[wp-hackers] Plugin Repository SVN

Eric Marden wp at xentek.net
Sat Sep 6 04:41:12 GMT 2008

Fellow WP-Hackers,

I've got a plugin I've been working on for a while and am starting to  
look at branching out into more related plugins. And this got my  
thinking about the best way to organize it...

The first way, was to just add the functionality into the main plugin,  
and force the extra functionality on everyone.

The second way I thought of was to just add the other plugins into the  
original project as an optional plugin. It would require separate  
activation, but give the user a chance to choose whether or not they  
wanted to use the auxiliary plugin.

The third way, which leads to my real question, is to publish them all  
as separate plugins and then ask users to install them all to 'build  
up' the full suite of functionality.

The problem with #1 is that the name of my plugin and associated  
metadata would not accurately reflect its full capability, and while I  
could use an option to turn the extra functionality on and off, to  
avoid the 'force' aspect of adding it in, I'd still be left with a  
plugin name that no longer express all it does.

#2 is better than #1, since it now separates the plugins, but almost  
leads me to #3 immediately... that of just publishing them as separate  

#3 is my personal favorite, since each of the plugins I see adding  
functionality to the suite won't necessarily depend on each other, but  
will work together nicely when they ARE all installed. This will  
require a bit of rework on my end, since there is a bit of the  
configuration settings that could be used by all the plugins, but it  
wouldn't be that big of an issue (I don't think).

Which got me thinking... If I was to to do this, could I then publish  
an entirely new plugin that used svn:externals to create a composite  
plugin of the full suite? In other words, will the auto-zip / download  
service on the Plugin Repository still work? I imagine that using  
propedit in SVN is going to be fine. But will the post-commit hook (or  
what ever the mechanism is that updates a plugin on the plugin  
browser) be able to correctly check out the external files and package  
them up in a zip properly? Obviously I wanted to ask about this before  
playing with it in the wild.


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