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[Discussion] Central Extensions Directory

Started by on Mar 04, 2012 – Contents updated: May 25, 2014

Mar 04, 2012 04:02    

1. The plugin directory looks like almost a cemetery.Most of the plugins are either not working, or the authors dont update them anymore, the plugins section needs a clean-up as well as the skins dir.
Btw, i am up for the skins directory, but i cant handle the plugins directory.

2. "b2evolution plugins" on Sourceforge's default download file is evo_amazon.zip which is very misleading, i see that many b2 users download that default file expecting "something". I cant imagine the disappointment they have.

Maybe we should pack the most active & recent plugins that works with 4x+3x+ 2x (maybe) and make the default file (b2evo_plugin_pack) or sth ?

Mar 04, 2012 04:24

We just need to reorganize plugins and skins. I have some ideas in mind.

Mar 04, 2012 04:30

sam2kb wrote:

We just need to reorganize plugins and skins. I have some ideas in mind.

Would be glad to chip in as i can.

I had a few domains registered such for an extensions/skins directory, and put them all together in a website, however i never found time to make one.Hell, i even lost most of the domains i had for that purpose : D

Would like to hear your thoughts some time (i am not planning to do anything about this in near future.) But no need for a duplicate of efforts, especially when we have a little of it around : D

Mar 04, 2012 04:43

It's just a matter of sending an XML-RPC request with plugin version and name to some external server. The server will respond with current version number, release date and download link. A script then check the date, if it's newer a message with pops up.

It's all custom. However I don't mind creating a public service from it and integrate it into b2evo core.

With all cool new features in b2evo v5 it's a shame that we don't have a central extensions repository. Well someone's gotta do it :)

I still need to finish updating XML-RPC APIs. It is already possible to control b2evolution v5 from mobile Wordpress clients for Apple, Android etc. The work is almost complete. Once that's done I will start working on extensions repository.

Mar 04, 2012 05:25

Good to hear..
I'm afraid we will pretty much be the only ones making this discussion probably.

One of the main things for the future extensions directory, the authors should have full control over their works (moderated where needed, of course). That puts a lot of work on the dir. maintainer (be that you, or danny or whomever is in charge), and it also may frustrate some.

I dont say the authors should be able to do anything they want, i am saying they should be able to do anything they want to do on their works as long as it's moderated.

They should be able to do all kinds of modifications (update/remove/add), the maintainer should just 1-click approve these changes, shouldnt have to manually update all the dir, thats a lot of work.

An idea just popped in my mind, maybe make the new ext. dir. based on sourceforge ? That might make things easier.Just throwing it out there..

Mar 04, 2012 20:21

It would be an SVN based repository, maybe even on SF. Every extension would have a parsable *.txt file containing name, version, description and other info.

A backend script will parse those text files from SVN directory on a daily basis, update some central extensions database and create new zip files

Either a special plugin or better a core function would then connect to a backend server and retrieve a list of available extensions.

==

Some major changes on public part of b2evolution.net are planned, so all forum users would be converted to b2evo users. Upon request users will be granted access to "extensions" section where they will be able to add/update their plugins or skins.

It will not look like a b2evo post in BOPIT it's not user friendly at all. I'm thinking of a single page form with input fields for extension name, description etc. and a "browse" button for a zip file.
- After upload the file will be unpacked, and validated.
- Then if no errors are found, a .txt file is created/updated with the info from submitted form.
- Extracted files would be uploaded to SVN repository either local or on SF.

Lazy (trustworthy) extension devs will have direct access to SVN repository where they can add/update their plugins and skins.

What do you think?

Mar 05, 2012 06:01

I'm starting updating the plugins directory on SF. If you want to help, you may add/update third party (not mine) plugins too.

Once we add all available plugins to that directory, I would check them and add min and max b2evo version they work in.

After that's done we can start creating description *.txt files I mentioned above.

Mar 08, 2012 17:20

sam2kb wrote:

It would be an SVN based repository, maybe even on SF. Every extension would have a parsable *.txt file containing name, version, description and other info.

A backend script will parse those text files from SVN directory on a daily basis, update some central extensions database and create new zip files

Either a special plugin or better a core function would then connect to a backend server and retrieve a list of available extensions.

So far sounds good..
==
sam2kb wrote:

Some major changes on public part of b2evolution.net are planned, so all forum users would be converted to b2evo users. Upon request users will be granted access to "extensions" section where they will be able to add/update their plugins or skins.

When is this change due ? This is the first time i hear about such a thing, but it sounds like a plan.
sam2kb wrote:

It will not look like a b2evo post in BOPIT it's not user friendly at all. I'm thinking of a single page form with input fields for extension name, description etc. and a "browse" button for a zip file.
- After upload the file will be unpacked, and validated.
- Then if no errors are found, a .txt file is created/updated with the info from submitted form.
- Extracted files would be uploaded to SVN repository either local or on SF.

Lazy (trustworthy) extension devs will have direct access to SVN repository where they can add/update their plugins and skins.

What do you think?

Final part makes sense too, it's all good.. let me know in which parts i can help with.

Btw, another idea; if we drop the whole SVN thing aside;
How about creating a b2evo (extensions) blog, and each extsion would be a post with custom fields for plugin desc, version, file etc.
All we have to do is find a make the posts moderated before being published, or upon modification.

Mar 08, 2012 18:45

When is this change due ? This is the first time i hear about such a thing, but it sounds like a plan.

Probably after v5 is out. It's still a work in progress.

How about creating a b2evo (extensions) blog, and each extsion would be a post with custom fields for plugin desc, version, file etc.

No, I don't like this, it's already done like that and you see the results :). I didn't like BOPIT because of this structure. The devs must only see a list of submitted extensions and a simple single-page form. It should be very straightforward. The interface might be backed up by a plugin running on central b2evo instance for forums and docs. This way we can easily promote existing forum users to "extensions devs" group.

SVN gives us the possibility to manage submitted extensions remotely, monitor changes etc. It would be super easy to search through all plugins and update some hooks, or fix global bugs. I really like it do be on SVN, not sure if it should be SF or some kind of a local SVN install on b2evo server.

Mar 08, 2012 20:10

Ok than SVN it is. Do you have a timescale in your mind ?

I will try to add plugin which are not there.

We will continue on http://sourceforge.net/projects/evocms-plugins/ , we are not gonna start another branch right ?

What do you think the minimum version should be ? 2.4x+ or 3.x+ ?

Mar 08, 2012 20:18

Yeah, let's use the plugins directory on SF for now. I believe we shout keep all plugins from at least v1. Some day we may want to port them to v5.

Just throw them to SVN. Also please create a text file plugins.txt in SVN root and put plugin names and links to plugin description pages, so later we would not have to search for it again.

The format of plugins.txt file may be the following, one plugin per line.

Code

some_cool_plugin => http://a-link-to-plugin-page

Mar 11, 2012 00:27

sam2kb wrote:

Just throw them to SVN. Also please create a text file plugins.txt in SVN root and put plugin names and links to plugin description pages, so later we would not have to search for it again.

The format of plugins.txt file may be the following, one plugin per line.

Code

some_cool_plugin => http://a-link-to-plugin-page

I didnt find a plugins.txt in svn root.Have you created it yet ?

Btw, could we create an "info.txt" in each and every plugin folder, and make use of it somehow ?

Mar 11, 2012 02:59

Yeah, info.txt in each plugin is a great idea. So just put this thing in info.txt then, we'll delete this string later.

Code

some_cool_plugin => http://a-link-to-plugin-page

Mar 16, 2012 01:36

My latest plugin has been downloaded 5 times in 5 days : D People simply are not using b2evo these days i guess, or not checking the forums..

I wouldnt know about you, but i would definitely not work for days for such small attraction.

But looking at your work, you put A LOT of effort & time in plugins.

So, maybe we should better put together this directory as soon as possible, so that at least all your hard work will be in showcase, and be used by (help) more people.

Mar 16, 2012 06:17

It's not a job for me, I'm doing it fun. And it's still fun, even when only I and my clients use the plugins I created :)

b2evo 5 should change everything, it's a CMS with lots of cool features.

Mar 17, 2012 13:01

sam2kb wrote:

It's not a job for me, I'm doing it fun. And it's still fun, even when only I and my clients use the plugins I created :)

b2evo 5 should change everything, it's a CMS with lots of cool features.

Yea it is for me too.. Lots of fun and learning new things for me b2 is the only thing that forces me to expand on php..

I've always thought of using b2 for client work, however we couldnt agree with my partner (well he had stronger arguments), so we decided on joomla.

However now when i look at it, it was the right thing to do anyway, after b2 getting "bloated" following 3.x and recent downfall as a result of this.

The dashboard would be so confusing for a new user.It's nice to have lots of things as core features, however they should be well organized.

Relevant point of the above to the topic; people are not aware of available plugins for b2.The plugins and extensions need more exposure.And we really should get started with new extensions dir.Even i cant know for sure, which plugin would still work for me, and if there's a plugin available for my needs etc. after 4 years.

Dec 06, 2012 17:20

Any ideas to update extensions directory (both plugins & skins ) ? Especially the plugins page is very outdated and lacking.
sam2kb was planning something but i dont know where he is with that.

Assuming the new extension directory will be b2v5, and every extension will be a post, can we make it so, people can submit extensions(posts) and edit them ?

Case scenario: I have a plugin to submit, i go into extensions dir(blog), and create a new post, write my info and send it.When it gets approved it gets published.
Then i have an update for my plugin, i simply go in and edit my post(plugin), however the changes would not be made until it gets approved again.


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