Introducing recommended plugins in the next Joplin version

A common request from new users is how to know which plugin is safe to install or not. In fact probably all of them are safe but as a new user that's not necessarily easy to know. So to help with this, the next version of Joplin will support recommended plugins - those will be plugins that meet our standards of quality and performance, and they will be indicated by a small crown tag inside the plugin box. Recommended plugins will also appear on top when searching.

For now, since we don't have a review process, the recommended plugins are those developed by the Joplin team and frequent contributors, because we know those are safe to use.

Later we might have a review process and add more recommended plugins. That being said, in the meantime even if a plugin is not marked as recommended, there's a good chance it is still safe and have good performance too. Often you can search for it on the forum and if it's active with many users commenting, you're most likely good to go.

But if there's any doubt, the recommended tag is a good way to be sure.

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This sounds wonderful! "Recomended" is kind of neutral enough so that even that doesn't imply a guarantee. And at the same time it doesn't create doubt about the other plugins.

At risk of sounding nitpicky, but would it be too much of a hussle to change "crown" icon :crown: to checkmark :white_check_mark: ?

Here's an example side by side

Rich Markdown :white_check_mark: Table Formatter :crown:

the why

On many modern messengers and websites checkmark :white_check_mark: is used for something being "authorized". While crown :crown: gives an impression that the plugin requires some sort of "premium subscription" to run it.

It's not that critical in general, so if it's too much, I'm sure people can figure it out themselves.

Otherwise, it is really nice touch of you to care so much about new users. Thank you as always!

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I fully agree with the check mark vs crown symbol. Also, rather than "recommend", you might consider using the phrase "user verified" or just "verified". I'm not sure if that would clash with whitewall's comment though :slightly_smiling_face:

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Yes maybe, I made it a star :star: initially but it looks like something to be clicked on to add the plugin to favourites, so instead I went for the crown like on Firefox Add-ons. I'm wondering if the checkbox would have the same problem - people would expect it can be tick off or on?

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Both the name "recommended" and the crown is something I've actually borrowed from Firefox Add-on.

I suppose "recommended" is immediately clear to most users since it's common on pretty much all app stores. It's true that in our case it's slightly different because we don't worry if the plugin is useful or not for example, just that it's reliable and safe to use. "Verified" would be more precise but also less obvious I think.

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That's exactly what i thought. I wasn't so crazy about the crown, but I couldn't come up with anything else. A shield? But I think if it works for Firefox it is fine for Joplin.

Right, agree with that :slight_smile: Besides whitewall had some good points (first reply to this thread), so... good choice :smiley:

Thank you for considering users unfamiliar with nowadays trends. I agree, it's indeed a valid concern. As I'm not a UX specialist and I'm not so sure how to properly get around this situation. I'd like to summon @uxamanda for an opinion if she has time.

As of now, my approach would be just to copy market leaders solution. In most cases, they seem to make the checkmark small enough to reduce the accessibility of clicking on it. Also to make it extra clear, short description might be spelled in front of the tag (best on mobile) or on hover:

Rich Markdown :heavy_check_mark: verified
Rich Markdown :heavy_check_mark: endorsed by Joplin
Rich Markdown Editors' Choice

Here's a few examples of verified accounts' visualization:

Yeah, I'm aware that all of those are account verification, not plugin or app verification. :man_shrugging: It's the best I come up with as a complete stranger to design world.

P.S. about the star :star:, I suppose it's best to provision it for future plugin reviews or ratings.
P.P.S. sorry for centering all the discussion in this thread on this minor thing.

(+ 1) for the check mark. The crown abdicated.

Will recommended plugins come with any commitment to long-term maintenance? It's always painful in any application to start using a plugin and then find it breaks with the next major release. So it would be good for users to know where they stand.

Seems like there is prior art with the crown, so makes sense to me. Agree that the checkmark looks actionable, so unless it is surrounded in a unique shape (i.e. GitHub), the crown is better.

Actually Firefox makes a distinction between recommended and verified extensions. And the badges aim to reflect the meaning. And it is not crown anymore, by the way))

See here: Add-on Badges | Firefox Help

I am for something other than the check-mark, as those extensions have not been verified.

Edit: Seems like English docs has changed - please check the Russian page.

Personally, I do not care very much about crown vs. check mark although I do think the crown is superior since, as a note taking app, people are using check marks in their notes, and a check mark's mean could imply "you already have this" rather than "we recommend this."

That being said, the real feature I am interested in is the ability to browse plugins. Right now you have to search and thus have an idea of what you are looking for, as opposed to looking to see what is out there.

You can browse the plugins there, although this list doesn't yet include the recommended tag: https://github.com/joplin/plugins/blob/master/README.md#plugins

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You can also trick the search into becoming browse by searching for a space (literally typing in a space character). This shows all of them since they all have a space somewhere in their description.

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