Raphael Quinet wrote:

> I think that it is more important to standardize a method to build and
> install from source, because that will enable everybody to try the
> plug-ins as soon as they are released, and this will support many more
> platforms than the ones that are actively updated by a distributor of
> binary packages.

I agree that such a method would be useful. OpenBSD maintains third
party packages by a anonymous cvs tree that contains makefiles that are
able to download (via ftp), extract, compile and install third party
packages. The FTP servers that contain the the packages are explicitly
named in every makefile.

But for some platforms it is at least of the same importance that there
are prebuilt binary packages. As an example I would name the ipds filter
that I wrote for gimp that allows to load ipds overlays. Only few people
really can do anything with it. Most of them are colleagues and work
with printer servers for high speed laserprinters. Unfortunatly this
software is only available (yet) for SCO Openserver. For this Unix the
developmentenvironment is not for free. To use my filter they would have
to buy a compiler and lex. It would only be easy to use if gimp could
install a arbitrary precompiled binary plugin via the internet (perhaps
the plugin registry). 

Another thing that comes to my mind in this environment is the automatic
file format detection via the "magic numbers". The best would be if one
would not need to load these magic numbers even for plugins that are not
installed but gimp would detect a fileformat and in this case says "you
do not have the neccessary plugin, should gimp load it over internet?".
That way the core of gimp could be kept little. Of course it should be
possible to load plugins including new magic numbers if there come new
file formats up. 

Gimp could make sure that it only loads plugins that work with it by
comparing the version numbers. I would be able to provide a binary
plugin for rare platforms and the user does not have a problem to get a
development environment on his platform. 

> We already have gimptool for compiling, and it could be extended or
> complemented by another tool that generates the Makefiles that would
> be necessary if several files must be linked together.
> Besides this, there could be a "Get new plug-ins" plug-in or
> standalone tool, which would download a list of available plug-ins,
> compare with the versions currently installed, and allow the user to
> select which ones he/she wants to download, build and install.  The
> tool would then generate a list of files that are necessary, fetch
> them (probably using HTTP, as this is simple to implement) and compile
> them.  As an added bonus, it could also save the list of files to disk
> so that a user who does not have a permanent connection to the
> Internet could transfer the list to another computer that is connected
> to the Internet or use it as an index to get the files from a CD-ROM.

I would be happy for a "get new plug-ins" plugin and would like to
Perhaps we can implement such thing on sourceforges plugin tree...


Reply via email to