Direction of Pidgin development

Etan Reisner pidgin at
Mon May 7 21:53:09 EDT 2007

On Sat, May 05, 2007 at 04:45:46PM -0400, Andrew Roeder wrote:
> Personally the problem i'm seeing with the plugin system is that, Pidgin
> comes with a load of default plugins already, if they are going to always be
> distributed with even the source of pidgin, or packaged in its default
> installer, they might as well not be plugins, obviously they're important
> enough to be designed into Pidgin's preferences instead of thrown into the
> "plugins" section.

Plugins are expressely *not* designed into the existing preferences,
that's sort of the point. Also there is no 'obviously' to this here, some
of the bundled plugins have real concrete value (Message Notification,
Buddy State Notification, Release Notification, History) others are of
less obvious value (Buddy Ticker, Mouse Gestures, New Line, Psychic Mode).
The ones with real value are useful to large groups of people but are
either really self-contained enough (History, Release Notification) or
complicated enough (Message Notification) to warrant being their own
entities. The ones with obvious value to groups of people are not
important enough to be part of pidgin itself (and some are barely
important enough to keep alive at all). And I will say this again, things
don't get "thrown" into the plugins section, it isn't like they are being
sent to the back of the bus or anything, they are just being made whole
units if anything being a plugin might be better than being a preference
because you get more space to explain yourself and little more freedom to
have options.

> My annoyance with the new "plugins" is that they're just cluttering up the
> plugins menu, when i go to plugins  I want to see modules loaded that I
> personally added of my own accord, not the default set of Pidgin options
> that should be located in preferences.

The suggestion that perhaps the plugins dialog should be split into System
and User plugin sections is actually not a particularly bad idea, I'm not
sure of how much use it would be but it is worth considering at least. As
would be keeping a list of 'seen' plugins so that when plugins are added
they get a different background/foreground color so you can find them more
easily (in case the name is less than obvious).

> But I'm not going to argue that we should move everything back to
> preferences, rather maybe just plugins should be built with flags that
> concern what the plugin does, then loaded into appropriate categories under
> plugins such as: GUI Plugins, Chat Plugins, Away Plugins - you get the idea.
>   Then when people build their personal plugins that are not distributed
> with Pidgin, they may add the appropriate flag for it to load in the
> according category.

I think I prefer my above categorization a bit better than this one,
though I don't see much wrong with adding a field to the plugin
information for added categorization like this.

There is also a proposal (or maybe even a patch) in the tracker for a new
plugins dialog, I would suggest you go find it, take a look and comment on
it. It might help this stuff a bit.


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