20 Pressbooks Plugins Policy

Pressbooks hosted networks have access to a number of plugins that are either endorsed or developed by Pressbooks. However, some plugins are not available on hosted Pressbooks networks.

Pressbooks categorizes plugins as follows:

  • Disallowed: the plugin has security, performance or compatibility issues, does not work as intended, or is not open source. Pressbooks may offer to develop an alternative solution or fix the issues with the plugin at additional costs.
  • Installed: the plugin meets basic criteria and is essential for the client. Pressbooks will install it on the network but will not ensure its ongoing compatibility with Pressbooks. Most plugins in this category should be temporary, until Pressbooks replaces them with a better alternative.
  • Endorsed: third-party plugins that work well, and have been tested and found compatible with Pressbooks functionalities, in particular the supported export formats. Pressbooks does not provide user support for these plugins.
  • Developed: these are plugins developed by Pressbooks. We ensure they are kept up to date and compatible with Pressbooks features, and provide user support.

Pressbooks maintains the Pressbooks-developed plugins to ensure they are functional and compatible with core Pressbooks functionality. Pressbooks will make reasonable efforts to ensure its core functionalities are compatible with endorsed plugins.

Plugin request and approval process

For security, compatibility and performance reasons, Pressbooks restricts the range of plugins that are included on the hosted networks.

Pressbooks hosted networks clients may request plugins, whether developed by Pressbooks clients themselves or third parties, by submitting them for evaluation through the following process:

  1. Plugin requests are submitted via Google form with the details of the plugin
  2. Upon receiving the plugin request, Pressbooks will evaluate the request and respond with one of the following answers:
    1. Pressbooks will endorse the plugin
    2. Pressbooks will endorse the plugin after custom development. Pressbooks will then provide work and deadline estimates.
    3. Pressbooks will not allow the plugin on the network (see “Disallowed” category in the section above).
  3. Pressbooks-endorsed plugins may then be made available on other Pressbooks-hosted networks.

Open Source users may submit plugin requests on Pressbooks’ GitHub repository for ideas: https://github.com/pressbooks/ideas

Plugins evaluation criteria for third-party plugins

Basic criteria

Plugins that do not meet these basic criteria are automatically disallowed:

  • Is Open Source
  • Is actively maintained
  • Meets WordPress plugin standards
  • Meets Pressbooks plugin standards (for Pressbooks-specific plugins)
    • Performance (server-side)
    • Security and Privacy
    • Compatibility with multisite, bedrock installation

Additional criteria (1)

  • Works minimally (technically does what it’s supposed to do)
  • May work for some output/export formats only

Plugins that meet these above additional criteria may be installed on the network if the client is migrating an existing network to Pressbooks and the plugins are essential for the client at the time of purchase. Pressbooks may work with the client to phase out these plugins and transition to a Pressbooks-developed or endorsed plugin.

Please see the support policy for these plugins in the section below: Plugins policy for installed (custom) plugins.

Additional criteria (2)

  • Works well from a user perspective (does what it’s supposed to do, well)
  • Good User Experience
  • Works on all output/export formats
  • Useful for core Pressbooks tasks
  • Factor that will be considered: widespread adoption in the open source community

Plugins that meet these above additional criteria will be endorsed by Pressbooks and may be offered to all Pressbooks customers. Examples: H5P, Hypothesis, TablePress, QuickLatex

Potential charges

In some cases, a plugin may require additional work before it can be usable on Pressbooks. We will inform you if charges for dev time would be required if the plugin:

  • Requires interface modifications to Pressbooks
  • Requires development to work on all export formats
  • Needs modifications for security, performance, or other reasons

Plugins policy for installed (custom) plugins

Pressbooks ensures that core Pressbooks functionalities work with Pressbooks-developed or endorsed plugins.

Pressbooks does not test, verify or otherwise ensure the working state of custom plugins it allows to be installed but does not endorse, nor does it ensure their compatibility with current or future Pressbooks releases. These plugins are only installed in exceptional circumstances.

Institutions using non-Pressbooks-developed or endorsed plugins on Pressbooks-hosted networks are responsible for:

  • Testing the custom plugins
  • Maintaining the custom plugins’ compatibility with PB
  • Ensuring the security of the custom plugins

Pressbooks advises institutions using installed custom plugins to provide Pressbooks with documentation detailing where the plugin integrates with Pressbooks, so that we may be vigilant when making modifications to Pressbooks.

Should a Pressbooks hosted network require Pressbooks’ development team to perform support, maintenance, bug fixes, or other work on a non-PB-endorsed or developed custom plugin:

  • Pressbooks may require the client to purchase an hour bank to cover support costs. This hour bank is non-refundable and expires one year after purchase.
  • Technical support will be charged at $200/hour
  • Support will be charged whenever a client files a bug report and Pressbooks diagnoses the problem as resulting from the custom plugin, even if no further corrective action is taken on Pressbooks’ part. Time spent diagnosing such problems may be charged against the hour bank without the client’s specific prior authorization.
  • Pressbooks may, at its discretion, offer a solution to the reported bug, regardless of whether the fix must be made in Pressbooks or in the plugin. If the fix requires significant work, Pressbooks will seek the client’s authorization to charge it against the hour bank.
  • Pressbooks will keep and make available to the client an itemized list of charges made against the hour bank

Plugins updates policy and process

Pressbooks-developed plugins

Any modifications and updates to Pressbooks-developed plugins will automatically be tested and updated on Pressbooks-hosted networks. Pressbooks generally rolls out updates on its networks on Wednesdays.

Pressbooks-endorsed plugins

Whenever possible, Pressbooks monitors the update status of its endorsed plugins. Pressbooks will make reasonable efforts to test and roll out new plugin versions within 30 days of the update date.

Pressbooks may choose to not update a plugin if testing reveals compatibility issues with Pressbooks functionalities.

Installed (custom) plugins

Pressbooks does not monitor the update status of installed plugins. It is the client’s responsibility to inform Pressbooks and request updates when new versions are released.

License

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The Pressbooks Network Manager's Guide by Pressbooks is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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