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SimpleRealty says

This is a rant-question of a newly Envato author. I feel like I’m the only one who is missing the boat:

I just recently release a plugin based on jQuery (PullOut Widgets – see my profile). And within a week got flooded with emails that my plugin conflicts either with their custom theme or another third party plugin.

90% of all the issues are due to third party themes & plugins using non-default jQuery library, usually a much older version vs the default (1.7.1) which comes with WordPress.

Am I missing something? Why would anyone de-register the default jQuery 1.7.1 and register 1.4.1/1.6 instead from Google CDN ? All of a sudden I feel like a bad guy, because I released a product that beaks things, when everything worked before users installed it.

Is there a secret “Envato developers code” or a pact that I’m not aware of?

I’m also running into issues when theme authors simply use ”<link ../>” to include jQuery libraries site-wide or admin-wide which results in double inclusion… sometimes this is very hard to detect and the errors are not obvious at all.

I’m up for support and I probably dedicated a dozen of hours this week just trying to solve these type of issues, while not improving my plugin a single bit. How does everyone deal with “incompatibilities” created by non-standard coding practices? What do you say when your clients asking you to fix their theme, just because your plugin conflicts with a nonsense that theme is using? I even emailed some theme authors and pointed out the flaws, but some things are more complex than others.

Where do you draw the line and how do you make sure you have less issues like that?

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fAntasticmE says

if you use the deregister function and then register the latest jquery library from google wouldnt work?i dont think can harm them is an update

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pixelentity says

Man, our WP Estro slider plugin in codecanyon has required a huge support commitment on our behalf & purely for the reason you have stated. WP themes & plugins badly made & breaking our well made plugin.

We have to check each client’s setup & if we see this happening we just tell the buyer to deactivate plugins until they find the bad one, or if it’s the theme we just tell them to contact the author & ask for he fix.

A good set of FAQs can help but the whole thing still takes way more time than it should. We’ve ranted on the forums many times, but nobody takes notice & authors still release themes & plugins which do not follow WP development best practices.

DOK

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chrisakelley says
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SimpleRealty says

if you use the deregister function and then register the latest jquery library from google wouldnt work?i dont think can harm them is an update

I thought about it as well. While this might help in some cases, it may create even more issues in others. Since some themes include a hell of a lot functionality into them with built-in plugins and widgets, they may rely on some deprecated functions in jQuery… if so, then there is a chance that things will go bad if I force them to use the default library.

On other hand, this doesn’t help when themes are simply linking javascripts instead of queuing them the correct way.

I might add an option to force the default jQuery, so at least people can test it out… this idea might be worth looking into.

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iamthwee says

Unfortunately you can’t code for other people’s shortfalls.

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mordauk says

jQuery conflicts caused by incorrectly loading jQuery is the single most common support ticket I get. What I have found works really is just being very up front with the buyer about what the issue is, and make sure they understand that it is the theme (or another plugin) that is loading jQuery incorrect.

It works really well if you can point out the actual error (or location of bad code); that way the buyer doesn’t think you’re just trying to avoid helping them.

I usually offer to find the source of the problem, then tell the buyer that I will fix their theme (or plugin) for a small fee. Most of the time users are fine with this. When you get a buyer that gripes because they feel like they are paying twice, or that they have bought a broken item, you just have to be very, very clear with what the issue is, how it can be solved, and tell them exactly what to say to the developer that coded it wrong.

Aside from the things above, one of the only other things you can do is work to educate others. When you see a theme that is incorrect, contact the developer; write tutorials on how to do it correctly; offer to teach developers doing it wrong what the right way is.

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sevenspark Volunteer moderator says

pixelentity and mordauk said it all – it’s a common issue that I have to deal with all the time, with both themes and plugins. It’s very frustrating. I’ve ranted about it before myself.

Even worse than themes and plugins that register old versions are those that just print the jQuery library in the site head without enqueuing, and without running in noConflict mode. Drives me absolutely nuts.

Here’s a nice excerpt from a tut from Japh

It’s important to note that this should only be done on plugins or themes used on sites that you will be personally maintaining. Any plugins or themes that you release for public use should use the libraries included with WordPress.
“Why?!”, I hear you ask. For the simple reason that you don’t control those sites. You don’t know what other plugins and themes might be used there, and you don’t know how often they will update your plugin or theme. Using the libraries packaged with WordPress is the safest option.
http://wp.tutsplus.com/articles/how-to-include-javascript-and-css-in-your-wordpress-themes-and-plugins/

No plugin or theme should ever take over and replace a shared WordPress resource like jQuery. Modifying core includes should only ever be done by the site maintainer (and only if they are sure of what they are doing).

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sevenspark Volunteer moderator says

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/debug-objects/ :-) should help atleast find issues

I wasn’t aware of this plugin – looks cool, I’m going to give it a try. Thanks for the tip! :)

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quickandeasy Volunteer moderator says

From a buyer’s perspective,

I had this problem with one of TylerQuinn’s plugins. I think it was my theme’s problem (not his plugin), but Tyler logged into my WP and fixed the problem within a minute. Exactly the sort of customer service that results in me buying from him so often.

For a customer like me, a non coder, sometimes we ‘expect’ the product we purchase to ‘work’ out of the box (I understand there can be problems like this, but others don’t) but going that extra mile for a minute or two to fix a simple problem can really result in a very happy customer :)

I know this thread is more about the developer’s perspective and how to stop this problem, just thought I’d give my view as an uneducated buyer :)

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