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?

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.