Hanging around the WP support forum has been pretty cool in many different ways. For one, I guess you never stop learning :), and secondly you get to see how varied the support issues are, from bug notifications to theme problems.

Lately I have been thinking quite a lot about the concept of plugins. But the fact of the matter is not everyone wants the same plugin functionality, even if they do, they want it to be customizable to “their” WP. This is where the disadvantages start kicking in, obviously to make a plugin highly flexible and entirely customizable is not that simple.

I am more accustomed to modifying the core itself according to the requirements. This offers some advantages although there are a few sore points that stand out. For one, the issue of customization is not that serious anymore, since you are already hacking into the core code, customizing should be simple enough given the grasp of the technical stuff or at least an exact set of instructions on how to do something should suffice.

Obviously, core upgrade is a huge problem, but then this happens to a certain extent with plugins as well, as evident with the release of WP 2.0. But on the brighter side, if you have already done “stuff” to your core, you should know enough to make the appropriate changes again.

Another advantage with modifying the core is that you are not limited by say Template Tags or specific function calls, you can do what you want, how you want it. This appeals to me more, simply because I have control over every aspect of the code and what it does. This stands out extremely well with the Template Tags, there are a gazillion ways that users want something to work. Now the Template Tags concept is highly flexible, but still there are many requests for something out of the framework. When I see such requests, its frustrating in a way because, the requirements are sometimes very simple, and might need changing a line or two of the core to obtain the expected results but there is no way to implement the functionality in terms of Template tags.

There are obviously more aspects that I am outlining to this issue, but in the end I guess the ultimate factor is how comfortable you are doing/using either of the method. I have cut down on hacking the core nowadays if I need something done, but the temptation does occur when I know that I could get it done in no time hacking the core, but will need more time in terms of development or customization if I were to count in “re-usability”.

There is also the other factor of how much fun it is to write/modify code 😀 .. that does add more weight to hacking rather than obtaining say a plugin and changing some configuration values .. (bleeecchh) …