versions of the same plugin? So we have ONE flickr integration plugin active which is vdh_flickr, not updated since 2008, and yet because there is one, the admins would not submit a second plugin that does the same thing to the plugin directory am I right in that understanding?

I think a much better way is to always allow multiple versions of plugins that do the same thing, and at least out of 4 maybe one would not be abandoned?

It’s sad to look at the recent comments and lots of people looking at plugins from 2008: textpattern.org/comments

Anything we can do? I’ve tried developing a few plugins, I even tried to do my own Flickr one but I can’t do it without reliance on the phpFlickr open source code, meaning extra files, fine for me to install on my own server but too complex for anyone else they just want a plugin to install and go..


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#2 2012-01-24 19:27:40

hilaryaq
Plugin Author
Registered: 2006-08-20
Posts: 139
Website

Re: Lots of broken/abandoned plugins

Or let’s say for vdh_flickr which apparantly hasn’t been touched since 2008, if I was to tweak that, tighten up the security etc, and just do a bit of maintenance, am I then contacting the plugin author to send the code for updating or how does that work?


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I <3 txp
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#3 2012-01-24 19:35:01

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 5,821
Website

Re: Lots of broken/abandoned plugins

hilaryaq wrote:

Or let’s say for vdh_flickr which apparantly hasn’t been touched since 2008, if I was to tweak that, tighten up the security etc, and just do a bit of maintenance, am I then contacting the plugin author to send the code for updating or how does that work?

Generally if you update a plugin, either a) re-release it under your own three-letter prefix or b) contact the author and offer to take over ownership using their TLP.

Under the new .org site (yeah yeah, one day) there’s a new option to become a designated maintainer of a plugin which eases this process. Plus a load of other goodies, including a cached copy of the plugin so when a site goes down (as mine has done today — you’re just unlucky to want smd_gallery right now, sorry) you can still get at the latest version.

Please don’t despair. If you really want to help this situation get better, consider lending a hand with the .org site. Contact me if you’re interested… but when my site comes back online of course since I can’t receive any e-mails at the moment…

Last edited by Bloke (2012-01-24 19:35:57)


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#4 2012-01-24 19:43:40

hilaryaq
Plugin Author
Registered: 2006-08-20
Posts: 139
Website

Re: Lots of broken/abandoned plugins

Absolutely Stef, I can give a hand with the site I love Txp, I did despair that it was looking unloved and a bit overgrown ;)

I like that you can update a plugin and put a prefix on it, and you can always link back to the older version not to disregard the work they did.. I might start doing that as I go along but only if it’s good enough code/update to deserve a re-release, no point re-releasing if it’s pretty much the same thing so i might check that out and see what I could do with it..

I do think though that you should take multiple versions of the same functionality in the plugin, if I had 4 versions that did the same thing, I would still inspect each one to see which one uses the more elegant and secure code, so the danger of only allowing one in the directory is you might not have the BEST plugin, but just the first one if that makes sense.. thanks for the reply :) Hope your site comes back soon for you!


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I <3 txp
…………………

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#5 2012-01-24 19:45:25

hilaryaq
Plugin Author
Registered: 2006-08-20
Posts: 139
Website

Re: Lots of broken/abandoned plugins

By the way thanks for all the plugins over the years, between you and zem I had everything covered thank you so much.


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I <3 txp
…………………

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#6 2012-01-24 23:33:41

MattD
Plugin Author
From: Monterey, California
Registered: 2008-03-21
Posts: 1,183
Website

Re: Lots of broken/abandoned plugins

There is no limit on plugins allowed in the directory. If I build a gallery plugin that does what smd_gallery does plus one other feature there’s nothing preventing me from publishing it via the .org site.


My Plugins

Piwik Dashboard, Minibar, Article Image Colorpicker, Admin Datepicker, Admin Google Map, Admin Colorpicker

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#7 2012-01-25 00:04:20

hilaryaq
Plugin Author
Registered: 2006-08-20
Posts: 139
Website

Re: Lots of broken/abandoned plugins

It’s the “plus one feature” that isn’t necessarily the best way to go, 4 plugins could have exactly the same functionality and identical features, that doesn’t mean the code running them is identical, in fact one could eat resources while one doesn’t, one might only run on php4, the other on php5, one might require a library plugin, the other might not.. there are so many differences in how php code is written, I really would prefer to download 5 different plugins for the same thing and decide myself which had the best code behind it for me and my system.. does that make sense? I don’t expect the way of doing things to change, but I think it would help a LOT for plugin development, it doesn’t make sense to me not to allow multiple plugins doing the same thing unless the php code behind this is literally also identical.. it’s like saying Wordpress and Textpattern have the same functionality and are therefore the same, some things are more elegant..

I also think if you allow multiple versions you are hedging your bets to at least having one of those kept up as regards development, because I have never seen so many dead plugin links in my 5 years of using Textpattern as I see now, maybe if multiple plugins were allowed, while person 1 abandoned theirs, person 2 updated their one last year..

Last edited by hilaryaq (2012-01-25 00:07:11)


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I <3 txp
…………………

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#8 2012-01-25 00:09:50

hilaryaq
Plugin Author
Registered: 2006-08-20
Posts: 139
Website

Re: Lots of broken/abandoned plugins

Or some plugins install tables in your database, and there’s now no alternative to it because the next guy didn’t have the extra feature added on, where actually people might like to download one that wouldn’t alter their database, or some such thing..


…………………
I <3 txp
…………………

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#9 2012-01-25 00:28:34

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 5,821
Website

Re: Lots of broken/abandoned plugins

hilaryaq wrote:

it doesn’t make sense to me not to allow multiple plugins doing the same thing

Not quite sure I follow your “not allowed” logic. Who says you can’t have two plugins doing the same, or very similar, things? Look at ign_password_protect: long been the staple diet for people doing frontside login. It uses its own table for user management, then Txp’s built-in user management got (a bit) better and then smd_user_manager came along to extend it further.

rvm_privileged was dreamed up with a fabulously minimalist approach to front-side content segregation (use admin-side to log in, then use the tags to restrict access).

Recently, cbe_frontauth took a new angle, combining the rvm_ and ign_ ideas with a new twist, and most recently (last week in fact) mck_login popped up. And to some degree, smd_user_manager’s smd_um_has_privs tag gives you the ability to define custom priv areas for your own uses on the public site.

So there are now 4 or 5 plugins doing front-of-house login/priv protection. Go nuts, download them all, grok each one and decide which you like then delete the ones you think are shady.

I’ve taken plenty of plugin ideas from others and tweaked them (mdp_calendar => smd_calendar ; wet_for_each_image => smd_gallery ; dru_random_image => smd_random_banner ; dru_random_text => smd_random_text ; …). The one that becomes the most popular is the one that fills the niche and does it well as regarded by the community. Doesn’t necessarily matter how old it is as long as it works on the version of Txp you are using.

But, with the volume of plugins now available, textpattern.org does a piss poor job of helping out in this regard and that’s the focus of the revamp: to help people find the hidden gems and bring plugins to everyone in an easily digestible and downright tasty meal.

P.S. Thanks for the offer of help. I’ll be in touch.

Last edited by Bloke (2012-01-25 00:34:09)


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern.

Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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#10 2012-01-26 18:57:06

lazlo
Member
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 35

Re: Lots of broken/abandoned plugins

The plugin site should have a timeline/graph that show activity and relationships (tagged). Something like Github’s or push plugins to github, or any such similar codebase storage system.

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