Wordpress plugin technical reports

Introducing technical reports for plugins

Over at wpplugincheck we’ve recently  introduced Technical reports for selected plugins. Here’s how it looks like in the wild:

Plugin technical reports
Plugin technical reports

Currently we have rolled out this feature for only a few selected plugins such as:

We use Phpmetrics to show the data for Lines of code(loc), Cyclomatic complexity(CC), code violations and the Cylcomatic complexity chart. Importantly, we don’t consider these metrics in our ratings unless they are wayy off the baseline in their category.

Lines of code

Show how many lines of code has been counted inside the plugin folder. Also includes dependencies directly used by the plugin.

Cyclomatic complexity

This one is a bit hard to understand. It basically means how complex the codebase is, however you should not conclude anything from that unless the CC number is fairly away from the deviation(curerntly the average for plugins is around 9).

Here’s a nice eli5 from reddit about the CC number.

CC Chart

Show the chart based on the CC number as generated by phpmetrics.

Code Violations

Shows how many speculated bugs and errors are present in the code. Note that there’s no real way of knowing the actual number of bugs unless the code is manually inspected.

Other than that, we try to figure out whether the plugin is using custom database tables or not. We also describe where the plugin stores the data. Most plugins store data inside the postmeta or termmeta data, or create a custom post type. However, a lot of the bigger plugins create their own database, possibly due to performance issues.

I’m still collecting feedback from other people regarding this report. Drop me a line if you would like new features like this.