[wp-hackers] Drop-ins in WP Plugin Directory?

Dougal Campbell dougal at gunters.org
Fri Oct 22 20:45:18 UTC 2010

On Oct 22 2010 4:29 PM, Andrew Nacin wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 4:26 PM, Dougal Campbell<dougal at gunters.org>  wrote:
>> Has there been any discussion/thought about support for drop-ins for the
>> Plugin Directory? For stuff like object-cache plugins, db.php, etc? I know
>> it's a limited use-case, but the reason I never put my XCache object-cache
>> plugin in the repo was because it just seemed out of place, since it's not a
>> "normal" plugin.
> There are a few object caches in the repo, Memcached for one. The readme
> states to move the object-cache.php file to the proper place.
> I think some of the database caching drop-ins (not that I would implement
> one of these so willy nilly) will actually copy the file over for you on
> activation.

Right, I realize that there *are* drop-ins in the repo, it's just that 
they aren't given any special treatment. The only way an end-user is 
going to know that they need special handling is to read the documentation.

Now, I'm not saying that the user *shouldn't* read the documentation, 
*especially* when it comes to drop-ins. But what I might like to see 
would be: 1) A flag in the plugin header or readme.txt to indicate to 
the repo that this is a drop-in. 2) A visual indication on the Directory 
indicating that drop-ins are "special". 3) Maybe, eventually, the same 
one-click install/upgrade support the other plugins have (that one might 
require more thought, and might even be a bad idea, I'll concede).

The main point of this is that if a curious, but non-tech-savvy user 
uses the built-in install for a drop-in without reading the notes, 
they'll basically see nothing happen. In many cases, they'll probably 
assume that the plugin is broken in some way. Yes, an ambitious plugin 
developer could try to handle this in their code by creating an 
activation shim to (attempt to) copy the code to the right place. But 
who wants to do that?

It just seems to me that if we're going to host drop-ins in the 
Directory, it might be nice to have a way to indicate that they are not 
"normal" plugins, and that the user needs to give them extra attention.

Dougal Campbell <dougal at gunters.org>

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