Future of the plugin database on the community

I like to know what the future plans of the Elgg owners is about the plugins on this community.  This discussion became off topic but had some interesting insights from Evan, Ismayil and RvR that it appears that the plugin part of the community is beyond repair and should be left to die.

I currently do not share that feeling and would like the core developers to take it as a challenge to improve the plugin part and to decide on some rules to make sure that plugin developers are still compelled to work with the core team and the admins to enhance Elgg. Those rules should also make a statement that plugins on this community are backed by the core in some way that admins get more confidence in its use and are less likely to complain about dependencies.

Plugin developer should not be forced to move go to github alone and live a quiet live as Ismayil decided to do (while understanding his reasoning), That is not how an open source project should move forward is my personal opinion.

I would also like to know what other community members think about how to move forward on this. But if the general opininion is to move plugins to github, I will comply to that and remove my plugins as well.

  • First, thank you for all the hard work all of the developers have put into the Elgg project, as part of the core teams, plugins and contributing to the Elgg community as a whole.

    Second, please excuse something I might say because of my ignorance in certain areas of what things are and how they work.

    I'm relatively new to Elgg and this community plus I'm not a developer. Github I'm getting a little familiar with when it comes to posting something regarding a plugin. I've recently learned that there might be updates to a plugin on Github that haven't made it to the plugins repo. I'm sure it must be difficult and time consuming to maintain something in two areas.

    I think some developers also have them at their website making three spots for their plugins.

    If things could be automated to make it easier for developers than it might be worth the time and pain to implement something. I mentioned in a previous discussion that non developer community members could chip in and help where they can.

    This might be a dumb idea but then on the other hand, a community member like myself could be in charge of non developer tasks of a plugin or a few plugins. For example GreatDev updates their plugin on github. I then do the packaging part (I think I've seen that term) and update the Plugin repo saving the developer the task of doing so.

    We could also provide updated screen shots and descriptions so people have a good understanding of what the plugin is or does. We could be like the pit crew in a race, we do the non developer stuff we can do like even answering whatever questions we can so the developer can concentrate on their business.

    Some of the plugins are very old and haven't been updated in some time. There are search parameters that can be entered to make it easier, easier at least for me than on Github.

    If it hasn't been updated in years perhaps it should be removed. The 1.8 version appears to have been around for quite a while but in the last few months since I got here 1.9, 1.10 and now 1.11. Mind you most of the plugins appear to be compatible with 1.9. Is there a point of keeping plugins around for 1.7 and 1.6? Even Microsoft put and EOSL for the different versions of Windows.

    I also saw in the discussion about plugin qualifications for submission, that could be a catch 22 situation causing what might be a good plugin not being made available. Then on the other hand, there might be plugins that open security holes. If you do have qualifications, who has to spend the time to go over each plugin submitted.

  • First of all thanks to Elgg developers like @Ismayil Kharedinov, @iionly, @Jeroen Dalsem and many others for their great and helpful plugins and for the provided support. 

    I´m working with Elgg as end-user from DEC-2011. As well Elgg is helping me to develop my own socal network proyect for professional use, I will propose some improvements I miss in this social networking solution from my real-to-use perspective. 

    Note: Whe I say Elgg I mean: Elgg core + Elgg plugins + Community/developers support.


    Proposal >javier01<: Plugins & services Hub: I think is really needed a place (only one place) where users can find:

    • Free plugins (like now). Users can download, go to developer web page, go to source code, comment, request support (I will explain this at next porposal), …
    • Pro plugins. Users can buy the plugin (from a own Elgg plugins shop, or from the developer website) or see a demo. Also comment,  go to developer web page, request support, …
    • Pro services: Like Pro hosting, Security audits packs, performance improvements, Javascript Elgg audits/checks, …

    If not, a lot of great plugins are not/will not be accesible for the most of community users (specially new Elgg users).


    Proposal >javier02<: Enable a Request support buttom in plugins. So users will be able to:

    • Comment or request help like now (Comment button).
    • Request support for the plugin (Request support buttom), so plugins developer/s OR other community developers can provide this support (sometimes the help needed in a plugin is generic to the Elgg engine).

    …but, who can request support?. See next proposal.


    Proposal >javier03<: Enable user points to promote users help/support sharing.

    • Users only can request support if they have points, so each support request spend 1 point
    • Users earn points helping (giving support to others users), uploading plugins,… OR buying points

    I think the last option is a good initiative to provide some funding to Elgg core and plugin developers.


    Finally, why I have numbered the proposals with javier01, javier02…?, I think for this important topic is needed concrete solutions, so I encourage users to vote mine and other solutions to open specific discussions and define solutions.

    Sorry for my english, I wish I help with my comments.

  • While there's probably stuff we can do to improve the plugins repository here, I think this whole tone of the this discussion (at least the early part) is a bit of an over-reaction to the decisions of a single developer.

    I don't think there are any plans to move anything strictly to github.  The biggest bonus of having this plugin repository is being able to find plugins.  There's really no good mechanism in github to find a plugin that does x.  I do all my work in git, public stuff goes in github, and I release here.  The added time to release here is counted in single-digit minutes.  I don't think anything is inherently broken.

    @Michele - you are a very welcome addition to the community.  It's true that the community does tend to be dev-focused but it's certainly a pleasure having non-devs around.  Especially non-devs who are willing to contribute in other ways.

  • @Michelle, if plugins are to be moved to github this community is non-dev oriented so the tendancy is likely to be more user oriented. So do stay, besides it is really fun to have you around :-)

    @Matt, the tone of the discussion is intended to get some real answers. Having Ismayil remove his plugins and evan supporting this move worries me about the strategy of the project.

    @all, thanks for being concerned too.

    Having a community where devs and devs, users and users, devs and users are trying to work together is a great thing. It should be nurrished and supported, while I do agree that in time some flaws have been woven in, which could be straightened by some stricter rules. Do not encourage developers to walk away, that is in my opininion the worst way to deal with this kind of issues.

    So back to a possible solution. Try to improve the quality of the plugin database, encourage dev's to share their work and make quality of code the highest priority. Avoid interdependancies if and where possible. Java based projects use maven for this, maybe the Elgg team can come up with something similar if not to complicated.

    If Elgg is not searching for a solution since it doesn't see a problem and everything is going according to plan, be clear about what this community will be in the vision of the core team.


  • I'm sure it must be difficult and time consuming to maintain something in two areas.

    This is really the heart of the issue we're facing, I think.

    plugins on this community are backed by the core in some way

    I like the idea of being able to give end users more confidence in plugins, but I wonder if there's another way to give that confidence without the core team "backing" them?

    the plugin part of the community is beyond repair and should be left to die.

    To clarify: I didn't say this. My thought is that community.elgg.org org would continue to make a great place to list elgg plugins and packages, but I'm not so much a fan of the current process of how that gets done (i.e. manually zipping and uploading each plugin/update). The listing of available plugins should be pulled from some other source in a more automated way. Probably that means packagist, because that source isn't tied to a single version control provider like GitHub, and would require composer compatibility (which would be good for easy install).

    with fewer active developers/plugins here

    I definitely don't want fewer devs here -- I want more! The way to do that, IMO, is not to make them do extra work to release their work here, but rather to recognize what they're already doing by listing their information here in an automated way. I actually think this would increase dev involvement, since folks would be able to discuss plugins and plugin updates without devs needing to do any extra work beyond the bare minimum of tagging their releases in version control.

    Basically, we're going to bring Ismayil's plugins back without him having to do any extra work! Hopefully he's not opposed to that!

  • The plugin database in discussion was removed without notice or without sufficient time to retrieve the comments I needed - I will like to take back/back up my comments (associated with those plugins, if any) which are important to me. Or at least be given a time-period in which I can do so. If there is any archive, please post the link. Elgg devs or mods - please answer. Please keep the plugins description or links removed but give back the comments which are not property of others but the comment-owners as far as I understand. It will be great if the suggested labels / tags associated with plugins are implemented with immediate effect ref. in https://github.com/Elgg/community_plugins/issues/89 particularly: support: -Lifetime -Just as part of other project or to scratch my own itch -Experimental -Not sure. Community users can use a plugin then according to their choice. Thank you.

    [Moderator: this comment was off-topic. It was moved to its own topic.]

  • Really, I also need the comments section badly. I think I made some bookmarks for future reference, and was not aware these will be removed.

  • I think there is a simple solution, if anynone haven't time to mantain the plugins on both sites, maybe to use this link here https://github.com/DavidLycaweb/lycavideos/archive/master.zip instead to upload the zip on this community can save work uploading the file manually. So you only need to save the plugin on Elgg community one time and  the users always can download the last version, and if the user want to dowload another version always can go to github to see all releases. It's my opinion.

  • @Michele, not my preferred way either. What users can do on the community would still be the same, trying to help eachother but indeed a lot less effective.

  • @kanha, @Dranii, please don't hijack threads with off-topic comments.

Feedback and Planning

Feedback and Planning

Discussions about the past, present, and future of Elgg and this community site.