[wp-hackers] Plugin download repository

Owen Winkler ringmaster at midnightcircus.com
Thu Jul 28 03:06:20 GMT 2005

Firas D. wrote:
> Matthew Mullenweg wrote:
>> Jonathan Leighton wrote:
>>> If we can all agree on a solution I'll implement it.
>> In trunk/readme.txt:
>> Stable tag: (trunk|0.3|tag-name)
> That sounds good. Maybe 'Stable version:' ?

Why not instead have a SVN branch named "stable"?  Why not pull the 
plugin data from existing and new fields in the plugin header instead of 
the readme file?  Why not point to a web/wiki/WP-static page in the 
plugin header for a plugin's documentation?

I thought the idea of the official repository was to release plugin 
developers from the burden of jumping through the hoops of each separate 
deployment site.  This just seems like added hoops.

Reasons that a wiki page is better than a readme.txt file:
- Documentation is as fresh as it can be, not dependent on when a user 
downloaded it.
- Wiki documentation will alert a user to when a version upgrade is 
recommended, which a readme can't do.
- Documentation on a wiki is written once and not converted into an 
alternate format for deployment.
- The documentation won't be overwritten by a file of the same name 
stored in the same directory - a very likely event in the case of a 
- Documentation can be more easily accessed and searched before 
downloading.  (ie.- 
- Nobody reads a file named "readme.txt" anyway, even if it contains the 
secret to great riches and happiness.

Reasons that the metadata about a plugin should be in the plugin header:
- The WP interface can provide a documentation link, not just a home page.
- The plugin header is a flexible "standard" that already exists, rather 
than a new proprietary format.
- The authorship and keyword metadata is attached unquestionably to the 
plugin even if the readme is unavailable.
- The metadata could be useful to the admin interface or other plugins.
- It seems that a plugin author may be more likely to fill in details 
that are part of the code than create a whole separate file, thus 
leading to more available plugins.

Just my simple thoughts on this topic.  Nothing groundbreaking here. 
Move along.


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