Backlog of contributed plugins spurs changes to the Moodle.org Plugin Review Process

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Two recent announcements at Moodle.org focus on improving the plugin database review and management process. The first acknowledges a backlog of some 45 to-be-released plugins caused by a bottleneck in the review process of contributed 3rd party plugins and the back and forth that often is necessary before any given plugin can be released to the community (case in point the TimeStat Block is held up in the iterative stage to ensure that all information is properly documented).

As improvements several changes and improvements are being considered.

  1. immediately David Mudrák has been named as the new Plugin Database Liaison and he’s hit the ground running with additional proposed improvements
  2. automated validators for contributed plugins to streamline the process and identify issues early on
  3. peer review of plugin testing and review
  4. potential integration with the Moodle Projects (crowdfunding database) to help support those maintainers who might need financial reimbursement for continued development

The full post can be read here: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=260351

In addition, Mr. Mudrák has also proposed some changes for first calling out plugins that are no longer maintained and providing a hand-off process for new maintainers to update old plugins to newer versions.

The goal is two fold:

  • to identify plugins which are higher risk (those that can be installed but could mess up a site without a maintainer to call upon
  • to improve the plugin database and provide new developers to update plugins which may still be important to stakeholders across the community

I’m a fan of all of the proposed enhancements and look forward to seeing a transparent and efficient review process in the plugins database.