For some years now, we’ve published and maintained a handful of free WordPress plugins that offer features and fixes for ProPhoto users. We just announced one a few weeks ago, our “ProPhoto Tweaks” plugin. We also maintain compatibility for old ProPhoto versions (like P2 and P3) with the latest version of WordPress by patching them through a free plugin instead of releasing updates to the old themes themselves. So, we have a plugin for compatibility patches for P2 and one for P3 as well. These plugins are hosted in the official WordPress.org repository. This means they can be found by searching from within your WordPress admin area, are installed and updated with one click, and you receive notifications when there are updates available.
What happened last week
At some point late last week, all of our plugins related to ProPhoto were removed from the WordPress.org repository without notification or explanation. After some digging I was able to make contact with someone from WordPress who informed me that our plugins were removed because they only are beneficial to users of ProPhoto, which is not a free theme, and so they didn’t want them in the repository. I’ve read their detailed guidelines on what is permissible for plugins extremely carefully and can see no way in which I violated them. They even explicitly say that “serviceware” is permissible — free plugins which provide functionality for paid services and products. But, it doesn’t really matter as there is no appeal process. Someone decided they shouldn’t be in there, so they are all gone now. That’s their right and we have to respect it.
Where we go from here
Even though we have been removed from the WordPress repository, we still plan on maintaining these plugins as well as releasing other plugins in the future. It just means that we will have to host the plugins ourselves, and do a little fancy-footwork to have our plugins check our site for new versions and update themselves from our servers instead of looking for that data on the WordPress repository.
We’re currently in the process of re-coding all of the plugins so that they check our site for updates and update themselves from our servers instead of WordPress.org. The transition will take a couple of days. Once we’ve got updates ready, everyone will need to delete their ProPhoto related plugins and reinstall the new versions. This will only take about 30 seconds (we’ll create a detailed tutorial), and once you’re updated to the new versions, they will work just like normal plugins, and you will be able to update them with a single click when an update is available.
Facebook comments will be delayed…
Unfortunately, because of how many users depend on these plugins, we need to fix this issue before we do any more development on P4, so Facebook Comments are going to be delayed by about a week.