What would you give to have Tidypics officially supported by the core devs?

I want to start off by saying that this is purely hypothetical on my part. Entertaining this idea for the sake of discussion does not constitute a commitment or pledge of support on the part of the core devs. I should also you know that I have not discussed this with them prior to posting this, so I don't even know where they would stand on this issue.

Tidypics is our most popular plugin, but it has no official maintainers. I also get the sense that people are delaying upgrades to 1.8 because of a strong dependency on Tidypics. That is, some are still waiting to upgrade because Tidypics has not been upgraded. The argument could be made that supporting Tidypics is in the best interest of The Elgg Foundation since not supporting it could be severely detrimental to Elgg's progress and adoption.

So my question is: Do you think there are bundled plugins and/or features of Elgg that we could remove support for without facing the same severely detrimental effect on Elgg's progress and adoption? If so, which ones? I look forward to your thoughts.

  • Hello Evan,

    First, thanks to the elgg team for the work you are doing.

    I feel The Wire has no support at all.

    Anyways, back to the main topic, may be the 'Bookmarks' plugin. There are few topics about it and not many people use it. The way it works is fine, I don't think it will hold the progress of elgg since the bookmarks plugin is very robust.


  • Given the flexibility of Elgg and the wide range of ways it's implemented, I'll be surprised if there is a general consensus for what could be dropped.

    Given that statement - here are the bundled plugins I use least

    1. Site Pages
    2. Oauth
    3. Twitter API
    4. Log browser
    5. zaudio

    In order to completely disagree with rj I feel the wire is an important one (it is important in 2 of my current projects anyway) and I think there was a great improvement in the 1.8 version with the threaded replies and #tagging.

    I don't think any of the content types - blog/bookmarks/files/pages/wire - would be suitable for cutting.  Then again, we can't necessarily have our cake and eat it too if tidypics is deemed that important.

  • @Matt 

    I agree in these:

     - Log Browser

     - zaudio

     - Site Pages

    But also this:

     - Bookmarks


    And yes, The Wire is extremely important, and it had 'some' improvements on elgg 1.8, I just believe it needs even more support, The Wire is essential.

    There has been a lot debate about whether or not Tidypics is important in the past which led to an endless fight. I love the idea of asking developers about their opininon, however sometimes the core developers need to call the shots and take a decision. 

  • We don't really use zaudio, categories, externalpages, or twitter_api; but I don't think that's really your question. It's hard to imagine a current core feature being dropped, but there's plenty of work in the pipeline that seems less important than a functional Tidypics--I've probably got > a dozen tickets that could wait!

    Although I get excited about admin capabilities and backend stuff, users love photos, albums, easy uploads, fancy lightboxes, etc. and Files is comically weak in these areas. So yes I think bundling and prioritizing TP's upgrade would move the platform forward greatly.

    I restart work on our own 1.8 upgrade hopefully next week, and I should be into TP debugging/updating full time, hopefully contracting another Elgg pro to help with the effort.

  • I agree with Steve that it's hard to imagine any of the core features being dropped, though I do completely understand that sometimes a tradeoff is necessary given finite resources.  In previous discussions re: tidypics core status I've been on the side of not making it core-supported in favor of dedicating more time/effort to existing core issues/progress.  As TP progress seems to have stalled further after a few bursts of activity, I'm starting to agree with the statement in Evans post

    The argument could be made that supporting Tidypics is in the best interest of The Elgg Foundation since not supporting it could be severely detrimental to Elgg's progress and adoption.

    Though I would hate for this to become a standard argument, as there are many other good, popular plugins that would be detrimental to Elgg as a platform if they disappeared.  It's certainly not fair to Cash, Brett, and Evan to assume that they'll pick up and maintain these plugins if noone else does "for the good of Elgg".

  • If the number of downloads is taken as an indicator of the importance of Tidypics, I think it's valid to say that Tidypics is urgently needed for Elgg 1.8. Of course, Tidypics isn't the only plugin that's missing an Elgg 1.8 version, but if you would make a survey asking people what plugin is preventing them from upgrading their sites to Elgg 1.8, I'm pretty sure that Tidypics would be named very often.

    But it's not only existing sites that might be missing Tidypics. Also, if you start a new project with Elgg 1.8 today, you might be missing a plugin that handles image uploads / viewing properly. For some other older plugins that have not yet an Elgg 1.8 version there are new alternative plugins available, so you can start at least a new project without the need of these plugins being upgraded to Elgg 1.8. But I don't see any such alternative for Tidypics.

    Would it result in a better support of Tidypics if it would be included in core - or result in an Elgg 1.8 of Tidypics being available sooner? I'm not sure about that as the development resources available for Tidypics might not increase by this step at least on short term - after all Cash and Brett are already the people working on Tidypics right now. Kicking out some other plugins out of core to include Tidypics? I don't think that this would much help either. The existing core plugins are really well-balanced regarding their necessity. Of course, there are always a few not used by everyone, but they all have their good reasons to be included in core. Would it help much to replace any small core plugins with a rather large plugin like Tidypics anyway? How much time is spend for example on the maintenance of plugins like zaudio, bookmarks, logbrowser in comparision to the expected maintenance effort needed for Tidypics?

    I also think that you might need to differ between upgrading Tidypics to Elgg 1.8 and possibly further enhancing Tidypics. If you have a stable basis to work with you can add new features (or fix bugs) quite independently at first and then get your changes being reviewed via a pull request. But during the upgrading process a lot will change and the plugin is more or less not useable (might be even for testing). If this work is done by more than 1 person I assume much more coordination between developers is needed to avoid work being done twice. Is Tidypics still in this phase? I did ask this question already some time ago but got no response. If help is needed in the upgrade being finished sooner, I would like to help. But I would like to see some coordinated approach then. If such a coordinated approach is not possible and Brett/Cash want to finish Tidypics for Elgg 1.8 on their own I would even favour to delay the next release of Elgg core a bit longer to finally finish the upgrading of Tidypics...

  • Bundled plugins I always deactivate are:

    1. Log Browser
    2. zaudio
    3. Site Pages
    4. Site-wide Categories


  • Bundled plugins I never use:

    1. Log Browser
    2. zaudio
    3. Site-wide Categories - not as is

    I think some core plugins needs attention before new ones are added.

    Files plugin is important to improve I think. You can't upload a single image to insert into your pages or blog posts. All you get is a medium sized thumb.

    Site-wide Categories is a nice feature but as it is now, it can't be used if you run a multilingual site.

    • The log browser would be great if it were a little friendlier and easier to identify events etc but, as-is, not very useful
    • We use zaudio extensively (and need a similar feature for videos, IMHO). A very valuable tool.
    • Bookmarks are crucial - one of the central plugins for sure. Likewise Files. About equal use on our site, next most popular after blogs.
    • Not a fan of site-wide categories but I see how some sites would find them valuable and agree they are core
    • Site pages (or similar- I think Brett has worked on a better variant) is essential

    I've found TidyPics to be one of the most troublesome plugins and would much prefer to see its functions integrated into Files which, personally, I prefer as a place to store photos, especially with the great File_tools plugin from Jerome Bakker that gives better ways to keep them organised by folder, handle multiple uploads, etc. It is bewildering to have two places to store photos, and irritating that, for instance, it is not possible to insert photos by embedding as you can from Files. Minimally, it would be useful to treat TidyPics photos as a special kind of folder, rather like the Mac does with iPhotos. However, if all media (videos, audio, pics) were treated in the same way within Files - browsable, embeddable and viewable, with galleries and media-specific variations as needed - it would be far more self-consistent and far less confusing.

    If Files were slightly upgraded for the marginally better photo support offered by TidyPics, and if it embraced  File_tools folders, then you could fairly easily create a run-once function to import to folders from TidyPics albums, hence offering an upgrade path without the mass of not-always-wonderful code in TidyPics to support.


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