Re: Rise of the Plugins

On Fri, 2007-05-18 at 00:50 +0400, Nickolay V. Shmyrev wrote:
> В Чтв, 17/05/2007 в 18:26 +0200, Vincent Untz пишет:
> > Hey,
> > 
> > It's great to see more and more applications creating a plugin
> > architecture. However, I think it's worth discussing a bit some of the
> > issues we're facing wrt plugins. I'm just raising three points to start
> > the discussion, but there are probably other interesting items that are
> > worth discussing.


> > All this needs to be discussed, and we can probably determine what makes
> > sense, and what we can do to make this kind of feature work better in
> > GNOME.
> > 
> > Thanks,
> > 
> > Vincent
> Although problem with GUI library with widgets for GNOME desktop is
> important it's probably a subject for another discussion. Yes, we need a
> library with quickly maintained but not probably stable widgets. Without
> extensive testing it's hard to write a stable interface for GTK. But
> here I think the third issue is more important - is plugin framework
> really required?
> A few bad properties of plugins:


> 3. They are hard to find out. When user installs application it should
> just work as expected nothing more. I remember I spent several hours
> trying to find out they way to export certificate from epiphany. Of
> course the first thing you might do is to search menu item for plugins.
> Also you can try to adjust dozen option in your app? Isn't it easier to
> move to another desktop environment. 

Related to this are documentation issues.  Currently, the only
way to have your plugin documented is for it to ship its own
document.  The user, of course, will not find this document
unless she already knows to look at your plugin for whatever
it is she's trying to do.  She'll never find your document
from the application's documentation.

This is one of the issues that Mallard[1] is designed to
solve.  Using Mallard documents, your plugin would be able
to install pages into the application's documentation, and
users would stand a chance of discovering your plugin when
they're reading that documentation.

So, you know, if anybody is sitting here thinking "Plugins
are wicked cool, and I want more of them, and I really like
good documentation, and gee what can I do to help?" then
hop on over to gnome-doc-devel-list.  Just a shameless
plug from your friendly neighborhood documentation guy.



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