[wp-hackers] 2.8 plugins page

Stephen Rider wp-hackers at striderweb.com
Tue May 12 15:43:12 GMT 2009

Hi all --

I wanted to discuss the changes to the Plugins page for WP 2.8.

* First, I definitely prefer to have all plugins on one long page  
rather than splitting them every 20 plugins.  It's just a lot more  
clicking around to find what I want now.  Plus, with one long page, I  
can (in Firefox) just type the plugin name and jump right to it -- not  
so if the plugin I want is on the next page....

* Second, why are we now only showing the Action links on mouseover?   
This one in particular looks like change for change's sake.  ***How  
does this improve usability??***

I think this was a mistake especially as more and more plugin authors  
are putting in links to the Settings page in the Action links.  (A  
trend I myself have championed, responding to the frequent complaint  
that it was hard to figure out where a plugin's configuration was  
located in the menus.)

(One more point about this one -- changing the number of columns in  
the Plugins list messes up any existing plugins that were using the  
"after row" hook.  If there's strong reason to do it, so be it -- but  
don't do it on a whim!)

Please reconsider the mouseover Action links.  Just make them visible.

* Third -- I am... ambivalent... about re-combining the active and  
inactive plugins.  No personal preference, except I don't like the  
indecisiveness -- they were together, then we separated them, and now  
we're combining them again.  If we're bouncing back and forth it  
sounds as though we don't have a strong reason for either, so maybe  
just leave it alone?

Overall, I guess I'm against arbitrary interface changes without  
strong reason for the change.  I'm not talking minor stuff like CSS  
colors, but structural changes.  With a system like WordPress that so  
strongly encourages customization via plugin, we should be very  
careful not to keep stirring things around and undermining those same  
plugins on a whim.

Of course it's a case of where to draw the line -- you don't want to  
eliminate any changes or the program will stagnate, but when making a  
change, we must ask "What is the reason for this?" -- and if the  
answer is "I just like it better", tread carefully.  Compatibility is  


Stephen Rider

More information about the wp-hackers mailing list