[wp-hackers] Google Summer of Code 2007

DD32 wordpress at dd32.id.au
Wed Mar 14 12:01:03 GMT 2007

Feedback wanted!.(Apologies in advance for length :) -- better to explain
well, and get it all written down than to skimp on details)

Ok, I've decided to put a proposal in when applications open, I've thought
it over, and allthough there are many options available, one of the most
requested topic in the ideas section is an update manager for Plugins and
Now, there are several plugins which have implemented basic ideas on doing
this, however the majority no longer seem to be under development, and
have nasty bugs from what i've seen which requires more than small patches.

What i propose is a Update manager Plugin for Wordpress,
It should:
- Gather information about the currently installed plugins, themes, PHP
extensions+versions, PHP/Mysql/Wordpress versions etc.
- Check each Component(Plugin, Theme, and WordPress itself) for a method
of being updated
   -- Methods of updating could include: Header line added to specify an XML
update link, a text file with only the latest version in it, or even a php
- Fetch the update file for the component, Check the requirements of the
plugin if specified
   -- Requirements: WordPress Version, PHP version, PHP Extensions
available, Other Plugins available?
- Notify a specified user of WordPress that there is an update available
- Allow the user to Update the Plugin/Theme with a click of the mouse (If
a package is available, AND the plugin isnt marked as "Manual only
   -- An extension of this would be to allow the Plugin to Automatically
updata a plugin without having to ask the user, of course, only if the
user chooses to enable such an option..

What i'd like to include, given enough time, and thinking over:

- Allow the upload directly of Plugin and Theme files, Should cut out the
FTP upload issues that some have.. Should possibly be only allowed for
authorised components perhaps, i'm not sure yet how to deal with that, I
dont want to give a hole for people to abuse if they manage to get in to
the wordpress admin..
- Allow the searching of Plugin repositories from within wordpress, and
allowing it to download-then-install the Plugins/Themes directly from the
same panel.
   -- Support different respositories depending on getting permission from
them, Alternativly, if someone else would like to give wp-plugins.org a
real make over, then it could be the only supported repos. (As AFAIK, its
under Wordpress control, Whilst the others are just from Wordpress Fans?)

- A feature i'd Like to have included, however, i do not see myself
managing to implement initially, Is for allowing it to update WordPress
itself, I'd like to have Notifications built into the initial version,
However, would like for it to be expandable to update wordpress
automatically. There IS a plugin attempting to do this though. i'll be
watching how it progresses (Cant find a link right now for it though)

Ok, Now to some that may seem like a huge list, and to others it'll seem
like a rather small list.. But its still something that is overall, not
implmented in a user-friendly plugin allready for users.
Included in that lot would also be all the documenation a Plugin/Theme
author could want to know how to implement the system in their
Plugins/Themes, As well as simple tools to create XML files for the
updater... (possibly a Plugin for wordpress to help those to host it
themselves -- Thats something i'll do afterwards if i do this anyway)

I'd personally like to see someone take it as a project to re-develop
wp-plugins.org into more of a repository for Plugins, Currently its not
the best looking, rather bland and unused by many plugin developers.
I'd love to see it transformed into something that people actually want to
submit their plugins to.. I suppose if i include it on the Search list for
this Plugin, Then that might make people more willing to submit to it..
I'd be willing to see another student do that, or someone else, and
implement any needed items into a plugin for wordpress.

Sorry for the length of this message, I'm after ANY feedback on any parts
of this.. I'm well aware that there are plugins which have attempted this
But from what i've seen, most/none of them are under active development,
nor used by any majority. yet i think i counted 8 in the top 40 ideas on
wordpress.org that users were requesting is covered in the above idea..

Dion Hulse / DD32

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