[wp-hackers] GSOC - widget repository

Brad Williams bradw at illiams.com
Tue Mar 30 18:02:00 UTC 2010

Maybe a good solution is to just create a separate widget search on
WordPress.org that only searches plugins with the "widget" tag added 

-Brad Williams

-----Original Message-----
From: wp-hackers-bounces at lists.automattic.com
[mailto:wp-hackers-bounces at lists.automattic.com] On Behalf Of Jeremy Clarke
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 12:51 PM
To: wp-hackers at lists.automattic.com
Subject: Re: [wp-hackers] GSOC - widget repository

-1 on this idea of a widget specific repo or UI.  Most widget-plugins
are not composed entirely of widgets holding standard WP functions,
they also define functions that they use inside the widget, they are
simple plugins but they are plugins nonetheless. Splitting them into
their own repo will create tons of work and complication and will
confuse users with little or no benefit to usability that couldn't be
achieved by applying the same amount of effort to the existing repo
and its taxonomy-based search.

On Sun, Mar 28, 2010 at 2:44 PM, Jane Wells <jane at automattic.com> wrote:
> the idea was that plugins that just add widgets create an extra layer of
> code and administration that isn't really needed, and makes the user
> experience less smooth.

I don't think there is much meat to this speculation.

 * A widgets repository would contain plugins that happen to not do
much except define widgets, but would come with pretty much all the
same burdens as the plugin repo, effectively replicating most of the

 * The 'administration and code' needed to build a widget-only plugin
will not go down due to the widgets repo. Simple plugins are simple
and that won't change.

 * That said, the 'administration and code' of publishing a plugin
that has widgets WOULD go up. What if you have a plugin with a widget,
but also want it to exist for the widgets repo? Do you publish it
twice, once for each repo? Do you publish the same plugin for both, or
do you need to strip down the full plugin to be only the widget?

 * The user experience for installing plugins is already pretty
smooth, and has the huge benefit of being a one-stop-shop for all
extension needs (other than themes, which are distinct in a very
meaningful and understandable way). Creating two sources of
plugins/widgets would confuse things a lot for pretty much no reason.
WordPress administrators need to understand what plugins are and what
they can do. If they know 3 sentences worth of what plugins are then
they should understand that plugins can add new widgets. Making
widgets seperate will imply that plugins don't add widgets, or that an
accompanying widget needs to be installed. Why confused users with
these questions? If it says it has a widget in the description then
the plugin has a widget. If it says its only widgets and thus
light-weight, then all the better.

 * As stated the 'widgets' tag in the existing plugin repo should be
able to handle whatever situations this widget repo is purported to
solve, and I don't think we can  imagine a situation where using the
'widgets' tag creatively wouldn't be a good solution.

 * i.e. If we want to make installing widgets easy from the widgets
management screen then link to a search in the add-plugin screen with
the widget tag loaded.

 * If the existing plugins system+tags aren't good enough then that
should be fixed. Using this widgets-only-plugins situation as
inspiration the plugin screens could probably be refactored to deal
better with this situation as well as existing use-cases.

Jeremy Clarke | http://jeremyclarke.org
Code and Design | http://globalvoicesonline.org
wp-hackers mailing list
wp-hackers at lists.automattic.com

More information about the wp-hackers mailing list