[wp-hackers] Menus and Labels and Plugins, oh my!

Stephen Rider wp-hackers at striderweb.com
Fri Oct 3 18:36:52 GMT 2008

On Oct 3, 2008, at 1:10 PM, Rich Pedley wrote:

> Have a general settings page 'which by default has very little on it'
> but allows plugin authors to add sections to it. Single tabbed page
> perhaps? that way all the small plugins that only require one or two
> settings could be added in there, and the larger ones can still add a
> new unique settings page.

To me the best plugins are designed in such a way that, once  
activated, you would never know that functionality is coming from a  
plugin.  For the "set and forget" plugins, a sectioned "Plugin  
Settings" page as you describe would be a great idea, but plugins with  
more significant settings pages should not be relegated to that area.   
If the setting has enough settings that it needs its own tab, it's  
probably best served with its own page.

Virtually every plugin has (at least) a slight learning curve.   
Shoving all settings under the Plugins section is handy the first time  
you turn it on and look for settings; but in the long run, plugins  
with which you interact directly are best located in the context  
wherein that _functionality_ makes sense.  Stashing it all under  
Plugins is thinking from the coding side of things.  Putting it in the  
proper GUI context is thinking from the user end of things.

Putting it another way  -- If someone sets up your blog program for  
you (you being a relative n00b) it makes more sense to find that page  
under "Tools" or whatnot than to have to remember that, no, that comes  
from a plugin and is stashed under Plugins.  Where would that page be  
in the menu **if it were part of Core**?  That's where it should go.


Stephen Rider

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