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WordPress 2.2 Feature: Plugin Sandboxing

Mark Jaquith has noted a cool new feature for WordPress 2.2 that some plugin and theme creators are going to love.

So the feature I’ve put into WordPress 2.2 is what I call plugin sandboxing. Before a plugin is activated or a plugin is edited, it is tested in a temporary fashion (that is, without being permanently activated). If it passes the test, it is activated for real. If it doesn’t pass the test (it’s throwing a fatal error that would normally take down your WordPress install), it is deactivated, and you get a nice error message telling you what went wrong. If the fatal error was caused because you edited an active plugin, the “Update File” button changes to “Update File and Attempt to Reactivate,” so that once you correct your typo, the plugin will go back to being activated, without requiring you to go back and manually activate it.
If you never activate a flawed plugin or never make a typo when editing your plugins, you’ll never know this functionality is there. But some day you just might slip up, and now WordPress will cover for you.

This sounds like a really smart feature that is very “why wasn’t this done before!?”
A brilliant move in my mind by the Automattic team.
Note: It wasn’t from the Automattic team, though I guess I just assume that Mark should be…