[wp-hackers] Compatability section for plugns

Eric Mann eric at eamann.com
Sat Feb 13 15:51:56 UTC 2010

I have a plug-in that requires the use of the PHP fopen() function.  In
every case where I've managed to get a direct response from someone
reporting it as "broken" it's because they have fopen() disabled on their
site and never read my instructions for turning it back on.  I even included
a sample php.ini file so they'd know exactly what to do and where to put it,
but people still either click "broken" or send an email or forum message to
that effect.

I've recently added a check on plug-in initialization to check for certain
required compatibility issues: are they using the correct version of WP
(someone actually installed a 2.8+ plug-in on 2.6 and reported it broken!)?
Is their PHP installation compatible?  Is fopen() available and turned on?

The unfortunate side effect of all of this is that I can easily turn fopen()
on for the wp-content folder (since I include my php.ini in the same folder
as the PHP files that need it), but the check runs in the wp-admin folder
and usually fails.  I've included instructions for how to fix this issue as
well, but we're still left with the "will they follow the instructions
before declaring things broken?" question.

An alternative idea to requiring feedback when reporting something as broken
would be to include an additional action callback - upon successful
installation, WordPress could report back to the repository the version of
the plug-in, the version of WP installed, and mark it as success.  If
there's an error of some sort it could report a failure and the error.  This
silent background reporting would be a more effective way to get information
- the reason we can't get that information now is that users fail to
follow-through ... why would following through on "fill in this box" be any


-----Original Message-----
From: wp-hackers-bounces at lists.automattic.com
[mailto:wp-hackers-bounces at lists.automattic.com] On Behalf Of
elflop at googlemail.com
Sent: Saturday, February 13, 2010 3:42 AM
To: wp-hackers at lists.automattic.com
Subject: [wp-hackers] Compatability section for plugns

I know I posted about this a while ago, but I still dislike it. Not many of

the people that download and use it successfully ever come back to to click

the works button. Yet people are more likely to return to click broken if  
it doesn't work for them.

95% of the people that say its broken when they actually post for help,  
have mis-configured things, or even not set up WP correctly. Of the  
thousands that have downloaded the plugin just 2 people have clicked  
anything, and one of them was me.

So these 'stats' are never going to be an accurate representation.

Can it be changed so that if you say it is broken you not only have to give

a reason, but that reason is sent to the plugin developer so that they can  
get an idea of why people are saying it is broken!
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