Two situations have arisen where we feel it would be best to clarify the guidelines a little.
Guideline 4: Human Readability
We strongly feel that one of the strengths of open source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. is the ability to review, observe, and adapt code. By maintaining a public directory of freely available code, we encourage and welcome future developers to engage with WordPress and push it forward.
However with the advent of larger and larger plugins using more complex libraries, people are making proper use of build tools (such as npm) to generate their distributed production code. In order to balance the need to keep plugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party sizes smaller while still encouraging open source development, we will be requiring plugins to make the source code to any compressed files available.
For example, if you’ve made a Gutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ plugin and used npm and webpack to compress and minify it, you must either include the source code within the published plugin or provide access to a public maintained source that can be reviewed, studied, and yes, forked.
We strongly recommend you include directions on the use of any build tools to encourage future developers.
Guideline 5: Trialware
Historically we’ve not permitted test or trial plugins that arbitrarily limit usage, and then upsell, to be included in the directory. The primary reason we don’t permit this is that locking people down to a specific number of (say) images is foolish and a pointless endeavour. People can, and will, fork your locked plugin and unlock it, as well they should. That said, we’ve always allowed (and will continue to) plugins that offer a free limited service (think Akismet for a good example).
Related to this are ‘sandbox’ plugins, used for testing. For example, if your plugin only accessed the Instagram Sandbox API An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways., and included upsells about a pro version that allowed full access, you would be a trial plugin. Since they are easily abused as turning the directory into a marketplace, we have modified the 5th guideline to address this more clearly.