Currently, many users as well as plugin authors are not aware of the Plugin Portal Update Center, and it is not clear that/how plugins from the PP can be made available on the update center. On the other hand, many users are not aware of the Plugin Portal, and only search for plugins in the Plugin Manager. As a result, many plugins are not discoverable, or it is not clear to users that they can be installed using the UC rather than downloading from the PP. Here are the suggestions to improve this:
1. In the plugin list view, it should be visible whether a plugin is available on the update center. The NetBeans Version column could be reused for this, e.g. we could have a "UC" icon, which would be displayed in this column next to version number, if the plugin is available on the UC for this NetBeans version. E.g. this column could display "6.9, 7.0 UC", meaning that the plugin works for 6.9 and 7.0, and in addition, it is available on the UC for 7.0
2. The same information could be displayed on the plugin detail page in the NetBeans Versions field. The fact is that the plugin detail page already contains information on "Verification for NetBeans versions", but most users are not aware of the fact that Verification is related to the Update Center availability. So, for most users the wording that talks about "verification" is irrelevant and confusing - they are only interested in whether or not the plugin is available on the UC. Verification information (including the GO/NOGO status) is only interesting to plugin authors, and should only be displayed if I am logged in as this plugin's author.
3. The information about the availability of the plugin on the UC should also relate to other UCs (e.g. Certified UC), not just the PP UC. In essence, the user is not concerned about which UC contains the plugin. All plugins should be catalogued at the PP, including those hosted on other UCs.
4. When the user downloads a plugin from PP that is also available on the UC, the page should notify the user that installing via UC is preferred, and downloading is not needed. Perhaps the Download button could be smaller/less prominent in this case too. The user should still be able to proceed with download if she wishes to. This item is also related to issue 198001 - for this item to be implemented, it is important that the Download button is aware of the NetBeans version the user is using.
5. When a plugin developer is publishing a plugin (or a new version of an existing plugin), publishing to UC (aka verification) should be requested by default. Most often, plugin developers are submitting plugins that they consider "ready" and "good quality", so we can assume they want to publish them on the UC.
#1: Great idea and simple to implement.
#2: We are open source so we thought that information about verification status would be open to anyone. But I also agree that this could be hidden given that the UC text or icon is added to NetBeans Versions plugin property. Detailed information about verification status could be visible to plugin owners, plugin verifiers and administrators.
#3: Good suggestion but I cannot imagine how to automate this.
#4: Again, good idea. Maybe "Download" button should be replaced only with textual "Download" link or it should disappear completely with explanation how to install plugins using "Tools > Plugins" menu. Not sure how browser can detect which NetBeans user is using other than explicitly asking that.
#5: I disagree. Only a handful of plugins is worth publishing on the Update Center. I have been searching for plugins to be featured on the Plugin Portal frontpage and NetBeans homepage for several years now and it is really a hard task to find 3 quality plugins a month. After publishing new plugin we could offer this possibility to advertise PPUC but default answer/selection should be to NOT ask for verification.
This is a candidate for Plugin Portal 2.2.
I just iplemented and deployed 1) and 2).. Please let me know the text which I should add for mouse over on the icon.. something explaining that plugin can be installed from IDE ....
1), 2), 4) somehow implemented
Cool, thanks for implementing this Honzo. Since we use TipTip JQuery plugin which displays tooltips nicely I would like to ask you to make the explanation of the UC icon more descriptive:
This plugin is also available on the NetBeans Plugin Portal Update Center. Use 'Tools > Plugins' action from the NetBeans IDE main menu for convenient installation of this plugin.
Reopening to have this changed.
new text added
Excellent. Thanks a lot.