[Qgis-developer] How to deal with plugins which are not useful for users (e.g. Hello world)

Anita Graser anitagraser at gmx.at
Mon Dec 30 05:32:19 PST 2013

Hi Alessandro,

Am 30.12.2013, 13:54 Uhr, schrieb Alessandro Pasotti <apasotti at gmail.com>:
> Did you have any real feedback from users being confused from the
> HelloWorld plugin? After all, it clearly advertises itself as an example
> do-nothing plugin.

There is feedback from at least one user who think it should not be on the  
list of "official" plugins:

I can understand that it does not leave the most professional impression  
if users find "weird testing stuff" in the "official" plugin list. (Note  
that I'm speaking from the perspective of users without open  
source/programming background.)

> Can you explain me why do you put plugin developers in a different  
> category
> than users? I tend to see plugin authors as (power) users.

Many GIS users are not programmers. They have QGIS installed by their IT  
department and might or might not be able to install additional plugins.  
They certainly won't touch programming with a ten-foot pole.
I think it's a valid distinction to make and the first impression should  
not alienate these more casual users.

>  If I were a new QGIS user, I would like to have starting point to  
> develop
> plugins, of course we have the coockbook and the builder plus plenty of
> blog articles, but as a programmer, what I would search is exactly that:
> the simplest possible plugin to start tampering with.

I totally agree with your statement from the perspective of someone who  
knows at least some programming. But not everyone is in this position.  
Many users come to QGIS without feeling the need to develop plugins. Too  
often all they want to do is visualize some data, maybe have some  
background map from OpenLayers plugin.

> But I definitely agree that HelloWorld should not have a dual purpose
> (testing the plugin repository and provide a barebone example for wannabe
> plugin authors), so here's my proposal: unpublish HelloWorld and create a
> new Example plugin with the purpose of providing a simple starting point
> for new plugin authors.

Personally, that doesn't bother me. I'm fine however you decide.

Best wishes,


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