[wp-hackers] Plugin Privacy Option (was Revisiting phone home and privacy)

Chris Jean gaarai at gaarai.com
Wed Dec 9 15:42:48 UTC 2009

I thought of including this in my response to the main topic, but it 
would just get lost in there.

At some point in the conversation, the idea of sharing plugin data for 
all plugins and not just plugins from the repo was shared. I pondered on 
this for a bit, and I think I have a good solution to this problem.

To me, the only solution for plugin updates is for the server to send 
what it has since any other option would be highly-inefficient or very 
error prone. So, why not add the ability for a plugin to opt out of 
having its information included in the update request? This should only 
require a minimal change to the update code and won't require any 
changes to the update servers.

Here's an example of what such a privacy entry would look like in a plugin:

Plugin Name: Internal Plugin
Plugin URI: http://itsasecret.com/
Description: This is not just a plugin, it symbolizes the plans and 
secrets of an entire corporation summed up in a plugin name.
Author: Bernard Madoff
Version: 7.2.1
Author URI: http://thisisalsoasecret.com/
Disable Updates: yes

Of course, the exact phrase to use is open to discussion. I just wanted 
to introduce the idea.

If people like this idea, I can work on a patch to put on trac.

Chris Jean

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