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Opened 11 years ago

Closed 10 years ago

Last modified 8 years ago

#3576 closed enhancement (wontfix)

Stopping anarchy in plugins' menus

Reported by: PozHonks Owned by:
Milestone: Priority: low
Severity: minor Version:
Component: Administration Keywords:
Focuses: Cc:

Description

No plugins' developper knows where to put its own menu.
Some of them puts it in Options, or in Manage, or in Plugins sub-menu.
What are the true differences between Options and Manage? No plugins developer knows, because they seem to be synonyms. As there is no cohesion, the user is lost, and clicks everywhere to find it.
I have plugins menus everywhere, i.e. UTW has one in Options and another one in Manage.

I believe core developers must restrict this messy situation and impose a rule that everybody shall follow.
Themes functions are under Themes menu, so plugins options shall be in Plugins menu.
Plugins are one of the best feature of WordPress, now the lack of cohesion in this matter is spoiling the ease of use.

Change History (16)

#1 @PozHonks
11 years ago

  • Type changed from defect to enhancement

#2 @Viper007Bond
11 years ago

  • Milestone 2.2 deleted
  • Resolution set to wontfix
  • Status changed from new to closed

The developers can't and shouldn't control what third party developers do. If you don't like where the plugin puts it's options, take it up with them.

WordPress already has guidelines / suggestions on where to put administration menus: http://codex.wordpress.org/Adding_Administration_Menus

WordPress should be as flexible as possible and not limit things.

#3 @Viper007Bond
11 years ago

Correction: the developers of course could control what third party developers can do by removing the ability to put pages anywhere but the options area, but that'd be quite a step in the wrong direction.

#4 @markjaquith
11 years ago

Blocking this functionality wouldn't be cool, but it might be nice to have better guidelines.

#5 @ketsugi
11 years ago

UTW has multiple plugin pages for a reason. Options>Tags sets UTW plugin options, while Manage>Tags lets you manage the tag data that UTW provides access to.

Similarly, I have an Acronyms plugin that requires no options, but has a Manage>Acronyms page to let the user manage the data that the plugin uses.

I agree that better guidelines should be provided (When to use Options? When to use Manage? When to put it under the Dashboard? When to create a plugin top-level category? etc) but this freedom should not be removed. Let developers make the decision.

Better yet, let the user have final control over where the menus go, but this would be a separate ticket and would likely break a lot of existing plugins in the process of implementing.

#6 @PozHonks
11 years ago

I was talking about ease of use and giving clearer rules or guidelines that third party developers should follow. Not restricting anything and break all existing plugins. That's all.

#7 @markjaquith
11 years ago

  • Milestone set to 2.2
  • Resolution wontfix deleted
  • Status changed from closed to reopened

We can have initial discussion here, and then when we've reached a consensus, we can ping the WP-Docs mailing list so someone can make it all pretty for Codex.

#8 @PozHonks
11 years ago

OK, I start.

1- Most third party plugins menu should "dwell" in Plugins sub-menu, by default, for example, it offers new administration functions, a tweak to enhance WordPress, adding a new possibility in posts (i.e.: adhesive, google sitemap, related post, WordPress Database Backup, rss syndication, contact-form, mailing list manager, spell checker, translator, advanced search, etc.)

2- A third party plugins menu may be found in Manage menu only if it really enhances Posts, Pages, and Comments (i.e.: antispam plugins, UTW ).

3- A third party plugins menu may be found in Options menu when they are really improving WordPress behavior in general (i.e.: WP-cache), not a simple option or function, those should go to the main Plugins menu.

The only problem is to manage developer's ego because they all invent something that really improves WP, but at the end, and after 20 plugins, alters the ease of use of the admin area.
So, we need to find a good definition of what is really and what is not so really !!

#9 @foolswisdom
11 years ago

  • Milestone changed from 2.2 to 2.3

#10 follow-up: @rob1n
11 years ago

My thoughts are such:

  • Use Options when you need to configure something. I don't think options pages should be under Plugins, as that just makes it complicated. Options go under Options.
  • Use Manage when you have something that can be manipulated. Such as tags, acronyms, caught spam, etc.
  • Of course, one plugin can have pages in both sections.

Some plugins that do this well IMO are Spam Karma 2 (an extensive options page to configure it, and a management page to clean out the caught spam) and UTW (an options page to configure it, and a manage page to manipulate tags).

#11 in reply to: ↑ 10 ; follow-up: @foolswisdom
11 years ago

Replying to rob1n:

  • Use Options when you need to configure something. I don't think options pages should be under Plugins, as that just makes it complicated. Options go under Options.

I disagree, Options should stay pristine with the WordPress core options. Plugin options distract me from the reason I am most likely at Options, to adjust core options. You don't see presentation options under Options.

When I enable a plugin I expect an options tab right there on screen. Having to click to options to get it working is awkward.

#12 in reply to: ↑ 11 ; follow-up: @filosofo
11 years ago

Replying to foolswisdom:

I disagree, Options should stay pristine with the WordPress core options. Plugin options distract me from the reason I am most likely at Options, to adjust core options. You don't see presentation options under Options.

When I enable a plugin I expect an options tab right there on screen. Having to click to options to get it working is awkward.

But you're thinking as someone who knows the difference between core and plugin functionality, when most users probably don't. They want to set the options for their spam filter; it doesn't matter if it's a plugin. In other words, the admin menu should reflect the logic of the user experience, not the internal mechanics.

#13 in reply to: ↑ 12 ; follow-ups: @foolswisdom
11 years ago

Replying to filosofo:

But you're thinking as someone who knows the difference between core and plugin functionality, when most users probably don't. They want to set the options for their spam filter; it doesn't matter if it's a plugin. In other words, the admin menu should reflect the logic of the user experience, not the internal mechanics.

No, I don't think that is the case. A customer knows that they have just installed a plugin. They are there enabling the plugin, and will continue to be aware they are using a plugin.

How does Firefox do this? The way I described. The alternative of an ad hoc, potentially long list of options seems like no solution at all.

#14 in reply to: ↑ 13 ; follow-up: @filosofo
11 years ago

Replying to foolswisdom:

How does Firefox do this? The way I described. The alternative of an ad hoc, potentially long list of options seems like no solution at all.

In the case of Firefox, the person installing plugins is much more likely to be the user, and even with Firefox a lot of plugin menus / toggle buttons appear alongside core features in the status and navigation bars, so that one could easily forget which is core and which is extension (or add-on, whatever they're called these days).

In contrast to the single-user approach, for WordPress there is often an admin who installs WordPress and plugins and a separate author or authors who do the most day-to-day use. It's the latter group I'm thinking of.

I agree with you that in the case of a plugin needing to be configured just once upon activation--such as entering the Akismet key--it makes sense to put it in the plugins menu.

#15 in reply to: ↑ 14 @foolswisdom
11 years ago

Replying to filosofo:

In contrast to the single-user approach, for WordPress there is often an admin who installs WordPress and plugins and a separate author or authors who do the most day-to-day use. It's the latter group I'm thinking of.

That latter group would not have permissions to change them.

I agree with you that in the case of a plugin needing to be configured just once upon activation--such as entering the Akismet key--it makes sense to put it in the plugins menu.

Plugins options are very likely to be set and forget (ie configured just once upon activation).

It seems obvious to me that Plugins Options under Options is not elegant. I am happy for another suggestion, but the only one I can think of is putting them on the Plugins menu.

#16 in reply to: ↑ 13 @Nazgul
10 years ago

  • Milestone 2.3 (trunk) deleted
  • Resolution set to wontfix
  • Status changed from reopened to closed

Replying to foolswisdom:

How does Firefox do this? The way I described.

I think I have to agree with rob1n. As a user I expect all user configurable options to be in one place (which for Wordpress would be the Options tab) In Firefox I always have to tweak settings in multiple locations instead of just one, which I find confusing personally. But this issue seems to need some more discussion (wp-hackers?).

Seeing that this ticket has been silent for some time, I'm closing it as wontfix for now. If we decide we need a code/codex change after all, we can reopen this issue or open a new one.

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