NextGEN Gallery is one of the most popular WordPress plugins in the repository and has been for a long time. The last time I checked, it was closing in on over 8 million downloads. However, the latest release of the plugin has caused grief for many people as evidenced by the plugin’s support forum. This has caused Erick Danzer one of the core developers for the plugin to publish an open letter to the NextGEN Gallery Community admitting that the latest version has serious issues and they are working day and night to try to resolve them.
I want to start by simply recognizing that, yes, there are many and very serious issues with this update. No doubt about it. We’ve been caught very off guard. Those of you experiencing these problems are entirely justified to feel angry and ask hard questions.
For us, it’s not a question of not caring. It’s a question of what’s the best way to respond under immense pressure from many directions.
We are working ourselves to our physical and emotional breaking points trying to respond to users and solve issues as fast as we can because we do care. I’m honestly not kidding about this.
I love how Erick and team have grabbed the bull by the horns and are using their blog to control and manage the conversation around their plugin. This open letter reminds me of a post I wrote in 2008 on WeblogToolsCollection.com where I told people to stop blaming the WordPress Team. It’s a bit different with NextGEN but the message is the same. As outlined in the letter, the team did everything they could to make sure this was a good release but no matter how well they tested, the results would have never come close to the actual environments used by thousands of plugin users.
What that open letter really means is that Erick Danzer and the rest of the NextGEN Gallery team are committed to the project and are doing everything they can to turn wrongs into rights. I commend him for publishing the letter and addressing all of the noted concerns in one post. Anytime a company or author of a major plugin or theme uses communication in this way, they should be commended as most of the time, communication is the last thing on their minds. Although it doesn’t fix the problem, just knowing that the developer feels your pain and acknowledges the problem is enough to calm me down and do anything I can to help the developer fix it as soon as possible.
Erick Danzer is not the plugins creator. It’s listed as Photocrati on WordPress.org. Photocrati is a growing digital media company helping photographers improve their web presence while leveraging our premium themes, hosting, and plugins for WordPress.