45 Comments

  1. Hans-Helge

    I don’t use the plugin, however I know that many people rely on it. I think it’s quite funny that Automattic, a company who postulates updating stuff, is not abel to update a famous plugin. They could even manage to update 1 line in their readme.txt: “Compatible up to: 3.8.13”

    A kickstarter campaign is interesting. But I don’t think Automattic is missing money rather than motivation. Another alternative could be to fork the plugin. Maybe a more active group of developers are keen enough to take it over :)

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    • Aaron Van Noy

      I vote fork as well. I too don’t use it, but to keep it up to date this sounds like the only option.

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    • Alec

      ‘Tis indeed a pot calls the kettle black moment. We’ve just spent/wasted five hours of a junior developer’s time to test and update all our plugin notices for 4.5. It was a better workflow for us to concentrate our efforts on quickly fixing the occasional breakage than spending hours three times/year going through what is basically a bureaucratic procedure. It seems Automattic feels the same way.

      Automattic really should give Mr Bachhuber back Edit Flow (if not the other plugins) if they are not prepared to develop them further.

      Thanks Jeff for your efforts to get Edit Flow back in the groove.

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      • Joshua

        Mr Bachhuber, Mohammad Jangda, and Scott Bressler are currently listed as authors, so they should be able to update the plugin on the WP repo. I agree with the other comments – someone should fork it.

        The thing is – kickstarter or not – someone has to be willing to take it on, fork it, and maintain it. It sounds like the users are possibly willing to support such development. Now, just need to find the developer(s) to take on the project.

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        • Rick Gregory

          I’m not even sure a Kickstarter effort is all that needed. After all, someone could fork EF, fix/enhance it and release it as a premium, paid plugin, asking for $X for a year of support, etc. I guess the question is whether there’s a large enough market to support that and have it make sense.

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  2. Syed Balkhi

    Since this is an integral part of our editorial process, I would be happy to donate should Automattic decide to put this plugin up for adoption or if another committed group of developer decides to fork it.

    If anyone is interested in this, please email me using my personal blog for funding.

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  3. Rick Gregory

    Did Armstrong say *why* they’ve not updated it in the plugin repository for so long? I mean, yay, VIP customers use it… but that’s not an excuse for the lack of public updates.

    No need to adopt it from them either – it’s OS. Someone could fork it.

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  4. Adam Ainsworth

    If it’s open source, why doesn’t someone just fork it and take it on?

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    • Alec

      Building a fork up from scratch is not as easy as it sounds. Automattic may censor any mention of Edit Flow or attempt to disallow any use of the name in the fork. It took Joomla the better part of two years to recover from the Mambo fork process. Users aren’t sure who to listen to, what to use. A handoff is normally a much smoother process, hopefully with Automattic VIP continuing to take an interest in Edit Flow’s stability.

      Edit Flow Reloaded might be a good name (Reloaded has become a bit of a convention around WordPress for fork which attempt to act as an heir to neglected or abandoned plugins).

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  5. Vitor Madeira

    Fork it!

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  6. Drew Jaynes

    FWIW, Automattic’s GitHub repo for Edit Flow was updated as recently as mid-2015 with merged pull requests. So this might just be a case of not having synced the GitHub version with its .org repository counterpart in a while.

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    • Trevor

      I was just about to comment on this same thing, the GitHub version is 0.8.1 with some added fixes, but the WordPress version’s last update was 0.8 on 12/20/2013, so there’s been activity, even if sparse.

      Jeff, are you running 0.8 or 0.8.1 on the Tavern?

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  7. Alex Mills (Viper007Bond)

    I’m commenting here with my community member hat on and not as an Automattician as I have no involvement with the team(s) that manage this plugin or any inside knowledge.

    It’s on GitHub. Instead of jumping directly to discussion of forking it, why not open an issue or two on the features you’d like to see? If they’re well received, write a patch and submit a pull request.

    I mean this is exactly the same type of thing you’d do for WordPress. You’d open a Trac ticket and contribute a patch.

    Just because a project doesn’t have any recent new features doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s abandoned, it just often means that priority has been placed elsewhere. I know that’s certainly the case with many of the plugins that I’d written and released personally.

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    • Trevor

      There’s no one “official” answering questions, even on GitHub, which I think was the highlight of the article, that no one is communicating about the continuing development of the plugin.

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    • Rick Gregory

      This is a lame excuse. Automattic doesn’t have the resources to even update the compatibility strings? I refuse to believe that.

      Also, why take something over and then not update it? They didn’t need to take it over in order to use it. Taking it over also means taking on some responsibility.

      Sorry, but “it’s on github”, while meaning something to the technically inclined, leaves the vast majority of WP site admins out in the cold. People are trained to get plugins from the wp.org site (aside from premium versions sol d by their developer).

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      • Cassie Chambliss

        Yes, exactly! And particularly for an organizational workflow tool–it makes NO sense to get everyone trained and invested in something that isn’t being actively maintained. I’m encouraging small organizations to create sustainable, easily-maintained websites–the last thing they need is a headache because I chose a bum plugin, wasted their time, AND need them to adopt a new system.

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  8. Steffen Bang Nielsen

    The issue is pretty much the same with plugins like Co-Authors Plus and Ad Code Manager and to some extent also Zone Manager (Zoninator).
    These plugins all exists in updated versions on Github, which are not reflected in the plugin repository on wordpress.org
    To me this indicates that Automattic are fixing issues for their VIP-customers, but aren’t very focused on users with self-hosted sites.
    I wouldn’t recommend using these plugins unless your fee familiar with managing plugins directly from Github.
    Finding good alternatives aren’t easy though.

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    • Jason Lemieux

      Which makes me think of something: has anyone built a plugin for managing updates to plugins hosted on Github? You could install it, point it to the repos you want, have it suck them down and install them, and then monitor changes/milestones/tags? Hrmmmmm.

      You could even take it a step further and scrape together some sort of search interface that would parse readme files. Perhaps Github could get on board by allowing tagging/categorization of repos which would help with search. Plugin authors would tag their repo wordpress-plugin or wordpress-theme… etc.

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      • Alec

        People have been struggling to develop on Github and deploy to WordPress.org SVN plugin repository for years. There’s been lots of talk with Otto/Samuel Wood about adding Github integration to WordPress.org’s SVN here on the tavern, allowing us Github users/WordPress plugin authors to simply point a recent Github version at our WordPress repository and do an instant update.

        Ship does work. I just tested it. Ship though is a security nightmare as it grabs access to private repositories in Github as well as public ones as well as full access to your WordPress.org credentials. Deployer is a similar service with similar security issues. Workaround for Github would be to use a dummy user who only has access to your public repositories.

        We’ve coded a WordPress Github to WPSVN plugin in-house which also deploys from Github to WordPress SVN without the same security concerns (passwords only go into your own WordPress site where you have that we are a bit worried about releasing (support nightmare). There are also some paid services doing something similar but WP Pusher does not seem to cover the Github to WordPress SVN trail (they could add it easily enough).

        Of course, it would be much, much easier if WordPress.org would just code and enable this feature (one way deployment from Github to WordPress SVN. Ironically Github was recently raked over the coals for being unresponsive to open source project maintainers. Hope is the last thing every lost (Italian proverb).

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        • Jason Lemieux

          Hey Alec,

          That’s a helpful breakdown of the current Github>WPorg workflow options. What I was proposing was something different, though: A way to let WordPress users search not only the wporg repo for plugins, but search Github as well. 

          The point would be to install plugins directly from Github as well as pull updates to them. If such a thing existed the folks here running a year old version of Edit Flow would have gotten the updates available on Github by now… See what I mean?

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        • Alec

          Hi Jason,

          Yes, your idea is an interesting one. Where I would agree with Otto/Samuel Wood though is that there should be a single canonical version of the WordPress repository (multiple repositories is one of Linux’s maintenance nightmares). WordPress.org plugin moderators have done a good job on being inclusive enough that there’s not substantial reason for anyone to open a parallel WordPress repository (imagine the extra work for developers with half a dozen or a dozen active plugins).

          No, for me, the missing key is an easy and secure way to deploy from Github (the collaborative environment of choice) to WordPress.org SVN (the end user/web publisher canonical version). It’s strange to still be talking about this when the original discussion about Github to WPSVN started no later than 2011.

          We’ll put up a GPL open source version of GitHub to WPSVN tomorrow on GitHub. The code needs some work to be easily deployed. Hopefully some other people also using GitHub for development and WordPress for deployment will be interested in collaborating.

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        • Alec

          Hi Jason,

          I promised you a plugin which would automatically update your WordPress.org plugins from GitHub repositories. When updating is a single big red button, it’s a lot easier to keep WordPress SVN release versions up to date. Here it is: GitHub2SVN. We’d be delighted to see some development forks and will process pull requests very quickly.

          Addressing your issue of updating plugins which are on GitHub directly, there are two options: the rather elaborate GitHub Updater (322kb/1658 commits) or the very simple External Update API (17kb/94 commits). External Update API comes set up for GitHub by default. My preference would be for the latter as it’s flexible and lightweight. The more sites and projects we build and maintain over many years, the more attractive simple and lightweight code becomes.

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      • fwolf

        Yes, there are quite a few of those around; just recently stumbled across one of these and then did a quick look around.

        Some are just focusing on themes, also one or two classes for helping with updates directly from Github ..

        .. and if I remember correctly, the TGM class also supports fetching and updating plugins from Github.
        Though I might be mistaken.

        cu, w0lf.

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      • Trevor

        There are code examples for updating your plugin from GitHub hosting, instead of .org, and others have had your idea of using GitHub as a replacement for the .org repository, but nothing ever really caught on. Maybe you have some better ideas about it? – https://wptavern.com/how-to-install-wordpress-plugins-directly-from-github

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      • Stephanie Leary

        I’ve been using the GitHub Updater. So far it’s working brilliantly, with the caveat that it checks for updates only once per day.

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  9. Steve

    As a daily user of EditFlow, I been wondering the same thing myself.

    I’m also happy to put our cards on the table. We have developer time available to help move EditFlow forward.

    I posted a conversation starter on Github:
    https://github.com/Automattic/Edit-Flow/issues/332

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  10. Philip John

    I’m a VIP Wrangler with the WordPress.com VIP team and I’m commenting on behalf of Automattic:

    Folks, we’re sorry that it looks as though we’ve abandoned Edit Flow. We certainly haven’t, and we should have at least updated the tested tag for the plugin as you rightly point out.

    We’ve done that today, as well as make sure Github and WordPress.org are in sync.

    (Note the WordPress.org page hasn’t updated as I type.)

    Internally I’m working on an effort to make Automattic better at maintaining our own plugins. We want to avoid this situation as much as we can, and I promise we’re trying.

    Thank you for calling us out on this. Let’s see what we can all do about getting some attention for Edit Flow.

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    • Mika E (Ipstenu)

      Unrelated to your update, the plugins repo is slow to update. Don’t panic. They did update it :) We’re just an hour behind with syncing.

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    • Jon Brown

      TY! As mentioned Ad Manager and Zoninator, while much less popular are in a similar situation. I really wanted to love those plugins, but they got 80% of they way to maturity and then seemingly abandoned.

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    • Rick Gregory

      Thanks. That’s a great first step. Next up is the potentially harder task of working through the issues and pull requests. Some are noise (the “hey, is this abandoned” issues, etc) but quite a few seem legit.

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  11. Edgar Chauque

    Thank God, finally!

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  12. Cassie Chambliss

    Thank you Jeff Chandler! I used Edit Flow on a website I previously managed, but got rid of it when I realized it had been abandoned. (Yes, abandoning communication = abandoning the product and its users).

    Good to see Automattic’s response, we’ll see if they follow through.

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  13. Oliver

    Do you want another example: Intense Debate.
    https://wordpress.org/plugins/intensedebate/

    Technically, the best feature-packed plugin to drastically improve commenting experience on wordpress blogs.

    Integrated into Automattic.

    And totally abandoned.
    The support threads full of people reporting huge issues that have never been fixed.
    I myself gave up on it after seeing it became SQL error hell in my server’s error logs because of the plugin with recent wordpresses.
    The plugin code never adapted to mobile device users.
    No contact option anymore, just a vague FAQ.

    I’m not saying Automattic is a bad company, far from it, but as all companies, they’re bound to lack in some regards.

    Well, plugins are one of those areas, they abandon some plugins and forget these plugins’ potential, forcing users to migrate, this is a pity :(

    So, hey, dear Automattic people, check IntenseDebate, it would deserve a revival :)

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    • Danny Brown

      I always found ID to be the ugly sister of the other comment solutions out there at the time (Disqus was much cleaner-looking, Livefyre 3 was also slicker). ID always looked like a clunky version of what could have been.

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      • Oliver

        Matter of opinion, I guess.
        In terms of functionality, it’s got everyone one might have wanted, and more.
        The design was something that could have been fixed, like mobile devices compatibility.

        But the advantages were many. Nowadays, not much more, it’s sad.
        And the other systems have their own problems. Disqus wants you to create an account and they do their best to keep the comments discussion in their own site pages rather than on the blog where it started, for instance.

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