Last year (2010) there was a flare up regarding plugins done by MaxBloxPress. You could not use those plugins without opting in to the authors email list. This caused lot of annoyance with the users and the plugins were removed. The MaxBlogPress plugins in essence required unnecessary registration with a third-party to be able to use features that were standalone.
And here we go again another debacle, at least I think so. Some people in the WordPress world get away with stuff that others don’t.
JetPack requires the users to create an account on WordPress.com and register their sites with WordPress.com before the plugin becomes active.
The problem with all this is that not all the plugin features requires access to the WordPress.com API.
The following features are standalone i.e does not require WordPress.com integration:
- Twitter Widgets
- Gravatar Hovercards
- After The Deadline
- Shortcode embeds
The only features that actually make use of WordPress.com are Stats and WP.me shortlinks. So we have six features that do not require WordPress.com and just two that do.
In my opinion WordPress.org should require the plugin authors, ie Automattic et al, to remove the requirement for WordPress.com registration for features that don’t actually require it. You might ask why, well not doing so is in my opinion hypocritical. Others have not been allowed to have plugins that uses “optin for no reason” in the WordPress plugin directory, why should this plugin be allowed too?
Is the JetPack way a good user experience? Is this a practice that should be allowed in the WordPress.org plugin/theme directory?
Voice your opinion in the comments.