[GSOC] Pidgin Plugin Website

mrigeshpokhrel mrigeshpokhrel at gmail.com
Wed Mar 28 19:02:25 EDT 2012

Hi all,

         I want to work on the pidgin project "Pidgin Plugin Website" . The
current pidgin plugin page is pretty bland and requires the user to install
the plugins manually. I would like to make the webpage or rather the plugin
store more user friendly and also make it easier to install the plugins.

I would suggest to do the following:

1. First and foremost making the plugin website more user friendly , like
an app store just like android market , or a plugin website to the likes of

              This would include building the website from scratch , which
I would like to start with HTML5 and JS(Jquery) and later develop it on
ROR. Which can be after the GSOC time period.

2. Make the user to click as less links as possible.

             This would mean eliminating the need of going to the
sourceforge website everytime the user wants to install the link. The main
objective of this would be to keep the user in the same page as the plugin
eliminating frequent clicks if the user decides to install another plugin.

3. Application MIME handlers (like magnet for torrent clients) for pidgin

              As of now the users have to download the plugin and manually
install them by extracting the files to the plugin directory (windows)  or
by adding a PPA and then installing them using apt-get. In windows using
the three major browsers (IE , Firefox , Google Chrome)  this can be
performed by adding a registry entry for mime type for internet explorer.
Firefox would accept the same MIME type configuration as defined for
Internet Explorer earlier, in case it does not , a separate plugin for
firefox can include the mime type in the applications tab by editing the
firefox profile prefrences (this would work in both windows and linux  and
most probably in macos as well). For google chrome we can edit the local
user settings to make google handle the mime type , but i have no idea as
of now as to how to perform that on windows . Any help on that would be

4. Revamping the current plugin browser

           Presently the plugin browser allows only to enable , disable and
configure the plugins . It lacks the feature for installing/removing
plugins. I would like to add features like plugin browser , which wold
allow the user to browse plugins online and/or download the plugin to the
local directory and install the plugin by browsing to the local directory.
The plugin browser would also have to be programmed for handling MIME
responses and subsequently installing the plugin

5. Developer and user access

        The website would have a login/signup portal where a developer can
upload the plugin with information like , plugin name , description , tags
, version , pidgin version supported, dependencies and conflicts . And the
end user can download , rate , comment on , and provide suggestions for the
plugin much similar to the app stores but on a basic standard.

Apart from the above features I have few queries regarding them

1. As specified in point 2 , i would like to make the process with as less
click as possible for the user . That would mean either totally eliminating
the sourceforge link and hosting the plugins in the pidgin server , or else
providing the direct link from sourceforge on a new blank page tab. What
would be more feasible ?

2. As pidgin already comes bundled with lots of plugins would it be
possible to make those plugins installable from the plugin browser itself ,
it would be advantageous in the sense that it would decrease the download
size of the main application.

3. The MIME handler needs to define a extension such that all requests to
that particular extension can be passed on to the pidgin plugin browser
capable of handling that MIME response. As of now all the plugins are in
.zip format which would create conflicts with major and almost all
archiving/compression applications. So there is a need for deciding an
extension for the plugins to be specified in the mime type. for eg  .. for
a plugin a.zip if we rename it to z.pidgin with "pidgin" as the extension
then all the requests made to mime type "pidgin" would be directed to
pidgin plugin browser. So, on clicking on a.pidgin download link it would
automatically open up the pidgin plugin browser. Any suggestions for the
extension type that would be unique and less confusing.

Apart from the above any suggestions , queries , requests and critics are

Mrigesh Pokhrel
irc: rAg3-nix , mrigesh
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