[wp-hackers] Seeking feedback on Plugins UI

Aaron D. Campbell aaron at xavisys.com
Mon Jun 9 16:50:14 GMT 2008

It seems my reply to this never made it through (it's been about 23 
hours), so here it is again from my sent folder:

DD32 wrote:
> On Fri, 06 Jun 2008 10:04:11 +1000, RD Welch 
> <rd_wp_lists at leafbank.com> wrote:
>> For a "Compatible?" column, a few simple icons could be used: (1) a
>> green check-mark if the plugin is compatible with the user's current
>> version; (2) The WordPress Circle "W" logo with an arrow pointing up if
>> the user would have to upgrade to the current version of WordPress; (3)
>> A "prohibited" icon (a circle with a slash through it) if the plugin is
>> not compatible with the user's current version and no newer version
>> exists; and (4) a question mark if compatibility has not been checked.
> There was a Icon in the 2.5 Status column for a day or 2, But IIRC 
> Matt removed it (As well as the issue it wasnt under an licence that 
> was compatible).
> I do think a icon would be nice, But So far i've not seen *any* icon 
> sets which i think work in the WordPress admin.. (And convey the 
> meaning without me having to hover for a title)
There are some talented people on this list, if it is an area we'd like 
to pursue, I'd see if someone here could make some.
>> I was wondering if there's any traction for modifying the existing
>> Plugin Management table by hiding the options for each plugin via
>> JavaScript -- similar to how the "Write Page" part of the Administration
>> Panel has collapsed boxes under the "Advanced Options" heading.
>> This enhanced UI would be equally appropriate for what DD32 is currently
>> working on: integrated plugin installation. Applying this enhancement to
>> his plugin search results pages, just the basic information can be
>> listed on the first line/row: name, version, author(s), what the plugin
>> does, and compatibility. The second "row" can contain a longer
>> description, any important notes, extra links, etc.
> That does sound useable, My only thought is what about those that do 
> not have Javascript enabled? Are the rows allways visible? If thats 
> the case, Then it'd cause a jumping effect as the JS hides the extra 
> rows on pageload.
> But it would also allow more links relating to the plugin
> Rating | Downloads: 1234 | Last-updated: 2002-03-45
> Plugin Homepage | WordPress.org Plugin Homepage | Author Page
I have a few things to say about this.  First, looking at the wireframe, 
there are two rows dedicated to one plugin.  I'd make it one row, and 
hide unnecessary data by giving the table row a "collapsed" class using 
a "hide" class on whatever you want hidden.  I've done this a lot 
before, and you can observe the onclick of the table, grab the table row 
that was clicked, and remove the "collapsed" class or put it back.  You 
combine it with CSS like this:
tr.shrunk .hide {display:none;}

The problem then is people with no Javascript right?  Well, you can use 
the same principle that I laid out in my article about  Properly 
degrading JavaScript Effects with Script.aculo.us 
Basically, create an empty CSS class for what you want "tr.shrunk .hide 
{}" and then use javascript to add the display:none to the class.  This 
way, people with JavaScript get the elements hidden, and have the 
ability to expand them.  Those that don't see everything, which I would 
say is the best possible degradation.

> I personally like the 3 tables, However now see that There are some 
> people who would have a hard time with it.
> One of the reasons i split it was to allow for the bulk managing, You 
> dont Activate an allready active plugin, And you dont want to Delete 
> an Active plugin.
I'm pretty sure I put it in another reply, but I still think 2 tables 
would be enough to accomplish this.  I find it a little unintuitive to 
have my inactive plugins broke into two groups, but not my active 
plugins.  However, rather than break up active plugins, I think we 
should combine the inactive ones.  Especially for bulk management, what 
if I want to active two "recently activate" plugins and two inactive 
ones?  Combining the tables would make that a lot easier.

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