[wp-hackers] Feature Suggestion - OneClick Installs

jason switzer jswitzer at gmail.com
Thu Jul 20 02:43:22 GMT 2006

I have been playing with the Widget plugin and found that it finally
resolves one of the two major problems I have with WordPress. I've been
thinking about the other problem and I tried to hobble a solution together
but found that the time investment exceeded my freetime. Instead, I decided
to make a feature proposal I wasn't sure of the correct means to do so, so
bear with me as this may be rather long.

I will also be posting this to my blog at http://s1n.dyndns.org. For a
sample of the following, please refer to http://s1n.dyndns.org/onclick.xml and

Installing plugins and themes have always been a sore spot with me. There
use to be a plugin database but it has become deprecated due to a serious
underlying design flaw. Here's my suggestion: all themes and plugins (any
really anything) should be installed, removed, and updated with a single
click. The flaw with the old plugin database was that the maintainer kept
track of the installing of the plugins when in fact the plugin/theme
developers should themselves do this.

To solve this, an EBuild style file will be downloaded. Similar to Gentoo
EBuilds, the file will dictate the location of the plugin's download and
will provide a function for installing and removing itself. This means that
WordPress developers will not have to maintain information about the
plugin/theme installs but rather the actual developer of said plugin/theme.
For example:

function install(){
   //php install code here

function remove(){
   //php remove code here, removes this plugin entirely


The install/remove functions will be called depending on what the user
chooses from the admin page. The admin page (check the sample) will have a
listing similar to the plugin admin page. In fact, much can be borrowed from
that. These EBuild style files can be downloaded and executed on the fly.
They can use PHP to keep them platform independent.

The next major thing is how these EBuild style files are to be propagated.
RSS seems like the best route here (refer to the XML sample). Note that the
samples are just debug tests; I'm sure a more creative use of RSS can be
devised. The sample plugin PHP code is also debug and is very inelegant. The
RSS can be used to define all of the plugin details and links to the EBuild
style file. This will also allow people to be notified when their plugin is
updated or new plugins are added.

If anyone has any questions about this idea, please ask. I think this could
be extremely powerful and useful, but I could be wrong (maybe there's
something I'm not seeing wrong). I am hoping someone else has the time to
implement this and fill in all of the holes.

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