Plugin Management

This is sparked by a comment in the recent "'regexp' and 'useful' plugins available" post, and details a pet peeve of mine re: IDEA.

Keep in mind that I've never looked at the plugin API, nor have I rooted around in the plugin jar files, so everything I write here is from the point of view of a user, not a plugin developer. Some of this stuff may already be available in Aurora (which I don't use),and some it may be available in Ariadne -- I'm more than willing to be told I'm an idiot, in other words.

I'm constantly surprised by the state of IDEA's plugin management, both at www.intellij.org and in the app itself, especially when it's already been done so well by other projects.

For a good example of a plugin manager that works, and works well, see jEdit (http://www.jedit.org). The big (non-API-related) plugin items I see missing in IDEA at the moment are:

1) the ability to install, update, and remove plugins from within the application; the list of plugins should show the complete set of potential plugins and mark those that are installed
2) the ability to get simple, human-readable plugin descriptions while installing
3) the ability for plugins to have dependencies, which are automatically marked and installed when necessaryjn
4) the ability for plugins to include easily-reachable help documentation that lives in a submenu of the 'Help' menu
5) a central, consistently updated repository of plugin information on the web, which serves to duplicate the information available from the in-program plugin manager. all the information available in one should be available in the other.

I know I'm missing things here -- jEdit's plugin management is really well done -- but that's the gist of it.

I see two ways to approach "fixing" something like this, assuming people see this as an area that needs fixing.

The first would be by creating a community-run plugin management plugin and an associated website that provided all the right information and download access to the plugins. You could, in fact, provide all the functionality listed above without any explicit help from IDEA.

The other way, and arguably the 'correct' way, is for IDEA to have a built-in plugin manager; that's the only way I envision something like this becoming really useful, since it's the only way to ensure that plugin authors actually provide things like descriptions and help files and dependency information.

Anyway. I'm just rambling, and thinking fondly of one of the only things I really miss from jEdit.

- a.

20 comments
Comment actions Permalink

Hello,

We already discuss it, but it stoped, i don't know way.
So, let's start it again and try to define all requirements for plugin
repository.

Also, i have been some solution (it not good, just temparary) in TWiki site.
Each plugin must have TWiki topic, whihin special Web Form to clariffy TWiki
topic as plugin topic. Follow i perform search by meta field in each topic
in TWiki site and collect all plugin topics.
The results show in table at
http://www.intellij.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/IntelliJPluginsHome, also i have
"plain" XML list search results at
http://www.intellij.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/IntelliJPluginPackageXML?skin=plain

Now we can cacth all plugins from TWiki by XML parsing.

Second, where are PluginManager plugin writen before. It have special shared
XML file to list of plugins, but it forgoten and i not listen about it
development for Aurora.
http://www.intellij.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/PluginManager

Also i try to start some discussion on
http://www.intellij.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/PluginManagerBrainstorming but
it also forgoten...

So, will be very good if we start discussion and accept some recomendation
for plugin repository etc.

Thank you!

--
Alexey Efimov, Software Engineer
Sputnik Labs,
http://www.spklabs.com


0
Comment actions Permalink

Alexei
that is all about managing the "repository". And that is important.
However, in the original message I heard one step further:
- how to manage plugins in IDEA (install, uninstall, check versions,
upgrade, enable, disable and configure)
That functionality, of course, needs good structured information
about plugins available, but it cannot be implemented (I believe)
as a plugin itself (dynamic loading and unloading of plugins).

My point is - if we get the Speedy Brains to introduce some sort
of plugin manager module, then it is just a matter of time till
all working plugins would switch to whatever the metainfo this
manager would need.
Any unofficial plugin manager written by you or me would be definitely
ignored by half the plugin developers and someone would have to
maintain the metadata.

Just my 1.99 cents

r.


Alexey Efimov wrote:

Hello,

We already discuss it, but it stoped, i don't know way.
So, let's start it again and try to define all requirements for plugin
repository.

Also, i have been some solution (it not good, just temparary) in TWiki site.
Each plugin must have TWiki topic, whihin special Web Form to clariffy TWiki
topic as plugin topic. Follow i perform search by meta field in each topic
in TWiki site and collect all plugin topics.
The results show in table at
http://www.intellij.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/IntelliJPluginsHome, also i have
"plain" XML list search results at
http://www.intellij.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/IntelliJPluginPackageXML?skin=plain

Now we can cacth all plugins from TWiki by XML parsing.

Second, where are PluginManager plugin writen before. It have special shared
XML file to list of plugins, but it forgoten and i not listen about it
development for Aurora.
http://www.intellij.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/PluginManager

Also i try to start some discussion on
http://www.intellij.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/PluginManagerBrainstorming but
it also forgoten...

So, will be very good if we start discussion and accept some recomendation
for plugin repository etc.

Thank you!


0
Comment actions Permalink

In article <14407958.1063934555717.JavaMail.itn@is.intellij.net>,
Andrew Houghton <no_mail@jetbrains.com> wrote:

For a good example of a plugin manager that works, and works well, see jEdit
(http://www.jedit.org).


+ 1 billion

The big (non-API-related) plugin items I see missing
in IDEA at the moment are:

1) the ability to install, update, and remove plugins from within the
application; the list of plugins should show the complete set of potential
plugins and mark those that are installed
2) the ability to get simple, human-readable plugin descriptions while
installing
3) the ability for plugins to have dependencies, which are automatically
marked and installed when necessaryjn
4) the ability for plugins to include easily-reachable help documentation
that lives in a submenu of the 'Help' menu
5) a central, consistently updated repository of plugin information on the
web, which serves to duplicate the information available from the in-program
plugin manager. all the information available in one should be available in
the other.


6) The ability for IDEA to import plugins from the previous install,
perhaps checking if they are compatible with the current build. I used
to use a lot of plugins, but after IDEA kept deleting them, I only use
the one or two that I know I really need.

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Comment actions Permalink

Just to clarify - last time I used jEdit's plugin manager, it didn't do dynamic loading and unloading. It's a nice idea, but significantly more difficult to do than the base set of functionality.

Not that I'm asking JetBrains not to consider how to structure something like that. :)

0
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One thing I see missing in the TWiki management is version numbering. If I were to design a schema for this kind of metadata, I'd be looking for:

1. an id
2. a short name
3. a version (numeric)
4. a description
5. a list of keywords
6. a list of dependencies (by id #)
7. a list of the IDEA releases it works with -- not sure how to structure that..
8. a URL for the downloadable plugin source
9. a URL for the downloadable plugin binary
10. a URL for a human-oriented website regarding the plugin
11. an email address for the plugin author

This is fairly obviously over-engineered, but it's the kind of info I could imagine being really useful to people looking for plugins via a GUI.

- a.

0
Comment actions Permalink

There is a SCR in ITN about plugin manager: http://www.intellij.net/tracker/idea/viewSCR?publicId=6487

It's assigned to me and I'll implement this feature after Error-Reporting system will be done :)

Some part of Plugin Manager is already implemented and located on http://plugins.intellij.net


--
Best regards,

Stanislav Davydov
JetBrains, Inc


0
Comment actions Permalink


Stanislav Davydov (JetBrains) wrote:

Some part of Plugin Manager is already implemented and located on http://plugins.intellij.net

>
Cool. That sounds and looks very promising. Looking forward to it.

Sascha


0
Comment actions Permalink


Stanislav Davydov (JetBrains) wrote:

Some part of Plugin Manager is already implemented and located on http://plugins.intellij.net

>
Cool. That sounds and looks very promising. Looking forward to it.

Sascha



0
Comment actions Permalink

Andrew Houghton wrote:

This is sparked by a comment in the recent "'regexp' and 'useful' plugins available" post, and details a pet peeve of mine re: IDEA.

Keep in mind that I've never looked at the plugin API, nor have I rooted around in the plugin jar files, so everything I write here is from the point of view of a user, not a plugin developer. Some of this stuff may already be available in Aurora (which I don't use),and some it may be available in Ariadne -- I'm more than willing to be told I'm an idiot, in other words.

I'm constantly surprised by the state of IDEA's plugin management, both at www.intellij.org and in the app itself, especially when it's already been done so well by other projects.

For a good example of a plugin manager that works, and works well, see jEdit (http://www.jedit.org). The big (non-API-related) plugin items I see missing in IDEA at the moment are:

1) the ability to install, update, and remove plugins from within the application; the list of plugins should show the complete set of potential plugins and mark those that are installed
2) the ability to get simple, human-readable plugin descriptions while installing
3) the ability for plugins to have dependencies, which are automatically marked and installed when necessaryjn
4) the ability for plugins to include easily-reachable help documentation that lives in a submenu of the 'Help' menu
5) a central, consistently updated repository of plugin information on the web, which serves to duplicate the information available from the in-program plugin manager. all the information available in one should be available in the other.

I know I'm missing things here -- jEdit's plugin management is really well done -- but that's the gist of it.

I see two ways to approach "fixing" something like this, assuming people see this as an area that needs fixing.

The first would be by creating a community-run plugin management plugin and an associated website that provided all the right information and download access to the plugins. You could, in fact, provide all the functionality listed above without any explicit help from IDEA.

The other way, and arguably the 'correct' way, is for IDEA to have a built-in plugin manager; that's the only way I envision something like this becoming really useful, since it's the only way to ensure that plugin authors actually provide things like descriptions and help files and dependency information.

Anyway. I'm just rambling, and thinking fondly of one of the only things I really miss from jEdit.

- a.


While looking at jEdit (I haven't), take a look also at Eclipse, and
contrast it with Netbeans. Both have most of the infrastructure that you
mention - good guidelines for developers, plugin managers, disablers,
uninstallers, help integration. The difference is in presentation. The
plugin descriptors for both are ultimately XML files. Netbeans expects
developers to be savvy enough to manipulate that XML. Eclipse mines the
XML and presents a wizard much like the project setup wizard, much more
intuitive to follow and to hide details until you need them. It almost
makes you WANT to write a plugin.


Sumit.




Attachment(s):
plugin.gif
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Comment actions Permalink

Wow!!!
Amaizing! :)

Thank you very much!!

--
Alexey Efimov, Software Engineer
Sputnik Labs,
http://www.spklabs.com
"Stanislav Davydov (JetBrains)" <stathik@intellij.com> wrote in message
news:bkflk6$96e$1@is.intellij.net...

There is a SCR in ITN about plugin manager:

http://www.intellij.net/tracker/idea/viewSCR?publicId=6487
>

It's assigned to me and I'll implement this feature after Error-Reporting

system will be done :)
>

Some part of Plugin Manager is already implemented and located on

http://plugins.intellij.net
>
>

--
Best regards,

>

Stanislav Davydov
JetBrains, Inc

>
>


0
Comment actions Permalink

Oops, some issues:

link to add plugin must be
http://plugins.intellij.net/plugins/new
now it http://plugins/new
Also for all other links (add version, add category)

Adding, deleting and editing must be under security ;)

And also, did you provide import to this plugin cetral from intellij.org?
See
http://www.intellij.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/IntelliJPluginPackageXML?skin=plain

Please add source ZIP file uploading.
Thanks!

--
Alexey Efimov, Software Engineer
Sputnik Labs,
http://www.spklabs.com
"Stanislav Davydov (JetBrains)" <stathik@intellij.com> wrote in message
news:bkflk6$96e$1@is.intellij.net...

There is a SCR in ITN about plugin manager:

http://www.intellij.net/tracker/idea/viewSCR?publicId=6487
>

It's assigned to me and I'll implement this feature after Error-Reporting

system will be done :)
>

Some part of Plugin Manager is already implemented and located on

http://plugins.intellij.net
>
>

--
Best regards,

>

Stanislav Davydov
JetBrains, Inc

>
>


0
Comment actions Permalink

Stanislav,

> It's assigned to me and I'll ...

Often, one image, replaces many many words.
Example :
http://www.intellij.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/LineUpAndDownMoverPlugin

Request:
-


Whatever solution/design you come up with, let the user put images and
formating (color, ..) in his text.
This is one advantage of the wiki you cannot afford to loose.


Alain

0
Comment actions Permalink

+1

IntelliJ IDEA is really behind other tools (Eclipse, JEdit) in organizing, managing, and installing plugins.

JetBrains should really put some effort on improving plugin management. I think the ROI will be 10X or more from increased use of plugins and more motivated plugin writers.

0
Comment actions Permalink

1) Thank you, it will be fixed.

2) intellij.org plugin central doesn't have any security too ;)

3) Yes.

4) To be discussed

"Alexey Efimov" <aefimov@spklabs.com> wrote in message news:bkm64f$g4l$1@is.intellij.net...

Oops, some issues:

>

link to add plugin must be
http://plugins.intellij.net/plugins/new
now it http://plugins/new
Also for all other links (add version, add category)

>

Adding, deleting and editing must be under security ;)

>

And also, did you provide import to this plugin cetral from intellij.org?
See
http://www.intellij.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/IntelliJPluginPackageXML?skin=plain

>

Please add source ZIP file uploading.
Thanks!

>

--
Alexey Efimov, Software Engineer
Sputnik Labs,
http://www.spklabs.com
"Stanislav Davydov (JetBrains)" <stathik@intellij.com> wrote in message
news:bkflk6$96e$1@is.intellij.net...

There is a SCR in ITN about plugin manager:

http://www.intellij.net/tracker/idea/viewSCR?publicId=6487
>

It's assigned to me and I'll implement this feature after Error-Reporting

system will be done :)
>

Some part of Plugin Manager is already implemented and located on

http://plugins.intellij.net
>
>

--
Best regards,

>

Stanislav Davydov
JetBrains, Inc

>
>

>
>


0
Comment actions Permalink

Stanislav,

Does it central work now? I see empty list...
No plugins, no categories... that happend? :((

I hope not somethink serious

--
Alexey Efimov, Software Engineer
Sputnik Labs,
http://www.spklabs.com
"Stanislav Davydov (JetBrains)" <stathik@intellij.com> wrote in message
news:bkpa20$l42$1@is.intellij.net...

1) Thank you, it will be fixed.

>

2) intellij.org plugin central doesn't have any security too ;)

>

3) Yes.

>

4) To be discussed

>

"Alexey Efimov" <aefimov@spklabs.com> wrote in message

news:bkm64f$g4l$1@is.intellij.net...

Oops, some issues:

>

link to add plugin must be
http://plugins.intellij.net/plugins/new
now it http://plugins/new
Also for all other links (add version, add category)

>

Adding, deleting and editing must be under security ;)

>

And also, did you provide import to this plugin cetral from

intellij.org?

See

>

http://www.intellij.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/IntelliJPluginPackageXML?skin=plain

>

Please add source ZIP file uploading.
Thanks!

>

--
Alexey Efimov, Software Engineer
Sputnik Labs,
http://www.spklabs.com
"Stanislav Davydov (JetBrains)" <stathik@intellij.com> wrote in message
news:bkflk6$96e$1@is.intellij.net...

There is a SCR in ITN about plugin manager:

http://www.intellij.net/tracker/idea/viewSCR?publicId=6487
>

It's assigned to me and I'll implement this feature after

Error-Reporting

system will be done :)
>

Some part of Plugin Manager is already implemented and located on

http://plugins.intellij.net
>
>

--
Best regards,

>

Stanislav Davydov
JetBrains, Inc

>
>

>
>

>
>


0
Comment actions Permalink

Yes. Since today.

Someone has delete it :(
I think it will be protected somehow :)

"Alexey Efimov" <aefimov@spklabs.com> wrote in message news:bkpc8s$do9$1@is.intellij.net...

Stanislav,

>

Does it central work now? I see empty list...
No plugins, no categories... that happend? :((

>

I hope not somethink serious

>

--
Alexey Efimov, Software Engineer
Sputnik Labs,
http://www.spklabs.com
"Stanislav Davydov (JetBrains)" <stathik@intellij.com> wrote in message
news:bkpa20$l42$1@is.intellij.net...

1) Thank you, it will be fixed.

>

2) intellij.org plugin central doesn't have any security too ;)

>

3) Yes.

>

4) To be discussed

>

"Alexey Efimov" <aefimov@spklabs.com> wrote in message

news:bkm64f$g4l$1@is.intellij.net...

Oops, some issues:

>

link to add plugin must be
http://plugins.intellij.net/plugins/new
now it http://plugins/new
Also for all other links (add version, add category)

>

Adding, deleting and editing must be under security ;)

>

And also, did you provide import to this plugin cetral from

intellij.org?

See

>

http://www.intellij.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/IntelliJPluginPackageXML?skin=plain

>

Please add source ZIP file uploading.
Thanks!

>

--
Alexey Efimov, Software Engineer
Sputnik Labs,
http://www.spklabs.com
"Stanislav Davydov (JetBrains)" <stathik@intellij.com> wrote in message
news:bkflk6$96e$1@is.intellij.net...

There is a SCR in ITN about plugin manager:

http://www.intellij.net/tracker/idea/viewSCR?publicId=6487
>

It's assigned to me and I'll implement this feature after

Error-Reporting

system will be done :)
>

Some part of Plugin Manager is already implemented and located on

http://plugins.intellij.net
>
>

--
Best regards,

>

Stanislav Davydov
JetBrains, Inc

>
>

>
>

>
>

>
>


0
Comment actions Permalink

Plugin Central is not a hosting for plugin home pages. It just a place for keeping up to date plugins.
You could continue using wiki for hosting.

"Alain Ravet" <alain.ravet.list@wanadoo.be> wrote in message news:bkmbv8$23q$1@is.intellij.net...

Stanislav,

>

> It's assigned to me and I'll ...

>

Often, one image, replaces many many words.
Example :
http://www.intellij.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/LineUpAndDownMoverPlugin

>

Request:
----------
Whatever solution/design you come up with, let the user put images and
formating (color, ..) in his text.
This is one advantage of the wiki you cannot afford to loose.

>
>

Alain

>


0
Comment actions Permalink

It a pitty :((
Let's secure it! :)

--
Alexey Efimov, Software Engineer
Sputnik Labs,
http://www.spklabs.com
"Stanislav Davydov (JetBrains)" <stathik@intellij.com> wrote in message
news:bkpe37$s20$1@is.intellij.net...

Yes. Since today.

>

Someone has delete it :(
I think it will be protected somehow :)

>

"Alexey Efimov" <aefimov@spklabs.com> wrote in message

news:bkpc8s$do9$1@is.intellij.net...

Stanislav,

>

Does it central work now? I see empty list...
No plugins, no categories... that happend? :((

>

I hope not somethink serious

>

--
Alexey Efimov, Software Engineer
Sputnik Labs,
http://www.spklabs.com
"Stanislav Davydov (JetBrains)" <stathik@intellij.com> wrote in message
news:bkpa20$l42$1@is.intellij.net...

1) Thank you, it will be fixed.

>

2) intellij.org plugin central doesn't have any security too ;)

>

3) Yes.

>

4) To be discussed

>

"Alexey Efimov" <aefimov@spklabs.com> wrote in message

news:bkm64f$g4l$1@is.intellij.net...

Oops, some issues:

>

link to add plugin must be
http://plugins.intellij.net/plugins/new
now it http://plugins/new
Also for all other links (add version, add category)

>

Adding, deleting and editing must be under security ;)

>

And also, did you provide import to this plugin cetral from

intellij.org?

See

>

>

http://www.intellij.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/IntelliJPluginPackageXML?skin=plain

>

Please add source ZIP file uploading.
Thanks!

>

--
Alexey Efimov, Software Engineer
Sputnik Labs,
http://www.spklabs.com
"Stanislav Davydov (JetBrains)" <stathik@intellij.com> wrote in

message

news:bkflk6$96e$1@is.intellij.net...

There is a SCR in ITN about plugin manager:

http://www.intellij.net/tracker/idea/viewSCR?publicId=6487
>

It's assigned to me and I'll implement this feature after

Error-Reporting

system will be done :)
>

Some part of Plugin Manager is already implemented and located on

http://plugins.intellij.net
>
>

--
Best regards,

>

Stanislav Davydov
JetBrains, Inc

>
>

>
>

>
>

>
>

>
>


0
Comment actions Permalink

Stanislav Davydov (JetBrains) wrote:

> Plugin Central is not a hosting for plugin home pages.
> It just a place for keeping up to date plugins.
> You could continue using wiki for hosting.


Could ?!

We already see complains that people post new plugins in the wiki, and
don't mention in in the plugin forum.

If the 3rd plugin infoboard is not automatically synchronized with the
Wiki, this will happen even more often.

A simple solution would be to enforce a simple rule :
plugin homepage must be on the wiki


Alain

0
Comment actions Permalink


Will be in next PluginRepository build :)

"Alexey Efimov" <aefimov@spklabs.com> wrote in message news:bkpefm$1fk$1@is.intellij.net...

It a pitty :((
Let's secure it! :)

>

--
Alexey Efimov, Software Engineer
Sputnik Labs,
http://www.spklabs.com
"Stanislav Davydov (JetBrains)" <stathik@intellij.com> wrote in message
news:bkpe37$s20$1@is.intellij.net...

Yes. Since today.

>

Someone has delete it :(
I think it will be protected somehow :)

>

"Alexey Efimov" <aefimov@spklabs.com> wrote in message

news:bkpc8s$do9$1@is.intellij.net...

Stanislav,

>

Does it central work now? I see empty list...
No plugins, no categories... that happend? :((

>

I hope not somethink serious

>

--
Alexey Efimov, Software Engineer
Sputnik Labs,
http://www.spklabs.com
"Stanislav Davydov (JetBrains)" <stathik@intellij.com> wrote in message
news:bkpa20$l42$1@is.intellij.net...

1) Thank you, it will be fixed.

>

2) intellij.org plugin central doesn't have any security too ;)

>

3) Yes.

>

4) To be discussed

>

"Alexey Efimov" <aefimov@spklabs.com> wrote in message

news:bkm64f$g4l$1@is.intellij.net...

Oops, some issues:

>

link to add plugin must be
http://plugins.intellij.net/plugins/new
now it http://plugins/new
Also for all other links (add version, add category)

>

Adding, deleting and editing must be under security ;)

>

And also, did you provide import to this plugin cetral from

intellij.org?

See

>

>

http://www.intellij.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/IntelliJPluginPackageXML?skin=plain

>

Please add source ZIP file uploading.
Thanks!

>

--
Alexey Efimov, Software Engineer
Sputnik Labs,
http://www.spklabs.com
"Stanislav Davydov (JetBrains)" <stathik@intellij.com> wrote in

message

news:bkflk6$96e$1@is.intellij.net...

There is a SCR in ITN about plugin manager:

http://www.intellij.net/tracker/idea/viewSCR?publicId=6487
>

It's assigned to me and I'll implement this feature after

Error-Reporting

system will be done :)
>

Some part of Plugin Manager is already implemented and located on

http://plugins.intellij.net
>
>

--
Best regards,

>

Stanislav Davydov
JetBrains, Inc

>
>

>
>

>
>

>
>

>
>

>
>


0

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