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Recently, we submitted a template engine plugin called Willow – which we use on our projects to the WordPress plugin repo – but it was quickly rejected – the following reasons were given:
Your plugin has been rejected because we no longer accepting frameworks, boilerplates, and libraries as stand-alone plugins.
To explain the terminology here:
Framework/Boilerplate: a template from which more code can be built
Library: requires other plugins or themes to edit themselves in order to be used
We require that plugins be useful in and of themselves (even if only being a portal to an external service). This means that a plugin should either be installed and be fully functional, or it should have some administration panel.
When a plugin requires either the plugin itself to be edited to work, or can only be used by writing code elsewhere, it ceases to have as much a benefit to end users and is more of a developer tool.
While there are many benefits to frameworks and libraries, WordPress lacks any plugin dependency support at this time, which causes a host of issues.
The parade of likely support issues include (but are not limited to):
not recognizing the need for the library or and thinking they’ve been hacked
not properly forking the boilerplate and editing it in place, resulting in updates erasing code
not recognizing the need for the library plugin, and thus deleting it (causing others to break)
updating the library plugin separately from the dependent plugins, leading to breakage
updating a dependent plugin without updating the library, leading to breakage
different plugins requiring different versions of a library plugin without proper if-exists checks
We feel that libraries should be packaged with each plugin (hopefully in a way that doesn’t conflict with other plugins using the libraries). At least until core supports plugin dependencies. Frameworks, in and of themselves, have no place in our directory as they are non-functional templates.
They offered me a chance to argue my corner and show why this plugin should be hosted – which I did to the best of my powers – I argued from standpoint that this amounted to discrimination against advanced users – who would be forced to either bundle their frameworks into other plugins, making them harder to update or that we would be forced to write hacks to get our software into the WP update process – which seems wrong on many levels.
And, while the plugins team expressed some sympathy – nothing that they all used frameworks and the likes themselves, they were unmoved by my high and might rhetoric and the plugin remains rejected…
Of course, I can continue working in the way I have been until now – currently we use the Github updater plugin to integrate our public and private repos from GitHub into the WP updater – but it IS a hack – and it’s not seemless.
So – to my question – and please moderators, don’t delete this as a "too vague / opinionated" question – as this really is aimed at understanding how other developers use WordPress and has benefit both to us and I imagine others who have faced this same situation.
The question is – how should we host our own public plugins – for example on a 3rd party repo like GitHub – and make them easily available to find, install and update – in a way that is as native as possible to how they might work if they were hosted on wordpress.org?
Sub question might be about the relative pros and cons of bundling these "frameworks" into other plugins / themes – this feels wrong to me, especially considering WordPress’s lack of dependency management – but I would like to learn if this is viable and even recommended.
The entry for Mason’s Tools within the PHB (p154) lists this as one of the proficiency’s benefits:
Demolition. Your knowledge of masonry allows you to spot weak points in brick walls. You deal double damage to such structures with your weapon attacks.
It then lists this as one of the possible activities:
Find a weak point in a stone wall [DC 15]
One might interpret this to mean that you must make a successful DC15 check with the Mason’s Tools before being able to deal double damage to a stone structure with your weapon attacks.
Another might read these as isolated entries, believing that your proficiency with Mason’s Tools automatically allows you deal double damage to stone structures with your weapon attacks as a passive benefit. Meanwhile, successfully performing the tool check above bestows its own separate benefit.
Obviously, the confusion lies in their using the phrase "weak point" in both the Activity as well as the Demolition feature. However, if read literally, the Demolition feature does explicitly state "You deal double damage to such structures…" and not "you deal double damage to weak points within such structures…".
So, to word this as questions:
Do you need to perform to a successful tool check to benefit from the Demolition feature of the Mason’s Tools?
And if not, what would be the benefit of finding a weak point in a stone wall with a successful check of the Mason’s Tools? (For example: Would a weak point within a stone structure simply have fewer hit points than the rest of that structure?)
Is there a limit on what tinker’s tools can do?
Or can you make anything you can imagine within the reason of the world? For instance, could you use materials to construct a plane or parachute?
As a player I would find that amazing, but as a DM I would find that horrifying.
Does a character have to have thieves’ tools (TT) in order to pick a lock? Not necessarily proficiency in the tool, but at least have the tool itself?
I’m confused about picking locks and whether or not it A) requires thieves tools to even attempt to open a lock (the description of the lock and manacles in the equipment section suggest they are), and B) if you need proficiency in TT to even use them (the “Working Together” section in PHB 175 suggestes you do). However the dexterity ability section on PHB 177 clearly lists “pick a lock” with no other qualifiers.
Clearly you can’t pick a lock with just your fingers, so some type of tool is needed. I figure that improvising tools gives you disadvantage, while having the TT avoids that penalty. This allows my high dex characters to still attempt to open locks at any time (in a jail, stripped of their gear, etc) but obviously having the right equipment is a huge advantage.
So I ruled that picking a lock without TT is a dex roll with disadvantage, with TT (but not proficiency in them) is a normal DEX check, and proficiency lets you add your prof bonus to the roll (as the TT item entry seems to imply).
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I find it odd that some backgrounds give the character proficiency with tools but then do not list those tools under equipment.
For example, the Urchin:
Tool Proficiencies: Disguise kit, thieves’ tools
Equipment: A small knife, a map of the city you grew up in, a pet mouse, a token to remember your parents by, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp
Does the fact the Urchin is proficient with the disguise kit and thieves tools imply she starts with them? Or is she somehow proficient with tools she does not own?
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The Guardian model described in the Arcane Armor feature of the Armorer Artificer includes "Thunder Gauntlets":
Each of the armor’s gauntlets counts as a simple melee weapon while you aren’t holding anything in it…
If the Artificer holds tools for a material component of a spell, the description above doesn’t apply. However, if the armor itself is used as the focus (assuming it’s an Infused Item), the Artificer is effectively holding a weapon in each hand.
To deal with this, must the Artificer have taken the Warcaster feat (to allow performing the somatic component of a spell while holding a weapon)? Or can the Thunder Gauntlets be considered "sheathed" when not attacking with them?
(Note: All Artificer spellcasting requires a material component, so performing a somatic-only spell is not an concern.)