Dark Mode Plugin Repurposed and Relabelled to WP Markdown Editor, Modification Leaves Users Baffled

In 2015, I asked Pub readers if WordPress need to alert end-users when a plugin’s owner modifications. The post was not totally based upon theory. There have actually been some cases of real-world confusion. The agreement from the talk about that post appeared to be that, yes, such notices would be welcome.

When I composed that post, there was currently another plugin altering hands. Dark Mode, which had actually grown in appeal in its earlier years, had a brand-new owner, WPPool. There were no public alerts of this ownership modification. A simple GitHub problem submitted, a corner of the web that couple of users endeavor.

Quick forward a couple of months, and Dark Mode had not just altered owners, however it likewise had a brand-new name and set of functions unassociated to the plugin’s initial guarantee. The plugin is now called WP Markdown Editor and packages a minimum of part of the commercially readily available Iceberg Editor plugin. It is likewise a minimal variation in which users are triggered to update for the total function set.

WP Markdown Editor plugin in
WP Markdown Editor (previously Dark Mode). Iceberg is certified under the GPL variation 2, so it is legal for anybody to fork it. There does not appear to be any reference of the copyright, and just a couple of referrals to the initial item stay in the source code. While I did not carry out a line-by-line contrast, it is plainly a fork when analyzing both plugins. The business has actually likewise constructed upon it with brand-new functions. Iceberg Editor.”We have actually just recently included efficiency noises, brand-new font styles (more legibility and one for Dyslexic users), which we believe certainly includes worth to brand-new users,”stated the WPPool Group [

1] WPPool revealed the WP Markdown Editor plugin in November 2020. The post was composed as if it was a brand-new item. Technically, it was, however there was no reference of repurposing an existing plugin to introduce the functions. The business connected to the Dark Mode plugin owner in August 2020, which appeared to have actually altered hands a number of times, a minimum of.”

The plugin was ceased, doing not have security updates, compatibility with most current PHP variations, and the job was deserted,”stated the WP Swimming pool Group.”And, because the last couple of updates, it appeared that Classic Editor is not going to remain the exact same. Gutenberg was the future, and we wished to offer users a Dark Mode for Gutenberg also.

Screenshot of WP Markdown Editor (formerly Dark Mode) after changes went live. Mostly 1/5 stars.
“WPPool had the ability to embrace the plugin. The business kept the Dark Mode function initial to the plugin. They ultimately started adding on brand-new functions.” Our objective was to include more functions on top of it,”stated the WPPool Group.”

Why not develop a brand-new plugin? Since the plugin was currently being deserted, and we believed why not include some more functions, keep the old performance undamaged too, and put routine updates?”The modification plainly left some users baffled and disappointed about what was occurring with the plugin. Lots of had actually installed it in hopes of having a basic approach of toggling on a dark mode for the WordPress admin user interface. Evaluations after the modification. The plugin now has an”Only Dark Mode” setting, an alternative that users can make it possible for to get rid of the extra functions. It is disabled by default. When inquired about whether the addition of relatively unassociated functions mistreated user trust, the WPPool Group responded,” The issue was, because the last couple of updates of Gutenberg and Classic Editor– Classic Editor utilizes an iframe to fill its material.

It’s not possible for the Dark Mode plugin to serve the Dark Mode in Classic Editor any longer. That’s why some users were actually annoyed. We actually strove to bring back that performance to Classic Editor too, however the method it is, we could not discover a method to conjure up Dark Mode on Classic Editor.”While some assistance concerns and evaluations show theaggravation with losing Classic Editor assistance, numerous others questioned the addition of functions that make little sense as part of a dark-mode plugin

.”This utilized to be a dark mode function plugin, and now it’s been developed into a Markdown editor,”composed Derrick Tennant, an earlier factor to the plugin.”A total bait and switch.”Another user called rehoff had comparable issues, mentioning, “I still think that it is not ok to so significantly repurpose an otherwise popular plugin. I discover it deceptive.”

Back to the initial concern I positioned in 2015, another user summarized the response with an evaluation entitled “This plugin has actually been cost sure.”

In personal, someone has actually stated that it seems like the group is profiting from the plugin’s active set up base, which presently sits at 3,000+.

Contributing to the possible confusion, the business has a unassociated and different plugin called WP Dark Mode. A customer kept in mind on that plugin:

This exact same designer had actually another plugin called Dark Mode. They obviously offered the plugin to somebody and now it’s a random Markdown plugin with a dreadful UI. Suddenly, this random Markdown editor that I do not require or desire is on my site.Who understands

what this plugin will end up being when they get enough users and choose to CA$ H IN AGAIN??

If you like having actually random plugins set up on your website, provide it a try. Otherwise it might be best to search for a various service.

This case is special due to the fact that the Dark Mode plugin was as soon as a function proposition for core WordPress. Daniel James, the initial developer, began the procedure to make this a truth in 2018. There was assistance for the concept, however it never ever leapt the difficulties required for addition or a more official proposition.

James put the plugin up for adoption in 2019, mentioning that he was going back from plugin advancement however hoped that somebody would choose it up. David Gwyer selected it up quickly after, ultimately making 2 updates to the plugin. The plugin’s dedicate history programs that Tennant began contributing a number of months later on in the past WPPool arrived on the scene.

While Dark Mode was never ever formally backed by WordPress or okayed for combining into the core platform, there was still a level of trust that some may anticipate from a plugin that was at least proposed as a function.

Maybe this is among those cases where an ownership-change notice would have been necessitated, however that notification would not have actually resolved the problems that came months later on.

The designers did keep in mind the brand-new Markdown editor in the plugin’s modification log: “New: Compose post/ page with markdown syntax (Markdown Editor).” It is skeptical the typical user comprehended or checked out what that suggested. Perhaps a more comprehensive disclosure system is required, and would such a system cover cases where plugins are repurposed?

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