Most of my work on the project was behind-the-scenes stuff that Michael Adams assembled and Matt Thomas made shiny, so the end result was a pleasant surprise for me. Nice work, guys!
The directory acts as a front-end to wp-plugins.org. The main conduit connecting the two is the readme.txt format that evolved on the wp-hackers mailing list and with discussions between Matt Mullenweg, Michael Adams and me. The format is quasi-Markdown. The main sections are fully parsed with Markdown, but the headings themselves are a bit different and there is a section at the top for meta information that is proprietary. But the goal is the same as with Markdown: human readability. The
readme.txt files should look nice and elegant to people who are reading them in a text editor, and they should be translated into nice semantic HTML versions for the plugin directory. Here’s the readme.txt for my Subscribe to Comments plugin. And here is the result of that file, parsed into the plugin directory.
This is only round one… the dangling of a carrot in front of plugin developers, trying to convince them to update their plugins with nice readme.txt files. The real exciting step is connecting WordPress to the plugin directory, which will allow for plugin update notification. I’d also like to see the directory interface with Trac somehow so that users can report and track bugs in plugins. Stay tuned!