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plugins or mu-plugins? (7 posts)

  1. parakeet
    Member
    Posted 12 years ago #

    *What's the difference?*

    Where should I install plugins?
    Is there a difference between plugins for Site Admin and plugins for users?
    Will users be able to enable/disable available plugins? (preference: no).

    mu-plugins already contained delete-blog.php, global-categories.php, misc.php and pluggable.php. What are these?
    Is mu-plugins strictly for WPMU-specific plugins or is it for plugins available to Site Admin only?

    Presumably, the "Enable Plugins" checkbox affects the display of this section to users and, if a plugin's options are available in the Options tab, that's fine?

  2. lunabyte
    Member
    Posted 12 years ago #

    The "Enable Plugins" checkbox does enable that for individual blog owners, so you're correct on that.

    The difference between plugins, and mu-plugins is that if it's available in the normal plugins directory, it is available to turn on/off at the blog owners discretion provided the checkbox is ticked. If not, plugins in the plugins directory do no good.

    The mu-plugins directory is global, and adds that plugin (as activated) for everyone, and can't be turned off or on.

    I haven't played with this enough to know if the individual blog owner can set preferences for their site in regards to a mu directory plugin, but I'm thinking (OK, more so hoping) that they can't.

    For example, you could add SK2 in the mu-plugins directory, or widgets, or whatever.

    Or, you could add the users online plugin to the normal plugin directory. Then if someone wants to use it, they can activate it.

    Users can't upload their own plugins, or edit their files, so it isn't too big of an issue with the plugins directory for some stuff, since you control what's available.

  3. andrea_r
    Moderator
    Posted 12 years ago #

    "I haven't played with this enough to know if the individual blog owner can set preferences for their site in regards to a mu directory plugin, but I'm thinking (OK, more so hoping) that they can't."

    It depends on the plugin. If it has an options menu, it may or may not be written to be viewable by site admin only. The SK2 for MU one was moded so only the Site Admin sees the menu, for example.

    But something like Widgets can be placed in the mu-plugins folder, and they are automatically on and available to all users. Widgets being a handy way for people to rearrange and edit their sidebar, so you'd want that one for all.

    I dunno what the ones that are there already are for. I do know you don't have to do anything with them or worry about them. The global categories one, for instance, isn't even used.

    You really have to go on the merits of each plugin you want. Think of them as "extras" to the main program. Mu plugins are extras you want site-wide to make your site a little different from everyone else's, and regular plugins you can think of as added features that each user can decide if they want to use or not.

  4. parakeet
    Member
    Posted 12 years ago #

    So far, so random.

    a. So "/plugins" is for plugins that can be controlled and activated/deactivated by individual users just like in a standalone WordPress installation, complete with Options panel if the plugin uses one (?)

    b. And "/mu-plugins" is for plugins I want to force users' blogs to use (ie. auto-activated)? Or is it only for plugins that pertain to the main, front-page blog... ?

    If I want to enforce a handful of plugins by placing them in "/mu-plugins", I don't see how to activate/deactivate them ?!)

    Are they activated by default, merely by placing them in that directory? Because I can't see any effect resulting from doing so.

    a. With plugins in "/mu-plugins", I can't see (1) the additional panel which wp-videoblogger should put on the Write Post page, or (2) the replacement nav bar supposedly given by admindropmenus. No Plugins tab visible, I believe.

    b. Yet I *can* see Social Bookmark Creator (Thomas McMahon's social-bookmark.php) on blogs' Options menu regardless of whether it's in "/mu-plugins" or "/plugins". And I can see a Plugins tab from which I can activate everything.

    How does this stuff work? Is this why so many people use Lyceum, which I've heard has better compatibility with regular WP plugins?

    I would want to give users the benefit of multiple extended features through plugins as though they were standard features; I wouldn't want them to bother themselves with a Plugins page, activation/deactivation etc.

    Popeye! Help!!

  5. andrea_r
    Moderator
    Posted 12 years ago #

    Sometimes, it depends on the plugin, it doesn't quite work when you drop it in the mu-plugins folder.

    a. yes, you got it :)
    b. yes, it forces the plugin all for ALL blogs including the main one. They are activated as soon as they are dropped in that folder.

    I dunno if this is the reason why people use Lyceum. I felt most people used that because they liked the db set-up better and there was more support.

    You should see the Plugins tab as long as you have ticked the "enable plugins" option from the Site Admin menus. This only realtes to the regualr plugins folder. There's nothing in the backed for MU-plugins, unless a specifc plugin in that folder puts a menu somewhere.

    And I hope you're testing these plugins one by one. It makes troubleshooting *so* much easier.

    p.s. - a lot of video plugins just flat out don't work in the MU folder. Dunno why off the top of my head. Try ,a href="http://an-archos.com/anarchy-media-player/">this one. It's built to go in the MU-plugins folder and put nice little buttons on the text editor for users to insert video.

    Do remember that MU is pretty darn new, and the vast majority of the plugins out there were written specifically for regular WP and haven't even been tested in MU. We *are* the testing ground.

  6. parakeet
    Member
    Posted 12 years ago #

    (b) There's nothing in the backed for MU-plugins, unless a specifc plugin in that folder puts a menu somewhere.

    Yeah, that's what gets me. No manifestation in the Option tab, even, for many, I'll bet, even when the same plugin does have one. I'm not a developer, but you'd think there would be a common architecture (?). It also raises the question - if you want to drop a plugin in "/mu-plugins" for global use, and the plugin requires you set options, how on earth would you get to set the options?

    Thanks for your pointers.
    Despite the 1.0 release, looks like so much is still trial and error...

    Edit: Do you suppose I could, in effect, stop people disabling the plugins I give them *and* making plugin Options available to them by dropping them all in "/plugins" and commenting out</i> the "Plugins" nav tab?

  7. andrea_r
    Moderator
    Posted 12 years ago #

    Um, it's been my experience if a plugin has an Options menu, it shows up in the backend when it is plunked in the mu-plugins folder.
    If it doesn't, then it's something to do with that specific plugin and you'll have to find out where.

    please remember that plugins are not made by the developers, they are often quick hack jobs, and the vast VAST majortiy of them haven't been tested AT ALL in MU.

    You're going to have to figure it out plugin-by-plugin. Which one(s) have you tried that had an Options page when it was in the Plugins fodler, but none when you placed it in the mu-plugins folder?

    "Do you suppose I could, in effect, stop people disabling the plugins I give them *and* making plugin Options available to them by dropping them all in "/plugins" and commenting out</i> the "Plugins" nav tab?"

    How on earth would you enable them then? :)

About this Topic

  • Started 12 years ago by parakeet
  • Latest reply from andrea_r