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Anyone have a tried method of testing plugins to determine whether or not they make changes to your file-system, database, or both? I think this would be useful for larger websites where files may be handled in version control and changes to files on the server from a plugin need to be accounted for.

Maybe plugin authors should be encouraged to be more explicit in how their plugin affects your site in the plugin descriptions, FAQs, etc...

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Such tracking is not practical, at least not in context of WordPress. When we use software we don't fully realize just how much activity is going on behind the scenes. Tracking it is massive overhead and can easily ruin performance.

I remember plugin that use checksum-based verification on WordPress files, but I don't know if it is practical to try and extend it to handle non-core stuff.

Basically any kind of such tracking is way out of WordPress context (as for me).

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    Don't think this is talking about tracking (ie monitoring live calls to the db / file system). Sounds to me like a pre-install audit process that looks for file system and database calls and produces a report perhaps.
    – anu
    Apr 1, 2011 at 17:32
  • yes, a pre-install audit, as @anu understands. Apr 4, 2011 at 17:25

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