500 Plugins To Possibly Be Purged From The Repository

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a discussion revolving around those three magic letters GPL. It looks like we’ll be talking about it again considering that somewhere around 500 plugins run the risk of being purged due to their incompatibility with GPLv2. There has been an ongoing discussion within the past 11 months regarding various licenses and what is and is not compatible with what WordPress uses. It looks like the core team has been monitoring the discussion considering Andrew Nacins comment:

The core team plans to discuss plugin directory licensing once none of us are sick or traveling. So, expect an update here in the next week or so.

The arguments have been laid out, so no need to continue to do so. Not trying to stifle discussion, but, you have all made your points.

Jane Wells also participated in the tract ticket discussion:

I would think we would want everything on wordpress.org to have consistent and compatible licensing. If we’ve moved away from that, is Matt aware of it? (I wasn’t.) He’s always said in the past that anything promoted (including being hosted) on wordpress.org needs to be 100% GPL, and said that no one should ever have to wonder what they can/can’t do with something we host, because the license would be the same/compatible.

I also think the end goal for WordPress.org would be for consistency across the site with regards to licensing. No one should have to guess or worry about which license a particular piece of code is using if it’s being hosted by WordPress.org. At the end of the day though, it looks like license consistency is easier said than done.

Until the guidelines have been thoroughly reviewed and discussed amongst the core team, Plugins that violate the current guideline but are compatible with GPLv3 will not be de-listed.

Would you like to write for WP Tavern? We are always accepting guest posts from the community and are looking for new contributors. Get in touch with us and let's discuss your ideas.


  1. How about a clause that tells the plugin author that if they don’t monitor the wp forums and respond to issues people are having with their plugin within a certain length of time, their plugin will be removed? I see a lot of forum posts where people are left hanging for months over things that could probably be solved if the author just de-bugged their code.


  2. What is unclear to me is what the WP team considers GPL-compatible. I know for a fact they do not follow the FSF definition, as my MIT-licensed theme was flatly rejected. If everything on wordpress.org should be GPL and nothing else, that’s fine, but they should say so. “GPL-compatible” implies that other licenses are accepted. But which others? Only copyleft licenses? A small arbitrary selection? Contributors shouldn’t have to guess any more than the public.


  3. Felix, can you provide me a link to the ticket in which your MIT-licensed Theme was rejected?


  4. Sigh. Explosive headlines aren’t typically necessary. Next time, send me an email, and I’ll give you a heads up that the core team is likely going to adjust the guidelines to allow for a wider variety of licenses; there just hasn’t been the chance to talk about it yet. (The discussion on the ticket really only started late last week, not 11 months ago, after some very valid concerns were raised by a few individuals.) I tried not to speak on their behalf on the ticket, but I don’t have much of a choice now given the spreading of FUD.


  5. @Felix,

    Nevermind. I found it, and am addressing the issue in-ticket.

    Next time, post a comment in the ticket, so the issue can be addressed. If you don’t respond to the ticket, we can’t know that there’s an issue.


  6. @Andrew Nacin – I’m not running a news desk here where I ping people all day long about stuff. Just about everything I write is based on publicly available information with sometimes my personal interpretation of that information which in some cases is totally wrong. But in this case, based on what Otto said and the compiled list, I found it completely reasonable to suggest that there was the possibility of those 499 items in the spreadsheet to be purged from the repository for having non-compatible licenses.

    The ticket was created 11 months ago so that’s why I said the discussion has been ongoing for 11 months. I suppose I could have said that “However, discussion has ramped up on the topic within the past few days” or something to that effect but that’s just semantics.

    I even quoted you that you said the team was going to get together for discussion on the topic which would have been a nice pointer had anyone got involved in the comments that started assuming stuff. I even added the word possibly to the headline as nothing was set in stone. These things are evolving stories and until your last comment on the track ticket, I don’t see anything out of the ordinary with what I wrote or how I wrote it. After the core team discussed the matter and the results of the meeting were published, I would have written an update post or added the information to the bottom of this post. Which I’ve already done.


  7. @Jenn Nickerson

    How about a clause that tells the plugin author that if they don’t monitor the wp forums and respond to issues people are having with their plugin within a certain length of time, their plugin will be removed?

    The Plugins are distributed for free, and come with no implied warranty. While many – if not most – Plugin developers attempt to provide support for their Plugins, please understand that such (free) support is not free for the developer. Every hour providing free support is an hour taken away from paid work. And those Plugin developers have families to support, too.

    If WPORG started requiring Plugin developers to provide support for their submitted Plugins, then you’d simply see a ton of Plugins vanish from the repository. I’m fairly certain that such would not be your intended outcome.


  8. Hi – just ran across this discussion. Where can I find out more info on what’s going on with WordPress?

    For example, where would I have seen this discussion earlier? I do most of my work with WordPress and I would love to be a bit more in touch with what WordPress is doing and thinking – thanks very much!


  9. @Felix Pleșoianu – taken care of and please comment in the trac directly, not here or anywhere else. If we don’t see it in trac, how to we know if there’s a problem or not ;)



  10. @Andrew Nacin – I think everyone knew well enough to not get all up in arms and I don’t think there is anything wrong with bringing both positive and negative news to light.

    I think that most blog readers have become used to sensationalist headlines and while I don’t really expect to see them here, the word “possibly” in the title was enough to delay any worries that I had until I had read the post.

    I do think it was nice that you did say that Jeff could contact you, but beyond that, the tone of your response was a bit weird. The WordPress community needs to work with blogs like WPTavern if the software is to continue being the successful publishing powerhouse that it is.

    Glad to see that no plugins are going to be removed due to issues between different GPL versions. (Who knew?)


  11. There should be two repositories. GPL and Premium.

    WordPress.org should charge some type of fee for inclusion in the Premium repository.

    Everything in the GPL repository should be 100% GPL.

    Only makes sense.


  12. @Chip Bennett – Thank you for dealing with the issue. Frankly, I never bothered back then because it wasn’t important. My theme is mostly useful as a starting point for other authors anyway. Also, sorry for not replying to your comment immediately. It didn’t occur to me to check back so soon.


  13. Thanks for the link to the spreadsheet on Google!

    By far the most common/main irregularity with these ‘non-compliant’ plugins is that they are being licensed under GPL3, instead of GPL2. In a high portion of the cases, I will speculate that the author was being conscientious about licensing (but ‘in violation’), simply by adopting ‘the latest’ version of the GPL.

    So … is the GPLv3 vis GPL2 question a problem that WordPress folk anticipating giving them a hard time? Or is it a fairly minor point that, while perhaps messy to address/resolve (due, say, to difficulty getting the proper notice/attention from all these different authors (an issue we see illustrated right here in the comments on this post)), shouldn’t be a big trauma?

    Explosive headlines? FUD spin? It had not struck me that way, before I saw it asserted. In all candor, blogs that cover WordPress would probably be less useful to both the readers, and to the WordPress project, if they had to clear stuff with a honcho before publishing (or function as ‘mirrors’ or ‘echo chambers’?). Not to mention the colossal hassle it would be for DEVs …


  14. The issue of whether or not 500 quasi GPL licensed plug-ins are de-listed pails into insignificance when compared with the total shambles the whole 18,460 item database is in right now, from an end-user’s point of view.

    The hours spent trawling through endless crap which nobody downloads (because that’s all some of it is now), to find the real nuggets, although it could be argued is well invested if you come up with a little gem for free, in my view is a total waste and disrespect of the customer’s time.

    Would Mozzila, Firefox or Chrome plug-in users put up with only being able search by a text string? I don’t think so. Why should we?

    For example, why can’t the tables have filters so that I can isolate plug-ins that have been tested to work with my WP release (or another I can pre-set)? Why can’t I select to see only 4 or 5 star entries? Why can’t I filter by the most popular of a plug-in type? Why can’t I set up my preferences and have WordPress remember I only want to see specific rating level, a version compatibility level, author or –wait for it– license type (well why not?). I’ll tell you the reason.

    Because so far, everyone who has the skills and the authority to do it doesn’t give a shit, or thinks its just trivial, and is more concerned with doing “important stuff” and being famous for 15 minutes at some camp or another.

    Well think about this. How about becoming famous *FOR EVER* and being the person who sorted out this mess, turned it into a library named after them (or some Jazz star or another), and made it into the incredible resource which, at the moment, is just being squandered and even worse, driving people nuts for no reason.

    Talk about a marketing faux pas. But I forgot, you’re all geeks and don’t know anything about marketing, right? Well, now you at least know something.

    It’s about time. Go do it!


  15. I returned to this topic to do more reading, and began with the “ongoing discussion” link in the Post. This is – coughsome “discussion”.

    This is a page on the WordPress Core Trac site, in which several leading WordPress people expose a quite surprising (to me) degree of ‘confusion’ with respect to fundamental WordPress licensing considerations.

    It appears that we are not so much looking at issues with plugin-author licensing choices, but rather that ‘events have overtaken’ WordPress policy & rules, themselves. Plugin licensing irregularities are almost a mere proxy for the real problem. (Indeed, again, most of these plugins in the List appear to have actually been licensed “in Good Faith”.)

    This display of discord, misunderstanding and perhaps conflicting views & interpretations, within the upper echelons of the WordPress community, gives me a bit better insight into Andrew Naicin’s somewhat testy interjection. If he were interested to do so, I would be interested to read his further words, on the input that he would liked to have given author Jeffro, before this Post went to press.


  16. @Tim H.

    There should be two repositories. GPL and Premium.

    WordPress.org should charge some type of fee for inclusion in the Premium repository.

    Everything in the GPL repository should be 100% GPL.

    Only makes sense.

    Actually, that doesn’t make much sense at all. First, “GPL” and “premium” (or, more accurately, “GPL” and “commercial”) are not mutually exclusive. Second, nothing hosted at or linked from wordpress.org will ever have a non-GPL-compatible license. Forever and ever, amen.

    Now, if you’re saying that wordpress.org should have some sort of separate repository for reviewed/vetted Plugins: well sure, that could be a possibility. If you can find a literal army of volunteers to perform those reviews. Seriously, I don’t see that happening any time soon. The Theme repository has an order of magnitude fewer Themes than the Plugin repository has Plugins, and the Theme Review Team can barely keep up with the submission load. It would be all but impossible for Plugins, especially considering the much wider scope, and greater complexity, as compared to Themes.

    Also, having developers pay a “fee” to have their code listed in the repository opens up another whole can of worms – one that I really don’t think the WordPress Foundation wants to get into.


  17. @Terence

    … the whole 18,460 item database is … endless crap which nobody downloads.

    Nobody has actually downloaded a plugin 270,661,532 times … a number that you saw right next to the 18,460 entries-count when you checked/verified it.

    Would Mozzila, Firefox or Chrome plug-in users put up with only being able search by a text string?

    Mozilla/Firefox has far fewer Categories than WordPress has Tags. Both will accept search-strings … tho only WP allows us to specify its field.

    You’re right that there is a lot of room for improvement, but your implication that WP is a bunch of clueless code-junkies who don’t ‘get’ what needs to be done, is off the mark. Those who have been watching for awhile, have seen many changes. Work is being done, and the outlines of an ‘intentional’ structure & functionality are coming into view.

    A big truth is, that an awful lot of plugin-finding takes place through well-known Search Engines. Why recreate Google locally, when the customer has the real thing default installed on their browser?

    No … it isn’t that we can’t find stuff well enough in the repository – rather, it’s a surfeit of riches problem. We easily find many plausible offerings to fit our search … but then comes the real work, of making fine-grained assessments, and comparing them for suitability to our task at hand. Since our plugin-applications are specific to each user’s case, it is reasonable that such whites-of-their-eyes evaluations be performed not by marketing gurus, but by ourselves.

    Are you wanting some particular kind of plugin, Terence? Give me half a clue, and I’ll do my little chaos-surfing trick for you. ;)


  18. Ted, thank you. Your words brought a little cheer to an otherwise mirthless day.

    But despite the all rhetoric and innuendo, the fact remains, the plugin search interface within WordPress is ancient, creaking and a time-waster. It could, and after all these years should be updated, made really slick – like the rest of WordPress – and additional functionality added to make it a time-saver. To prevaricate and argue otherwise is pedantic and Luddite.

    I can agree with you on one thing though — it is a surfeit of riches.

    And I’d happily give you my half a clue (so that you have a whole one), if I thought it would do any good.

    But despite all the huff and puff, I still don’t hear what’s going to be done about.



  19. Chip,

    [quote]Actually, that doesn’t make much sense at all. First, “GPL” and “premium” (or, more accurately, “GPL” and “commercial”) are not mutually exclusive. Second, nothing hosted at or linked from wordpress.org will ever have a non-GPL-compatible license. Forever and ever, amen.[/quote]

    I think this is half your problem. Imagine that you are not a WordPress developer or have no intricate knowledge of software licensing… it confuses the hell out of people. You have plugins in the repository that claim to be ‘open source’ and ‘free’, but then the user finds out the functionality they require is ‘premium’.

    Call it whatever you’d like… gpl, premium, etc. (I know there is good reason to differentiate and I know it’s not so cut and dry, but perhaps it should be)….. should be, more cut and dry.

    All I’m saying is WordPress could generate revenue and provide a better service by providing some type of commercial repository. Charge the author a couple hundred bucks to review the plugin or something.

    It just seems these things are all over the place. My suggestion makes sense to me (and many others I know).


  20. I’m seeing a few extensions that I’ve written for the Shopp plugin on that list.

    I glanced at the requirements and the only thing I could come up with was that I used GPLv3 instead of GPLv2.

    I’ll have to correct that and look through the requirements again over the weekend.


  21. @Jean Galea ~ thank you so much for pointing out the site to me – THE BEST WORDPRESS PLUGIN DIRECTORY SEARCH ENGINE, is definitely what it says it is.. 8^)

    It just shows what can be done, even without “inside” knowledge, when your motivations are providing an optimal solution, and not those of defending the status-quo, or doing something else, more important.

    Which is really what the whole WordPress plugin repository is all about, providing an optimal solution, that is.

    The fact that the internal WordPress plugin search offering has remained untouched and unloved for so long as it has, has to be, obviously, because nobody that matters, apparently, thinks its important enough to do anything about.

    Having now found the http://searchwordpressplugins.com/ site, I will definitely be using it as first preference, and save myself both the time and hassle of using WordPress.

    Something I thought I would never, ever, have to say.


  22. I just had another thought, after looking at what they’d done over at the http://searchwordpressplugins.com/ site.

    Supposing someone like Lead Internet Web Directory ported their code to a plugin, which replaced the whole back-end plugin search/install function within WordPress, and because it was so good, everyone – I mean EVERYONE – started using it? Now wouldn’t that be cool?

    I wonder how long the great and the good at WP would spend rearranging the GPL deckchairs when they realized their whole, carefully nitpicked curation effort had been totally circumvented and the market had got the tools it wants instead? I bet it wouldn’t take long for someone to think its important, then, and for the native back-end plugin search/install function to get a suit of new clothes.

    You never know, the new guys on the block might even come up with an innovative taxonomy, and create a custom post type with all kinds of useful information (which installs when you install a plugin using their back-end search/installer plugin), such as contact/support info, number of active current users, error rates, real compatibility issues and author bug fix rates, and all kinds of interesting stuff like that. They might even provide a web service which interfaces with their plugin and federates all this useful data (the authors of this new WP Back End Search plugin, that is).

    You know, you’d think with such clever people on-board, at least one of them would be able to spot their own weakness and get something done about it… wouldn’t you?

    But, what do I know? I am just a marketing guru. Right?


  23. I remember when one of the wordpress domains was donated to you guys by a company…. pretty generous of them. Wasn’t it worth a couple million $’s or so?


  24. Btw, I think someone would be hard-pressed to confuse that site with an official WordPress (can I say WordPress?) website or organization.

    I do want to say though guys, despite all these quirky rules and regulations surrounding this open-source software, you guys have done an amazing job. Really. WordPress simply kicks ass (can I say ass?).


  25. @Chip ~ no I didn’t, of course, why would I? I’m not WP’s corporate lawyer. But if I were, from the limited experience I have had in the past (used to work for DuPont and we had a whole department dreaming up trade names 24/7), I’d probably say… good luck with trying to protect a trade name constructed with two ordinary words from the English language. And also, don’t rattle your sword unless you’re prepared to pay for several tickets to San Diego and a few other sundry expenses. Far better to decide, overall, they’re enhancing your image and promoting your products, and leave them the hell alone, unless that changes. The rest of the bla bla (the link you included), is all corporate weasel words and FUDS put out by corporate lawyers to keep themselves employed, and repeated unthinkingly by corporate manager types who want to be seen to be singing from the corporate hymn sheet. I know, I used to be one. No silly, not a corporate hymn sheet… 8^)

    P.S. Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t make me your enemy.


  26. @Terence

    @Chip ~ no I didn’t, of course, why would I?

    Actually, I assumed that you didn’t, just as I assume that the owners of the domain name in question also don’t know. That’s why I try to point people to that link when I see a trademark-violating domain name.

    [corporate-legal stuff]

    Note: I’m not in any official capacity affiliated with the WordPress Foundation. I’m just a community member. I don’t have a saber to be rattled. :)

    P.S. Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t make me your enemy.

    I would never assume otherwise. I never take a difference of opinion or ideas personally. To do so is to waste far too much effort.


  27. If anyone is nervous about the IP endorcement drones overhead, blasting trademark-offenders off the web, the site in question is also available as:


    Evidently, having a modicum of self-preservation, themselves. ;)

    … but, but – has anyone actually tried using this thing??


  28. Hi Guys,
    Glad you like the site.

    @Terrence, if I had the resources, building a better plugin admin panel is exactly what I’d do.
    Have a decent set of features on the to do list but it would go faster with help. :)

    @Chip, thanks for pointing out the TOS issue. After looking into it I’m not sure how much of an issue it really is. There are hundreds or thousands of sites infringing the WordPress Foundation TOS. I’m not expecting an endorsement from them and don’t want to upset anyone. The alternate domain was an afterthought after this issue came up in a thread about a month ago.

    @Ted, what do you mean: “… but, but – has anyone actually tried using this thing??”
    Don’t you like it? Am open to suggestions.


  29. @Don ~ if I was a developer I would help you. In fact, if I was developer, you might be using *MY* WordPress Plugin Directory Assistant by now. In fact we all might… 8^)


  30. @Terrence ~ late last year I started working more with WordPress and got totally fed up with the plugin directory every time I needed a new plugin for something. I spoke to a few people and found that everyone else thought the same.

    So I decided to build a tool that would help. It has been a labour of love. At the beginning I hoped that people will start clicking on ads to give some return. But it seems that other people also share my profound ad blindness. lol :-)

    One feature I would like to ad is a watchlist. i.e. as you search and see interesting plugins you can click on an “Ad to Watchlist” icon and keep searching, When you want to bring up the list of all the plugins you’d seen and wanted to remember you click to “View Watchlist”. Is something like this worth building? What do you think?

    Initially, I figured it could be a current session thing, so no need to create an account and sign in. Do you think there ought to be a persistent save feature for users?


  31. @Don ~ I have stated pretty clearly what I think should be done, but that’s with about 5 minutes thought on the subject.

    I think the problem you are always going to have with your concept is that a website, no matter how much you improve it and how good it becomes (and it’s not too shabby at the moment), it doesn’t actually solve the problem most people have. It’s a different answer to a different question. And, as such, it will always be the 2nd port of call for most people.

    The difference between 1st and 2nd, by the way, I would guess is probably as profound as being on page 1 of Google’s SERP, or on page 2 — something like about 8,000%

    So my suggestion to you would be to read what Kevinjohn Gallagher wrote here — https://www.wptavern.com/case-study-on-how-wordpress-won-the-crown#comment-19000 — then think about the kind of delivery framework, taxonomy, search, select and install tools we will need to manage the WP CMS platform of the future, port all your code to a “WordPress Plugin Directory Assistant” plugin, or whatever you want to call it, and I will help you with the marketing and also with monetization, if that is an issue.

    But the main thing is this. Help folk by solving their problem, not your problem. If you do that, you’ll have more success than you know what to do with.

    And you might want to keep and eye on this too — http://amazonsilk.wordpress.com/ — which, by the way, I found here — http://ma.tt/2011/09/amazon-silk-on-wp-com/


  32. @Ted Clayton

    By far the most common/main irregularity with these ‘non-compliant’ plugins is that they are being licensed under GPL3, instead of GPL2. In a high portion of the cases, I will speculate that the author was being conscientious about licensing (but ‘in violation’), simply by adopting ‘the latest’ version of the GPL.

    Just for reference, this became an issue (for us) because Google’s official API client toolkit for PHP is Apache 2.0 licensed, as are many other important integration libraries. We’d really like to publish the plugin we are building for a client, with their permission, and our team felt it would be crazy to have to rewrite that library’s functionality just so we can make it GPL.

    So unless we can get the repository to allow plugins to somehow contain Apache 2.0 licensed code we can’t publish this plugin to the repository.


    Any chance you’ll publish a JSON API of your search results? Your terms of service for using it could be that the site has to link back to you.


  33. @Terrence ~ @Terence

    Would be interested to discuss further but don’t want to bore people. Our visions are not very different, but I would say that it isn’t just about porting code to a plugin. The plugin must reference services based on the server so you have to build the services first.

    How would someone actually contact you Terrence? There is no link on your comments.

    @Mike Schinkel

    I have a search form that can be included remotely in an iframe, but this targets the search.php results page on the main site. Realize this isn’t an api. Could do a vanilla results page for display in an iframe on the remote site.

    An api will be necessary for the plugin implementation, so it will be possible in future. Am intending to have a site registration system to provide an access api key.


  34. @SearchWPPlugins – with difficulty Don (or is it Ed?). But just a tad less difficult than anyone trying to contact you from your website… 8^) Try this and it should find me… q3mrs@tittbit.in


  35. @SearchWPPlugins ~ just click on the “reply” button. That’s what its there for… 8^)


  36. @SearchWPPlugins

    @Ted, what do you mean: “… but, but – has anyone actually tried using this thing??”
    Don’t you like it? Am open to suggestions.

    Hi Don! Good to see you on the thread!

    There were several ‘levels’ intended in my theatrical question.

    First, although several here have expressed pleasure at finding your site, praising it, none have related an experience using it. Have, indeed, these folks taken it for a test-drive? (And the corollary – is the site itself receiving growing & return-usage? Indicating that it is meeting needs & proving useful? I know too, that a ‘discovery’ process may be necessary, and your server-logs thus far, may not be a good reflection of potential.)

    Second, the default search facility on SearchWPPlugins is only slightly different than what we have on the official WordPress plugin repository. (‘What’s all the excitement about’?)

    Third, what is actually significantly different on your project, is the Boolean Operators option … which nobody has mention. “Holy cow! Didja get a load a that guy’s Booleans!?!?” Not a peep.

    I’m seeing the Boolean cheat-sheet on the About page. I stumbled into it, snooping around. I have since flipped back & forth between the Home/Default Search, the About page (cheatsheet), and the Advanced Search page (which looks like the Default) … and I’m not noticing any other connection between the Search interfaces, and the Booleans-guide, other than by clicking on the About link. That is not real intuitive.

    Booleans are the potent stuff here. The rest is available on DotOrg.

    Have you guys been using it? They didn’t answer, eh?

    I am intrigued & hopeful, Don. “I provisionally like it!” I have not actually tried it. It needs to be compared with functionality already centrally available, and the Boolean tools require study, and testing. I’m not negative, but I am cautious. :)



  37. @Mike Schinkel
    Let me do some digging on this, and clue me further as you think is indicated. I would like to stay with this, and follow through on it. I will return to the Trac page, where I noticed you, and bear down on it.

    I have known of this general problem/issue/fear, since the early days of OS. I am aware that conflicts/incompatibilities with Apache have steadily become more prominent, and will get up to speed on the details here.

    I think we can take it, that DotOrg wants a plugin library that gives them recognition, and draws users, ‘in & of itself’. Ubuntu is pushing 40,000 Debian-vetted & supervised projects … “at the push of a button”. Apple, Google, Firefox … all the big kids are doing it, and it’s big.

    I think this is resolvable. I have a heavy money-day tomorrow, but will be back late in the afternoon (Pacific).



  38. @SearchWPPlugins
    I tried 3 times to Subscribe, Don, but each returned a Captcha error. They were clear & easy to read. – Ted


  39. @Ted Clayton

    Hi Ted, I really don’t understand where you are coming from. I don’t think we are seeing the same site if you say there isn’t really any difference to what is available on wordpress.org.

    If you go the the “Advanced Search” at http://searchwpplugins.com you can filter and sort on multiple conditions in a single search.

    Say you want to only see plugins with a rating of 4.55 and above you can specify. If you only want to see plugins that have a significant number of ratings and weed out all those 5s which have only been rated once or twice, then you can do that. If you only want to return plugins which have been updated since whenever you choose, you can set that too. Say you want to find plugins that have several tags, you can specify that by comma delimiting the entry in the tags field. If you want to use boolean searching on the Name and keywords fields you can do that too.

    And what is more you can use all of these filters in a single search and specify the sort order of the result set.

    Perhaps you know of a search facility on wordpress.org that comes close to this, but I certainly haven’t seen it.

    @Ted Clayton
    I tested the newsletter signup three times with no issues getting wrong captcha reports.
    If that isn’t what you were referring to, then I’d say the account sign up pages aren’t linked in yet, so I’m not expecting people to be signing up for accounts at this stage because this section isn’t complete or public.


  40. @SearchWPPlugins

    Sorry that I seem to be sowing consternation, Don. I must make a quick reply now, to leave soon for an outdoor workday away from all comm. I’ll carefully address this tonight.

    As admitted, I have not used the SearchWPPlugins tool. And, conspicuously, no one else is reporting doing so, either – and until we are seeing a pattern of ‘satisfied’ user-reports (this is the ‘proof of the User Interface pudding’, as always … but Especially with database interrogation tools) we remain at the ‘Hmm! Interesting!” stage. I do think it is interesting, and from me, that is positive input! :)

    We are all familiar with the phenomenon of ‘Editor Wars’. This refers to differences of opinion, often very strongly held & defended, about the merits of different Editors – all of which may be fully professional, mature and polished software tools.

    Well, slightly less visible to the general crowd, is a much more severe conflict & struggle, over the tools & methods for getting what is wanted out of an existing Database. “SQL” itself is a direct acronym for the REAL challenge of preparing User Interfaces for databases. It’s ALL about trying to get what’s in there, the way you want it.

    I am thinking about, and I suggest others roll it around too, how to construct cases that will show in a reasonably ‘scientific’ way that the SearchWPPlugins does things better than the WordPress.org facility … and for extra credit, ‘vice versa’! We need ‘set-ups’ that will allow for ‘meaningful’ comparison of two different facilities.

    Of course, it will be necessary to FIRST actually learn to use it, and gain some minimum level of skill/competence with it. It may seem totally transparent to its creator & author, but that may not be what newcomers are experiencing.

    Later! – Ted


  41. @Ted Clayton

    I respect a good curmudgeon. :-)

    Did you watch the video on the About page and on the search page when no search has been performed? I think it gives a reasonable explanation of the search features.

    The response has been overwhelmingly positive. A couple of weeks ago makeuseof.com featured the site as a “Cool Tool”

    The link above posted by Jean Galea was a spontaneous creation by Carma Leichty on wpmayor.com. I don’t know her but she was inspired enough to make a video. :) Thanks Carma.

    There has been a lot of positive feedback. The project is 4 months old and the Alexa ranking http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/searchwordpressplugins.com# has been steadily improving. People are using the site. Visits with dozens of page views are quite usual. :)


  42. @Ted Clayton ~ would you accept that if, after limited exposure, the indications were you didn’t have enough intelligence to sit the right way round on a lavatory, let alone comprehend the meaning of of the word “evidence”, and for whatever reason, because nobody chose, on your behalf, to defend your level of competence, you were, in fact, totally imbecilic?

    No? I didn’t think so.

    I suggest, while you have the dictionary on screen and are looking up the meaning of “curmudgeon”, you might also look up and learn the meaning of the word “evidence”. It might help you ‘keep it real’, if nothing else.


  43. @Don ~ you mean the possibility of him ‘keeping it real’. Yes, I suppose it was a bit far fetched, that… 8^)


  44. Haha. I see this is going down hill fast. Thanks for sowing the seeds of trolldome there, Ted.

    With that said, I HAVE used the site (and I’m one who hasn’t even commented on it). My experience was positive (so much so that I bookmarked the site and have returned several times since… and not for snooping, for finding real-world plugins for clients).

    There have been so many times searching at dotOrg (whatever Ted calls it) only to turn to Google b/c there is no way to effectively filter or search plugins from dotOrg.

    I think they have done fantastic job providing a website that serves a legitimate purpose. It has already made my life that much easier (and my ability to make $ that much faster).


  45. As an after-thought…. I’ve probably authored a good dozen or so WordPress plugins that I would provide to the community if I actually thought my time would be worth it to others (they could actually find them). I’m not too interested in providing a free working product if I have to jump through hoops to give it away.


  46. And last I checked, one of the plugins I wrote is quite unique…. it is an SMS to email service which allows readers to subscribe with their cell phone # and get updates right from the WordPress panel via SMS message. I wrote the plugin b/c I couldn’t find one at the time that did that… it may be the only one of its kind…. used on 1 website… what a waste.


  47. I have to admit that’s an aspect I totally overlooked — the number of authors who have valuable, if not unique, contributions to make, who are totally put off by the intransigence at WP which for years hasn’t been able to see this particular nose in front of their face. I would go so far as to say that it must, at least to some degree, have retarded the growth, as well as the usability, of the platform, as more people than should have done found out it couldn’t do what they wanted it to. Only it could. They just couldn’t find out how and with what.


  48. @Don ~ Ted Clayton’s “Work is being done, and the outlines of an ‘intentional’ structure & functionality are coming into view”, whatever that means, doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence. In fact, quite the opposite. So if WP isn’t willing to put any effort into the back-end plugins interface and repository (have you had any dialogue with them on this issue?), why not (why not anyway), add additional functionality to your website and offer plugin authors an alternative WP repository? One which doesn’t make them “jump through hoops to give stuff away” — with all the necessary caveats of course. One thing I would caution though, you’re going to need a lot better taxonomy than the native WP repository provides. And also, if it fills up with thinly disguised freemium and purely commercial plugins, it won’t be very popular. At least not for very long… 8^)


  49. @Terence – Are you saying that Ted works for WordPress?
    I’m not wanting to piss anyone off at WordPress, I mean I have great respect for what they have achieved. Hey, we are all talking about WordPress, much of the world’s Internet relies on WordPress. Credit where it is due.

    There wasn’t dialog with WordPress. I didn’t imagine they’d be interested in talking to me. WordPress is a big operation, I wasn’t so sure that I had anything to offer them.
    I simply felt the frustration of needing to find plugins and knowing what I know, knew there was a better way.

    Terrence, there are development plans for the site and I think you would be impressed with the vision. But please understand that I do not want to discuss plans in an open forum because they make me look foolish should they not come to pass.

    The first priority at this point is finding a way to get some money coming in to support future development.

    Am open to suggestions :-)


  50. @Terence – I’ve always found the free-form tag taxonomy unintuitive and random. Have come to accept it. And it does have the advantage of letting things evolve. If your taxonomy is rigid this has it’s own challenges.

    Do you have ideas about an improved taxonomy that honours convention and order, yet allows for an evolution.


  51. You start talking about $ that could go to WP and you just might piss them off over there.

    As for Ted working for WP.. that is the impression I got… I also got the impression that he is full of ego and ready to look down upon all those inferiors who ‘just don’t understand’, b/c after all, I’m sure he has the credentials/experience/know-how/ability/resources that we must be lacking.

    Honestly, I’m sure this comment will become offensive, but fact is those of us who have really helped to build WordPress (by building hundreds of websites using wp core) get a bit irritated when confronted with this type of mentality…. like who are we to have any input.


  52. @Terrence What have you done to solicit donations from the site?


  53. @Tim H.

    As an after-thought…. I’ve probably authored a good dozen or so WordPress plugins that I would provide to the community if I actually thought my time would be worth it to others (they could actually find them). I’m not too interested in providing a free working product if I have to jump through hoops to give it away.


    I have to admit that’s an aspect I totally overlooked — the number of authors who have valuable, if not unique, contributions to make, who are totally put off by the intransigence at WP which for years hasn’t been able to see this particular nose in front of their face.

    There is a plugin that might be of interest:

    Self Hosted Plugings

    This plugin helps you to self-host your WordPress plugins on your own site. It even uses an extend/plugins/ structure

    When I first went to host my plugins on my own site, I was surprised that there wasn’t anything out there to help me with the tricky job of deploying updates. WordPress has updating built into it, but it’s not easy to apply that to plugins hosted on your own site.

    Until now…


  54. @Tim H. – There are a few people tasked to work on WordPress full time, but no one actually works for WordPress. (For example, I work for Audrey.) WordPress itself is built by hundreds of core contributors, many of whom do not make their living off WordPress, and the vast majority of whom do not work on WordPress core full time. What I’m getting at is, even under the widest definition — including people I interact with in the community, ranging from contributors, to forum volunteers, to users I might meet at a WordCamp — I have not heard of a Ted Clayton, I’m afraid.

    @SearchWPPlugins – Now, I talk a good game, but WordPress isn’t that large of an organization. Only a few people actively work on WP.org architecture. I’ve been following this thread, admittedly cringing at some statements, but making note of some ideas. We’ve toyed around with our search quite a bit over the past year — including tweaks to the underlying engine, how different fields are weighted, what fields are considered, and when to push better plugins up and old/abandoned plugins down (or off the list entirely). We have a huge list of possible improvements (small and large), and we’ve took swings at these ideas in core, too.

    I think sites like searchwpplugins.com is pretty cool. That kind of innovation is nice, to see what people want, or what filters could benefit users the most. I think an advanced search on WP.org would be a good addition at some point, but right now, we can probably spend more time improving individual plugin listings, plugin quality, and how we generate and display search results, and end up with more bang for the buck. At least right now.


  55. @Don ~ I do not study taxonomy; not even a technologist. Therefore my comments are just that; comments. From my own experience though, taxonomies are a bit like business plans. No matter how comprehensive they’re restrictive, and at best, they can only guess at what will be in the future. Which is why I pointed you to what Kevinjohn Gallagher was saying in another thread, about the future of WordPress as a CMS.

    And as for good old Ted, and whether he works for WordPress or not. I doubt it, but who cares? If he puts out a load of BS and doesn’t expect anyone down the pub to call him on it, he should drink elsewhere. Besides, I only posited the same line of logic he was peddling about your website. I merely suggested how his line of argument might be applied to him and asked him for his opinion.

    By the way Don, I have sent you my email address twice. Have you not got it yet?

    @Tim H. ~ sorry, I have no idea what you are talking about.


  56. @Tim H. – I do think that Ted works in some larger organisation because I have experienced how companies and organisations change as they grow. At first there is a small dedicated band of people who share some goal. They innovate more and make decisions faster. Then as success and growth come, the small group isn’t enough. New people have to be brought in, hierarchies emerge, processes must be defined and slowly the original core of innovators take flight. I’ve been through this. It is a natural progression. I’ve seen how qualified professionals sometimes become closed and cannot see past the next step in a predefined process to an obvious conclusion.

    I didn’t get the necessity for a “scientific” case analysis comparison to demonstrate the preferability of my search tool over the wordpress.org search. It seems pretty obvious that having search filter options is preferable to not having search filter options in a search tool. The only reason I could imagine the need for such a study would be if someone was paying me to do it.

    If Ted really does work for WordPress we may wake to an announcement soonish that WordPress.org has developed a new improved search interface for the plugins repository – after extensive third party testing. :)


  57. @Terence

    Twice eh?? OK, now I know who you are, Mr Ahmed Dasuki from the Banque
    Commerciale du Burkina. Very generous offer of the USD$950,000 in your dormant account. Thanks Terrence. Great! Sorry I thought it was spam. :)

    No seriously, unless you are indeed Mr Dasuki, then I haven’t seen your email address. I checked for mailing list subscriptions, nothing in the last couple of days.

    You can probably work out my email address knowing my first name and the domain name. :)


  58. Dr Ahmed Dasuki, if you don’t mind please. And just because I keep you entertained with my totally transparent attempts at hoodwinking the unsuspecting, doesn’t make a bad person, does it? I’ll send you some more spam in a minute. Please have your check ready… 8^)


  59. @Andrew Nacin – Nice to meet you Andrew. Sorry I missed your post earlier.

    Glad you like what I’ve done and aren’t going to make my site obsolete immediately. :)

    If I can help, let me know. Happy to co-operate.
    Perhaps you can give me a backlink or two. :)


  60. The boys got a pair. No style. But definitely got a pair… 8^)

    Hey Don? Do you always go for the full monty — even on a first date?


  61. @Andrew Nacin

    What I’m getting at is, even under the widest definition — including people I interact with in the community, ranging from contributors, to forum volunteers, to users I might meet at a WordCamp — I have not heard of a Ted Clayton, I’m afraid.

    That’s right Andrew. I have no role with WordPress.


    I do think that Ted works in some larger organisation because I have experienced how companies and organisations change as they grow.

    I’ve been self-employed for decades, work on my own or sometimes with or for other self-employed people.


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