Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time poking others’ projects. Since I have more time than I had while working full-time for an employer, I’m polishing more of my snippets and I’ve been busy with small enhancements that couldn’t find a place in my long list before.
Additionally, I find myself sending more pull request than before and requesting from plugin authors to clone their WordPress.org project to GitHub as well for collaboration:
@EricMann I didn't see your Rotating Image Widget on GitHub, or is it the banner rotator instead?
— Mario Peshev (@no_fear_inc) September 9, 2013
As a developer, I’m tempted by reinventing the wheel and releasing something on my own. But I try to be practical and I often browse for plugins doing the same at the repository. I have to admit – I’ve done it myself too (especially when I need a small bit of code that exists in large plugins and I don’t want to add all the codebase I’ll never use for that small snippet). Naturally, I tend to code everything in plugins and adding nothing in themes.
While sending a few patches to the WP-Benchmark plugin, I found an issue by Frank here called “Alternative plugin” where he says:
Maybe you will develop on this plugin: https://github.com/bueltge/Debug-Objects
have your solutions inside the plugin, but much more and maybe it is easier for you that you use or contribute the plugin.
Thanks for the time.
It’s amazing when community members try to collaborate with each other. And it should happen more often – whilst some plugins have different UX and feature sets, it’s really annoying while looking for a Lightbox plugin (or Otto’s favorite Slider example) and browsing through dozens of plugins doing almost the same.
While this would make sense for larger platforms such as eCommerce and job boards, smaller snippets and feature sets such as a Lightbox plugin could definitely be merged into a single, co-collaborated plugin. There are more than 10 lightbox plugins now, there could easily be a collaboration effort where some of the authors agree to shake hands and work on a single plugin instead of 4 or 5 with the same flow and functionality.
Support and maintenance would be distributed, shared and improved, and the overall user experience should be better.
I might get picky on UX at times, but I still prefer to choose between 3 or 4 plugins doing the same instead of 15, trying to figure out which one is the best and spending hours in research.