I think that after fair amount of time (well over a year) and discussion it is clear that "Woo issue" is not going away.
However after spinning it in my head for a while I think we might be having case of fixation on a tree instead of a forest here.
I foresee that one of the outcomes of whole "application platform" thing, WP is getting into, is core fading out of focus in many such use cases. It is something that WP fights tooth and nail (personally I attribute many decisions on admin/interface side to it) however it cannot not happen, since WordPress is not:
- ecommerce application
- form processing application
- elaborate data input editor
- genealogy research solution
- bunny farm management app
Plugins that run on WordPress are.
Questions about such plugins are quickly becoming akin to asking about WordPress on Server Fault. Because it runs on top of web server, right?
And Their Authors
While extensions for a long time were part of vision for WPSE scope (such as seriously pondering promoting it as additional kind-of-support channel for extension developers) it failed to produce any positive results whatsoever.
I know that this keeps circling back to Woo because:
- woocommerce is giant in ecosystem
- they publicly and rudely (IMHO) disowned their non-paying users
- the link thing exploded big time on already fertile ground of negative feelings
Well, it's not about Woo. Or just Woo. It's about extension vendors not interested in productive relationship with WPSE.
And really they don't owe us any relationship. Stack Overflow has some wonderful examples of cooperation with seemingly eager vendors. We don't and we need to deal with it.
And Our Experts
As current situation goes - we are getting a lot of competent experts getting pissed at poor questions.
This is deadly dangerous situation since we are historically struggling with volume of experts (as echo of general proportional lack of expertise in WP ecosystem).
We simply cannot cater to extensions at the cost of losing core expertise. Even if we attract woocommerce (substitute with any other platform plugin) expert... If it cost us losing core expert (or even half, or third of core expert) - it is bad trade.
Plan of Action
Currently I see no better solution than reinforcing and upholding our scope of WordPress development. The poor questions are already poor and primarily already fall out of scope. We only need to enforce that clearly and better than we are doing now.
I propose that:
Down voting and close voting on out of scope questions is cranked up to 11, especially for extension-specific ones. They are not wanted here, they are getting toxic to community and their levels must go down.
Extension-specific tags (such as
plugin-*) are eradicated. They serve little purpose and send wrong message about what is welcomed. I have seen "there is a tag for it so I am right to ask whatever I want" line of reasoning too many times.