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I'm making a WordPress plugin to get a notification when the plugin is installed.

I'm using is_plugin_active but I still do not understand...

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Where do you want to show the notification? As admin notice? –  toscho Jun 11 '13 at 8:17
    
Note, if your plugin is hosted on WordPress.org or just about any plugin marketplace, this practice is not permitted. –  Pippin Jun 28 '13 at 17:06
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I do not recommand using is_plugin_active() because if you rename your plugin directory which is done sometimes for security needs you're screwed.

If I were you I'd look into plugin you want to detect and select a core class or a core function of the plugin and test it with if(class_exists('name_of_the_class')) or if(function_exists('name_of_the_function')).

Hope this will help, that how I proceed.

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