Improving the plugin area

The new plugin repository is a great upgrade on the previous one. Having a single page per plugin makes using the repository so much easier. Thank you to those involved in writing it.

I'm starting this thread for a discussion on how to make it even better. You can list bug reports and suggestions for improvements here. Please be aware that there has already been some discussion on managing plugin dependencies and upgrades in the google group: Probably best to keep that discussion there for the time being.

  • Here's my list so far:

    1. Activity river is confusing: a new plugin is "uploaded", a new version of a plugin is "updated" and editing the text is also "updated". I don't think many people need to know when the text is changed on a plugin so perhaps the river should just tell us when a brand new plugin is uploaded and when a new version has been uploaded.
    2. The updated date can be set by editing text so there is no way to figure out when the newest version was uploaded.
    3. Plugin authors are able to recommend their own plugins. I've seen plugins without any downloads already with a recommendation.
  • Cash, thank you for creating this topic, I think it's just on time :-)

    First, I would like to point out problem with the project's  homepage link. As I said before in this discussion, it's hard to find and quite confusing.  As Brett sugested, I think the name should be changed to 'project's page'.

    Also, I think the link should be changed to button or something that would be easy to relate to in plugin's description. Such a link would be very usefull for presenting the plugin's home page or plugin's discussion group, which I think both contain meritoric information and are good addition to plugin's description. Distinguishing the link would allow you to describe it in the plugin's description in one word, without using complex instructions like "home page link which is located in the first link on the first box in the left submenu".

    I would also love to see a link which would allow to present the plugin in action. As I'm one of not many developers that would use it though, I suppose there's not a big chance for this to happen...

    Links to plugin dependencies would be a good addition as well, as dependant plugins are quite often hard to find.

    Regarding your remarks:
    ad 1. I completely agree with you. Everyone would want to know if a new release of a plugin he uses appeared. I think the plugins that are alive and supported should be promoted and new releases should be noted in the river.

    ad 3. I don't think this is a big issue, as anyone can recommend their plugin only once (heck, I did it with the forum plugin ;) ). Since with time only plugins with a really high recommendations will appear on the plugin page, I think the problem will solve itself.

    There's also a security issue I talked with you... I think it should be solved.

  • I'll talk with Pete and we'll do something to improve how the plugin's homepage link is displayed.  I agree it's hidden over in the sidebar.

    I would also love to see a link which would allow to present the plugin in action. As I'm one of not many developers that would use it though, I suppose there's not a big chance for this to happen...

    Do you mean a demo link or something more complicated?

    Links to plugin dependencies would be a good addition as well, as dependent plugins are quite often hard to find.

    This is something we can solve with the new manifest.xml fields planned for 1.8.

    For Cash's list of problems:

    1.  I agree--confusing.  Can we agree that plugin information only goes to the river when a new version is uploaded?

    2.  This is a good point.  I can make it so the date displayed is the date of the uploaded plugin.  This would ignore the text, but I agree editing text shouldn't count as an update.

    3.  Recommendations along with download count are pretty inaccurate.  Cash and I have briefly discussed ways to enhance this, but these fields can both be manipulated.  While I don't think being able to recommend your own plugin is a horrible thing, I can make it so you can't.  If anyone has ideas on how to calculate a "most popular" plugins list that is less susceptible to toying please let me know!

  • One thing I noticed immediately, is that there is no way to bookmark a plugin that is important to you, unless you copy the link and then to go to another page that has the bookmark this link and modify it so that you can make your bookmark of the plugin.

    What would be helpful is if there was a way to be alerted about new plugins from certain developers and also when new versions come out.  It is getting harder and harder to keep track of all of the plugins, but believe me, the new repository is much appreciated.

    One other thing I noticed is that the plugin page is displaying when the plugin was originally added.  But, it does not display the new date for when the new version came out.  This may be deceptive for many people, making them think that the plugin is stale.

    Also, comments and pages of comments are not efficient.  When someone makes a comment and it displays in the river, the link goes to the first page and to the top of that page.  It really should go all the way to the page the comment is on and jump to it.  This would require more sophistication with the linking and inclusion of anchors.  However, as I have stated elsewhere, even 0.8 Elgg Classic had this.  We're here at 1.6.1 / 1.7 beta and that was left out I guess.

    Thanks for all of the hard work.  You guys are making the community a better place.

  • I have a suggestion here. What i think for a new user:

    1. New user won't be able to find quality plugin. Because elgg it self need some serious explore to understand how it works. like group discussions etc.
    2. According to current layout, Most downloaded , Most recommended does not qualify the quality of plugin.

    So what i think, There should be some personal attention from Curverider. There should be some plugin selected by Curverider based some factors, like script quality but obvious most downloaded and most recommended can be considered here. It will also inspire plugin developer to follow high quality standard in thier development scheme. And end user will immediately get quality plugins without exploring here and there.


  • "Do you mean a demo link or something more complicated?"

    Yes, I mean a demo link to a site where users would be able to see the plugin in action.


    Izap, I think the rules for selecting plugins as having the highest quality should be clear and automatic. Otherwise, there are simply too many factors that determine the quality of the plugin. If it's done by one person from Curverider, I fear this can become a personal selection of that person's views. I think the current recommendation system with time will become a quite good measurement of the plugin's quality. From what I know, it can't be easily manipulated.

    I think the Apple's application store has a quite good system of recommending applications. There is 'staff favourites' section there, though at the bottom of the page, as the less important section. The most important are qualifications by date and by user ratings.

  • I think the plugins that are updated frequently should be promoted and users should be able to easily spot newly updated plugins on plugin listing page, as it's mostly there, not in a river, where people search for a new plugins to download.

  • I agree with you vazco.  I think that if you take a look at a site like, when you are searching on a good piece of software, what I do is always look at the date the project started and the last date that the software was updated.  And frequency of updates influences whether I try the software or not.  Now, updates can get out of hand, but, obviously, if a user (like myself) sees regular updates to a plugin, this will encourage me to download it.  So, this should be a major factor in how plugins are delivered to users in the plugins area.

  • I agree too. My concern is to make the search easy for new users and to follow some algorithm to bring up all such plugins at front. Specifying Curverider mean, i was looking to have some curverider's staff picked plugins.

Feedback and Planning

Feedback and Planning

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