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I'd like to create a plugin to answer this question, partly because it'd be useful to someone else and a way for me to learn to play with a simple model via plugin.

We all agree that plugin development is a relevant topic for this site, but I'm wondering specifically about plugin design questions that solicit critique more than right/wrong answers.

For example, I'm working out what I think would be a sensible Twig interface and I'd like to know if it should be revised/improved to conform with other tags or plugins.

I'm not sure if I'm overthinking this or if I'm attempting to misuse the platform. Are these types of questions relevant, assuming they're focused and answerable?

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I like this question, and I feel that different people will disagree to the best approach. So my response here is only my opinion...

You are basically asking if it's okay to ask a "best practices" question in regards to plugin development. Some folks have already spoken out against any type of "best practices" question in general, but I personally disagree that those questions are inherently without value.

TL;DR: Yes, go for it.

Sometimes there is more than one answer

... even for just a normal programming question. Things like "how can I whatever with this loop?" can generate three or four different possible approaches, and the most popular tend to get the most upvotes. I don't see any reason why a "best practices" question can't follow the same path to get some solid answers. There are a few existing "best practices" questions on the site right now that have proven to be incredibly popular. (see this one for example)

Every Stack Exchange site has a unique vibe

I disagree on a root level with anyone who talks about the "SE way", especially if they are drawing from their experiences on Stack Overflow. Of course, the Stack Exchange network has many rules and procedures in place to make sure that the community is generating the best possible information, and those rules/procedures work very, very well. But there is a point where people "just want to know"... and if everyone else in the community also wants to know, then why should we stop them from asking?

Conclusion

I submit to you this random example from a different SE site... It illustrates both of my points:

  • Questions have have multiple "right" answers.
  • The vibe of each community is unique.
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  • Well put regarding vibe ("if everyone else ... wants to know .. why stop them from asking?"), and fantastic random example! I cautiously agree, only because there's no clear distinction between off-topic and this-is-okay-here for everyone to adhere to. I'm a fan of discretion and community-building, it'll just take diligence and establishing precedent to encourage high-quality Q&A. – Matt Stein Jul 10 '14 at 22:09
  • Yeah, "off-topic" is definitely a grey area. Here is what I would define as off-topic... (1) Not about Craft CMS at all. (2) Has nothing to do with building/maintaining a Craft site. (3) Focused too narrowly on a PHP issue that is not specific to Craft. (I won't say the same about Twig, see here.) (4) Probably other stuff that I'm not thinking of right now... Like I said, it's a grey area. :) – Lindsey D Jul 10 '14 at 22:23
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    Thanks for this answer, Lindsey! Totally agree with everything especially regarding best practice questions. You can probably put every "What is considered best practice..." into a "How do I..." question and the other way round. – carlcs Jul 10 '14 at 22:35
  • For the record, I went for it! – Matt Stein Jul 15 '14 at 0:10
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I think we could at least give the "plugin-dev" tag a special styling. Could turn out to do as a warning sign indicator to newcomers and users not interested in plugin development.

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  • I see your point, and I'm also wary of the special treatment. I could be a seasoned pro with an intensely technical and off-putting question, but I could also be a Craft veteran looking to make my very first plugin. Despite being an American, I'm relatively averse to excessive "danger" signing. I'm not convinced it'd be an easy win in this case. – Matt Stein Jul 10 '14 at 17:22
  • I can imagine this being a good indicator to differentiate the different question types. Dev/php tags in one color and Craft setup/template/twig tags in another. Didn't mean like warning sign as you in the US are used to ;) – carlcs Jul 10 '14 at 21:59
  • I see where you're coming from, I just think that the tag names themselves are perfectly good indicators. To me, more differentiating is adding imposing a hierarchy on tags—I think they're most effective when they're totally flat and carefully maintained. But I'd love to know what other people think! – Matt Stein Jul 10 '14 at 22:03
  • lol at your warning sign edit! – Matt Stein Jul 10 '14 at 22:06
  • To me it makes a difference if I have to read tags text or if I have other indication. Doesn't have to be color and if plugin-dev would always be at the first position that would totally be good to me! – carlcs Jul 10 '14 at 22:42
  • Just noticed that they are always at the first position. Privilege of the most popular tag, huh? – carlcs Jul 10 '14 at 22:49
  • Wish granted! Now all we have to do is make sure we're posting more plugin-dev questions than any other kind. ;) – Matt Stein Jul 10 '14 at 22:58

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