[Chandler-dev] Yet another proposal for Chandler plugins

Heikki Toivonen heikki at osafoundation.org
Fri Feb 9 17:14:59 PST 2007

Andi Vajda wrote:
>   1. Instead of shipping plugins, we should use cheeseshop for publishing
>      plugins:

We discussed this at length with pje and mmmmm in the summer. Back then
the thinking was that we'd do this after Preview. But if someone can
take on this task in Preview timeframe I am all for it.

>   2. We should not ship the "projects" directory but instead create a
>      "plugins" directory into which Chandler plugins would be installed by
>      the end-user downloading them. That directory would be used both by

Ideally we'd have similar system to Mozilla's:

- if you have write access to where Chandler is installed, put  the
plugins in the Chandler source tree
- otherwise put the plugins in the profile directory

When we are loading plugins we look in both places. I'd make profile dir
trump chandler dir for the plugins.

The idea here is that a systems admin can install plugins for all
chandler users in the chandler source tree, while individuals can still
install whatever plugins they want (and their plugins override system
wide plugins if necessary). This makes it also easy for users to
experiment with plugins using dummy profiles.

For Preview I could live with either of those locations if doing both is
too much work.

>   3. We (me) should add a "Plugins" menu / UI facility that scans what
> is in
>      that "plugins" directory so that the end-user can:

As for UI, I'd recommend we take what Firefox has and adapt if needed.

I'd also like to point out that Firefox has a huge number of extensions
and extension developers, and Mozilla Co is not sacrificing the end user
experience or download size in order to cater to these developers. To me
that is a clear indication that we shouldn't either. Meaning, scrap out
everything not needed by users. (Users do need the ability to find and
install plugins, so this cheeseshop thing is great. Developer tools can
be plugins, too).

Mozilla also uses jar files, which are akin to eggs; both are zip
archives. Creating a pure python egg plugin for Chandler is very close
to the experience of creating a pure JavaScript+XUL extension to
Firefox. Things get hairier when you bring in compiled code, in both

  Heikki Toivonen

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