I'm talking about development questions. I understand the stack's policy is not to allow 3rd party plugins questions, but given Woo's size, are they not allowed, at all?

I'm talking about heavy-duty development questions, about a plugin that's (within the more knowledgeable crowd) as popular as WordPress itself.

Edit 1


Semantics:

After having read other topics and some highlights by some members, it seems a lot of people have this thing for semantics. Some claimed that "questions should be related to WordPress development, not plugin development". Well, sorry, but isn't plugin development still WordPress development? I've written a medium-sized framework that will get out come the next year. It's a plugin and it does a lot of logic, but, damn, while I handled my logic on just pure PHP, one can clearly say it's meant to ONLY ever work within WordPress. I've been asking questions about it for the past few months and they were all WP related. It's the same thing I see with WooCommerce. Most questions are proper WP questions, clearly using functions we're all familiar with, so what does it matter if we write WordPress-targeted code in a theme or a plugin?


The semi-problem, even if the questions will be allowed:

It's harsh to accept the probable fact that we just won't have enough people to answer them. WordPress questions? A lot of people can answer these questions. WooCommerce? There's a lot of Woo developers, sure and currently, they have no "Q&A home", but it's hard to say they'll come here and that they'll answer questions, so that we have a health exchange, so we risk being left with a lot of questions that are unanswered.

Is this a problem? I'd say so-so. People might get discouraged if they don't see answers on any of their questions related to the plugin,but I've seen some really good activity on WooCommerce related questions.

We can't also ignore the reality of our lives. It's hard to make time to answer questions. I've answered a few questions when time allowed me, but running a lot of things, you just don't have time and you're left at this state of "leech" where you just ask questions, but rarely contribute back. So, once again, as per my initial point, WordPress is big, a lot of people to answer / ask, Woo is also big, but it's a dwarf in comparison to WordPress as a whole - we might have a shortage of both questions and answers.


The state of WooCommerce questions everywhere:

There's currently no proper place to ask questions about Woo. Proper, solid development-related questions. Their github is not for this, altough they're helpful! The slack channel is virtually dead and there have been some off-putting members which I won't name, who are known in the channel for their somewhat bizarre need to let others know about their politically correct views and having asked a few members, it actually is a problem there.

While I'm not advocating for pity, or using it to justify allowing questions related to Woo, I'm saying that, seeing how many people ask there / ask me / ask friends of mine, there's a clear need for a place like that and we could all benefit by bringing these developers here.

It's wishful thinking to say there'll be a huge influx of developers once the gates open. Probably not a lot of people will notice, but I imagine, in time, these people will stick to the site, if their questions get answers.


The experiment.

If I remember / understand correctly, at some point in the past, you guys allowed questions regarding plugins and it went badly. People thought this was a support site for their plugin. Thing is, if you were to re-allow them again, but clearly stating what questions are allowed...what does it change? As it stands right now, people who think they can ask support questions here will still do it. Let's face it - no one checks rules in-depth, then parses their question to see whether or not it's allowed before posting the question - they just ask! It'd be my guess that developers, just as it was my case as well, that are regulars / know the site know not to ask questions related to Woo, since they'll get closed. So, really, if I had to guess from my experience, we're only losing here. Support-related questions are being closed now, they'd be closed then, with the only difference then being that, if we were to allow dev-related Woo questions, we'd start building some trust in that direction. Developers will now know that it's safe to ask these questions and there's a real chance of them getting an answer.

I really don't see the issue - these questions, bad or good ones, are still being asked, but we're killing two birds with one stone and in this case, that's not good - making good-willed developers go away from the site.

The more I talk about this, the more it seems a problem on the moderation side of things.

  • 1
    I think this was discussed enough times. There is a point in revisiting the discussion only if something has changed, or previous discussions had missed anything. popularity or code quality was never the reason for plugins to be off-topic, therefor I do not see the point of starting a discussion from that irrelevant angle – Mark Kaplun May 14 at 19:29
  • 7
    While plugin specific questions are currently off-topic, I think it's something we should revisit in the near future. – Howdy_McGee May 14 at 19:34
  • 1
    @Howdy_McGee Yes, please think about it – I am the Most Stupid Person Jul 4 at 10:16
  • 1
    I participate in the Close Votes review queue from time to time. Recently almost all the close votes I gave was related to Plugin specific dev questions. Now a days I'm feeling like: Plugin suggestion questions should always be off topic, however, Plugin Specific dev questions should be on topic. For now, I'll just skip these in review queue. Since WPSE is community driven, it doesn't matter what was previously decided, what matters is what the community in general thinks now. So revisiting should always be on the table. – Fayaz Jul 8 at 5:13
  • @MarkKaplun I myself prefer not to allow 3rd party Plugin Dev questions, but I'm being moved somewhat because of popularity. So I'd disagree with you on this topic: popularity does matter at least because of the fact that WPSE is community driven. e.g. even now there are more than 200 posts in the close vote queue. Not to mention, there are many more that are not even in the close vote queue thanks to a lot of 3rd party plugin dev questions. So unless there's some moderator hammer over them all together, they are being already allowed by the virtue of popularity anyway, LOL. – Fayaz Jul 8 at 6:26
  • @Fayaz, yes, but the argument in the end is that there is no one around to answer those questions, so it just generates noise. This was the argument for years, and so far no one showed how this problem can be fixed. In addition even things like WC are so unstable that an answer from two years ago might not be applicable for the latest version which makes answers less useful (busy right now fixing deprecation notices from WC in hope that at some point I will be able to actually upgrade to the latest, and then probably fix more deprecations... ;) ) – Mark Kaplun Jul 8 at 7:23
  • @MarkKaplun LOL. Yes, there is not enough people to answer & all the other issues as well. However, there's not enough people to close all those either, so we practically are in limbo :D ... So the reverse argument is getting traction (to get out of that limbo): may be if those are allowed, then perhaps in time there'll be enough people on the site to answer those. – Fayaz Jul 8 at 7:31
  • 2
    yes, we are in limbo, therefor I downvote so at least it will not pop up in the future as something the system thinks that should be answered. The reverse argument.... well right now I think that only tom and me are the highest "ranking" that actually bother answering questions and I feel like I am on the way out as I have no appetite to do free work for automattic answering WC questions which they should just put someone to answer them, and it is not fun at all close voting and downvoting. The more noise there will be IMHO the less long term precipitation there will be. – Mark Kaplun Jul 8 at 9:08
  • I agree with everything you said, but I still feel like something is missing :( ... there must be a better way to handle this situation than to just down voting & closing while those questions keep coming in an increasing rate. At least it demands more discussions IMHO. – Fayaz Jul 8 at 20:46
  • The idea of some sort of "popularity threshold" appeals to me to some degree... but at the same time I find the notion of the community providing free support to commercial extensions fairly disturbing (I would certainly feel less inclined to answer questions for such plugins). I also wonder about the rate at which users might be posting or modifying third-party code in such a manner that violates licensing terms, either by attribution or commercial restrictions. Not that that's the community's responsibility, but it does seems like something else that might degrade the site's reputation. – bosco Sep 19 at 17:50
  • @bosco Rarely have I ever seen actual off-topic "support questions" related to any of these plugins. Most of these questions come from developers who are trying to create stuff within that plugin's space. Take this for example: wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/302352/… , perfectly valid developer question that I'm sure a lot of people had. Closed. For what? Woo / ACF / VC / Elementor have become extremely popular. Every developer I know uses them. Just close the actual support questions who are clearly not okay. – coolpasta Sep 25 at 1:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .