[wp-hackers] Code reviews for plugins?

Harry Metcalfe harry at thedextrousweb.com
Mon Aug 23 13:07:05 UTC 2010

That's completely fair. And @Paul, it would absolutely be good just to 
publish that list. I don't think the checklist should be *secret* :)

A code review where people just check each other's plugins and offer 
advice would be great -- but I think it's a different thing. By all 
means, let's do it. All we need is a mailing list and some willing 

But I don't think anyone can make any claims about general quality as a 
result of having been through that process. Certainly no "This has been 
vetted by the community"-type-assurances on the plugin pages. Because 
such a process, while helping everyone learn, wouldn't really guarantee 
quality, or anything else.


On 23/08/10 13:46, Christopher Ross wrote:
> this isn't aimed at Harry, simply a reply to the thread in general.
> Having a peer review, where a community could help create better plugins is valuable. Having to jump through hoops and adhere to some of the standards discussed in this thread would be a waste of my time. I contribute dozens of free plugins to the community, they could all be improved (and your feedback is welcome) but if I had to waste my time relocating files to meet your standards, I'd spend far more time selling my services than helping the community.
> Just my 2 cents.
> On 2010-08-23, at 5:46 AM, Harry Metcalfe wrote:
>> On 23/08/10 04:49, Mark E wrote:
>>> I'm seeing a big issue centered around delivering a false sense of
>>> security to numerous millions of innocent people.
>> I agree. I like the idea about having objective criteria, and if the results of reviews were phrased appropriately -- ie, accurately -- that would be a nice thing to have.
>> But just to say "The community has reviewed this plugin and it looks A-OK to us" is a really bad idea. For a start, I'm not sure you can really do that in a generic way: to make that statement for any particular user, you'd need to know what other plugins they were running, and what their theme does. But ordinary, non-tecchie WP users will just interpret it as a badge of quality and may therefore be misled.
>> But more importantly, just to say a plugin has been "reviewed" without knowing what the reviewer was looking for is meaningless. They could have been looking for fluffy bunnies. It essentially ends up being a review to look for the things the reviewer thinks are important. Which is perhaps slightly better than nothing, but not much.
>> I think we should come up with a list of the top 25 mistakes people make in plugins, review to find those, perhaps also highlight whatever else looks problematic and tell the author, and then say to users "This plugin has passed a review which checks for some common WordPress plugin problems" or somesuch...
>> Harry
>> PS: if this plan means I never have to spend hours fixing all the notices in someone else's plugin, that would be nice.
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Harry Metcalfe
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