[wp-hackers] plugin compatability

Ade Walker photofantaisie at gmail.com
Thu Nov 5 22:34:17 UTC 2009

I have two problems with the new compatibility vote system:

1. What does a less than 100% "Works" compatibility rating actually mean to
the average plugin "searcher"? For example, go to
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/ and you will
see (at the time of writing this) that 4% of votes say "Broken". How am I,
the "average plugin searcher" to interpret this? That the plugin is no good?
That the plugin may not work? That it only works 96% of the time? It doesn't
mean any of these, of course, but I'm not sure that such a rating helps me
(the less tech-savvy user) to decide whether to use the plugin or not.

2. As mentioned by elflop, there is no way of knowing a voter's reason for
marking a plugin as Broken. Is it really broken, ie throws an error, or is
it just incompatible with another plugin? Or is the voter disatisfied with
the functionality? Or did he/she just get out of the wrong side of bed that
day? In other words, is the "customer" always right and, when he isn't, how
does the developer undo the damage which has been done?

On balance, I think it's a nice idea, with potential benefits of encouraging
authors of neglected plugins to resume development or, at least, to update
the readme.txt file. However, I think in reality there will be a large
number of plugins - including popular and generally well though-of plugins
(like the example I mentioned above) - having less than 100% compatibility
ratings. And I don't think anyone, whether end-user or developer, benefits
from this. :-/

2009/11/5 <elflop at googlemail.com>

> Sorry for sending this to the list, not sure where it should go.
> The new plugin compatibility section on a plugin page. As suspected I have
> recently had someone mark mine as 'broken' with the latest version of WP.
> Luckily others have marked it as 'Works'. I knew that at some point this
> would happen, and feel that it isn't good for plugins authors.

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