[wp-hackers] GSOC - A Couple of Ideas

Stephen Rider wp-hackers at striderweb.com
Fri Mar 27 13:51:03 GMT 2009

On Mar 27, 2009, at 6:09 AM, Takeshi Young wrote:

> I'm planning on submitting a couple of proposals to GSOC this year,  
> and
> would be grateful for any feedback.
> 1) Centralized Plug-ins
> The first idea is to have some centralized way of managing the plug- 
> ins
> installed in Wordpress.  Basically, instead of having each plug-in  
> install
> itself wherever it wants on the dashboard (which gets unwieldly once  
> you've
> installed a bunch of plug-ins), there will be a centralized  
> locations that
> users can go to configure all there plug-ins.  No more searching  
> around the
> dashboard to figure out which plug-in went where.

No. No no no. Maybe.  :)

First -- My recommendation is that plugin backend interface should be  
designed to fully integrate with the Admin section, rather than  
screaming "Hey! I'm a plugin!".  I don't need to be reminded what's a  
plugin and what's not -- I just want the functionality.

Please read: http://striderweb.com/nerdaphernalia/2008/06/on-plugin-design/

Second, plugin authors can easily link to their plugin's admin page by  
adding Action Links from the Manage Plugins screen.  A tutorial here: http://striderweb.com/nerdaphernalia/2008/06/on-plugin-design/

Third, there IS room for improvement, despite the above.  There are a  
lot of plugins that have a very simple "set and forget" setup.   
Akismet is a good example -- we have an entire admin screen (and menu  
item) so you can enter a number into a blank.... and then never look  
at it again.  It would be nice to have a consolidated "Setup" system  
of some sort that plugin authors could hook into for such plugins.

Two possibilities here:

1) A separate page under the Plugins menu that plugins can hook into  
to add a setting field (box) for their plugins.  Settings for all  
plugins that use this (plugin author's discretion though -- don't try  
to force it) show up on the one page.

2) Do it directly on the Manage Plugins Screen.  A plugin row could  
have a little "flip down" arrow that opens up a small integrated setup  
pane right under the plugins's row (think about the "Update available"  
box, but it's a small settings panel instead).  This would probably  
work best with AJAX, so the user can open the pane, change settings  
and save them all without reloading the whole page.  AJAX would also  
eliminate the confusion of whether you're changing the setting for  
multiple plugins or just the one.

Personally, I would LOVE to see #2 implemented.  Again, this would  
only be for plugins that have minor one-time setup.  Anything that has  
settings that the admin is likely to go back to from time to time  
should have its own Settings page.

> 2) Voting Plug-in for Wordpress
> User interaction is all the rage with Web 2.0, with sites like Digg  
> and
> Reddit harnessing the wisdom of the crowds to sift through the  
> mounds of
> content available on the Internet.  It would be cool if WordPress  
> came with
> a plug-in that gave users this functionality right out the box.   
> Visitors to
> the site would be able to submit content, and other visitors would  
> be able
> to vote on it, adding another layer of interactivity to Wordpress  
> blogs.

Not quite understanding.  Do you basically want a plugin that turns a  
WordPress site into something like Digg?

> 3) Enhance the WordPress Video Solution Framework
> Video is going to be big in the next few years, since video cameras  
> will
> become ubiquotous once they come standard on all cellphones.   
> WordPress
> needs a better way of dealing with video to handle this deludge.  Some
> features that could be added to video on WordPress include screeshot
> previews, integrated adds, and social features such as showing related
> videos (a la YouTube).

"Viper's Video Quicktags" plugin might be a good place to start.

> 4) User Roles
> The WordPress roles/capabilities system could use an upgrade. The  
> current
> system is a little clunky, and is missing key functionality such as  
> the
> ability to limit an author to a specific category, setting  
> permissions for
> viewing/altering/moderating content (currently very basic), and on  
> the back
> end it is hard to query for "users who have capability X" etc.

Probably plugin territory.  This has been discussed recently. Check  
out "Role Manager".  It has been suggested that this plugin could use  
some support though, as the author hasn't had time to mess with it  
much lately.


Stephen Rider

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