[wp-hackers] Disabling Tools->Export

Otto otto at ottodestruct.com
Wed Jun 27 16:04:32 UTC 2012

On Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 9:41 AM, Bryan Petty <bpetty at bluehost.com> wrote:
> Actually, forcing users to install plugins just to enable/disable core
> behavior instead of using simple true/false config settings is very
> detrimental to WP users. A plugin is meant for modifying or extending
> core behavior in some specialized manner, not configuring WP itself.

Disabling core behavior in major ways like this is exactly the same as
"modifying it". Providing some way for users to "disable exporting"
isn't a feature likely to appeal or be needed by as much as 1% of the
populace, much less the 80% that is generally quoted in this sort of

Using a plugin for this sort of deep modification is exactly what
plugins are for.

> Just look at the level of knowledge and the amount of work involved with
> performing the task of writing up this whole new plugin just to disable
> export on Harry's installation. Sure, he's here on the mailing list and
> obviously knows how to write plugins, but that's rarely the case with
> most WP users.

True, but then he also knows that this can be done and is
intentionally doing it. For any normal client and user, I'd expect
them to be talked out of it. What is the benefit of disabling export
capabilities? Furthermore, what is the need to disable it in such a
big way that you have to ensure that they can't accidentally re-enable
it? What kind of security issues does this client really have? The
questions here are deeper, and the suggested solution by the OP is
extremely shallow, it seems to me.

If somebody asked me to disable some major section of WP, I'd ask why
and find out what their needs really are first. They may think that
this is a good idea, when in reality they need a different solution.
Having a big set of friggin' checkboxes somewhere for even
the-kitchen-sink doesn't solve their problem.

> I would hope that it's painfully obvious that any UX team would toss a
> huge red flag at these instructions, and that some alternative, easier
> solution for configuring options such as this should probably be
> considered or at least up for discussion.

The discussion I'd have here would be a code one, not a UX one. If
it's difficult to disable this stuff with a filter or something, then
a generic means to do that should be devised. However, given the
presented solution only being a few lines of code, I don't see that
it's really a major issue in this case.

> Has anyone here ever pulled up "about:config" in Firefox or
> "about:flags" in Chrome?

Yes. And it's like a bad nightmare. The browser should *just work*,
not have a zillion different ways of breaking stupidly.


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