A WordPress.org plugin developer is begging WordPress leadership to restore access to the plugin’s active install growth data without public debate after the plugin was removed over the weekend. Tickets calling for the chart’s revival have been home to heated debates on the issue, but so far the developer community has offered no clear answer as to why access to the data was cut off. could not be obtained.
Matt Mullenweg, in his initial response on the ticket, asked the developer to explain why the stats were back, but asked him to present “an argument on that side” without telling him why it was removed in the first place. I was. No decision maker has confirmed that this is a security issue.
Mullenweg’s second response to the ticket sidesteps the question the plugin developer is asking, instead stating that API availability for this data is never promised.
As pointed out, no API was written for public use or promised availability, just reverse engineered the data, extracted it, and created a graph.
I’d definitely be able to show plugin authors more stats about their own plugins. Also, with new plugins, we hear that every new install is motivating. It takes some work, but it is doable.
While he seems open to finding ways to display more stats, Mullenweg believes that the most important metric for plugin authors to track the trajectory of their user base is active installs. did not promise to return growth data. Many companies base their product decisions on this data.
“I think one of the main things (from my point of view) is that this change made us feel vulnerable and helpless,” said Ross Morsali, author of the WordPress plugin. I’m here. Said.
“I’m trying to change a repository based on 3 years of work and I don’t even know how it’s going to work until I lose or gain at least 10,000 users. Good foundation for my business No, I feel a little insane.”
Morsali commented on the ticket to explain the importance of the data.
It’s literally the only way to know how the plugin works – which is pretty bad in itself – removing it just blindfolds everyone. In some cases it can take 6 months or more, or literally forever if the plugin is an active install and neither goes up nor down.
Participants in the discussion on trac were so furious that plugin developers suggested that unless WordPress brought back growth charts, they would no longer support, update, or contribute new plugins to the directory. For many people who make their living from plugins, this is simply not possible.
“As an early human trying to grow freemium plugins, I am incredibly frustrated,” said Amber Hinds, CEO of Equalize Digital. Said“We used to use it as a way of measuring the effectiveness of our marketing efforts, but now it’s gone. is.”
George Stephanis, an Automattic employee who wasn’t involved in the decision, claimed that “this graph has been removed due to security or privacy concerns,” speculating that it hasn’t been made public yet, as it cannot be shared without it being made public. I’m here. Users at risk.
In response to the allegations, Earle Davies responded, “It was never explicitly stated that it was removed for security or privacy concerns. It was removed for poorly obfuscated data, but this It doesn’t mean security or privacy to me, privacy is PII not included in this graph, obfuscation means that “we” (whoever they are) don’t want people to see “accurate” stats. It’s because
“It is not accurate to summarize this and frame it as a privacy or security update. To explain it in plain language, without which we need to get back on track ASAP and work on better charts in the future.”
WordPress plugin developers may not know the details behind this graph removal. If it was indeed a security issue, this could have been confirmed in a transparent way by the parties involved. I am nervous because of the request to present the
Mark Zahra, creator of the ticket to undo the stats, said: murmured Focus your attention on how many people followed your ticket and invested in its outcome.
“Even if 10,000 people comment and seem to agree, that’s only a tiny fraction of the wider WP community,” Mullenweg said. responded“This is one of the most difficult things to navigate in open source, and product and community development in general.”
This reaction has provoked the anger and frustration of those expecting real answers. It becomes very clear whether there is Despite the overwhelming consensus on tickets from those most affected by this decision, 10,000 is not enough to affect the outcome.
At this time, the lingering lack of transparency on the subject further undermines trust in WordPress.org as the distribution channel of choice for free plugins.
“Seeing how this issue was addressed, for the first time in years, made me seriously question whether WordPress was the right platform for me. I felt that,” says Morsali.