[wp-hackers] Plugins "update not checked"interface

Stephen Rider wp-hackers at striderweb.com
Wed Jun 11 16:36:43 GMT 2008

On Tue, 10 Jun 2008 23:03:06 -0700,  wrote:
> For the phrasing, how about:
> "Update notification not available for this plugin."
> Possibly followed by a "Learn more" link to explain why?

Where exactly on the page do you propose we put this longish sentence?

Remember that it will _always_ be visible for the applicable plugins.

I'm trying to keep the text as short as possible while still expressing the
fact that update information is not being given.  That's how I came up with
"Updates not checked".

"Not Available" doesn't do it.  _What_ isn't available?
"N/A" doesn't do it.  _What_ is not available/applicable?  (Not to mention,
other languages do not necessarily have such a compact equivalent.)
"Unknown"? Nope.

"Update information for this plugin is not available" and the like are
_great_ in terms of information and politeness, but it's way the heck too
long unless we want a permanent "modified update stripe" underneath each
and every plugin that's not on WP Extend.

I am aware that the word "checked" is not as precise as something else
might be, BUT language is a flexible thing -- you can just as easily argue
that the database didn't have any information on that plugin, and thus was
unable to check it....

>From a programmer's precise perspective, it was checked and the answer was
unavailable; but from a _user's_ perspective, that fine distinction is
meaningless.  (Can you tell I've read Alan Cooper?*   ;-p  )

I'm really leaning toward a short bit of text just below the version
number.  The "Status" column would also make sense.  I don't see too much
advantage in adding a whole new column, though ironically it might look
less cluttered if the verbiage is kep short.

I like this interface, under the Version number:

   Just the version number if it's up to date (nothing extra)
   Update Available
   Download | Auto Update
   Update Not Checked

Alternately, "Update Not Checked" could be a discrete icon of some sort
with a tooltip and possibly a link to a separate explanatory screen.

I was busy yesterday evening.  I'll get a mockup screenshot up tonight if I
can (after work).

One last thing -- I know there is a push to get rid of the "update stripe".
 I dislike it as well, and would love to replace it with something better.
Although that has become part of the discussion, that change will most
likely _not_ be in this patch.  I think if the patch focuses tightly on the
goal of "not found" info being returned from the server -- which only Matt
and Co. can do -- we have a better chance of getting that change made.

_Then_ we can go back and push for the changes that we can code entirely
ourselves. ;)


* If you are unfamiliar with  Alan Cooper, I highly recommend reading his
"The Inmates Are Running The Asylum" -- an excellent and **highly
readable** treatise on usability in software

Stephen Rider

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