An argument to change WordPress plugin distribution

Josh Pollock has a lot of thoughts on WordPress plugin distribution on WordPress.org.

WordPress.org probably shouldn’t become an eCommerce platform and I don’t think it’s the right place to be upselling plugins and themes. It could, however, better facilitate paid support as a way to encourage businesses that create themes and plugins to make a distinction between no-cost software and free support.

Doing so will help make end-user’s expectations clear, while providing motivation for developers to freely distribute their code.

He gives a number of specific recommendations as well:

  1. Move ratings to the WordPress admin, using oAuth to sync them with WordPress.org, to lower the barrier to rate plugins.
  2. Use WordPress.org for distribution, but remove the development layer (with SVN), so that developers can define their own development repos in the plugin headers.
  3. Allow plugin authors to opt-out of support on WordPress.org, especially as it's sometimes used by users to gain leverage for free support.

I think Josh makes some really good points. I don't agree with every bit of his article, but it is a great conversation starter that I think should be used as a starting point for a broader conversation.

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