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Thread: Ideas for the new addon site.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    June 2009
    Posts
    78

    Ideas for the new addon site.

    The Problem:

    As has been said before the current addon site its very hard to navigate and very limited in its functionality. It does not always provide the most up to date, or relevant versions of plugins at the top when using the search feature, and takes pages upon pages to find things often times. Currently the forum page seems to be doing much of the job of the addon page in my opinion. Its easier to use anyway.

    Developers of some of the major plugins for miranda do not seem to want to post or update their addons on the addon page currently, and the addon page is frequently out of date even though it is the official page for miranda addons. Finding a solution to this could cut down on the number of problems that users who try to customize miranda have. And would also potentially re-unify the addon site as the central location for updates.

    Using History++ as an example, is one of the most popular plugins on the addon site. And yet when you search the addon site for "history" while it does come up as the top result, it shows the date added as early 2006. This is a prime example of a where simple functionality change would benefit anyone searching for plugins. You have to click on every single plugin to see when it was really last updated. This is also misleading and could lead a user to not even view it if they think the latest version of History++ is 1.5.1.4 and was uploaded in 2006.


    The Solution:

    The developers, plugin creators, and the community need to brainstorm what features they think would be useful (and possible) in this new addon site so that when it is re-created the functionality can be built in instead of hacked on at a later date. The site should probably be simple enough that it does not require one specialized dedicated person to make changes or update it, and that the job of doing so can be delegated as developers and web designers come and go from the project.


    Functionality Ideas:


    Here are some ideas which i consider to be nearly essential to an addon site.

    1: The ability to sort or be filtered by: Number of downloads, Date updated, Rating, Plugin author, and what version of miranda it was created for and works with. Showing this information to the user before they have to click on a plugin is important. Being able to view all of an author's public uploads from a single page would be very useful too.

    2: Uniformity. A basic form should be built which would help authors to add and update information about their plugin in as uniform a manner as possible, but more importantly help them make sure that they add all the relevant information.

    3: Ease of use for the authors. This is pretty critical. If the authors of plugins cannot easily add, update, or manage their plugins, they will probably not bother to use the site at all. Authors should have a public folder, and a private folder. The second of which cannot be browsed, but can be linked to (preventing users from getting unstable alpha/betas.)

    4: Information. Users need to be able to view data on when the plugin was updated, the version history, when each version was released, links to previous versions of the plugins in case theres a bug in the most recent version, what version of miranda that current version of the plugin was built for or tested on, and any dependencies that the plugin has as well as links to dependencies.

    5: Ratings and comments. Being able to leave a developer feedback about their plugins, or discuss issues or problems with each one seems like a no-brainer. Each plugin should get its own official forum thread upon the creation of a new plugin. (Most already have one, but some of the lesser known plugins end up having users create their own threads.)

    6: Updater Notifier. The new site perhaps should try to gather information in such a way that an updater plugin can perform update checks to a users installed plugins once a week, once a month, on the same schedule that miranda itself checks for updates, or not at all. A new update notifier plugin should perhaps become a standard addon with miranda in the future, along with crash dumper or version information to help simplify the troubleshooting process. (This is not an idea for an automatic update plugin, but simply a plugin that checks for updates on the official site, so that it would not require updates to the plugins themselves in order to be compatible. Simple version number/date checking.)


    ---


    Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter as a miranda user, discussing some of the issues and thoughts i have had regarding addons in the past. Hopefully the community of developers will come together and help to make their ideas clear as to what the new addon site will need so that a very powerful system can be developed. Hopefully those authors who choose not to use the current addon site will add their own input as well. If done right, users and developers should benefit from this change, and in my opinion, this change is exactly what miranda needs right now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    December 2006
    Location
    Germany/Munich
    Posts
    204
    Thanks for your ideas :) But i need to close this thread!

    Only one idea for each thread! Otherwise we can't get a decision out of that because of the mass of useless discussions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    December 2006
    Location
    Germany/Munich
    Posts
    204
    Thanks a lot for your work to write this post with your suggestions :)

    I moved it out of the "Addon-Site Development" subforum because you wrote several ideas in one thread :)

    Some of your ideas have already own threads so it would be nice if you post your opionion in these ones. Also you can create new threads with one idea in each ;P

    I noticed "Ease of use" from several users here. So it seems very important for a lot of people. It would be very nice, if you would provide more information (maybe directly as idea "ease of use" or "user backend design").

    You mentioned the significance to work together with developers and community. I agree with you 100% and for this we have created the subforum "Addon-Site Development".

    tjado

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