News

Add-On Page Improvements

January 11, 2010
by Jacob Russell

We’ve added new features to the add-on pages to allow developers to include more information in a simpler, easier to understand format.  Developers can now link to GitHub repository file downloads and include license information for all their add-ons.

Add-On Downloads

Gone are the days of flipping through old forum topics to find the newest version of a file or trying to find an add-on through a dead site link. File downloads are the biggest improvement to the add-on pages on devot:ee, and will make getting the newest version of add-ons much easier. Developers can now link their add-on pages on devot:ee directly to their GitHub repositories. When linking with a GitHub repository devot:ee will automatically grab the latest commit, ensuring that you get the newest version of the add-on. All we need from the developer is their GitHub user name and repository name. We are also working on allowing developers to upload files directly to devot:ee for those who don't use GitHub, so look for that in the near future. And yes, this is another step towards a devot:ee add-on marketplace!

Image Gallery

Images on add-on pages are now organized into a shiny new gallery. Developers can now add more images to their add-on pages without making the page a mile long, which in turn means visitors get a better idea of what the add-on looks like before downloading it. The process of adding images hasn't changed, so we encourage developers to make their add-on pages more visually appealing! You are hooked up, right?

Revamped Add-on Sidebar

The sidebar has been completely revamped to give you more of the information you're looking for at a glance. The new look emphasizes the important information (developer and party/commercial status) and standardizes the Compatibility and Requirements section for each add-on.

Compatibility and Requirements

We've done away with the sometimes-empty sections and description paragraph from the old sidebar in favor of a clean look here. All six common Compatibility and Requirement choices show up on every page and are either greyed out if that choice is not selected, or colored green if it is. The same information you saw before is still here, but standardized in a way that should make it easier to pick out quickly.

License

The new addition to the sidebar is the license, which allows developers to select (optionally) the license under which they are releasing their add-on. This works hand in hand with the file hosting to ensure that no important information is left out when developers choose to serve their downloads directly through devot:ee. We're including popular Creative Commons and GPL licenses to begin with, but any license available on the internet can be included so this can be expanded to fit what the community wants.

9 Comments:

Andy Marshall 01.11.10

only thing i think you’re missing is an icon / detail saying if its for 1.x and/or 2.x.

Otherwise, love what you’ve done.

nevsie 01.12.10

nevsie

handy improvements, and go marketplace… one thing that would aid me would be a more refined search – as currently it can be a little tricky to find what you are after.

Euan 01.12.10

Euan

I would agree that these changes are definite improvements. I agree with moogaloo that a key detail missing is if it is for 1.x, 2.x or both.

In addition, for commercial plugins I would to see pricing, even if it’s the base price for a single license.

With regard to the compatibility, I like it but I think it would be clearer if the text has a strikethrough if it’s not required.

I like the screenshots and I would like to see more add-ons have then, particularly those that are commercial. I appreciate that a lot of the add-ons were added before this feature was incorporated.

When will the download feature be enabled? Or can you point me in the direction of an add-on which already has it so I can see how it looks?

Jacob Russell 01.12.10

Jacob Russell

Ahh, I knew there was something I forgot to mention.  All 2.0 addons DO come with an icon now, see Accessible Captcha for an example.  That should make it easier to tell at a glance which are EE2 ready.

The download feature is enabled now, in fact the three add-ons that came through yesterday are making use of it, see JB Require Expiry to see both downloads and the image gallery functioning.

Euan, I agree that it would be great to see more images on the add-on pages, I think it makes a huge difference in how legitimate an add-on looks and is more descriptive of it’s features then paragraphs of text can often be.  The hope is that developers will edit the add-ons they already have on the site with more images in order to improve the image of their products.

Euan 01.12.10

Euan

Jacob, I’ve taken a look at the two pages you mentioned.

The 2.0 icon I think looks good but it would be good to see a 1.6 icon for all others and both for something that is availble for both (or a link to the other version), etc.

With regard to the download feature, is the plan to just list the current download? If so can this be moved to the sidebar – I find it very cluttered with lots of text and the download is hard to find, or maybe a download button in the sidebar which takes the user to the appropriate place on the page.

I think it’s understandable for non-commercial add-ons to have no screenshots and I would expect they would be done last. However, I think it the marketplace takes off any commercial add-ons must have screenshots and if old authors don’t want to add them then take the add-on off the site. Just my opinion.

shotwell 01.13.10

I found the Add-on sidebar compatibility and requirements points to be a bit confusing. If you find yourself at an addon without any green req’s/compats it looks like all six are required or compatible.

Tyler

Euan 01.14.10

Euan

Tyler, that was the point I was trying to make (by having the text strike-through if not required) but I think you made it much clearer :)

Jacob Russell 01.15.10

Jacob Russell

You both raise a good point as far as the compat and requires in the sidebar when none are selected, so we’ve added a strike-through to un-selected items to further clarify what they are.

As far as moving the downloads to the sidebar Euan, I have to disagree with you there.  The add-ons you see now only have 1 download each, but eventually there could be multiple downloads per add-on (1.6.8 beta, 1.6.8 full release, 2.0 beta, 2.0 beta release, for example).  That doesn’t fit with the ‘at-a-glance’ goal we have in mind for the sidebar.

That said, we may be doing more to reduce the clutter in the center column soon, so keep an eye out for that.

In addition, we’ve implemented FancyBox for all images that are bigger then the center column frame, so developers can now upload large, detail heavy images without anything being lost in transition.

Euan 01.18.10

Euan

Jacob, I agree with the point about 1.6.8, 2.0, etc, etc downloads. Would it be possible to have a download button/icon in the sidebar that lets users know download(s) for this add-on exist on the site?

If it was clickable, perhaps it would scroll the user down to the ‘download’ list/table in the main content?

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