I've thought of 3 installation scenarios:
1) User downloads source from gimp.org, and compiles and installs gimp
2) User downloads and installs an RPM (or other package) from the net
(either directly, or via an ftp install of his favourite distribution).
3) User installs gimp with the rest of his distribution from a cdrom
(which presumably uses some sort of package system)
1) Having a gimp-specific plug-in system is okay. The user didn't use
any package system so he won't expect to have to use any packager for
plugins. People on unix systems which don't have packagers have to have
an alternative, so requiring a packager is not good.
2) Using the packager is logical, however using a gimp-specific system
will also work. It's just a matter of asking the user at first startup
whether he wants to install any extra plugins.
3) Having a gimp-specific packager may be a pain, because the user has
to connect to the net (and has to have a net connection) to be able to
get the plugins. There's no way of putting them on the cdrom.
Conclusion: 1 and 3 collide.
So here's my proposal:
Distribute gimp without plugins (or just a very basic set). Also, have a
script that can download plugins from plugins.gimp.org and put them in
the correct location in the source tree. Installing from source would
turn into something like:
Updating plugins would simply mean:
make plugins (no need to rebuild gimp ofcourse)
make plugins_install (to $HOME/.gimp/plugins or optionally to
/usr/local/share/gimp/plugins if root is detected)
At the same time, if a distribution wants to include gimp they can use
their packager to install gimp. The plugins would each get their own
package, which would be installed to the appropriate binary directory.
I think we should not be dependent on the availability of a packager,
and easy install of plugin sources would be nice (hence the script, it
could ofcourse be a GUI program too, but that may be a bit over the
top). At the same time, it should be possible to put gimp and all (or a
selection of) plugins into packages.
I'm not sure whether we should distribute things in binary form anyway.
Isn't that best left to the distributions?
> I propose:
> 1. let the user use the package tool she wants
> 2. make plugins relocateable (I guess, not only RPM can do that)
> 3. provide easy integration of any additional files (help, data etc.) by
> means of directory structure etc.
> We do not need to care how one gets those Plugin packages. We do not
> need to care for depencies (we should however propose a standard way to
> name depencies). We just need to care for a place to install the plugins
> in so that Joe User is able to install a binary plugin without root
> Mein Pfennig. ;-) Tino.