[QGIS-Developer] Do we really need experimental and non-experimental plugins?

Nyall Dawson nyall.dawson at gmail.com
Sun Aug 26 17:06:03 PDT 2018

On Mon, 27 Aug 2018 at 04:11, Borys Jurgiel <lists at borysjurgiel.pl> wrote:
> Hi Lists,
> Before I make a QEP I'd like to know your general thoughts.
> After I removed the deprecated plugins filter from the Plugin manager (and
> make them always visible) [1], Alex suggested doing the same with the
> Experimental status.

I'm -1 on this. Experimental plugins can be dangerous (some result in
crashes, data corruption, etc), and shouldn't be shown by default.

> However, I'm not sure if it makes much sense nowadays. Releasing 'stable' and
> 'experimental' versions seems a bit overscaled to me. And there is a simpler
> solution: If the recent version is buggy, users can just download the last
> working one from the repo and install from zip.

I think that's overestimating some of our user's abilities -- it would
take a lot of knowledge that:
1. a plugin is at fault
2. they can overwrite a plugin manually with an earlier version
3. they can download earlier versions of plugins.

Then, they'd also need to know *which* older plugin version is "good"
and should be downloaded.

> The former case, when the
> whole plugin is experimental, seems to be often misused: authors can use it to
> hide some specialised of localised plugisn from majority of users. In fact
> even I committed such clear misuse, marking the Plugin Reloader as
> experimental just to not clutter the list for normal users... Another reason
> could be a shyness. But again, we have the rating stars now and don't need to
> rely on the author's shyness anymore.
> So... Do you see important reasons to keep this tag? Maybe we should
> completely drop it? Or just remove the option to hide them from manager,
> leaving the flask icon on the plugin details page?

I think it should be kept. I know of one buggy plugin which recently
got marked as experimental, and I'm *very* glad to see this particular
plugin hidden from the majority of our users by default.


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