[wp-hackers] Improving Plugin (and Theme) metadata

Stephen Rider wp-hackers at striderweb.com
Sun Jan 27 00:23:17 GMT 2008

On Jan 25, 2008, at 9:46 PM, Jacob Santos wrote:

> I don't think the current way is going to be replaced. It would be  
> crazy to go from hundreds, if not thousands of plugins to only a  
> handful, as I've stated before. Therefore, it makes logical sense  
> that the current method will be supported for the next few versions.

Certainly.  Agreed.

> Given WordPress awesome backwards compatibility record, I don't  
> believe the current method is going anywhere within the next few  
> versions. Perhaps you are going to deprecate it, but it seems  
> illogical and unreasonable to completely remove it.

I think the idea is to leave the current method working, but if  
somebody wants to make it localizable, they can use the second  
method.  Kind of the difference between using strings in a plugin or  
passing all strings through __() -- adding the __() function didn't  
stop anybody from ignoring it completely and using plain strings.

I don't believe anybody is talking about deprecating or removing the  
plain jane meta-data-in-a-comment method.  This is an enhancement,  
not a replacement.

> I don't believe it is going to be removed, but I have no authority  
> on that matter, you do! However, I'm sure you'll see the reasoning.  
> Right now there is a chance to fix it for WordPress 2.5, and let me  
> explain.
> 1. The patch is simple, should not cause any huge problems, once  
> the issues are addressed and trust me by this weekend they will be.  
> The counter to this is that by adding this feature, WordPress will  
> then have to support it and supply fixes for something that is  
> going to be eventually deprecated.

_THAT_ is the reason not to do a "quickie" fix that is effectively  
going to be deprecated before anybody even sees it.  Doing a new  
method for v 2.5, just to replace it with a _different_ methodology  
in 2.6 is a bad move, because either the next version of WP will  
screw up plugins for 2.5, OR we will then have to support two  
different methods (three!) for the forseeable future.  It's a short  
term fix that will add unnecessary overhead in the future.

> 2. The patch will get plugin developers ready for the eventual  
> improved solution, which also uses gettext. So you have a fix for  
> WordPress 2.5 that uses gettext and to the user, it will appear to  
> be a bump up in an already established feature.

They both use gettext, but that's under the hood code.  You're  
talking about introducing one method, and then a second that is not  
compatible with the first.

> 3. We don't have an implementation right now that replaces the  
> current behavior. My interest is almost diminished to be honest, so  
> I'm unsure if I will devote time to a project that won't see the  
> light of day until probably June or July. That is only if it is  
> completed by April. If an implementation is not completed by April,  
> then it is unlikely that it will get into 2.6, so it will be  
> skipped to 2.7. By then interest will be completely diminished and  
> as there probably won't be a huge interest in this feature, it may  
> completely die before 2.8 comes out.

I'm sorry if the (probably) one version delay makes you lose interest  
in WordPress, but respectfully, this community has a responsibility  
to look after the project, not the interest level of one coder.  No  
disrespect intended there, but shoring up your interest level is not  
cause to implement an ill-advised plan.

> 4. The current method isn't going away, so it might as well match  
> functionality for internationalization for developers as much as  
> possible.

Not sure what that statement means, actually....

> I'll say, that for myself, I would rather have a fix in 2.5, in the  
> event that the worst case comes to pass. Not that I don't have  
> faith in your skill, but that I don't have faith in anything that  
> is so unsure. Plus, there have been several times that interest on  
> a project has peaked and then died shortly thereafter with barely a  
> whimper (of course, I say that after several months of finally  
> doing something about an issue that has peaked and died many times).
I suggested a plan that I thought would work well, and it _does_  
short of the fact that .pot editors won't harvest the string  
automatically.  Okay, that's a problem, and requires things to be  
done differently.  I'm not going to walk away just because things  
don't go the way _I_ want them to.

> You know, if you are planning on getting this awesome feature into  
> 2.6, then I'll totally bow to you and will build an idol in your  
> image. However, do consider my arguments on why something should be  
> done in WordPress 2.5.
> Peter Westwood wrote:
>> I am not comfortable with introducing one solution for  
>> localisation now
>> when we are already talking about replacing it with something better.

Peter makes me look long winded.  That sentence is my entire argument  
tied up with a pretty red bow.


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