2.next - plugin options

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2.next - plugin options

Kaf Oseo
There's a discussion on the forums right now about how best to
handle the increasing use of option pages by plugins, which is
beginning to crowd the sub menus for some:

http://wordpress.org/support/topic/63824

I've previously brought up the suggestion Matt Read makes in that
thread, which is to provide a *master* plugin options page plugin
devs can hook into when only one-two settings are needed. However,
I'm wondering if a better alternative would be to add a mechanism
where a plugin's options is linked from its entry under Plugins.

Thoughts?

-Kaf
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Re: 2.next - plugin options

Mark Jaquith
On Mar 8, 2006, at 1:17 AM, Kaf Oseo wrote:

> There's a discussion on the forums right now about how best to
> handle the increasing use of option pages by plugins, which is
> beginning to crowd the sub menus for some:
>
> http://wordpress.org/support/topic/63824
>
> I've previously brought up the suggestion Matt Read makes in that
> thread, which is to provide a *master* plugin options page plugin
> devs can hook into when only one-two settings are needed. However,
> I'm wondering if a better alternative would be to add a mechanism
> where a plugin's options is linked from its entry under Plugins.

There is some talk of moving some core items under "Manage" up a  
level, which would free up more room on that Submenu.

I think that relegating plugin options to a special plugin menu is  
unintuitive.  For example, see where Akismet's menu item is located.  
The beauty of WordPress is that it can be so drastically altered or  
enhanced with plugins.  Plugin menus should be in natual places.  The  
vast majority should be under Options or Manage.  If you're changing  
the way the plugin functions, changing its settings, it should go  
under Options.  If you're manipulating data in some way, it should go  
under Manage.  A user shouldn't have to think "hm, is this core or  
additional functionality?" when using the menu system.

I think that the Plugins submenu should be restricted to things  
having to do with plugin management... like editing, activating,  
downloading, upgrading etc.

--
Mark Jaquith
http://txfx.net/


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Re: 2.next - plugin options

Gustavo Barron-2
Mark Jaquith escribió:

> On Mar 8, 2006, at 1:17 AM, Kaf Oseo wrote:
>
>> There's a discussion on the forums right now about how best to
>> handle the increasing use of option pages by plugins, which is
>> beginning to crowd the sub menus for some:
>>
>> http://wordpress.org/support/topic/63824
>>
>> I've previously brought up the suggestion Matt Read makes in that
>> thread, which is to provide a *master* plugin options page plugin
>> devs can hook into when only one-two settings are needed. However,
>> I'm wondering if a better alternative would be to add a mechanism
>> where a plugin's options is linked from its entry under Plugins.
>
> There is some talk of moving some core items under "Manage" up a
> level, which would free up more room on that Submenu.
>
> I think that relegating plugin options to a special plugin menu is
> unintuitive.  For example, see where Akismet's menu item is located.
> The beauty of WordPress is that it can be so drastically altered or
> enhanced with plugins.  Plugin menus should be in natual places.  The
> vast majority should be under Options or Manage.  If you're changing
> the way the plugin functions, changing its settings, it should go
> under Options.  If you're manipulating data in some way, it should go
> under Manage.  A user shouldn't have to think "hm, is this core or
> additional functionality?" when using the menu system.
>
> I think that the Plugins submenu should be restricted to things having
> to do with plugin management... like editing, activating, downloading,
> upgrading etc.
>
And why not giving plugin developers the option of a hook, to add
themselfs to the already subpages on the Options menu, like Reading
(there i will  put the gravatar options at the bottom), or WP-Cache to
go to Reading.


Maybe on plugins handling data like WP-Backup, having is on subpage
under manage, is a good location, but for options, it could be added to
the already and logical options sub-pages.
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Re: 2.next - plugin options

Stefano-10
In reply to this post by Kaf Oseo
Il Wed, 08 Mar 2006 01:17:44 -0500, Kaf Oseo <[hidden email]> scrive:

>There's a discussion on the forums right now about how best to
>handle the increasing use of option pages by plugins, which is
>beginning to crowd the sub menus for some:
>
>http://wordpress.org/support/topic/63824
>
>I've previously brought up the suggestion Matt Read makes in that
>thread, which is to provide a *master* plugin options page plugin
>devs can hook into when only one-two settings are needed. However,
>I'm wondering if a better alternative would be to add a mechanism
>where a plugin's options is linked from its entry under Plugins.
>
>Thoughts?

Why not to adda  second line submenu devoted only to plugins? This way
the second level menu for WP function wont' get messed up by to many
plugins options and it will be clear at firt look what are the menu
entry  related to WP and what the ones related to plugins.

This solution allow plugins put theyr menu under the right section
without cluttering the WP menu allowing in future adding more option
without subtracting space to plugins entries.

--

Stefano Aglietti - StallonIt on IRCnet - ICQ#: 2078431
Email: [hidden email] [hidden email]
Sites: http://www.40annibuttati.it (personal blog)
       http://www.wordpress-it.it (WordPress Italia)
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Re: 2.next - plugin options

Owen Winkler
In reply to this post by Mark Jaquith
Mark Jaquith wrote:

> On Mar 8, 2006, at 1:17 AM, Kaf Oseo wrote:
>
>> There's a discussion on the forums right now about how best to
>> handle the increasing use of option pages by plugins, which is
>> beginning to crowd the sub menus for some:
>>
>> http://wordpress.org/support/topic/63824
>>
> I think that the Plugins submenu should be restricted to things having
> to do with plugin management... like editing, activating, downloading,
> upgrading etc.

I agree with this, but I also know that there are some plugins that have
a single setting (an update URL, an image URL, a snippet of text, etc.)
that makes having a whole submenu page somewhat overkill.

I've taken to doing really crazy things to get around this, like adding
an extra link to the plugins page under the "Deactivate" link that says
"Configure".  When you click this link, the plugin displays a
configuration form.  (My plugins use Ajax to display the form in-place,
but it will fallback to using a regular panel like I describe below.)

It might be beneficial to include a hook in the Action column on the
Plugin activation page that allows plugin authors to easily add a link
to a configuration page.  If added in this way, the link could point to
any admin panel.  Using this method it would also be possible to create
temporary panels under the Plugins menu that only exist when accessed
via that link.  Doing this is trivial:

add_filter('plugin_action', 'plugin_action_link');  // new hook
add_action('admin_menu', 'plugin_admin_menu');
function plugin_action_link($actions) {
        return $actions . '<a href="plugins.php?page='
                . plugin_basename(__FILE__)
                . '">' . __('Configure') . '</a>';
}
function plugin_admin_menu() {
        // A new add_plugin_options_page() function could
        // fill the role of this if() statement:
        if($_GET['page'] == plugin_basename(__FILE__)) {
                add_submenu_page(
                        'plugins.php',
                        'Configure Plugin',
                        'Plugin Config',
                        'activate_plugins',
                        plugin_basename(__FILE__),
                        'plugin_config_panel'
                );
        }
}
function plugin_config_panel() {
        // display this plugin's config panel
}

As a result, plugins with simple configurations could all display them
directly on the plugins page without needlessly cluttering any submenus.
  Plugins with existing configuration panels can also link to them
directly from the Plugins list page, also eliminating the issue of
having to hunt for an obscure or poorly located plugin options page.

Identical functionality to the described hook already exists in Matt
Read's Installer.

Owen


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Re: 2.next - plugin options

Craig-16
In reply to this post by Kaf Oseo
How about a more sophisticated menu system - drop-down or flyout CSS menus?
http://www.projectseven.com/products/menusystems/mm2/ is the basis of this
suggestion.

Craig.
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Re: 2.next - plugin options

Stefano-10
In reply to this post by Owen Winkler
Il Wed, 08 Mar 2006 09:24:00 -0500, Owen Winkler
<[hidden email]> scrive:

>I've taken to doing really crazy things to get around this, like adding
>an extra link to the plugins page under the "Deactivate" link that says
>"Configure".  When you click this link, the plugin displays a
>configuration form.  (My plugins use Ajax to display the form in-place,
>but it will fallback to using a regular panel like I describe below.)
>
...

>As a result, plugins with simple configurations could all display them
>directly on the plugins page without needlessly cluttering any submenus.
>  Plugins with existing configuration panels can also link to them
>directly from the Plugins list page, also eliminating the issue of
>having to hunt for an obscure or poorly located plugin options page.
>
>Identical functionality to the described hook already exists in Matt
>Read's Installer.

+1 to this idea simple, nice and elegant and backward compatibility.

--

Stefano Aglietti - StallonIt on IRCnet - ICQ#: 2078431
Email: [hidden email] [hidden email]
Sites: http://www.40annibuttati.it (personal blog)
       http://www.wordpress-it.it (WordPress Italia)
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Re: 2.next - plugin options

Craig-16
In reply to this post by Craig-16
NM...it looks like Shuttle is in its latter stages which hopefully will
address many of the concerns with the backend.

On 3/8/06, Craig <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> How about a more sophisticated menu system - drop-down or flyout CSS
> menus?
> http://www.projectseven.com/products/menusystems/mm2/ is the basis of this
> suggestion.
>
> Craig.
>
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Re: 2.next - plugin options

Kaf Oseo
In reply to this post by Mark Jaquith
Mark Jaquith wrote:
> I think that relegating plugin options to a special plugin menu is  
> unintuitive.  For example, see where Akismet's menu item is located.

Relegating "single setting" plugins to one sub menu (admittedly not my
first choice on this) would at the very least be a consistent feature,
hence easy to educate users about. I've lost count of the times I've
needed to point out comment settings. Options > Discussion doesn't
appear to be all that intuitive either, but it is easy to remember
once learned.

But an option or "configure" link alongside each plugin listing (at
least those which require such) seems as close to intuitive as one
might expect.

-Kaf
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Re: 2.next - plugin options

Kaf Oseo
In reply to this post by Owen Winkler
Owen Winkler wrote:
> I've taken to doing really crazy things to get around this, like adding
> an extra link to the plugins page under the "Deactivate" link that says
> "Configure".  When you click this link, the plugin displays a
> configuration form.  (My plugins use Ajax to display the form in-place,
> but it will fallback to using a regular panel like I describe below.)

Crazy maybe, but thanks for the technical demonstration of this idea.

-Kaf
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Re: 2.next - plugin options

Matt Mullenweg
In reply to this post by Mark Jaquith
Mark Jaquith wrote:
> I think that relegating plugin options to a special plugin menu is
> unintuitive.  For example, see where Akismet's menu item is located.  
> The beauty of WordPress is that it can be so drastically altered or
> enhanced with plugins.  Plugin menus should be in natual places.  The
> vast majority should be under Options or Manage.  If you're changing the
> way the plugin functions, changing its settings, it should go under
> Options.  If you're manipulating data in some way, it should go under
> Manage.  A user shouldn't have to think "hm, is this core or additional
> functionality?" when using the menu system.

Actually Akismet was put under Plugins very deliberately. It was
originally under "Options".

People would activate the plugin, and not think anything had changed.
Seeing a new menu item pop up was comforting and gave them a logical
next place to go.

Also many plugins don't tell you where their menus are going. Ever
activate a plugin and then click around 2-4 menu items to see where it
stuck its stuff?

"Manage" is a little to abstract, we could logically put *everything*
under manage. I think we should move the most used things to the top.

--
Matt Mullenweg
  http://photomatt.net | http://wordpress.org
http://automattic.com | http://akismet.com
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