[wp-meta] [Making WordPress.org] #5426: Improve the plugin repository's Support tab.

Making WordPress.org noreply at wordpress.org
Thu Nov 12 17:26:24 UTC 2020

#5426: Improve the plugin repository's Support tab.
 Reporter:  carike            |       Owner:  (none)
     Type:  defect            |      Status:  new
 Priority:  normal            |   Milestone:
Component:  Plugin Directory  |  Resolution:
 Keywords:  2nd-opinion       |

Comment (by Ipstenu):

 I want to address this first:

 > Users are not well-served when there is no one to serve them.

 Just because the plugin developers aren't active in the forum does not
 mean there is NO ONE to help. That's literally why they are ''community''
 forums. I understand what you're meaning here, but the language is unfair
 to the thousands of volunteers.

 Which takes me to Dion's comments... Overall, I agree with him. I don't
 think this is as great an idea as all that. It's also above my pay grade
 too, but if it was my call I would say "Maybe later."

 We're giving plugin devs free hosting, free pushes of updates, etc etc.
 That's all expensive stuff to build and manage and maintain. In return,
 they are ''required'' to actually use our systems (by putting up code),
 and ''expected'' to use the reviews and support forums. This seems like a
 reasonable prospect. You get free stuff and in return you contribute to
 the community forums. Any other way, and they're taking from the community
 without giving anything in return.

 Which is really the difference in Community Forums vs Private Forums. We
 are a community forum, and if a plugin developer wants no part in the
 community, some people want no part in them. That's equitable. Everyone is
 expected to give back after all.

 Community Forums exist to help everyone **in the absence of official
 help** which is why if you have a plugin here, you're getting forums,
 period, end of story. That also encourages you to volunteer outside your
 own plugin forums and help others. This improves the **community** for
 everyone. The transparency of public support means new people with issues
 can find solutions ''without'' making a new post. Private forums generally
 don't allow that, and I say that having argued many a time with freemium
 themes/plugins on behalf of customers.

 Other concerns about a link to a private forum:

 We're not removing the community forums, which means they're still
 responsible for monitoring and redirecting people. All they 'gain' is the
 ability to bug track via their own systems, and while that sounds like a
 great gain, at the end of the day is that different that copying a post to
 a git ticket? It's easier for the dev, but is it easier for the end user?
 Are we actually helping the users here more than the developers?

 We would need to have a way to manage those links **besides** pulling the
 plugin and shouting at the devs.

 If the link breaks, or their domain gets hijacked, we need to yank it. And
 IMO that should be something the forum mods can do. So a mod can 'disable
 external support' with a button (and an AYS? pop up), but only plugin
 admins can restore it. Add in an automated email "Your external support
 link has been disabled because .... Please reply to this email when the
 issue is resolved." type email would help a lot. Automate!

 We must have a pause "You are leaving WordPress.org, your user account/pwd
 will no longer work on this next site..." An intermediary screen is very
 helpful here.

 There also needs to be warnings about common problems. Like "Do not
 provide strangers with admin access to your website or hosting." Which is
 really a bigger issue than it should be, and needs to be reminded over and
 over. Like saying don't blow vape into your XBox, we should not have to
 tell people this, but we do.

 It has to be painfully clear "Son, you're on your own here." if you leave.
 That we (.org) have no responsibility for what happens. Again, this should
 be obvious, it's not, we have to make it so.

 Finally ... how can we guarantee the plugin devs are actually giving back
 to the community and not having a negative relationship with .org? Yes,
 that absolutely matters. Do we want to welcome community members who don't
 want to contribute? Sure, but generally that's for end users. They want
 help, and actually are contributing by asking questions. People who want
 to take all our services for nothing are parasitic. I am aware it's a
 harsh word, but if you take and take and take and give nothing ... why are
 you even hosting here?

Ticket URL: <https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/5426#comment:7>
Making WordPress.org <https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/>
Making WordPress.org

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