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Guidelines for Developers

Have you built a plugin or extension that allows SimplePie to integrate into another software package? Congratulations! You've just become a very valuable part of the SimplePie community! The primary guideline for this document is this: You can have all of the greatest functionality in the world, but if people can't use it, what's the point? Please take this primary guideline seriously as you explain how to use your plugin.

Remember that people using these plugins range from highly technical to a first-day PHP student. The least experienced SimplePie user should be able to comprehend the Introduction to PHP tutorial on Let's try to gear the documentation for them, while providing obvious clues for those who are more experienced so they can get through it faster. A method that has served us pretty well is the way we go step-by-step starting with the to-the-point instruction, and then following with an explanation. If a person can't understand your instructions, it's a problem with the instructions – not the person. The burden of clarity needs to be on the developer, not the user.

  • We want all of the plugin documentation to be similarly formatted across pages. Please use SimplePie Plugin for WordPress as a template. (Don't edit it, just use it as a basis for your own plugin docs).
  • When adding a link to your documentation to the SimplePie Plugins and Integration page, please maintain the same formatting and be sure to add a short description next to the title so that people can skim the page and know what's what.
  • Do you have a way of providing support? If you want us to create a new support forum at the SimplePie forums to handle this, send an email to me (Ryan) at this website, and I'll create one for you. We want people to be able to get the help they need, when they need it. We only ask that you take the time to support your users as best as you can.
  • Please be prepared to talk about the following things in your documentation:
    1. About this plugin; What does another person (fundamentally) need to know?
    2. How would someone upgrade from a previous version to the latest version?
    3. How would a person do a fresh install of your plugin?
    4. Once the plugin has been installed, how does a person use it?

There may be people who have found your plugin via the third-party software (WordPress, Joomla, etc.). Having helpful documentation here at the SimplePie site as well will likely get you even more users, because people come here to find out about feed parsing, and then see that you've written a plugin for the software that they're already using. That's a good thing for SimplePie, a good thing for the third-party software, and a good thing for your plugin!

plugins/guidelines_for_developers.txt · Last modified: 2011/03/06 03:56 (external edit)