I just uploaded version 1.2.1 of my WordPress Twitter Widget Pro plugin. It includes the removal of the “friends feed” option, the addition of custom error message setting for when Twitter is down, and optional anonymous statistics collection (more on this in a moment). Unfortunately, the database query that Twitter had to run to retrieve these feeds was contributing to their constant crashes. They have removed this functionality, and have no immediate plans to add it back. If they ever do, I’ll redo the plugin to use it. I’m sorry, but it’s completely out of my hands.
Regarding the anonymous statistics collection, as my plugins are getting more and more popular (1000s of users now), I’m struggling to keep in touch with my plugin users. Gathering some statistics will help me to design my plugins to meet the needs of the users. This is not meant as an invasion of privacy, and you can easily disable it from the options page.
Here is the data it collects and sends:
- Plugin Name
- I plan to eventually add this to more of my plugins, so this is used for me to tell sort the data by plugin.
- Unique identifier
- This is a hash (one way encryption) of the URL and a random number. This simply helps eliminate duplicate info from being added to the pool of data.
- Plugin Version
- Just the version of the plugin.
- PHP Version
- Most of my plugins require PHP 5+, but not all of them and I would like to update the ones that don’t. I’m hoping to see how many users are on an old version of PHP.
- MySQL Version
- Certain database queries can be vastly optimized on newer versions of MySQL, so this information could be very helpful.
- Server Software
- Microsofts IIS can cause a lot of problems for PHP applications, so knowing how many users are using IIS is important.
- Memory Limit
- Your web server puts a limit on the amount of memory a script can use. This plugin should never come close to an average memory limit, but this is a statistic that will be nice to keep in mind as new plugins are developed.
For those that want to know, here is the code that collects the data:
$s['plugin'] = 'Twitter Widget Pro'; $s['id'] = $this-&amp;amp;amp;gt;get_id(); $s['version'] = TWP_VERSION; $s['php_version'] = phpversion(); $s['mysql_version'] = @mysql_get_server_info($wpdb-&amp;amp;amp;gt;dbh); $s['server_software'] = $_SERVER[&amp;amp;amp;quot;SERVER_SOFTWARE&amp;amp;amp;quot;]; $s['memory_limit'] = ini_get('memory_limit');
Please discuss this plugin on the WordPress Twitter Widget