15

Think

We as community (that includes you, the reader) have the stance that 3rd party/non-core plugin and theme specific questions are off topic on our site. That rule excludes three parts: Plugins and Themes shipped with core (the Twenty* series) and "future core" or "feature" plugins.

What I now want to discuss with you is the following:

What if our scope would change and third party software would be on topic?

I know, for some of you this will be a bit of a bummer as I was the one to ask for making recommendations off topic, and removing WooCommerce from our scope. Let's face it: WordPress is no religion, so we don't have to believe. We can go a different route and just accept that an idea or a concept only is good as long as we don't have or know anything better. And this site is about making things better, so let's give it a try and sketch out some scenarios that we can evaluate with pros and cons.

How to answer, How to participate and how to propose a change

Please only add one idea per answer so the comments stay focused. Don't shy away to add a "this won't work" answer/concept in case you think it should work. Adding two contrary answers is absolutely appreciated. Voters: Note that upvotes on answers should just indicate how well thought through an answer is and not if you agree with the concept itself.

What happens next?

This question will just be (if it drives any serious amount of answers to it) the first of a series to discuss our scope. The scope will not change because of some answer receiving the most upvotes or just because on of us moderators ♦ agree with it. It will be a community decision in a later question. We will just filter the list of ideas based on comments and come up with a new question/discussion and a narrowed down set of ideas.

  • What happened to on idea per answer? Just as a reminder.. :) – Nicolai Feb 23 '15 at 12:03
  • 2
    @ialocin Yeah, that derailed pretty quickly :) – kaiser Feb 23 '15 at 12:36
  • 1
    Actually, not really that surprising.. :D – Nicolai Feb 23 '15 at 12:47
  • @ialocin I think it is just way too broad to stick to one idea. :-) There is really so much to consider here. But it sure make one to rethink some issues. I think this is a great discussion – Pieter Goosen Feb 23 '15 at 14:15
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    @PieterGoosen You can have as many ideas as you want, but only one per answer, so if you have multiple ideas separate them into multiple answers. The whole idea behind this is to avoid generalized broadness in the discussion and to locate specific points that can be used in the future process. Just like with any kind of project, we start with, have a general goal, lets split it in as many logical units as possible, analyze them and then lets try to derive the optimal structure to achieve the goal. – Nicolai Feb 23 '15 at 14:35

11 Answers 11

7

I think that for a sane discussion, we should separate what is good in theory from what is good in practice.

I think that is easy to advocate that, in theory, to make on topic questions about 3rd party plugins is good for a number of reasons:

  • our site is "WordPress Development", not "WordPress Core Development", so it seems there are no reason to keep non-core development out of scope
  • there is no a stack that can actually do that
  • there are other closing reasons for bad questions

However, my experience in this site, says to me that in practice there is much more to consider.

I'm not necessarly against to make 3rd party plugin questions on topic, but the whole point of this answer is that there are also big cons on doing that.

We already seen that:

  • most of the 3rd party plugins questions stay unanswered because our users have no expertice on (the huge number of) plugins people ask support for
  • to have 3rd party plugins on-topic is a way to increase our non-answered questions rate
  • the great majority of 3rd party plugins questions people ask, are bad questions

Also consider that if we decide to make 3rd party plugins code on-topic, that will affect only

  • questions about plugins with accessible code
  • well worded questions
  • questions that doesn't fit in the do-the-work for me format

because all other questions have other reason to be closed (unclear what you're asking, do the work for me, too localized for inassible code...)

Even questions about large accessible 3rd party codebase, probably deserve to be closed as too broad (if OP extract relevant part from a plugin code and post it in the question, that question is already on-topic).

Looking back to the experience we already had, how much of these questions do we expect?

I think that the number of those questions will be very low. And among them, only a few will receive an answer.

To make a concrete example, I'll take a question about one of my little plugins posted in this site just few days ago.

That question shows some research effort, contain sample code, refers to a plugin with completely accessible codebase and it isn't at all a poorly written question.

However, despite all this, I honestly think that even if we had 3rd party plugins on topic, that question had not received any answer, if me, the plugin author, had not seen it or had not the time to answer it.

Looking back to the experience we already had, how many questions better than that one do we expect if we open site to 3rd party plugins?

Considering that to accept only questions for plugins directly supported by this site active users isn't an option, how many question will stay unanswered if we open site to all 3rd party plugins questions?

Another cons of re-open site to 3rd party plugin questions is that it can easily generate confusion on users because:

  • a bunch of questions in this site are already closed as off-topic because they were about 3rd plugins
  • a bunch of users had questions closed as off-topic because they were about 3rd plugin

So, if we really want to make 3rd party plugin questions on topic, before do that please let's find a way to address all the cons that decision brings.

  • "sketch out some scenarios that we can evaluate with pros and cons" ... so this discussion should be held on both sides. And like your answer already proves, we can have serious and well argued contra answers as well. +1 on that. – kaiser Feb 22 '15 at 18:29
  • I really don't know what it is better for our site, but -at the moment- my personal pros/cons balance leans toward the cons side. But I'm looking forward to hear some well argued pros and change my mind. – gmazzap Feb 22 '15 at 18:35
  • 3
    Questions without answers and upvotes are removed automatically after a while. The answer rate is not a real problem for these cases. – fuxia Feb 22 '15 at 18:40
  • @toscho nice point, but we seen how even the ugliest WooCommerce question received upvotes. – gmazzap Feb 22 '15 at 18:44
  • Some excellent points. I wonder if a small selection of commonly used, high quality plugins would be a good compromise? We could use the answered rate to define those what's allowed and what's not. For example, it'd be hard to imagine ACF questions not getting answered. – Django Reinhardt Sep 13 '16 at 17:56
7

Opt in

(Pro "in scope" scenario)

The idea:

Let plugin developers state on meta that they will use WP.SE as support route

Pros

  • We have the developer or one or more employees caring about the question. That maybe will show others how they code up some internals and influences written code on both sides.
  • With a clear statement, it's easier to hold developers "reliable" for non-existing support on a route they said they use to provide support.

Cons

  • What if they abandon the support on this site? Public shaming on Twitter? Someone will have to clean up the mess they leave.
  • Confusing for users: What plugin or theme (currently) is in scope? Which one not? Would we try to keep a list updated (somewhere)?

How To?

Of course it's important that there is a way to not force an author to invest even more time with an additional support route. The only way I currently can imagine is via custom/plugin-specific tags.

Everybody can "subscribe" to tags

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You can then manage them in your "preferences" on your profile page

enter image description here

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Receive new question per email every 15min, 3hours or daily - This works StackExchange wide.

enter image description here

  • 3
    While this is a great idea in a perfect world, I feel it would be much too confusing for new users. At first I thought we could get it to work by removing all current plugin-{$slug} tags then gradually add them as supporters demand them on WPSE.Meta but then realized that most new users when asking questions usually don't look ( or don't seem to ) at the Help Section or available tags. I'm not sure if there's a way to hard-moderate tag creation but if we only allow plugin-specific tags then it will be hard to opt-out of plugin questions showing in a users feed. The last con I feel is too big – Howdy_McGee Feb 23 '15 at 14:59
  • @Howdy_McGee absolutely valid arguments. – kaiser Feb 23 '15 at 15:16
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    @Howdy_McGee I might not be understanding correctly, but: wildcard tags are possible, so people could wildcard ignore plugin-* if they wanted to fade those out in their feed; also, new users can't create tags until they have the necessary rep level, so therefore they're forced to only use tags that exist; most of them would probably search for their plugin name first? – Tim Malone Jun 28 '16 at 20:35
  • @TimMalone That is a valid option that didn't cross my mind. Unfortunately, you would also grey out plugin-development which is valid ( even if it's a favorite tag ). – Howdy_McGee Jun 28 '16 at 20:40
  • @Howdy_McGee Oh, true. Hmm, interesting that ignore takes precedence over favourite. Unless we used a different prefix for plugins. Or renamed plugin-development – Tim Malone Jun 28 '16 at 20:42
  • @TimMalone The main problem is that you only need 200 rep points to create a new tag. Looking at the tag mess on all sites, this is too low. People do not get the system at that point. – kaiser Jun 28 '16 at 21:00
  • @kaiser Yeah it probably is too low. But it would solve first-time users/drive bys - they'd have to ask quite a few good questions to be able to create new tags. – Tim Malone Jun 28 '16 at 21:02
6

I'm on the fence of 3rd Party Plugins, there's plenty of pros and cons for both sides that can easily be misunderstood or abused. Below I'll create a list then see if I can address some scenarios. None of which will probably be definite answers but just food for thought.

Pros

  1. In my opinion, the WordPress forums are awful. By allowing 3rd Party plugins we could attract authors answering support questions here.
  2. Plugins own ticketing systems may not be as fast, accurate, or powerful as the Stack Exchange. By allowing 3rd Part Plugins we would allow another outlet for the user to get their question addressed.
  3. This would bring an influx of new users to the community ( that's a given I think ) which could also bring more diverse knowledge.
  4. There's plenty of code based / WordPress based plugin questions, such as all the WooCommerce hooks, that could be beneficial to to the community.

Cons - in relation to the pros

  1. Plugin authors could abuse this and dump their support onto the exchange in hopes of somebody answering it.
  2. I'm unsure of the legality of it, but what will happen if a plugin author wants to provide support as a premium feature? It could be a possible loss of profit for these types of plugins.
    1. You could suggest that the WordPress forums do just this, but the WordPress forums are not as popular or as usable as the Exchange. Also, users don't typically go around answering topics by random as they do here.
  3. With the influx of new users we're also bound to get an influx of poor questions along with users who think that plugin usability ( "How do I create A forum in BBPress?" ) and plugin customization ( WooCommerce hooks ) are the same. If allowing 3rd Party Plugins do we also cater to the simple usability questions or do we require some kind of code?

  1. This could be a non-issue, it seems ( as a 2k user ) that moderation is relatively minimal / relaxed. By allowing 3rd Party Plugins this would mean more questions that need attention. There may be a period of "Review Lag" or more time it takes to sort through the question review.

There's much to think about. I wasn't as active whenever the community allowed Plugin Questions so I can't comment on how good / bad it was before but what I do know is that to allow plugin topics we need to find a balance between what is considered to be "On-Topic" and "Off-Topic" when it comes to these types of questions; a direct line needs to be drawn. If we allow everything from the "How do I create a Woo Subscription?" to "Dynamically Change The Payment Gateway" ( low-end to high-end ) we're going to get a ton of questions that go answered or just generally poor.

3

First of all, thanks @kaiser for bringing this up to the agenda. We and others discussed this a couple of times, but nobody was willing to put the effort in it - so thank you!

Secondly, my personal standpoint is, the only reasonable justification for closing anything should be the quality of the question and its possible answers. In consideration of the outlook for it being an information to learn about WordPress development.

Which in regards of third party questions is the same of course, they have to be of good quality. An additional conclusion of mine is, that

third party question have to be traced back to core functionality.

Otherwise they aren't manageable, due to the lack of third-party-specific experts and the enormous amount of existing third party code. At the time of the big WC discussion I have done an answer as proof of concept for this considerations, so instead of wasting more words, I just prompt you to take a look at the answer.

The question, if it is actually realistic to do it that way, especially to expect askers to make the necessary connection back to core functionality, I fear is another topic and in fact probably the whole crux of the matter.

However, based on the current (active) users structure and the commitment level of those and in view of that the community should be self-sustaining, the reference to core functionality is - in my mind - a - if not the - necessary condition - at least at this time - for even thinking about making third party related questions on topic - again.

3

Before we discuss anything related to this topic, we need to look at this community first and what type of commitment we have. I have written a post about this last year which you can all check out again to refresh your memory :-)

As it currently stands, it sometimes take a week to get enough (5) close votes to get a really low quality out of scope question closed. For some unknown reason, there is very little to no commitment from 3K+ to attend to close vote reviews, or at least that is how I sum it up, my personal opinion

We have to take the impact of third party themes and plugins into consideration and the overall quality of such questions. Look, lets be honest, I think we all are a bit tired (gatvol) of the ongoing issues with Woocommerce questions and the overall quality of those questions.

Allowing third party plugins and themes will add extra pressure to a community that is already struggeling to moderate itself properly. Do you really want this community to be in an irreversible bad state like a site like SO.

WHAT I'M OPEN FOR DISCUSSION

  • Plugin and theme authors that would commit to their plugin/theme. That being said, we have members which does not even answer or comment on questions relating to their plugin/theme, and look at wordpress.org and the plugin/theme support pages. Some authors just don't commit to support. Great example, woocommerce. I must say, if we can have commitment like the commitment from @gmazzap regarding his virtual pages plugin, I don't see why we should not allow these type of questions :-)

  • Well written questions with code samples and proper explanation to the problem. Code is important. Most of the time questions relating to plugins and themes lack this, so only people prepared to download the actual theme or plugin and playing around with it or people that actually have experience with the theme or plugin can answer these questions. If the code involved is posted (like the question regarding the virtual page plugin) the question becomes more generic and it makes it possible for someone to answer without having any knowledge about the actual theme or plugin.

  • Getting commitment from new users. This is a SE problem accross all of its sites. Very few new users go on and become active members, and more so, active members that answer more questions than they actually ask themselves. On SO I have came across 2K reputation users with more than 90 persent of their reputation coming from questions. One user nearly asked 200 questions already. Nearly all new users asking plugin and theme related questions never returns, or returns to ask the same questions again.

  • Commitment from members with knowledge about the particular plugin or theme, like ialocin an helga on woocommerce. The only problem here would be that 2 members serving such a big plugin with so many questions might burn them out quickly. We have personal lives to with jobs, wifes, husbands and kids. One cannot answer 10 questions a day everyday.

  • Commitment from 3K+ regarding close votes. If we are going to allow questions about third party plugins and themes, we are going to need everyone doing close votes as we will be receiving a lot of junk, low quality questions like we are currently getting from users on woocommerce. Currently we are less than 10 users doing close votes, and most of these users don't do close votes everyday.

CONCLUSION

To conclude, on this issue, we should treat every question on its own merit. Whether or not a question should be allowed should be based on the content of the question. Lets be realistic, making third party themes and plugins on topic, we are going to shoot ourselves in the foot, and leaving them off topic, we are loosing prospective new users, shooting ourselves in the foot. Both ways, we are going to loose something.

As it currently stand, my vote goes to leave these questions off topic due to what the points I've raised, BUT it does not mean that we should close them all and not answer them.

If a question is really well written with code, and the question can be answered within the context of what has been given by the OP, and the question is in scope regarding the other guidelines (for example, not localized, not generic php or css, not to too broad etc), we should leave that open and answer it. This might lead to us changing our policies a bit to accomodate for such questions

EDIT

From comments between me and @kaiser, we have came up with an idea in order for plugin and theme authors to be notified when a question is posted about their plugin/theme should they decide to use WPSE as a support route. I would like to expand on this and say that any user who would want to commit to a specific plugin/theme, they should follow the same recommendation.

For a full description (with pics) on how to sign up for these notifications, see the answer from @kaiser here

  • Close vote stats. About Giuseppes (single) answer about his plugin: That wasn't commitment. More like luck to stumble upon the question. – kaiser Feb 23 '15 at 11:16
  • Must say, close vote stats looking better today :-) About the question in question, luck or no luck, it does help if someone at least try to support his/her own code, even if it is just by luck, hahaha – Pieter Goosen Feb 23 '15 at 11:19
  • The question is: Do you have any idea on how plugin authors could find "their" questions? – kaiser Feb 23 '15 at 11:39
  • To be really honest, the only way I can think of for anyone to know if there is a question posted about his/hers plugin/theme would be login at least once a day and sifting through the questions. This will become a pain though for someone that is not commited. It would be nice to have some form of notification system coupled to the tags whereby anyone can sign up to recieve notifications about a specific tag. So everytime a new question is posted in that specific tag, the users who signed up on that tag will get a notification – Pieter Goosen Feb 23 '15 at 11:53
  • I suggest an edit with some screenshots to your answer: You can hover a tag on a question and click "subscribe". On your profile page, you can click "preferences" and manage your subscriptions. There you can (StackExchange wide) manage your personal mail notification settings and send yourself (for e.g.) daily summaries. – kaiser Feb 23 '15 at 12:08
  • Will do so later this afternoon when I'm at my pc. Thanks for the suggestion :-) – Pieter Goosen Feb 23 '15 at 12:17
  • Already added them as my suggestion was going pretty much the same direction. Just refer to it :) – kaiser Feb 23 '15 at 12:19
2

Echoing what I've already said in loopchat: we should either include themes and non-core plugins in WPSE, or try and generate some interest in creating a Stack for the WP ecosystem.

It's crazy that there's no real place for something that has, arguably, been the main reason for WordPress's success.

  • 2
    Well, there is: The authors support routes (wp.org, GitHub/BitBucket issues, custom forums, Themeforest forums, email, etc.,). There just is no general place to go. – kaiser Feb 23 '15 at 11:18
2

It seems like it didn't work the last time and I have no reason to expect it to work now. The problem is that the major plugins have their own ticket handling procedure that they have already implemented and bound to in their support channels, so why would they want to invest the time in a system that do not integrate with their CRM/bug tracking/etc?

I think the only way this can be done is by having people from the community willing to "adopt" a plugin. Seems like there are enough high ranking people here that are experts with woocommerce for example.

  • Who would be some of those wooconmerce experts? – kaiser Feb 22 '15 at 18:07
  • @kaiser IIRC ialocin and helgatheviking had no problem with answering some WC questions. – Mark Kaplun Feb 22 '15 at 18:18
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    You are right, I've answered a lot of them. I actually have been leading the tag at the moment Rarst decided to nuke it. I wouldn't call myself necessarily an expert, but I have some experience with WC. One thing more to note is, at that time nobody - of the regulars - was willing to deal with those questions, so it was pretty easy to get on top of that. Besides, pretty much the main reason for my commitment to the WC questions was the fact that they weren't off topic at that time and I just didn't wanted those askers to be left hanging. @kaiser – Nicolai Feb 22 '15 at 21:36
2

There are an excessive number of terribly coded plugins in the WordPress ecosystem. If we allowed third-party questions of the nature proposed, does responding to someone's question, "How Can I Accomplish X with plugin Y?" validate answers of the format "Do not use plugin Y as in it's current state it will expose your website to security vulnerabilities" or "Do not use plugin Y to accomplish X"? Seems to me that such answers would be important in order to promote security and good coding practices within the WordPress community, however such answers don't actually directly address the question.

If the aforementioned answer format dissuading users from using particular plugins becomes a valid practice, I would argue it also necessitates that plugin recommendations be brought back on-topic as well, as the intuitive response to "Don't use that" is "What should I use?" We already know that such questions generate highly subjective replies that can rarely be considered to definitively answer a question - this promotes askers accepting the opinion that most closely reflects their notions, however other users wtih a similar question may have different ideologies which would see that the accepted answer is not necessarily the best solution for their own needs.

Even bad plugins evolve rapidly - suddenly it would become necessary to actively support old questions and update them in order to reflect the current state of the plugin. Even a definitive, code-based solution to a question regarding 3rd-party code has a higher likelihood of become obsolete in a much, much shorter timeframe than WordPress core, as 3rd-party code developers have no obligation to enforce a backwards-compatibility policy as Core does. So now it seems we would expose the site to piles of questions that were valid at one point, but no longer work one month down the road - users either have to ask the same questions again or somehow flag the older, duplicate question as being invalid for a newer version of the plugin... The only reasonable solution I could imagine would be to require that the version of the 3rd-party code be included in the question, likely even the question tag (so at least two tags for each 3rd-party question: plugin-foobar and plugin-foobar-3.5.2) in order to properly distinguish 3rd-party questions. I believe doing so excessively complicates the end-user experience for Stack users, necessitating that our community members spend even more time introducing members to the conventions that dictate proper use of our site.

The remainder of my perspective has mostly been mirrored in others' answers, but it is primarily these reasons that dissuade me from the idea. It seems to me supporting questions regarding third-party code brings significant portions of our community's definition into grey-areas in a manner that will ultimately deteriorate the quality of this Stack, making it less a place to learn about developing on/for/with WordPress and more a place to wade through piles of opinions and broken answers, hardly different from a forum.

  • 1
    I will return to clean this up/make my thoughts clearly distinguishable from one another at a later date. In it's current state my answer's something of a "memory dump" ;) – bosco Feb 23 '15 at 20:40
  • You've made some great points that I don't think have been touched on yet. As far as versioning goes though, I feel like just a generic tag would suffice. The same issues arise with WordPress versions ( as you've mentioned, not as often as core ) so it should be handled just the same. Eventually it will lose views and be deleted or get additional answers with updated code. – Howdy_McGee Feb 23 '15 at 20:46
2

I personally want to allow add third party plugins on topic, because I can't think Wordpress without the plugins. That's what makes Wordpress interesting.

But I believe the main issues that prevents from allowing third party plugins are these two -

  1. Most of the people who ask questions here are hit and run type. Once they get answer, they are out of here and doesn't look back and a lot of them won't even come back. They aren't even interested about better answer. They just want to have some code that works and run off.

  2. We have very small active user base.

If you add third party plugins in the current model, I believe it will fail for sure. One of the variables need to change. I don't think we can do anything regarding #1. So only option is to increase our active users. If we can interest plugin authors to participate here, that will certainly be a huge improvement and make this place more vibrant. But is there any effective way to do that to make them engaged here in massive numbers?

If we can't do that I think allowing third party plugin will create the same situation as before. Actually this is a very hard problem to solve. But it's high time to at least try to do something about it.

I think the best possible option right now would be to allow kaiser's idea to allow plugin author to commit on meta and go case by case basis if no other solution arose. If we have some success story with this strategy, we might be able to attract more plugin author which might help to reduce #2 problem. We can monitor how this goes and make further decision from there.

1

As a general thought, lets not base anything on preconditions that are pretty much wishful thinking. In particular in regards of potential commitment of third party code maintainers, but also in respect of the - additional - commitment currently active users will bring to the table. In short any decision should be

self-sustaining, self-preserving based on the current community state.

  • I understand the portion of 3rd party maintainers but commitment of active users as both reviewers and answers make the stack-exchange what it is. I'm not sure I see any Exchange System as self-sustaining or self-preserving. To be successful there has to be commitment from the community or otherwise every attempt will fail. There isn't user commitment guarantee but we have to assume that users will help in sustaining and preserving. – Howdy_McGee Feb 23 '15 at 16:27
  • No disagreement here, no community, society without its members, the individuals. Although humans are pretty much bound to be social creatures - e.g. as zoon politikon - there is no guarantee that the unions they form - independent from the question what organizational level you are looking at e.g. community or society - is capable of achieving certain goals. So my point only is can certain things be accomplished with/within the current community state, which includes the current rate of commitment (by currently active users). – Nicolai Feb 23 '15 at 16:57
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    Which can in my mind be the only measurement, because you can't plan with commitment that isn't there yet, so every decision has to be self-sustaining, self-preserving under given circumstances. @Howdy_McGee Aside from that I would have a lot of additional dreams, ideas and plans, but not all of them actually doable under the conditions that exist. – Nicolai Feb 23 '15 at 17:00
1

All or Nothing - Cleanup and Overhaul

To allow 3rd Party Plugins it would need to be an all or nothing effort, otherwise it could be too confusing for new users which, once word gets out, will be a pretty big amount. If decided to re-allow 3rd Party Plugins we need to first start a process of going back to closed plugin questions ( unfortunately, sorry! ) and filter out which ones are considered to be on-topic / good quality and still close the bad quality plugin questions. This will give a basis for new questions to come ( people love pointing to the sidebar and say "This is on topic, why isn't mine!?" ), which is quite an overhaul and possibly easier than first thought since we're looking for question quality. It would also need a little commitment from the community to work. That's phase 1.

Phase 2 would be to completely redo and reword the help-section and report options so that it's very clear and concise what is considered a good question, a bad question, on-topic, and off-topic. People may not look at the help section initially but many people love using it in the comment section to point OP in a direction that will help them format their questions in the future.

By opening the floodgates there's going to be dam building of "close-question" reports and much more, as Goosen pointed out, there doesn't seem to be a great many of 3k users contributing so it may be beneficial to create a topic and see if we can create an "A-Team" of 'user-mods' - people that stay on-top of the review stack. Of course none of which would be obligated but this would be helpful at the start of the flood.

Next would have to be tags. We should allow all plugins, no bias except plugins 2 years or older. If the author isn't keeping their plugin up-to-date then we shouldn't have to support it, at that point it's legacy. If a plugin author doesn't want their plugin to be answered here ( Plugin Author makes revenue through Premium Support ) they will unfortunately have no choice but to Opt-Out via a WPSE-Meta topic, at which point we can use if a users asks a question on the topic and wonders why it's closed. Depending on how many plugins actually do this, it could be just as a nuisance as the Opt-In system that @kaiser suggested but I feel there would be less plugins out there that would actually do this. As a side-note / after-thought, we should only allow plugins in the Official WP Repository, not WooCommerce Extensions or GitHub plugins.

Finally, if possible to automatically add a generic plugin tag whenever a question is tagged with plugin-{$slug} would help users filter out all plugin questions if they decide to. If that's not possible it may be difficult to keep plugins from people feeds since there's too many to filter out one by one.

I don't think there's going to be any one idea that's going to be the be-all end-all solution, all we can do is try to make things as clear as possible on what's on-topic and what's not to keep out the poor questions.


TL;DR

Reformat old plugin questions as a base, build upon it with the Help section, create the A-Team of user-mods, don't support old plugins and allow plugins to manually opt-out via WPSE.Meta, add generic plugin tag automatically.

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