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What to do with plugin installation section #117

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senlin opened this Issue Oct 8, 2018 · 25 comments

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@senlin
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senlin commented Oct 8, 2018

As per this discussion on Slack and @nylen suggestion to make it an issue, I'm opening it as an issue so it doesn't get lost.

Possibilities

There are several possibilities brought up in the discussion

  • remove all, keep search
  • leave as is, but remove Gutenberg and related, and do the improvements in v2
  • remove featured tab and switch first tab to search box
  • NEW IDEA change current popular tab with latest plugins that have been added to the Plugins Directory and of course the Search tab may stay, rest removed

More possible

@nylen

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nylen commented Oct 8, 2018

I think it makes sense to remove Beta Testing and Featured, and keep Popular, Recommended, and Favorites (and of course the search box).

If we keep Featured, we need to change the text (there is no ClassicPress plugin directory).


Some screenshots of the existing sections, so we are clear on what we are talking about:

2018-10-08t13 55 08-05 00
2018-10-08t13 55 17-05 00
2018-10-08t13 55 27-05 00
2018-10-08t13 55 38-05 00
2018-10-08t13 55 50-05 00

@senlin

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senlin commented Oct 8, 2018

To be honest my vote would go to get rid of everything except the search box. Popular is most downloads (or most active installs) and are always the same.

I think popular only makes sense when the user does a search on for example Contact forms and then Contact Form 7 pops out.

Maybe the user is looking for a forums plugin, the current popular plugins don't offer anything in that aspect. So popular is a term that doesn't mean anything and only emphasises the plugins that don't really need any additional advertising.

@Tmeister

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Tmeister commented Oct 9, 2018

I would like to see at least the Popular list, as a regular user I don't want to see empty pages, also think that the users have a WordPress background if they see an empty page they will think that there is a bug there.

If you really want to get rid of all the tabs, you should consider an illustration or some introduction text to let the user know that there are no lists anymore.

Another thing @senlin lin if you want to add bullets points in a comment please use - The bullet and not - [ ] A task the second is for tasks and is confusing.

@senlin

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senlin commented Oct 9, 2018

@Tmeister - thanks, done

@ruiguerreiro79

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ruiguerreiro79 commented Oct 9, 2018

like @Tmeister said above I have the same concerns about an "empty" page.
My suggestion would be to create some categories links to provide some guidance to the user.

Something like the image attached that is based on Codecanyon categories.
plugin-categories

In terms of behaviour to be simple to implement, i.e when you press the Forms category it would fill the search box with the "forms" term or link directly to the tag.

@nylen

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nylen commented Oct 9, 2018

change current popular tab with latest plugins that have been added to the Plugins Directory

I like the idea of finding a way to promote newer plugins, or letting plugin authors promote their plugins, but I have some concerns with doing this by just showing a list of the newest plugins, especially here and now.

  • Existing process for new features. It's debatable where to draw the line, but in my opinion adding a new section with new functionality is a "major change" that would go through a petition or at least a committee vote, and we've been trying not to introduce anything new into v1 without very good reason. This is very different from removing content that is promoted by WP and really only applies to WP.
  • Development time. This is not a trivial thing to implement, for me it could be 5 to 10 hours to do it well. Right now it's not clear where that dev time would come from.
  • Quality of what would appear on this screen. There are over 60,000 plugins in the repository, and growing every day. Most new plugins are early alpha versions, intended for very specific use cases, not fully working, or some combination of the above. I feel strongly that it's better to curate the list, whether by community usage, reviews, plugin authors recommending their own plugins and competing for spots, or some combination of the above.

So I think this is worth more thought, discussion, and planning, and worth doing right for v2 rather than rushing something into v1. Other ideas could include a section where plugin authors can pay to promote their plugins, once they decide they're ready (I think the part where plugin authors decide when they're ready is important too).

There is a petition for this: https://petitions.classicpress.net/posts/78/show-latest-plugins-on-plugin-install-screen

I would like to see at least the Popular list, as a regular user I don't want to see empty pages, also think that the users have a WordPress background if they see an empty page they will think that there is a bug there.

I think I agree with this. "Popular" plugins are plugins that have stood the test of time and are commonly used by all types of WP installs.

We could have two tabs: "Popular" (works much as it does today) and "What's Next" or "ClassicPress Plugins" (explaining how ClassicPress works with plugins today, and a call-to-action for new ClassicPress contributors, like plugin developers etc, to help us determine and implement a direction for this kind of issue). Then of course the search box.

@nylen

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nylen commented Oct 9, 2018

My suggestion would be to create some categories links to provide some guidance to the user.

@ruiguerreiro79 This seems easier, and more feasible for v1.

I think with this approach we could remove the tabs entirely, and we'll want to add a message explaining that "all your favorite plugins are still here" etc.

@ruiguerreiro79

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ruiguerreiro79 commented Oct 9, 2018

@nylen in earlier committee meeting I mixed my 2 ideas along the discussion that didn't help for sure. Obviously, the "categories" idea was for V1 and the "Recent plugins" for V2 because it requires additional data and it needs more hours to be done.

Also it's important that text like you suggested ensuring that all plugins are available and should work without any issues.

I also think we can get rid of the tabs, also regarding that dropdown (tag, keyword, author) before the search field I never realized it was there till today. That search field in the right side it isn't in the best position.

@nylen nylen changed the title from [migration] What to do with plugin installation section to What to do with plugin installation section Oct 10, 2018

@ginsterbusch

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ginsterbusch commented Oct 12, 2018

For the category idea: We could also just use the pre-existing tags / categories from wp.org.
This one is being returned by calling https://api.wordpress.org/themes/info/1.1/?action=feature_list

Documentation: https://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress.org_API#Feature_list (which is rather rudimentary / crude)

cu, w0lf.

@nylen

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nylen commented Oct 17, 2018

@senlin @ruiguerreiro79 @ginsterbusch I was thinking we might keep the Popular tab, because I think these are the plugins that people are most likely to want to install.

Any specific objections to that?

I think we should also get a category-based solution working, ideally using the pre-existing tags / categories from wp.org, but someone needs to look through what appears for each tag and make sure this makes sense.

We should also include a message like "All your favorite plugins are still here ... use the search box to find them", especially if we remove the Popular tab.

Milestoning this issue for beta1, but let's come to an agreement soon about what to do here, and then split out this issue into separate tasks.

@nylen nylen added this to the v1.0.0-beta1 milestone Oct 17, 2018

@senlin

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senlin commented Oct 17, 2018

My main "worry" for the popular tab is that in its current shape, it seems to fill based on either active installs or total number of downloads.
So although "popular", I think that:
a. these plugins might not be for everyone and
b. why would it be necessary to highlight these plugins?

To illustrate: a plugin on the current Popular tab is Contact Form 7. Since ClassicPress will focus on businesses, are there really (still) businesses that use that plugin as a form solution instead of something more professional like Gravity Forms?

The rest that is currently available on the first page of Popular are:

  1. Yoast SEO
  2. Akismet (would need to go as owned by Automattic)
  3. Jetpack (would need to go as owned by Automattic)
  4. WooCommerce (would need to go as owned by Automattic)
  5. WordPress Importer (would need to go as owned by Automattic)
  6. All in One SEO Pack
  7. Tiny MCE Advanced
  8. Wordfence
  9. Google XML Sitemaps
  10. Duplicate Post
  11. Limit Login Attempts
  12. Google Analytics for WordPress
  13. WP Super Cache
  14. UpdraftPlus
  15. All-in-One WP Migration
  16. Really Simple SSL
  17. Regenerate Thumbnails
  18. Google Analytics Dashboard
  19. ACF
  20. Page Builder
  21. Contact Form
  22. Hello Dolly (would need to go as owned by Automattic)
  23. Elementor
  24. Mailchimp
  25. W3 Total Cache
  26. Duplicator
  27. Smush
  28. SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle
  29. Ninja Forms

The point being is that this list does not change, not now and not ever. So it basically is a static advertising column for plugins that clearly do not need any additional advertising anymore.

If there would be another algorithm to fill the Popular tab, then by all means, go for it. Just please do not use number of downloads and/or active installs for it as that is pointless IMHO.

@nylen

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nylen commented Oct 17, 2018

I actually think number of downloads or active installs is the best way to order this tab, and the best piece of information we can show in our plugins screen, since these are the plugins that people are most likely to want.

I also don't think it's a problem that some of these plugins are owned by Automattic. WooCommerce, for example: we want people to build large e-commerce sites on ClassicPress, it's an excellent test for us and for our primary use case (a business CMS).

The way I see it, we are not in competition with WordPress or Automattic, rather we are providing an alternative for a group of users that likely won't be well-served by their current direction.

@nylen nylen added this to To do in ClassicPress v1.0.0 via automation Oct 17, 2018

@ruiguerreiro79

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ruiguerreiro79 commented Oct 17, 2018

So we would remove all the tabs just leaving the Popular plugins. I'm ok with that.

Regarding the Popular items I think that at the moment we don't have any other stats to measure a plugin popularity(like the growth in downloads or reviews score in the last 6 months) without being the number of downloads and the reviews.

Yes we need to map properly the categories with the tag terms, I guess for now we can stick with the most popular categories, anything else will need to be done in the search box.

In terms of UX this page was always a bit confuse to me.

I would suggest moving the search input to the left side since we are removing the tabs so it has the main focus. Below that we could have the Categories list and the Popular plugins.

@nylen

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nylen commented Oct 18, 2018

Ok, I say let's go with that as a first step (search box at top left, and some way to display popular plugins and categories on the same page).

If we don't like it, we can make further changes from there, for example removing the popular plugins list.

@senlin

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senlin commented Oct 18, 2018

sure

@nylen

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nylen commented Oct 28, 2018

Now that I'm thinking about this some more, we'll want to be a little careful here, because this could be a breaking change for some people.

If we delete all the plugin tabs, but a plugin wants to add a new tab to this screen, what happens?

WPML is one example of a plugin that does some pretty heavy customization to parts of the plugin screens. There are undoubtedly others, can anyone list other cases?

For more general discussion about breaking changes, see: #185

@ginsterbusch

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ginsterbusch commented Oct 28, 2018

@senlin: Primarely I am using CF 7. Personally I cannot understand people who would use something like Gravity Forms (aka "Klickibunti") over having FULL control of how forms are being displayed, processed and the likes. Eg. CF 7 has been the only form solution I could fully integrate with Bootstrap (3 and 4!); all other solutions failed, some quite poorly.

Also, there are a number of extremely well-done add-ons for CF 7, which the so-called "professional solutions" cannot compete with (yes, I've tested them, excessivelly).

cu, w0lf.

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senlin commented Oct 28, 2018

@ginsterbusch
Fabian, every rule has its exceptions...

@ruiguerreiro79

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ruiguerreiro79 commented Oct 29, 2018

@nylen I wasn't aware of those hooks, and honestly this part of the "Add New plugin" never realized any change made by any plugin. Difficult to tell how many interact with those, but I can't see any way that this can break at the site level. It can break what those plugin authors have done with the tabs but that's it. IMO I guess that is a specific area (only the Add new section) where I don't see too many issues if we limit the hooks.

There also other plugins when there isn't any hook available to do something they can rely on an HTML structure to append some code, those are even harder to discover so any change will always be a potential breaking change.

I also feel like you said that is bigger discussion like #185

@nylen

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nylen commented Oct 29, 2018

"Any change is a potential breaking change, so we shouldn't worry about it too much."

This is a common argument. It's not a very good one though: it's the responsibility of the people making the change (us) to not break sites.

I'd still like to see examples of plugins that modify the plugin screens.

@ruiguerreiro79

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ruiguerreiro79 commented Oct 29, 2018

not sure if the text in quotes is related to what I said or not, because I didn't said that. I was alerting to the fact that isn't just the changes that potentially remove hooks/filters that can cause an impact.

I also never saw any changes in that plugin section, I'm also curious to see what people have done there.

@mikeschinkel

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mikeschinkel commented Oct 30, 2018

In support of @ruiguerreiro79's idea regarding Codecanyon-like categories, there is some research I read a while back (but can't find a link to right now) that said between 1/3rd and 2/3rds of people are "search" focused and the rest are "browse" focused. So only having a search bar will not be so good for those people who are more browse focused.

I'd also argue the existing tabs are not good for many of the reasons already stated, but a list of categories would enable discovery and then browsing by use-case, the default list of featured categories could be easily updated over time, there could be a "more categories" link to show everything, and then within a category we could allow sorting for things like "popular", "featured", "highest rated", etc.

#jmtcw

@nylen

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nylen commented Nov 14, 2018

If anyone can help implement something here, that would be good, otherwise this probably isn't going to make it into beta1. Leaving it in the milestone for now.

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nylen commented Nov 17, 2018

This is not going to be ready in time for beta1. Moving to 1.0.0-beta2 milestone.

@nylen nylen modified the milestones: v1.0.0-beta1, v1.0.0-beta2 Nov 17, 2018

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senlin commented Nov 21, 2018

Just as a reminder of something that also still needs to be changed:

On the Add New Plugin screen (/wp-admin/plugin-install.php), the sentence currently reads:

Plugins extend and expand the functionality of ClassicPress. You may automatically install plugins from the ClassicPress Plugin Directory or upload a plugin in .zip format by clicking the button at the top of this page.

The text ClassicPress Plugin Directory is linked to the WP.org Plugins Dir

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