oeps, send reply to doug only
2009/2/9 Doug Blank <firstname.lastname@example.org>Developers,
In thinking about how to handle official/non-official plugins, I'm reminded at how Firefox handles this: they have an easy dialog for searching, selecting, downloading, and upgrading these add-ons. Would you be interested in having the ability to do this built into GRAMPS?
Firefox is huge, we are small though.
I imagine that it would work this way:
1) developers would list their plugins on a wiki page. This would include name, description, version number, and url (in a strict format).
2) a dialog (perhaps on the plugin status window) would read these entries, and compare the name/version with what the user has installed.
3) if a user selected a plugin, it would download the file into their .gramps/plugins directory. (if a zip file, it would unzip and save)
4) a user could remove their local plugin through the GUI
In order to do this, we would need:
a) accessible version numbers for plugins
b) try to make the plugin architecture stable and backwards compatible
c) a gramps version number in the plugin, to known what version of GRAMPS it works with
d) optional: user's local plugins could override earlier versions in system location
This may be one way that user's can upgrade parts of their GRAMPS (get new reports, gramplets, etc) without having to upgrade their entire installation. In asking the gramps-users for FAQs I saw that many people don't upgrade their installation very often.
If one was concerned with security, the wiki page could be edited only by an admin.
This would help it making new, useful plugins quickly available, official, best-of-breed or not.
Let's restart this discussion after 3.1.
I'm not against, but I'm not sure it is worth the bother. Download into the plugins directory now is already very simple, so this automates this. But we need to convince plugin writers to use the methodology we set up. That actually takes effort. Responsibility is also a big one, more so than security. Somebody writes a plugin that eats your data and it was on on our wiki/in a repo we host. Are we then no required to take action ....
The button in the help menu to obtain extra tools/plugins, is not that bad. We do have to make sure this links to a page users connect with. Doing that is probably more advantageous than a technical solution of having the plugin then install automatically.
Things like HotNewStuff in KDE get a lot of attention, but apart from the first time, people probably only run it _after_ then know they want something new. So a news gramplet probably has more effect.